Message To Media: Obama’s Right On Climate, Rick ‘State On Fire’ Perry’s Wrong

Drought levels in Texas as of 9/20/11.

Most of the political press has responded to President Obama’s attack on Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) climate denial by portraying it as a partisan conflict:

Politico’s Maggie Heberman covers the conflict, not the facts. “This is a fight that is mutually beneficial to both Obama and Perry.”

Politico’s Matt Negrin, with yet another story on the same Obama quote, also did not comment on the fact that Obama was stating facts.

Time’s Mark Halperin also covered only the partisan angle: “POTUS tries to energize base with Perry attacks at Sun. night re-election fundraiser.”

The Washington Post’s David Nakamura also avoids mentioning that climate change is real. “Republicans might want to turn the 2012 presidential campaign into a referendum on President Obama’s handling of the economy, but he has other ideas.”

Television coverage was no better:

CNN’s Carol Costello: “No doubt about it, President Obama is throwing some red meat to a liberal base upset that he seems weak in the face of Republican attacks.”

Good Morning America’s Josh Elliott: “He’s taken the clearest shot yet at Rick Perry.”

Other political-media bloggers did mention in passing that global warming is a fact:

Time’s Michael Crowley writes: “This is a very satisfying line of attack for a Democratic audience.” In a later aside, he writes: “(Obama’s message might resonate less with members of the general public, however, many of whom doubt — despite an overwhelming scientific consensus — man-made climate change, as well as a connection between global warming and extreme weather.)”

Politico’s Ben Smith does a better job, linking to one of the many explanations of the link between Texas’ disastrous year and global warming, a blog post by Texan climate scientist Dr. Ronald Sass. However, he doesn’t bother to set the record on climate change straight when noting that “Republican voters tend not to think it’s real.”

There were actually some media hits that clearly delineated the difference between Obama’s fact-based argument and Perry’s denial. The Hill’s excellent energy blogger Ben Geman deserves kudos for actually fact-checking the dispute:

Perry, on the stump, has repeatedly questioned the consensus view among scientists that the planet is warming up and emissions from burning fossil fuels are a key reason why.

Mediate’s James Crugnale also reminded readers of the facts, writing that Politifact rated Perry’s portrayal of climate change as a global conspiracy “False.”

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