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Trump, Not Record-Breaking Disasters, Dominated TV News Coverage of Climate Change in 2017

NOAA map showing 2017's 16 billion dollar climate and weather disasters

Extreme weather events in the United States seemed ever-present in the media during 2017, with historic wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and droughts receiving national coverage. What was less common, however, was major TV news networks making the connection between these kinds of billion-dollar disasters and climate change for their viewers. That's despite scientific support confirming these links, and some experts even warning that such extreme events may be “the new normal.”

The conclusion about major network coverage of climate change comes from a new report by Media Matters for America

Media Matters Report Shows Stunning Lack of Climate Change Coverage on TV Networks in 2016

TV news vans

A new report from Media Matters for America details the astounding lack of coverage of climate change from major U.S. television news outlets in 2016. According to the report, there was an overall decrease in coverage, dropping about 66 percent from the previous year.

News outlets that included ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox News Sunday spent a combined total of 50 minutes discussing the issue of climate change on nightly and Sunday morning news programs in 2016.

NBC/GE, Dylan Ratigan Show, and the Methane Gas-Media Industrial Complex

Yesterday, I published an article for the Center for Media and Democracy’s PRWatch titled, MSNBC’s (GE’s) Dylan Ratigan Show ‘Firewater?’ Series: Natural Gas Industry-Media Complex Exposed.

Among other things, the article lays out the fundamental flaw with NBC’s coverage of anything pertaining to methane gas drilling–they are a “player in that game,” to put it bluntly, with a direct financial interest in the project occurring.

The article then proceeds to discuss, based on that troubling journalistic premise, the “Firewater?” series that took place on the Dylan Ratigan Show from Wed. June 8 through Fri., June 10, revealing all the ways that overarching premise flawed what was pitched as “in-depth coverage,” but in reality, served as a three-day advertising campaign for General Electric and the methane gas industry (an industry GE is a part of).

TV Reporters Burying Global Warming

MoveOn.Org reports that top TV reporters have asked presidential candidates 2,679 questions in the last year, of which three were about UFOs, and three were about climate change.

It would be tempting to dismiss this as Fox News vacuousness, but for the non-participation of NBC's Washington Bureau Chief, Tim Russert, who clearly just doesn't care.

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