The News Wednesday: Weather Outside is Frightful But It’s NOT Climate Change! Nightly Network News Review


Welcome to host Chuck Mertz‘s review of the nightly network TV news, posted every weeknight.

If there’s one thing you can count on with US national nightly network news, it’s that even in stories on the effects of climate change, they will not use the words ‘climate change.’

I would love to hear why the network’s nightly news offerings — ABC World News, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News — refuse to use the term ‘climate change.’

What the hell. I’ll email them and ask. If any respond, I will tell you, dear readers. But I doubt they will.

ABC opened tonight with a story by reporter Ginger Zee where she talks about all the weather records being broken. She mentions how it’s December but there’s no snow. She talks about the impact of Arctic melting on rising sea levels.

What she never says is ‘climate change.’

It’s kinda like reporting on all the fighting in every war ever without using the word ‘war.’ If we had journalism like this during World War II, they would have called it a police action.

While CBS opened with the fiscal cliff — although there is no new news on the subject — NBC ties a 2012 US network news record by starting with two foreign news stories.

That’s two. Count them, two!

NBC leads with Syria’s chemical weapons and then heads to Egypt’s protests. Anchor Brian Williams actually compares talk of Syria’s chemical weapons to Iraq’s WMD rumors.

That’s pretty bold, considering that the Obama administration has been pushing this Syria chemical weapons storyline real hard.

Of course, this doesn’t stop reporter Mrs. Alan Greenspan from fanning the flames of fear when she essentially parrots the US government line.

CBS and NBC report on the greatness of Tamoxifen when it comes to fighting breast cancer. Too bad I don’t trust one word networks say on pharmaceuticals, as they take so much money from Big Pharma.

ABC goes to reverse mortgages’ high foreclosure rate, even mentioning how former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson was the spokesperson for a reverse mortgage company.

If you haven’t read Rick Perlstein’s piece in The Baffler on how the right loves to scam their supporters, you should. Or listen to our interview with him a couple of weeks ago.

The nauseating ABC segment ‘Made in America’ is back. No, reporter David Muir still is not telling us if the cameras the segment uses, the microphones, the satellite, the transportation, even the clothes he wears, are ‘Made in USA.’

Instead, Muir goes to the Mall of America to find out how much at the Mall is ‘Made in USA.’ Muir gets an expert on the Mall’s inventory when he interviews some hopefully stoned kid working as a temp elf. The kid’s smile and response really sound high.

Still, it’s surprising that the Mall of America would allow Muir in to determine how many of the products they offer are actually ‘Made in America.’ I can’t wait to hear what percentage of stuff at a mall with ‘America’ in its name is not actually made in America. This should be real damning stuff.

Of course, Muir has no intention of telling you how much of the goods at the Mall of America are ‘Made in America.’ That was only a tease for you to get suckered into what becomes nothing more than a promotion for the ‘Made in America’ segment.

Rather than dishing the dirt on the Mall of America, Muir reports on how the ‘Made in America’ segment has helped American businesses.

Are the new US workers making a living wage? Do they get benefits? What about overtime? Does the company pollute? How much money in tax incentives was it given?

None of this matters to Muir. Maybe he thinks his ‘Made in Japan’ cameras don’t record real journalism.

NBC goes to the prank phone call Australian DJs made to the hospital where a pregnant Kate Middleton is currently staying. Anchor Williams says how he ‘hates to hear’ when these things happen. Williams also reports the DJs have now apologized.

ABC closes with the prank phone call story. Anchor Diane Sawyer starts her coverage admonishing “people pretending to be celebrities talking to real celebrities.” Sawyer deifies celebrity so much that she considers the act of impersonating a celebrity blasphemy.

To repeat, news celebrities are real pissed that someone made a fool of a celebrity. That’s not news but it is entertaining.

CBS closes with Dave Brubeck who will now eternally ‘Take Five.’ NBC ends with New Orleans firefighters helping firefighters who were victims of Sandy.

NBC is quickly becoming the king of Sandy follow-up coverage.

If you’re wondering who among the nightly TV network news shows was the king of Katrina follow-ups was … they were all tied for last.




  • Dan Kugler

    great work, Chuck!