Two U.S. senators, without meteorological or scientific backgrounds, have grabbed chunks of print space with their “expert” comments on climate change, notes Grumpy Editor
Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) in the Las Vegas Sun opinion page yesterday declared, “There should be no doubt: Climate change is contributing to wildfires in the West and causing them to be more ferocious, frequent and devastating.”
He pointed out 28,000 acres recently burned in the mountains west of Las Vegas.
But he did not mention that wildfire was started by a lightning bolt, and U.S. acres burned this year through mid-July ranked second lowest for the like period over the past decade, (according to a tally by National Interagency Fire Center).
Reid, who co-hosts a Las Vegas gathering tomorrow on clean energy, said extreme weather will be one of the issues to be discussed and “how clean energy investments can make communities more resilient to such weather.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), in the wake of a wildfire that burned 19,000 acres near Palm Springs, also puts the blame on climate change --- but also indicated budget cuts are limiting resources to fight such blazes.
(She did not mention that budget cuts are man made.)
Many say news reports often inaccurate, finds Pew
Outside of the media’s role of watchdog, 67 percent of those surveyed by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press say news reports are often inaccurate.
Pew Research also finds 76 percent of those surveyed say news organizations tend to favor one side while 75 percent mention media often are influenced by powerful people and organizations
Ratings of news organizations have declined steadily since Pew Research first began tracking attitudes in 1985. Many current ratings stand near all-time lows reached in 2011.
For 69 percent of those surveyed, television remains the top news source. This compares with 28 percent who prefer newspapers and 23 percent who tune in to radio as their main source.
“The current media landscape is starkly different than in 2001, when 45 percent said newspapers were their main source for news,” relates Pew.
In case you missed these…
With TV: Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus threatens to pull NBC and CNN access to the 2016 Republican primary debates unless those networks shelve their recently-announced Hillary Clinton film projects. Priebus says if the networks fail to pull those films by Wednesday’s RNC summer meeting, he will "seek a binding vote of the RNC stating that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor”…John Seigenthaler Jr., remembered for his 11 years at NBC, joins the new Al-Jazeera America network as a prime-time news anchor of the network's nightly prime-time show to be broadcast from New York. When it launches Aug. 20, Al-Jazeera America will have bureaus in a dozen U.S. cities…Bad TV day: A news crew from San Francisco’s KGO-TV and its security guard were greeted in Oakland mid-afternoon last week by three men, one with a gun, who ran off with camera equipment…Jay Leno’s final “Tonight” show on NBC will be on Feb. 6.
On the heels of the recent Internal Revenue Service scandal, small business owners in the U.S. are receiving letters from the IRS questioning the reporting of their cash income. Some lawmakers and business owners say the move is alarming…Maybe the IRS seeks additional funds for this: The U.S. government needs an estimated $1.7 billion annually to keep up 6,700 empty and 71,000 underused buildings, reveals Bloomberg Businessweek…After cutting newsroom staffers, the Cleveland Plain Dealer now publishes a free-standing business section only on Sundays…AccuWeather introduces a 45-day (that’s right, a month and a half) weather forecast offered free-of-charge on Accuweather.com.
Speaking of weather --- and illustrating hot summer days --- rather than the usual U.S. beach, sailing or kids running through sprinklers shots, Associated Press last week transmitted a photo (used by U.S. editors, no less) of children cooling off via water in a park --- in Bucharest, Romania.