NBC News Set to Tackle the Environment!

Imagine this:  Following what they perceive to be a remarkable successful Education Nation event, NBC News and Special Projects division decides to run a similar effort focused on fixing the problems that our world is facing with climate change. 

Would the PR release look something like this:

New York, NY – October 5 – Building on the momentum built during the September “Education Nation” Summit, the NBC News team proudly announces the convening of “Green Nation,” a week-long conversation bringing together the foremost policymakers, elected officials, and thought leaders spanning the climate change landscape. 

“Our environment is facing almost overwhelming challenges,” said Steve Capus, President of NBC News.  “Each year, we seem to fall further and further behind in our efforts to ensure that we leave an inhabitable planet for our children and grandchildren. 

NBC News sees it as our social responsibility to elevate dialogue around this crisis. 

With luck, Green Nation will highlight important solutions that haven’t been considered and bring together our best climate minds for a focused conversation that America has been avoiding.”

Set for November 5, “Green Nation” will engage the following confirmed panelists in a nationally televised discussion designed to introduce a newfound urgency into our efforts to save the planet:

  • Reed Hastings, Founder & CEO of Netflix
  • Maria Bartiromo: Anchor of CNBC’s "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo" and Anchor and Managing Editor of "Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo"
  • Steven Brill: Co-founder of Journalism Online
  • Tom Brokaw: NBC News Special Correspondent
  • Ann Curry: News Anchor, "Today" and Anchor, "Dateline NBC"
  • David Gregory: Moderator, "Meet the Press"
  • Reed Hastings: Founder & CEO of Netflix
  • Lester Holt: Anchor, "NBC Nightly News," Weekend Edition and Co-Host, "Today" Weekend Edition
  • John Legend: Musician; Founder of the Show Me Campaign
  • Andrea Mitchell: NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Host, "Andrea Mitchell Reports"
  • Edward Rust: Chairman & CEO of State Farm Insurance Companies
  • Barry Schuler: Former CEO of AOL
  • Brian Williams: Anchor and Managing Editor "NBC Nightly News"

There’s no way, right? 

I mean, would anyone even consider inviting the Netflix guy, the AOL guy, and a bunch of reporters to be a part of a national conversation on climate change?

Then why did these same people appear in NBC’s Education Nation lineup?

If we wouldn’t consider these kinds of folks experts on climate change, then why are we so ready to label them experts on education?

And if they’d be poorly suited to come up with meaningful solutions for climate change, then what makes us so convinced that they’ve got something meaningful to share about changing education in our nation?

3 comments

  1. Gail Ritchie

    Beautiful! Have you seen Lewis Black’s segment on The Daily Show? His take on Waiting for Superman is simultaneously hilarious and sad. Sad that our nation is so fixated on teacher-bashing and viewing charter schools as some kind of magic bullet. To continue your analogy, the NBC Green Nation week would need to include some bashing of environmentalists, green architects (my sister is one), and people who promote alternative energy sources. And perhaps have people from the oil industry as “honored guests.” 🙂

  2. Anthony Cody

    I had the identical thought a couple of days ago, Bill.
    Here is what I wrote to a friend:
    I have never seen such a deliberate coordinated effort on an issue of public concern. One person this week suggested that this was typical of movie rollouts, and that the hoopla around waiting for Superman was similar to what we saw with Inconvenient Truth. But I ask you, what would you have thought if at the time Inconvenient Truth was released, the EPA worked with NBC to create a week of Conservation Nation programming, with the goal of lowering the nation’s carbon footprint? And there was no recognition that there was any controversy involved, and only EPA approved scientists and environmentalists were featured?
    The flaw in this analogy is that the science *supports* the thesis of An Inconvenient Truth, whereas educators and researchers are quite divided regarding the NCLB and Race to the Top policies that are being promoted through Education Nation. In fact, most classroom teachers and parents — and a great many researchers and experts as well are very dissatisfied with NCLB and Race to the Top. And these critical voices were excluded from the Ed Nation events.