CNN fires staff covering science and environment, hires psychic to cover climate change

Okay, I made up that last part — but the 1976 movie Network is inching closer to reality every day.

NBC buys the Weather Channel in July and one of the first things they do is fire the environmental unit, killing TV’s only global climate change show — during their “Green Week”!

Andy Revkin reports on the millionth nail in the coffin of the MSM, “Science Journalism Implosion, CNN and Beyond,” at DotEarth:

CNN is eliminating its seven-person unit covering science, the environment, and technology, saying its “Planet in Peril” programs do the trick. Curtis Brainard, who assesses environmental coverage for the Columbia Journalism Review online, in a comprehensive piece on the move, said: “[T]he decision to eliminate the positions seems particularly misguided at a time when world events would seem to warrant expanding science and environmental staff.

Of course, the situation at CNN is hardly isolated. Newspaper coverage of science outside of health and wellness is steadily eroding. Even here at The Times, where the Science Times section celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2003 and management has always supported strong science coverage, we (like everyone in print media) are doing ever more with less.

At CNN, among those leaving will be Peter Dykstra, a seasoned producer focused on science and the environment, and Miles O’Brien, a longtime CNN reporter and former morning news anchor, who I got to know when he turned to climate coverage in a big way several years ago. (See his spicy interview with Senator James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who challenges dire climate projections.)

I talked to Dykstra many times. He was one of the very few TV journalists — a phrase that now has its own separate exhibit at the Oxymoron Hall of Fame — who really understood climate.


So when is the public finally going to say, “I’m as mad as Hell and High Water and I’m not gonna take this any more” [click here for YouTube of his famous speech — any resemblance between me and Howard Beale is mostly coincidental].

Totally OT Factoid: Peter Finch (pictured above) “died before the Academy Awards ceremony was held, and as of 2008


is the only performer ever to receive his award posthumously.” Heath Ledger seems a lock to become the second for his stunning portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight.