Politics

Former Fox Host Helps CNN Promote Glenn Beck’s Anti-Global Warming Agenda

Last night, CNN’s right-wing pundit Glenn Beck — who has a history of making flagrantly false and offensive statements — aired a documentary on global warming entitled “Exposed: The Climate of Fear.” Beck concluded, “Al Gore’s version of climate change has no longer become science. It’s dogma. And if you question it, you are a heretic. … The debate is not over. I have a feeling it’s just beginning.”

Beck’s program mentioned Gore 32 times. As much as Beck would like to turn climate change into a personal attack, the scientific judgments of Gore are the consensus view of the world’s leading scientists. The IPCC — “history’s most definitive statement of scientific consensus on climate change” — recently released its main findings, stating global warming is “unequivocal” and human activity is the main driver, “very likely” causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950.

This morning, CNN continued to help peddle Beck’s agenda, giving him a platform on its morning show to help spread his uninformed views. Host Kiran Chetry, formerly an anchor of Fox and Friends and recently hired by CNN, conducted an interview worthy of Fox News, tossing softballs and teeing up some of Beck’s false claims. A sampling of her questions:

— [I]t appears that most people think that global warming is caused by man. And when you raise a different opinion, it makes for some heated debate. Let’s put it that way.

— Instead of the bible they are putting Al Gore’s book, “An Inconvenient Truth,” at the nightstand. What do you think?

— Is the debate about — I mean, we have gone up — what is it — .7 degrees?

— So there is no denying it’s happened. But I think the cause and how we can help is something that is up for debate.

Watch a compilation of the segment:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/05/beckchetry.320.240.flv]

By giving Beck a platform to spout his junk science, CNN has helped promote ongoing efforts by the Bush administration, the oil lobby, and right-wing pundits to create doubt where none exists.

UPDATE: Media Matters has more.

Transcript:

CHETRY: And Glenn Beck joins us live now from his studio here in New York with more.

Glenn, good to see you this morning.

BECK: Good to see you. Welcome to CNN. I’m a big fan of yours. Glad you’re with us.

CHETRY: Well, thank you. Thank you. It’s great to be here.

You know, you raise an interesting point, because as we talked about in the intro, it used to be that, you know, a lot of people didn’t have any opinion on global warming, and now it appears that most people think that global warming is caused by man. And when you raise a different opinion, it makes for some heated debate. Let’s put it that way.

BECK: Yes. You know, I’m concerned. The reason why we did the special last night is I’m really concerned.

You know, I have a national radio program as well, and so many people have called me up and said, my kids have to make a decision on whether or not they can disagree with their teacher […]

CHETRY: You know, I don’t know if you heard this yesterday. There was a green hotel, I believe it was in California…

BECK: Yes.

CHETRY: … where instead of the bible they are putting Al Gore’s book, “An Inconvenient Truth,” at the nightstand.

What do you think?

BECK: Kiran, I have to tell you, I think it is so appropriate. I think Al Gore should just start wearing a priest collar. I think we’re entering the dark ages here […]

CHETRY: A recent poll showed about 60 percent of Americans think global warming has started.

BECK: Yes.

CHETRY: And there’s a very small amount who think it’s never going to happen.

Is the debate about — I mean, we have gone up — what is it — .7 degrees?

BECK: Yes, about .7 degrees Celsius. Look, there is no…

CHETRY: So there is no denying it’s happened. But I think the cause and how we can help is something that is up for debate.

BECK: Yes. There are three — there are three questions — really, kind of four.

There’s — has the global gotten warmer? Yes, it has. It’s undeniable.

Is this a lasting effect or is this just a cycle? That’s still up for debate.

The next one is, is man causing it?

And the fourth one is, if man is causing it and the other three are true, then are we able to stop it? Even there, some scientists say it’s already too late. There’s a lot of debate. […]

CHETRY: And I guess I made a programming decision that we’re going to run it again at some point.

BECK: Oh, good. Go for it.

CHETRY: Glenn Beck, always great to talk to you. Thanks a lot.

BECK: Great to talk to you. Bye-bye.