MSNBC Twice Cancelled “Ratings Killer” Climate Action Advocate Katharine Hayhoe

Katharine Hayhoe
Katharine Hayhoe. By Jay Godwin – https://www.flickr.com/photos/lbjlibrarynow/sets/72157690630876710/with/41823605772/, Public Domain, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Climate action advocates are demanding MSM broadcast more climate change content, even if nobody wants to watch.

The Media Are Complacent While the World Burns

But there’s a brand-new playbook for journalists fighting for a 1.5°C world.

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope
APRIL 22, 2019

Last summer, during the deadliest wildfire season in California’s history, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes got into a revealing Twitter discussion about why US television doesn’t much cover climate change. Elon Green, an editor at Longform, had tweeted, “Sure would be nice if our news networks—the only outlets that can force change in this country—would cover it with commensurate urgency.” Hayes (who is an editor at large for The Nation) replied that his program had tried. Which was true: In 2016, All In With Chris Hayes spent an entire week highlighting the impact of climate change in the US as part of a look at the issues that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were ignoring. The problem, Hayes tweeted, was that “every single time we’ve covered [climate change] it’s been a palpable ratings killer. So the incentives are not great.”

The Twittersphere pounced. “TV used to be obligated to put on programming for the public good even if it didn’t get good ratings. What happened to that?” asked @JThomasAlbert. @GalJaya said, “Your ‘ratings killer’ argument against covering #climatechange is the reverse of that used during the 2016 primary when corporate media justified gifting Trump $5 billion in free air time because ‘it was good for ratings,’ with disastrous results for the nation.”

When @mikebaird17 urged Hayes to invite Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University, one of the best climate-science communicators around, onto his show, she tweeted that All In had canceled on her twice—once when “I was literally in the studio w[ith] the earpiece in my ear”—and so she wouldn’t waste any more time on it.

Without a serious and immediate correction, the press will continue down the same path with climate change, except this time the implications are exponentially greater. Surely, it can do better.

If American journalism doesn’t get the climate story right—and soon—no other story will matter. The news media’s past climate failures can be redeemed only by an immediate shift to more high-profile, inclusive, and fearless coverage. Our #CoveringClimateNow project calls on all journalists and news outlets to join the conversation about how to make that happen. As the nation’s founders envisioned long ago, the role of a free press is to inform the people and hold the powerful accountable. These days, our collective survival demands nothing less.

Read more: https://www.cjr.org/special_report/climate-change-media.php

I’m pretty sure the definition of a free press includes the right not to surrender to pressure to repeatedly broadcast boring special interest group propaganda.

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76 thoughts on “MSNBC Twice Cancelled “Ratings Killer” Climate Action Advocate Katharine Hayhoe

  1. One show on polar bears. One show on bumblebees. One show on monarch butterflies. One show on the swamp in Florida sinking. Then what?

    • I guess after that we harp on perma-droughts of the past, maybe? Perhaps she could claim the same perma-drought is moving from state to state and is technically still active.

      How do these jesters keep their jobs?

      • Just like the recent Climate Barbie assertion that Canada is warming 2.5 times faster than the world.

      • What I want to know is why there is even a position for a person to preach climate change at a state University that is funded by tax dollars? She says she is a climate scientist, and “crunches numbers” (who’s numbers?). Where are her recent scientific papers? And how does Political Science fit in with climate change? (Yea, I know) One thing I know for sure. She is a blatant liar. She pushed the Texas “perma-drought” meme and now denies she did. Neither her nor Dressler paid the price they should have for trying to scare the dickens out the residents of Texas.

    • A: California burning.

      That’s a ratings winner.
      Everyone loves the macabre but won’t admit it. As it’s very Not PC.

    • “TV used to be obligated to put on programming for the public good even if it didn’t get good ratings.”

      Used to be like that in my country, until they got another channel and then when the TV companies became private. Close brush with big brother and communism I would say:)

      Its getting bad again with ICLEI, Agenda 21 and the UN pushing things along though.

      Cheers

      Roger
      http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

  2. The BBC, CBC, and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the other ABC) cover climate change wall to wall, 24/7. That’s because they don’t have to worry about ratings.

