The Weather Channel is distancing itself from one of its co-founders who publicly disavows the dangers associated with man-made climate change. John Coleman, the co-founder, and David Kenny, the current CEO of The Weather Company, both spoke with Brian Stelter after Coleman published an open letter and appeared on a prime time Fox News program voicing his opinion.
Watch the video above. Coleman reiterated his belief that "there is no global warming" and harshly criticized the present-day Weather Channel's programming. Kenny affirmed the channel's belief in climate change - a belief backed up by the vast majority of scientists - saying, "Our position is really clear, it's scientifically based, and we've been unwavering on it for quite some time now."
Responding to a question about Coleman, he said "we're grateful that he got us started 32 years ago. But he hasn't been with us in 31 years. So he's not really speaking for The Weather Channel in any way today."
Fred Davis, a Republican media consultant, explains what makes political ads effective, and Dale Woods, the general manager of the Des Moines, Iowa NBC affiliate WHO, describes how the flood of ads both helps his station but hurts his local economy.
With T-minus two days until the midterm elections, why is public interest - and media attention - lacking? Brian Stelter asks former senator Alan Simpson for his insight.
His short answer: "People are tired of the whole thing, just sick of it..."
Brian Stelter examines differences in the television discussions of quarantines. Plus, CNN International anchor Isha Sesay explains why American media coverage of the Ebola epidemic has her outraged.
>> "I think that the coverage out of the U.S. on this global health crisis has been wrong-headed. I think there has been disproportionate focus on the handful of cases that have arrived, sprung up in the United States, and not enough focus on the source, the source of this problem, those three worst affected countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia where almost 5,000 people have died."
>> "If you watch the coverage coming out of the United States, you would think the U.S. was under siege. You would think Ebola was just around the corner and was about to be an epidemic in our midst. That is not the case."
>> "I want your viewers to pause and think, what would life be like if the country you lived in was locked down for three whole days? Think about the United States, a lock-down, and everyone in quarantine for three whole days. That happened to my country of Sierra Leone. There was barely any coverage."
Edward Snowden isn't the only person with access to government surveillance secrets who's been spilling them to journalists. Glenn Greenwald has an unidentified second source, and he told Brian Stelter about the effort to protect that person.
The mysterious second source is discussed toward the end of a new documentary, "Citizenfour," about Snowden and Greenwald.
How did Snowden react to the news that another person had come forward with information about the government's mass surveillance practices?
"He reacted with a huge amount of shock," Greenwald told Stelter.
"And I think he was also very gratified, because, as you point out, one of the principal motives that he had in coming forward so boldly, identifying himself publicly, instead of hiding, was to motivate other people to shine light on what the government is doing in the dark that never should have been kept secret in the first place."
Might Greenwald and his colleagues at The Intercept have more than two sources at this point?
"All I can say about that," he said, "is that one of the goals that we had very much in the forefront of our mind when we created The Intercept was to enable sources to come forward in a secure and safe way, so that they can do what they have always done, which is bring to the attention of journalists information that is in the public interest."
Brian Stelter explains how a tight-rope walker's stunt, election night and "The View" are all connected. (Hint: they're all live events.)
Here's what he said:
Finally this morning, a note about the power of live, big event TV. The big truth of TV these days is that it is fragmenting, and people are watching more and more programming on-demand. But there is a countertrend in the other direction.
And that is why, tonight, when I am supposed to be up in Boston, I am going to stop whatever I am doing at 7:00. I'm going to get to a TV and I'm going to turn on the Discovery channel.
Discovery is airing "Skyscraper Live." It's the latest and greatest stunt by Nik Wallenda, the wire walker who previously made it across Niagara Falls and a gorge near the Grand Canyon. This time, he is walking between three buildings in Chicago; 13 million viewers watched his canyon walk last year, and that was just in the U.S.! Many more watched overseas.
A tightrope walk is a little bit like a football game or an election night, in the sense that it is a TV event. It's the kind of thing you have to watch live, not on-demand. And we're going to see more of this as networks try to keep our live attention.
Now here is how this relates to the news business. You might be surprised to hear that the coverage of Wallenda's walk is not being produced by Discovery. It's being produced by NBC News, by a unit called Peacock Productions. Now, they don't make news in the traditional sense, like the "NBC News Nightly" sense. But they do make nonfiction programming for lots of channels.
The hope, well, at least my hope, is that the money Discovery pays for stuff like "Skyscraper Live" helps over time pay for "The Nightly News."
And this is true at other channels as well and other networks as well. This week, ABC announced that the talk show "The View" is now going to be overseen by the news division, instead of entertainment.
"The View" is not really news in the traditional sense, but it is nonfiction programming. And bringing me back to my original point about Wallenda's walk, it is live. On its best days, "The View" is big, must-see, live TV programming, just what the networks want and need these days.