Fox News’ primetime coverage and The Wall Street Journal‘s op-ed pages overwhelmingly cover the issue of climate change in a misleading and inaccurate way, according to a new report — which asserted that 93 percent of Fox’s primetime coverage (and 81 percent of WSJ editorials) of the topic has not been factually sound.
The analysis, conducted by the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), focused on the two organizations — both of which are under the umbrella of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation — “because of both anecdotal and academic reports suggesting high levels of misleading climate chatter in each,” according to LiveScience.
Their findings didn’t put the outlets in a good light:
“It’s like they were writing and talking about some sort of bizarre world where climate change isn’t happening,” study author Aaron Huertas, a press secretary at UCS, told LiveScience.
“It’s clear that we’re not having a fact-based dialogue about climate change,” Huertas added.
For the report, researchers “combed through six months of Fox News primetime programs (from February 2012 to July 2012) and one year of Wall Street Journal op-eds (from August 2011 to July 2012), for discussions of global warming.”
One of the problems highlighted by UCS researchers was that Fox News and WSJ were “consistently dismissive” of “the established scientific consensus that climate change is happening and that human activities are the main driver.” In other words, undermining science on the topic (calling it a “hoax and fraud,” for example.)
By way of another example, they noted the following remark:
For example, a statement aired on a primetime Fox News show on April 11 says, “I thought we were getting warmer. But in the ’70s, it was, look out, we’re all going to freeze.”
The WSJ‘s coverage posed similar problem, the report said — but went on to emphasize that UCS doesn’t intend to stifle debate when it comes to climate change.
“It is entirely appropriate to disagree with specific actions or policies aimed at addressing climate change while accepting the clearly established findings of climate science,” the authors wrote. “And while it is appropriate to question new science as it emerges, it is misleading to reject or sow doubt about established science — in this case, the overwhelming body of evidence that human-caused climate change is occurring.”
(H/T LiveScience/Yahoo! News)
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