    About a year ago, I tried listening to BBC’s classical music channel for a week. It was one of the most dispiriting things in my whole life. I wonder if that’s where J.K. Rowling got the idea for the Dementors.

    • What could be dispiriting about classical music, CB? Was the BBC promoting CAGW on the classic music channel somehow?

      • Yes, it does.
        They spent a week broadcasting the breakfast show from a forest last year. It’s all very PC.

        It’s not just climate change though. For World Women’s Day, Radio 3 only broadcast music composed by women. It made their ‘Bach Before 7’ spot a bit challenging.

        (They played Hildegard of Bingham instead).

    • No joke, commieBob!
      I used to listen to classical music on NPR, and think their “news” was for Serious People long before I got red-pilled here. Most days, by the time I got out of bed I thought we’d all be doing the world a favor to walk off the end of the jetty. They interview the most obscure, desperate-sounding and depressive sources imaginable, from parts of the world no one ever heard of, with crushing “problems” WE are all supposed to feel guilty for not “solving.” That’s basically the format: Negative–crushing–GUILT.

      Their horrid, depressive AGW agit-prop caused me, one day, to gird up and Google “how bad this is really going to get.” I was directed to a dot-gov. site telling me the “only thing I could do” was change to those squiggly light bulbs. The second click brought me here . . . and I’ve never left. OR given even one minute of my time to NPR ever again. Live long enough, see everything!

  3. PBS could carry Ms Hayhoe’s lies and half-truths.
    But then that would be preaching to the choir. No converts in that.

    Still they could run her ignorant spittle-laced rants during one of their Fund raising weeks (when the cut away from a Nova mid-show to go the phone banks and tell everyone who telephones-in a donation will get their choice of either a stuffed polar bear toy or a CD of Buddhist chants) as that wouldn’t hurt their dismal ratings anymore than normal.

    • Perhaps they aren’t because they fear the backlash from the skeptic side demanding equal time

      • No threat of that.
        PBS knows where the bulk of its viewers and public support (cash) comes from politics-wise. It’d be financial suicide for them to allow on-air an expert and informed climate skeptic tell them why the Left’s Climate Religion prophecies are doomed to fail.

        First rule in the very real business of mass media: Know who pays your bills and salaries.

    • “If American journalism doesn’t get the climate story right…”

      Ms. Hayhoe just identified her own problem.
      Catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is a fairy tale.

    • If they didn’t run popular British costume dramas like “Poldark” on PBS, they’d have no audience at all.

  4. My daughter graduated from Texas Tech with a Masters in Environmental Engineering. She works for a major oil company. I’m so glad she never had to take a class taught by Hayhoe.

  5. The CAGW conjecture has been a godsend for the mainstream media for over a decade now.

    For those who are old enough to have noticed (me for one), ever since news went online and offered “comments” and “likes”, all story headlines & content has been valued by msm operators in terms of “click-through” numbers.

    Because this is what controls advertising traffic. ie -$$$$s necessary for survival.

    As an ad agency owner / guru mate of mine told me a few years back – “these days your product pitch has to get a click in 15 words or less, or you’re off the case”

    And, because “if it bleeds, it leads” is still msm gospel”, they will always offer prominent space for climate alarmist headlines & content. = click-throughs, = ads.

    The survival of establishment msm is wholly dependent on the CAGW never-ending story:

    which of them would ever lead with a headline such as Anthony posted earlier today –
    “Earth Day: Not a Single Environmental Prediction of the Last 50 Years Has Come True”

    • Because it is always 12 years into the future. Just like commercial Fusion power has been 20 years out for the last 50 years.

      • I am still waiting for the ceramic car engine – the maglev trains using high temperature superconductors and aerogel insulation for the attic! And now graphene, graphene can do anything!

      • The politician of the time who most resembled Dolores Umbridge was, in my opinion, Hazel Blears, labour mp for Salford – quite well known at the time but long since forgotten as she had to resign in disgrace.

