A few days ago an email leaked from Fox News revealed an edict from the top brass to the troops ordering them to negatively characterize the health care bill’s public option proposal whenever they mentioned it on air. Today another email, this time addressing climate change, demonstrates that the first was not an anomaly.
Media Matters is reporting that the same news executive, Bill Sammon, issued these marching orders to producers and talent:
“Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.”
Sammon’s rejection of climate change science is absurd. The facts are affirmed in hundreds of peer reviewed studies by independent researchers. His complaint that the “theories” are “based on data that critics have called into question” exposes the rank anti-intellectual bias favored by Fox News. If all it takes is for some critics to call something into question, then how can Fox claim that their network is “fair and balanced” when millions of critics have called that into question? Fox News believes that the way to achieve balance is to pair every truth-teller with a liar. There may be a twisted sense of balance in that, but it isn’t journalism.
In addition to the blatant slanting of the news by Fox’s editors, producers, and commentators, there is a measure of hypocrisy here that is mind boggling. Sammon’s memo seeks to align his news room’s perspective behind a false premise that climate change is unproven. However, the CEO of Fox News parent, News Corporation, has made it clear that he believes the climate change debate is over. And he isn’t the only one:
Rupert Murdoch: “News Corporation has always been about imagining the future and then making that vision a reality. We seek new ways to reach our global audiences and we address those issues that have the greatest impact on their lives. Global climate change is clearly one of those issues.”
Bill O’Reilly: “I have never understood the resistance to the concept of global warming. [...] America needs to stop arguing over the cause of global warming and begin a disciplined 10-year plan to use fewer polluting agents, more conservation, and tons more innovation.”
Glenn Beck: “You’d be an idiot not to notice the temperature change,” [Beck] says. He also says there’s a legit case that global warming has, at least in part, been caused by mankind. He has tried to do his part by buying a home with a “green” design and using energy saving products.
There is obviously a disconnect between what these people say one day and what they say the next. All of them have been critical of environmentalists and climate change science at one time or another. Beck has said that all Global Warming activists are socialists and that television networks like NBC are shilling for the Obama White House when they engage in “Green Week” promotions. He might want to catch his own show during Green Week when it sports a snazzy green-tinged version of the Fox News logo:
It’s impossible to resolve these hoary contradictions without copious amounts of drugs. The lip service these people pay to common sense scientific facts is immediately reversed by their articulation of ignorant criticisms that are wholly lacking in substance. It is why recent studies have shown that just watching Fox News makes you functionally stupid. It isn’t accidental. As the emails that are now getting leaked from Fox illustrate, it is by design. Fox is purposely making their audience dumber by the hour.