Climate Change Spin A Growing Problem For Fox News

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When it comes to climate change denial, a new study shows that the folks at Fox News are leading the pack. Through politically-charged news segments and commentary, Fox News personalities are helping spread misinformation about climate change while convincing their viewers that scientists are torn on the issue.

The International Journal of Press/Politics has published a new study titled “Climate on Cable: The Nature and Impact of Global Warming Coverage on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC,” [PDF] which details the ways in which the major American news outlets are reporting stories on climate change.

From the report:

National surveys reveal that many Americans do not believe that scientists are in agreement over this issue. More troubling, the number of Americans who believe that global warming is happening and that it is a result of human activities has declined in recent years: In April 2008, 71 percent of Americans perceived solid evidence for global warming, relative to only 57 percent in October 2009. And while President Obama has pledged that passing legis- lation to curb pollution that contributes to global warming is a priority of his admin- istration, in January 2009, Americans ranked global warming last in a list of twenty policy issues that they felt were important for the president and Congress to address. These surveys also point to stark partisan divides in global warming perceptions, with Democrats far more likely to accept the evidence for the human causes of global warming and to consider environmental protection a policy priority than Republicans.

The views that many Americans have towards climate change are clearly reflected in the cable news arena. Fox News, sadly, has the highest ratings of any other cable news organization, and the study shows that their viewers are for more likely to believe that manmade climate change isn’t happening. More from the study:

Of the three networks, Fox News was simultaneously the least likely to be accepting and the most likely to be dismissive of climate change. Nearly 60 percent of Fox News broadcasts were dismissive of climate change, whereas less than 20 percent were accepting of climate change. On the other hand, more than 70 percent of CNN and MSNBC broadcasts were accepting of climate change. Not a single MSNBC broadcast took a dismissive tone toward climate change and just 7 percent of CNN broadcasts did so.

The fact is that at least 97% of credible scientists believe that climate change is not only real, but that it is the result of human activity. But that fact hasn’t prevented Fox News from reporting that there is no scientific consensus on whether or not climate change is actually happening.

And, as Media Matters for America pointed out recently, this isn’t just biased news coverage or the opinions of Fox anchors: The network’s climate change denial is part of a broad agenda by network management to prevent the truth from reaching their viewers:

As an internal email revealed, Fox's Washington managing editor Bill Sammon directed Fox journalists in December 2009 to cast doubt on the basic fact that the planet has warmed.

That same month, Fox News was aggressively promoting the false claim that the so-called “Climategate” controversy showed scientists “doctoring” data – a claim that the network continues to repeat to this day.

Fox has also tried to manufacture a number of pseudo-scandals by distorting climate science research, misrepresenting or disavowing the temperature record, and seizing on any opportunity to distract from what the National Research Council has called “a strong, credible body of evidence” supporting manmade climate change.

The study also found that Fox hosted “a higher ratio of climate change doubters to believers as interview guests.” These guests often don't know what they're talking about but are presented as climate experts. And Fox, a network that has made an annual tradition out of mocking global warming during winter storms, reveals its bias through both what it chooses to cover, and what it chooses to ignore.

This is quickly becoming a systemic issue with Fox News. As the new report points out, Fox’s coverage has actually become more aggressive in recent years in their efforts to paint climate change as a hoax. Even as former skeptics of climate change are coming forward admitting that they were wrong on the issue, Fox continues to push their misinformation campaign on the American public - a public that is eating this news up, bringing a false sense of security to millions who no longer believe that climate change is something that we need to worry about.

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Muller never changed sides or anything else. Attempting to make something out of this disinformation helps you with your attack on fox but it’s  also misleading which I think is your complaint about fox.  Birds of a feather?

“It is ironic if some people treat me as a traitor, since I was never a skeptic – only a scientific skeptic,” he said in a recent email exchange with The Huffington Post. “Some people called me a skeptic  in my best-seller ‘Physics for Future Presidents’ I had drawn attention to the numerous scientific errors in the movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’ But I never felt that pointing out mistakes qualified me to be called a climate skeptic.”

Muller quoted from huffpo - home of the lefties


The problem with your comment is that it shows you have no clue what a skeptic is.

It’s the mainstream scientists who agree on the mountain of evidence who are the skeptics.  It’s largely how science works.  Muller was something of a true skeptic.  What you mean by skeptic is a denier, who never changes his mind no matter how much evidence is shown, and no matter how many times skeptic arguments are disproven.  Your “skepticism is based in political ideology, like most deniers.  The others base theirs on religious ideology.  A true skeptic bases his on science, and is willing to change his mind when proven wrong.

