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Laurie David Joins National Groups in Delivering Petitions to the Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Sandretti, (202) 785-8683 or david_sandretti@lcv.org January 31, 2008  

WASHINGTON, D.C./ LOS ANGELES, CA – At the site of the last scheduled debate of the presidential primaries, Laurie David, producer of An Inconvenient Truth, joined dozens of activists from national organizations in delivering a petition signed by more than 225,000 Americans calling on the media to stop ignoring the issue of global warming.

The petitions were collected as a part of the What Are They Waiting For campaign (www.whataretheywaitingfor.com), launched by the League of Conservation Voters, documenting how TV’s top political hosts have consistently ignored the threat of global warming in interviews and debates with the presidential candidates.

To date, the Sunday show hosts—Tim Russert, George Stephanopoulos, Wolf Blitzer, Chris Wallace and Bob Schieffer—have interviewed the candidates more than 175 times. They have asked more than 3,000 questions. But they have only mentioned the words ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ in six questions.

In response, LCV partnered with several groups including MoveOn.org Political Action, Sierra Club, Environment America, NRDC Action Fund, stopglobalwarming.org, and the California League of Conservation Voters, collecting more than 225,000 signatures in a few weeks. And the media has started to respond—since the campaign launched, top reporters have doubled the number of global-warming questions they’ve asked.

“We are encouraged by the discussion NBC’s Tim Russert led at the last Republican debate in Florida, and we hope his colleagues will follow his lead since there is much more ground to be covered,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski.

“Most Americans don’t get a chance to question the presidential candidates,” said Laurie David. “They have to rely on the media to do its job and voice the public’s concerns. That's why six questions on global warming is so unacceptable.”

The petition calls on journalists to publicly acknowledge that the science on global warming is settled and that it presents an urgent threat. It also calls on them to prioritize global warming when they interview the candidates.

“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. But in 2007, the top political reporters asked as many questions about UFOs as they did about the climate crisis,” said Noah T. Winer of MoveOn.org Political Action.

The petitions, which will be delivered Thursday to ABC’s offices in Washington and to the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles – the site of the Democratic presidential debate hosted by CNN, the Los Angeles Times and Politico.

Here is the most recent tally for each of the journalists, dating back to January 1, 2007:

Total for 5 Top Political Reporters

Number of Interviews & Debates: 179

Number of Questions: 3,061

Questions That Mention Global Warming: 6

Global Warming Related Questions: 27

Wolf Blitzer (CNN--Late Edition)

Total Number of Interviews & Debates: 46

Total Number of Questions: 460

Questions That Mention Global Warming: 2

Global Warming Related Questions: 4

Tim Russert (NBC--Meet the Press)

Total Number of Interviews & Debates: 28

Total Number of Questions: 933

Questions That Mention Global Warming: 2

Global Warming Related Questions: 13

Bob Schieffer (CBS--Face the Nation)

Total Number of Interviews & Debates: 29

Total Number of Questions: 293

Questions That Mention Global Warming: 0

Global Warming Related Questions: 1

George Stephanopoulos (ABC--This Week)

Total Number of Interviews & Debates: 45

Total Number of Questions: 795

Questions That Mention Global Warming: 0

Global Warming Related Questions: 5

Chris Wallace (Fox News—Fox News Sunday)

Total Number of Interviews & Debates: 31

Total Number of Questions: 580

Questions That Mention Global Warming: 2

Global Warming Related Questions: 4

 The petition is available on-line at http://www.whataretheywaitingfor.com/sign.php

 



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