TV News plays catch-up on the climate-hurricane link.
CNN

TV News plays catch-up on the climate-hurricane link.

Cable News awakens. Sort of.

On Monday, I wrote about the near-total absence of mentions—or even questions—about the climate change-hurricanes link on TV.


Since then, cable news networks have awakened a bit from their climate nap. On Wednesday, CNN's Jake Tapper at least tried to question White House budget director Mick Mulvaney on the climate-hurricanes link.

Mulvaney rejected any such discussion, pleading the climate equivalent of Taking the Fifth Amendment on the topic.

This is at least a feeble improvement from a few days earlier, when CNN's Chris Cuomo abruptly shut down a head of state, Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda, who tried to raise the role of climate change in the utter demolition of human structures on the island of Barbuda.

"There's a broader discussion to be had, that is true," said Cuomo, before kicking the discussion back to a commercial break and more wall-to-wall coverage of wreckage shots.

As a rule as firm as unwritten rules get, cable news anchors don't shut down heads of state when they raise what they feel is an important point.

While I didn’t watch much MSNBC, they took a different path, featuring climate discussions fairly regularly.

Conservative media teed up climate stories and talk segments solely for the purpose of shooting them down.

Cutting climate out of the discussion—or letting a Trump official do it for you—is bad journalism, especially when it's replaced by a little more of the 24-hour cycle of post-disaster porn.

It's a little like doing all-out coverage of sexually-transmitted diseases, without seeing fit to mention sex as a possible cause.

Become a donor
Today's top news

LISTEN: A Daily Dose—an easy pill to swallow

New podcast series explores the intricacies and impacts of endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

From our newsroom

Peter Dykstra: American Invasive Species Hall of Fame, part 2

Five more flora and fauna that have left their mark.

Centering biodiversity and social justice in overhauling the global food system

“The food system is the single largest economic sector causing the transgressing of planetary boundaries.”

LISTEN: Jennifer Roberts on nature as medicine

“I have a deep appreciation for the sounds just being by a creek and hearing the water… it gives me hope and it gives me life when I'm out in nature.”

Peter Dykstra: American Invasive Species Hall of Fame, part 1

Flora and fauna that have left their mark.

IN-DEPTH: What we know about PFAS in our food

Amid inadequate testing and a lack of regulation, we’re all eating “forever chemicals.”