MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes’ admission that climate change is a “ratings killer” has infuriated environmentalists who accused the liberal network of being more concerned about its bottom line than with fighting global warming.
Asked about his network’s lack of climate-change coverage, Mr. Hayes tweeted Tuesday that “almost without exception. every single time we’ve covered it’s been a palpable ratings killer. so incentives are not great.”
almost without exception. every single time we’ve covered it’s been a palpable ratings killer. so the incentives are not great.— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) July 24, 2018
His frank assessment was met with chuckles from climate skeptics like Anthony Watts, who called it “hilarious, but true,” given that global warming typically brings up the rear on polls and surveys of top voter concerns.
MSBNC TV Host Chris Hayes: I’d Like to Cover Climate Change, But It’s a ‘Ratings Killer’ | Climate Depot - https://t.co/1AoonURy9e— Marc Morano (@ClimateDepot) July 26, 2018
Less amused were climate-woke environmental and media figures who blasted MSNBC for its ratings-first mentality.
“Is climate change a ‘ratings killer,’ or is something wrong with for-profit media?” asked the website Grist in a Wednesday headline.
MSNBC has seen its ratings climb during the Trump administration, trailing Fox News but outperforming CNN among basic-cable networks in last week’s ratings, according to TVNewser.
“Corporate media doesn’t want to talk about important issues be it climate change or a drug that’s going to kill you because those are snoozefests, right?” said DeSmogBlog contributor Farron Cousins on his Ring of Fire podcast. “Why talk about that when Donald Trump just tweeted a tweet with a misspelled word? We’ve got to spend five hours talking about that.”
Others argued that such climate stories would be interesting to viewers if MSNBC did a better job with its coverage.
You gotta keep trying. Speaking from independent media at Democracy Now!, sometimes you have to make the story popular.— ariel boone (@arielboone) July 25, 2018
“Bad for ratings” is a bullshit excuse that attempts to excuse the fact that broadcast networks silence on climate change is frankly making them complicit in the death of millions. Sometimes you do the story because it’s necessary not because it’s popular.— Erin Biba (@erinbiba) July 24, 2018
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