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GOP Majority Of Environment and Public Works Preemptively Attacks Brokaw Documentary

"Tom Brokaw's lack of objectivity and balance on the issue of global warming appears to have tainted his upcoming Discovery Channel documentary called: 'Global Warming: What You Need To Know' airing on July 16."

So says the GOP majority of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which alleges in a press release that "Brokaw's partisan past and his reliance on scientists who openly endorsed Democrat Presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 and who are financially affiliated with left wing environmental groups, has resulted in a documentary that is devoid of balance and objectivity."

The documentary hasn't aired yet; the release relies on a climatologist who saw an advanced copy. As evidence of his lack of objectivity, the release cites Brokaw saying he found Al Gore's global warming film "An Inconvenient Truth" "stylish and compelling."It is critical of the Brokaw documentary for relying on scientists such as NASA's James Hansen "without revealing to viewers the extensive political and financial ties that Hansen has to Democratic Party partisans."

The attack on Brokaw's documentary is remarkably similar to criticism of Scott Pelley's global warming pieces on "60 Minutes," criticism we documented here and here. Both Pelley and Brokaw are strong believers that global warming is a serious, and real, phenomenon – Brokaw calls the science "irrefutable," and Pelley says that "the science that has been done in the last three to five years has been conclusive." Pelley also used Hansen, who he calls "the world's leading expert in climate change," in his report.

What's notable here is that the critics are not business interests or scientists but the dominant wing of a government committee. The release suggests that the committee is hostile to the emerging conventional wisdom on global warming, a development Brokaw would certainly find troubling. There may, however, be an upside for him. Says an emailer to TVNewser: "If I were Tom, I'd think this is the best publicity I could possibly get. For the Republicans to attack his documentary before it airs! This will boost its ratings for sure."

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