Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
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Weather Channel Founder John Coleman caused quite a stir with his open letter demanding UCLA’s Hammer Museum bring balance to a climate presentation highlighted by Michael Mann. That letter led to this appearance Monday on “The Kelly File” on Fox News, which led to a spot on “Coast to Coast AM,” which lead to CNN’s “Reliable Sources” asking Coleman to come on the program, which aired today.
Host Brian Stelter thinks the story is how The Weather Channel “is distancing itself” from Coleman’s science-based skeptism of man-caused, catastrophic global warming. The real story is how Coleman dominated his segment on “Reliable Sources,” scolding CNN for not putting on skeptic scientists who could explain, for instance, that global warming has stopped for 18 years, and why the “97 percent consensus” is bunk.
Below is the video, and below that is a transcript for posterity.
TRANSCRIPT (typed from video by The Heartland Institute)
November 2, 2014
“Reliable Sources,” CNN
Host: Brian Stelter
Guest: John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel, American Meteorological Society Meteorologist of the Year (1982).
Stelter: A story you will see nowhere else this morning. It’s about one of the biggest crises we face — climate change — and a media war over that crisis. ‘Climate deniers,’ people who believe climate change is not happening in any meaningful way are sometimes painted in the media as fringe characters, as kooks. So this might shock you. A man who co-founded The Weather Channel thinks climate change is a hoax. His name is John Coleman.
Before launching The Weather Channel in the early 1980s, he was the original weather man on ‘Good Morning America,’ and after launching the channel, he was also a local weather man in New York, Chicago, and San Diego. Now he’s retired, but his recent open letter, saying that climate change is ‘not valid,’ and got a lot of attention and landed him on prime time on Fox News. So, what did The Weather Channel do? It very publicly disavowed him. After all, for those who believe that the climate is changing, and fast, this is a life and death matter.
I’ve said before here on Reliable Sources, I don’t think there are two equal sides to climate change. The scientific consensus is that it’s real, the debate is over what to do about it, and the press has to be careful about creating this notion of sides. But Coleman’s platform as a co-founder of a channel dedicated to weather is unique, and so is the channel’s declaration that it believes climate change is happening. So this morning, both players are here: Coleman and the CEO of The Weather Channel, David Kenny.
First, let me bring in John Coleman, he’s in San Diego this morning. Thank you for being here.
Coleman: It’s nice to be on CNN. Hello to all your viewers. I resent you calling me a ‘denier.’ That is a word meant to put me down. I’m a skeptic about climate change and I want to make it darn clear that Mr. Kenny is not a scientist, I am. He’s the CEO of The Weather Channel now. I was the founder of The Weather Channel, not the co-founder.
Stelter: And I’m glad you did, because I’m addicted to The Weather Channel, I watch a lot of cable news …
Coleman: I’m talking now. Hold on just a minute. I’m not done. And CNN has taken a very strong position on global warming that it is a consensus. There is no consensus in science. Science isn’t a vote. Science is about facts. And if you get down to the hard cold facts, there’s no question about it. Climate change is not happening. There is no significant man-made global warming now, there hasn’t been any in the past, and there is no reason to expect any in the future. There’s a whole lot of baloney, and yes, it has become a big political point of the Democratic Party and part of their platform. And I regret that it has become political instead of scientific, but the science is on my side.
Stelter: I don’t think we’re going to come to a conclusion about the topic right here …
Coleman: Oh I know we’re not, because you would’t allow it to happen on CNN. But I’m happy that I got on the air and got a chance to talk to your viewers. Hello everybody. There is no global warming.
Stelter: What I do wonder is that when you see the government, when you see NASA when you see other institutions say that 97 percent of climate scientists agree, do you think they are they making it up? What I don’t understand is, how you square that?
Coleman: That’s a manipulated figure and let me explain it to you. The government puts out about $2.5 billion directly for climate research every year. It only gives that money to scientists who will produce scientific results that support the global warming hypothesis of the Democrat Party position. So, they don’t have any choice. If you’re going to get the money, you gotta support their position. Therefore, 97 percent of the scientific reports published support global warming. Why? Because those are the ones the government pays for and that’s where the money is. It’s real simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. That doesn’t make it true. That only makes it bought and paid for. The money goes in circles.
Stelter: I’m not a scientist, so I’m not going to try to refute you …
Coleman: Boy, that’s the truth. So please stand back from this issue and let the two sides be on the air. There are 31,000 scientists who have signed a petition that says it is not valid, that my position is correct. And we’ll keep battling, and we will prevail in time, but I don’t know if we’ll do it in my lifetime.
Stelter: I do hope viewers are Googling the data you’re sharing because I do think it’s skewed. I have to say that.
Coleman: No. It’s not true. I hope you will go to the websites that present the papers that show that none of this alarmism about ice and heat waves and droughts, none of it is happening.
Stelter: Is The Weather Channel part of the conspiracy?
Coleman: Well, The Weather Channel has bought into it. As I’ve said it, they’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, but so has all the media. That’s no big surprise.
Stelter: Let me read to you what the channel said this week …
Coleman: Oh, I have read The Weather Channel’s statement. (cross talk)
Stelter: Let me read it to the viewers then. After you appeared on Fox, they did put out this statement distancing themselves from you. They said: “Mr. Coleman does have a place in our company’s history, and we appreciate the contributions that he made more than 30 years ago. However, we want to be clear: John Coleman is no longer affiliated with our company.” How did you feel to see them disavow you in that way?
Coleman: Well, no problem. (Laughs) That’s all accurate, and the statement that’s on their website which they re-issued this week was written back in 2007, and that’s a rather reasonable warmist statement. It’s not full of alarmism. It’s not full of ‘the sky is falling.’ It’s a pretty reasonable statement. The programming they put on the TV is not reasonable. And when they put on their ‘climate geeks,’ those aren’t scientists. Those are nuts.
Stelter: You sound like a man disappointed …
Coleman: They never put on a real skeptical scientist, they don’t give us any spot on their channel. That’s too bad that they don’t.
Stelter: You sound like a man disappointed by the channel that you helped create.
Coleman: Oh, I’m terribly disappointed. I created a channel to give people their weather — tell them what the weather is now, what it’s going to be where they live and in their region, and keep them posted on the weather and serve a real purpose. And that channel has been totally distorted and become as strange as it can be.
Stelter:John, thanks for being here this morning and thanks for sharing your views with us.
Coleman: Well, I thank you for letting me on CNN. I had my say, and it was great fun.