        An excellent Harry Potter template for many characters in journalism today is Rita Skeeter, who could always be relied upon to distort her reporting in order that the point she wanted to make came across, regardless of the truth of the matter.

    • No its not okay – You should apologize because she looks like a dope

      In fact everyone should apologize because she looks like a dope

  6. Sometimes I fantasize about doing a cartoon series like South Park that unmercifully lampoons everyone. One regular character would be Climate Thot (“Hey, ho!”), who would have a TV show called “Dear Climate Thot”, in which audience members would seek her advice for all of their personal problems; and she’d always answer that their problems were due to climate change and propose climate solutions. Or maybe call her Climate Cosa Nostra-damus, and audience members would ask her to divine the future (like the Negrodamus skit).

  7. I first ‘encountered’ Hayhoe a few years ago when she was interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation one fine Sunday afternoon in March as I was waxing my cross-country skis. She was recounting her experience of having given a climate change talk at a meeting of the West Texas Geological Society in Midland. (Why they would be so innocent and gullible to invite her is another question…) I give her credit: she was masterful in the way she played the feminist, climate and Christian cards, all of which were – no surprise – eagerly lapped up by the predictably sycophantic interviewer, Laura Lynch. A roomful of old-guy geologists bla-bla-bla and I showed them a thing or two ‘bout climate, by golly! and they were mad! knowing chuckles, ha ha, you go girl, give ‘er. A true embarrassment. My letter of complaint which included an estimate of the years of graduate-level scientific and petroleum experience of the audience was never answered, of course, as well as my take on her scientific credibility. Remember that the CBC is fully funded by the taxpayer. Her publications, well, you can check for yourselves. Here on WUWT we all know that journalists, editors and program producers never check the scientific literature and are unable to appreciate it anyway, as they are not scientifically or numerically literate. Not only that, the subject has got scientifically out of hand with all kinds of rubbish being published in once-elite journals like Science and Nature. I recently had the experience with a scientific press release that went viral and it showed me that for most day-to-day journalists it is all about the story, the hook, and the more unexpected, bizarre, hyped or environmental the better. I don’t want to denigrate all the journalists who write for these sites, but in the grand scheme of things the temptation is too much for some of them. We need a counter-narrative to bring things down to earth.

    • There are a lot of geologists in N. Nevada working around the gold mining industry. I’ve known a lot of them over the past 40 years. To a man, they laugh ’til they cry at the notion of CAGW.

    • I think I heard the same interview. Hayhoe complained that talking to skeptics was like playing whack-a-mole. She’d think she had blinded them with science and they would just bring up something else.

      What I took away from that interview is that the body of evidence against CAGW is immense.

  8. I’m very disappointed in my Alma-mater gives this loser a platform to put trash science out there as legit science. Texas Tech University is generally a first class school. I got my degree in Electrical Engineering there in 1970. Most of the school is first class.

  9. I wonder how many people are actually watching TV anymore? There are so many options now , why would you chose to be lectured to unless you were already one of the faithful?

    • Not many because between climate junk, political junk and reality shows it would turn your mind to jelly.

  10. “…the only outlets that can force change in this country…”

    Wait? I was told for two years straight that only Russian Collusion could force change in the US?

    Was I being lied to?!?!

    Jokes and heckles aside, this line exposes a greater problem here: These people believe this.

    To the media, the media is a powerful force that could, but morally should use its influence to bring about change. These people don’t just believe on reporting the news, or even debating it, they believe they have the right to MAKE it as well.

    On the plus side they are not that smart. A smart person would know that the best way to get a lesson across is to give the students a working example they can relate to. This is why metaphors exist and why maths classes for kids start to ask them questions like ‘If you have three apples and give one to your friend…’ They break the lessons down into things people can relate to and real world examples.

    Problem is when you try and use real world examples with climate change you end up with things like “your beach towel is 400mm vertically above sea level, given a rate of increase of 0.03mm per year which century will your toes get wet?”

    The real world examples become a joke, while the Fire and Brimstone predictions have been going on for so long now that the “not know what snow is” predictions have become a different joke.

