It’s not a hidden or new idea that Fox News loves to skew facts and incite fear among its viewers to push the conservative agenda, but it’s still good to see research and hard numbers illustrating that. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) conducted a study that tracked the accuracy of the three major news networks reported on climate science in 2013.
Out of CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, the latter misled and lied about climate science 72 percent of the times they reported on climate science. Just for comparison’s sake, MSNBC was accurate about climate science in 92 percent of its coverage.
According to the report, 53 percent of Fox News’ inaccurate and misleading coverage came from The Five, featuring the hosts Bob Beckel, Eric Bolling, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Greg Gutfeld, Dana Perino, Juan Williams, and Andrea Tantaros.
On September 30 of last year, Gutfeld accused the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of obfuscation saying the “experts pondered hiding the news that the earth hadn’t . . . warmed in 15 years, despite an increase in emissions. They concluded that the missing heat was trapped in the ocean.”
To the contrary, IPCC scientists publicly discussed the “relationship between surface temperature trends, heat trapped in the ocean, and the flow of heat throughout the planet as the climate warms.”
Last year, Fox News ran about 50 segments on climate science and implemented four different tactics for misleading its viewers about the topic. UCS found that the network either overstated climate change’s effects (which only happened once), disparaged climate science, understated the effects or reality of climate change, or outright hosted misleading debates. Its favorite tactic was understating or denying the effect of climate change as the network did this for about 32 segments out of 50.
An example of this understatement comes from Charles Krauthammer, who, on August 16, said that climate science is “built on all kinds of assumptions and data which contradicts each other.” Ninety-seven percent of the scientific community are in agreement about climate change.
Fox News downplays climate change by looking at tiny snippets of recent time. Krauthammer has outright denied increasing temperatures on our planet: “temperatures have been flat for 16 years.” Rich Lowry similarly stated that the earth hasn’t warmed in 15 years, as did Gutfeld. However, the IPCC has found, with science, a correlation between increase carbon dioxide emissions and increased temperatures over the 250 years.
The thought-process among Fox News hosts is completely backwards. Instead of letting scientific findings influence their stance on policy, they are letting their ideology influence, or skew, science. This make no sense. As the UCS aptly stated, “the most productive step that Fox could take to improve the accuracy of its coverage of climate science would be for hosts and guests to differentiate between scientific facts about climate change and political opinions about climate policy.”
That’s putting it nicely.