Here’s what another true skeptic has to say.

from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. The author is Mark Boslough, a physicist at Sandia National Laboratories

“Denialists have attempted to call the science into question by writing articles that include fabricated data. They’ve improperly graphed data using tricks to hide evidence that contradicts their beliefs. They chronically misrepresent the careful published work of scientists, distorting all logic and meaning in an organized misinformation campaign. To an uncritical media and gullible non-scientists, this ongoing conflict has had the intended effect: it gives the appearance of a scientific controversy and seems to contradict climate researchers who have stated that the scientific debate over the reality of human-caused climate change is over (statements that have been distorted by denialists to imply the ridiculous claim that in all respects the science is settled).”

As for Fox;   I would wager that nothing that’s ever been said about climate change on Fox is true, or at least not misleading.

All of Murdock’s news outlets spread disinformation on climate change - News of the World, The Austrailian, Wall Street Journal, FOX, you name it.

My argument was based on countering the misleading thought that Muller had made some great change in his understanding of climate science. That red herring was presented as evidence that there is some sort of shift going on. Muller has made no changes. It was a misrepresentation of fact.

He always believed in the science and he made some criticisms of mistakes in publications and Al Gorres movie. He didn’t walk back any of his criticisms and he never questioned the basic science in the first place.

Don’t use Muller as an example of a skeptic seeing the light. There was no change.

By the way I have a perfectly good understanding of what a scientific skeptic is and I’m not one of those. I am a cynic.  I take a critical view of things  I read on the internet. 

Try to keep up.

…but I think you are right.

I got the impression that Muller was bait for the Koches.

Specifically, Bill Gates got the ball rolling for BEST, and talked Koch into funding it.  But if you look closely, Muller’s daughter (?) probably worked with the Gates on third world issues.

I’m sure you’re right about the tone. Mostly was just a response to the charge that I don’t have a clue about what a skeptic is.

Getting talked down to isn’t much fun and it gets a like response.

Well now we can basically cry about people not listening to our cases and call them deniers and all kinds of other things. But just for a minute step back and ask yourself why. Maybe it is because too many of you don’t present the right evidence. Take a scientist that is well liked among you makes a statement and this gets thrown into the case but in the courtroom your evidence is torn to shreds by the defense. I feel that if you are trying to make a case and want a strong case then present evidence that is factual, evidence that would be allowed in the courtroom. Then if you are going to present something that is a lie or greatly exaggerated then make sure that there will not be anybody that can prove it wrong. If in a courtroom you are clearly busted out as lying or intentionally exaggerating any facts and figures then your whole testimony is worthless. Phil asked a while back if I worked in the oil and gas industry and that I comment a lot on fracking. Well that is just because while reading these articles I read things, such as facts and figures and just say “that ain’t right”. So then when reading article written about something that I really don’t know about I just have to assume that facts and figures here will be exaggerated, inflated, or untruthful just the same. I have read articles where someone or some group has went to some hearing or committee meeting to present evidence against the fracking or such and came back with their tails between their legs. Well probably so if they use stuff like published in many of these articles. It draws uneducated people on board for your cause. But going up against industry experts they will rip you apart. If per se I were an elected official and found myself having to make decisions about issues whatever they be they would not be based on listening to one side but rather both sides and a rational decision made based on the evidence. I would hope and a congressman, a judge, a community official or a juror, would hold to this. So ask before writing, will this hold up as evidence? Can any evidence be produced to prove this wrong? Follow these ethics and you may get more people to believe in the cause. Other than the truth and you will be a fraud.

One important distinction is that 97% of Climate scientists surveryed. Belief in CAGW by  scientistsin other more reputable fields is certainly a mixed bag.

Ralph, for you to be right, I’d be able to go to my hair dresser to get my car repaired, the day after she graduated from plumbing school.  Life don’t work that way.

I don’t really care what other scientists say.  They are ignorant.  Look at their qualifications, and look at their experience, and look at their papers.  You need a minimum of 7 years education post secondary, and then you have to produce papers and actually do work in a field before you get a real grasp of it.

Armchair quarterbacking by the likes of Freeman Dyson is crazy.  He knows nothing. 

Here’s what Dyson’s son says Freeman was doing instead of studying climate science (building rockets powered by detonating nuclear bombs);

Here’s the man Dyson thinks is wrong (I’m reasonably certain he can’t build a rocket powered by nuclear bomb explosions);

The situation in Australia continues to amaze me, businesses are now forbiden to blame any price changes on the new Carbon Tax. Green police will enforce this decree with fines up to $1.1 million.

“The situation in Australia continues to amaze me, businesses are now forbiden to blame any price changes on the new Carbon Tax.”

Are you saying that price gouging & profiteering does not exist?