    What the media need to discover is that the message is a joke. The world is ending. Yeah. Whatever. How many times have I heard that? And since the world is ending because – as we are constantly being reminded – we are not doing enough, then clearly everything we were doing these past 10 plus years was totally pointless as well.

    Global Warming ™ is dead. If the media had any brains they would be quietly diversifying from it, because let’s face it, if you are not logical enough with your thought processes to work this out for yourself, then there is going to be no way you are going to be smart enough to learn to code.

    • You must understand the hoax was created out of fear on the part of the High and Mighty over World Population growth in the face of limited resources. Not just fossil fuel, yes it is number 1 on the list, but food, clean water. This fear was seeded long before the Baby Boomers picked up their copies of the ‘Population Bomb’ in College.
      This fear is the basis for government policy to not only scare the public into turning control over their lives to the bureaucrats. but spreads it fingers into government funded abortion, funding for third world countries to create dependence upon the wealthy nations and discourage self reliance.
      The people spreading the CAGW message wish to centrally socialize control over the individuals use of resources and reduce and regulate the planets population.
      In the U.S. The media has been actively participating as the propaganda ministry for the puppet masters who have been buying the politicians their seats since the 50s. Eisenhower warned of the Military Industrial complex but what we needed to fear was those who owned the complex buying themselves the best Government middle class taxes could buy and gather all power and control to the wealthholders who own their political puppets. The puppets gain wealth and get to rub elbows in public with the rich and famous.

  11. On the subject of people ignoring the message on global warming, the English satirical magazine Private Eye has a cartoon in its latest edition showing side by side two men wearing identical sandwich boards inscribed ” The End of the World is Nigh”.
    Under the first, the caption reads: “1959: Some old Crank.Ignored by everyone.”
    Under the second showing a man in white coat, the caption reads: ” 2019: Climate Scientist. Ignored by everyone.”
    Keep up the ridicule, folks!

  12. There are very few things we have here in the UK that are better than what is on offer in North America.
    We do have one very major plus over you though, It is the age of the climate alarmist shrills. Ours are all well over retirement age, with Attenborough well into his nineties. That being the case, we will be rid of them fairly shortly (in geological terms). Unfortunately, you have people like this character and AOC, still likely to be performing and giving their vision of how things need to be for a good while yet.
    On the plus side, the EU are going one better than all of us in the Anglo-sphere, they are promoting a 16 year old with issues, as the great guru of climate truth.

  13. I really don’t expect climate slavery to sell very well in the U.S. in 2020. Let’s see what happens.

  14. As I recall, the CAGW BS is trying to convert the world to some form of socialist world order.
    Socialist governments immediately take control of the media. The “Free Press” isn’t free anymore.
    I can’t see a logical reason for them to cover any of this BS.

  15. I think it’s hilarious that after decades of the mainscream groupthink media spouting CAGW propaganda that they are now being turned on by spittle-flecked envirofascists as being “complacent” and not doing enough, apparently, to brainwash inform the public about globalwarming/climatechange/climatechaos/extremeweather climate annihilation. They always turn on their own, though. Like clockwork.

  16. She wants a “fight for a 1.5°C world.” IF you take that literally, it is 34.7 degrees Fahrenheit, just barely above the freeze line for water. Given that she is an “unthinker” and likely says such things without realizing what it really means – well, in my book, she’s asking for another ice age, which is going to happen quite nicely without her.

    If someone could corner her about something like that, and confound her publicly, she might shut up and go away. The amusement factor is there, you just have to find it and use it to take the Mickey out of these people. We did, after all, have an alleged Snowball Earth 600 million or so years ago, and most of Jupiter’s moons are encased in ice, so anything is possible, right? Does she know that Saturn’s moon Titan is one Giant Ball of Methane?

    If she’s really this concerned (snrrtttt!) about it, someone should tell her that this warming period may be coming to an end, because the geological record shows that there are brief interglacials in the longer glacial maximums, and we’re ripe for it.

    Just a thought.

    It’s an argument you could probably throw at any CAGWer or Warmunista or Warmian. They have so many branches in that cult that I can’t keep up with them any more.

