CNN gave a platform to "toxic and divisive" Marc Morano to dismiss global warming on its new program, The 11th Hour. But the network did not disclose that Morano, who has no scientific expertise, is paid by fossil fuel companies to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change, as he did on CNN.
On December 10, The 11th Hour host Don Lemon tweeted a preview of the show: "Is #climatechange real? We discuss tonight on @The11thHour on #CNN." Such a "debate" over verifiable facts is often counter-productive, but if CNN is going to air it, the network needs to at least disclose if any of its guests have a financial incentive to deny the facts on climate change.
The CNN segment featured Marc Morano, who currently runs a climate skeptic website paid for by a fossil fuel-funded lobbying group, alongside the Sierra Club's Michael Brune and Earth Echo International's Philippe Cousteau. However, Morano commandeered the majority of the segment -- at one point Lemon joked to Cousteau, "Philippe, you've got to be aggressive if you want to get in on these guys because they're really fired up about this." Morano, who previously made a living by feeding misleading talking points on global warming to Rush Limbaugh and Senator James Inhofe, used his CNN airtime to claim that the "most pro-child thing you can do" in poverty-stricken areas is to build coal plants -- despite the fact that many countries are struggling with fatal levels of air pollution from those plants. After Morano rattled off his usual talking points, dismissing any trend of increasing extreme weather events, Lemon said, "We get your point. You don't think [climate change] is real." Morano responded, "Scientific journals don't think it's real."
To which scientific journals might Morano have been referring? Currently, 97 percent of all papers that take a stance on climate change have found that human activities contribute to global warming.
From the April 21 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom:
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From the 10 pm ET hour of the August 15 edition of CNN Newsroom:
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This morning, CNN's Don Lemon ran a report by correspondent Allan Chernoff on the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and how, by not extending them, President Obama would supposedly be violating a campaign promise not to raise taxes on the middle class. Lemon and the subsequent report glazed over the fact that Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress have advocated for an extension of the Bush tax cuts to families who make less than $250,000 a year.
Lemon introduced the report by claiming that "a campaign promise by President Obama could get a big test soon" because "President Obama promised if you earn less than $250,000 a year, you won't see a tax hike," but "middle class families face one of the largest tax increases in American history" because the Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
Chertoff's entire segment is premised on the likelihood of taxes on middle class families are increasing. Chernoff warns viewers, "brace yourself, there's a very good chance your family also may soon face the same tough choices to find extra money to pay Uncle Sam" because "tax rates are scheduled to rise once the year ends." He also interviews an accountant who "figures he'll soon need an extra $350 a month to pay more federal taxes."
Much of the segment features the caption "Middle class faces big tax increase; Bush-era tax cuts set to expire."
Chertoff later adds that "President Obama pledged to let taxes rise only on families making over $250,000 per year, but as things stand right now, tens of millions of Americans are about to get whacked by new higher tax rates." He also says that "in planning to let taxes rise, President Obama hopes to chop the budget deficit."
After more than three minutes of fearmongering by Chertoff and Lemon, Shawn Tully of Fortune magazine finally undermines the entire story, pointing out that Obama has said that he supports retaining the tax cuts for the middle class.
Indeed, President Obama's FY 2011 budget proposal includes a provision stating that "tax cuts that affect families earning more than $250,000 a year" would be allowed to expire, but that such an expiration would "have no effect on the 98% of all household who make less than $250,000." Both Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi support, and plan to bring legislation to the floor to extend, the Bush tax cuts for middle-class families.
Despite passage of health care reform bills in House and Senate committees and the endorsement by major medical organizations of congressional Democrats' reform efforts, numerous television pundits have suggested that President Obama's health care plan is in serious jeopardy.
A Media Matters analysis found that since the day after President Obama's inauguration, broadcast and cable news figures have been stating that Obama's "honeymoon" is "over" or questioning whether it is, rendering the cliché all but meaningless. During this period, media figures have suggested Obama's "honeymoon" is "over" with respect to "some ... die-hard Republicans," the media, African-Americans, Cuban President Fidel Castro, "Republican critics of his economic recovery plan," and economists.
CNN anchor Don Lemon teased Drew Griffin's report about Sen. Barack Obama's 1996 run for the Illinois state Senate by asserting, "[I]f his very first political campaign is any indication, the Illinois senator isn't opposed to getting a little dirty." But Griffin, whose report detailed the 1996 Obama campaign's successful tactic of challenging the petitions for other candidates to appear on the ballot, failed to note that a Chicago Tribune article he cited had reported that the former Obama opponent he interviewed "now suspects" some of the signatures on his petition were forged.