Monday, November 05, 2007

“Ends of the Earth” / End of the Earth?

NBC News "Today Show" has sent people to the top, bottom and middle of the world to highlight the Earth's climate crisis. Matt Lauer was in Greenland in the Arctic Circle, Al Roker was in Equador along the Equator, Ann Curry was near the South Pole, and poor Meredith Vieira was left behind in New York as the rest of the crew was dispatched to the "Ends of the Earth" to address life-threatening situations that promise to end life as we know it, or perhaps life altogether.

On a positive note, the visuals were stunning, and the descriptions of the ecosphere in each of the locations were filled with information. But the reviews are not all positive.

Getting into the spirit of the rugged individuals who live and work in the Arctic Circle, Matt Lauer sported a two-day growth of beard, clearly emphasizing the seriousness of the problems the scientists there told him about. Or maybe he just forgot his razor.

And to cap off the day, Al Gore—Oscar winner, Nobel Peace Laureate, and defeated presidential candidate—appeared to answer a question about an op-ed piece that challenged Gore's unchallengeable thesis that man is screwing up the atmosphere with catastrophic consequences only years away was written by a person whom he equated with a flat-Earth advocate; someone not to be taken seriously, and certainly someone who did not deserve to be mentioned on a responsible television program.

However, if the Today Show is to be regarded as a responsible television program, it will have to do more than ask Al Gore about a column that expresses a contrary view, and allow his condescending dismissal of that column to stand unchallenged. It didn't.

And that wasn't the only thing the Today Show didn't do: It also didn't provide any balance to the assertions of global warming gloom. If the Today Show is your source for news and truth, you can't help but believe we are doomed.

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