  17. From the article: ““Your ‘ratings killer’ argument against covering #climatechange is the reverse of that used during the 2016 primary when corporate media justified gifting Trump $5 billion in free air time because ‘it was good for ratings,’ with disastrous results for the nation.”

    No, that would be with disastrous results for socialism. Socialism does not represent the nation. It’s just that socialists think everyone else thinks the way they do. Socialists are bad about deluding themselves like that. So when something is bad for socialism, like Trump, they think it is bad for the nation/them.

    The nation is doing just fine. Socialism, not so much. At least as long as Trump is in Office. Of course, you knew that didn’t you. That’s why the socialists are so desperate to get rid of Trump. He is destroying their socialist dreams.

    In the meantime, Trump is making American Great Again. People, other than socialists, like it that way.

  18. It would indeed be wonderful if the MSM started to tell the truth about man-made climate change. That it’s a hoax based on projections by flawed climate simulations which have no relation to the real world.

  19. Freedom of speech must allow all kinds of stupid and subversive stuff of course, but I don’t think that Madison and Jefferson would have supported the proposition that the dissemination of anti-Constitutional neoMarxist propaganda is a blessing to the nation.

    Freedom loving individuals tend to develop pretty good mental filters and mental detectors for subversive bullschist propaganda.

    It is sure gratifying to learn that TV remote controls are being reached for en masse when Climate Change propaganda flashes up on the screen.

  20. What new thing does anyone expect a climate change TV show to show?

    It’s the end of the world!!!
    Yes, we know. It has been for the last thirty years. Call us when something new happens.

    That’s why they are reduced to stampeding walruses and elderly polar bears. They haven’t got anything new to tell us.
    And we have all worked out that it’s not a priority.

  21. Precisely! I think some contributors here are a little too pessimistic as to the general public’s attitude. The harder the CAGW drum is banged, the less of us listen, this much is clear, ably evinced by the sheer effort of recent heavily orchestrated campaigns such as Extinction Rebellion and its openly receptive media coverage. It is the (relatively few) noisy zealots that forge further and further into ideological oblivion with CAGW, irrespective of actual observation that contradicts their assertions and the likely negative impacts of their so-called solutions.

    Most of us may not take too much notice of it and don’t rail against it, because the financial cost and personal freedoms being eroded are not hurting enough people, yet. Most politicians who purport to support the notion realize this and do what they think they can get away with. There will be a ‘squeal point’, at which a sufficient number of registered voters just turn against the narrative and give a two fingered salute to its political advocates. Personally, I don’t think we’re at that point yet, but election results could be interpreted to suggest we’re getting closer. When advocates seeking election on the CAGW ticket just don’t get elected, they will migrate away from it, because being elected is more important. No amount of virtue signalling and promises of future back handers to king makers behind the scenes count for anything if the voters don’t give them their meal ticket.

    So I’m a massive supporter of rabid CAGW zealots, the harder they dig, the quicker they sink their ship!

  22. Katharine Hayhoe looks like what Chelsea Clinton will look like in 20 years, if she dies her hair red. Scary thought.

  23. “I’m pretty sure the definition of a free press includes the right not to surrender to pressure to repeatedly broadcast boring special interest group propaganda.”

    The left is not interested in your freedoms, only theirs.

  24. Wouldn’t the correct action be to cancel all television production. I can think of few carbon sinks bigger than television and movie production. Add to that the resources consumed manufacturing, marketing, delivering, and using a television and I should think the enviros would want to ban the whole idea outright. Yeah, I know, hypocrites recognize no hypocrisy.

  25. I think there is some ratings potential if the “great climate communicator” from Texas Tech could be part of a remake of “1984” or “Fahrenheit 451” with the climate insanity communicated by dear leaders incessantly with no off button on the monitors.

    Fortunately, we live in a world with media in headlong retreat.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/warren-buffett-sees-most-newspapers-120000707.html

    The decline of advertising gradually turned the newspaper industry “from monopoly to franchise to competitive,” the billionaire chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said in an interview with Yahoo Finance. And now most newspapers are “toast.”

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