And thus does Steve Doocy lead the nation

The climate deniers have had a triumphant run over the last 20 years. Their campaign, financed mostly by the fossil fuel industry, has succeeded in changing American’s attitudes and beliefs. (They had a little help from their friends.)

A recent paper from the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzes how FOX News Channel and the opinion pages of the WSJ reference climate science. The entire thing is here.

 . . . . examined six months of Fox News Channel content and one year of representations in the Wall Street Journal opinion section based on keyword searches for the terms “climate change” and “global warming.” Our team examined transcripts and articles to determine whether these media outlets mentioned climate science, action on climate change (personal action or government policies), both, or neither.

There are charts and specifics a-plenty

Over a recent six-month period, 93 percent of Fox News Channel’s representations of climate science were misleading (37 out of 40 instances). Similarly, over the past year, 81 percent of the representations of climate science in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section were misleading (39 out of 48 instances).

. . .  the misleading citations include broad dismissals of human-caused climate change, disparaging comments about individual scientists, rejections of climate science as a body of knowledge, and cherry picking of data. . . .  much of this coverage denigrated climate science by either promoting distrust in scientists and scientific institutions or placing acceptance of climate change in an ideological, rather than fact-based, context


15 responses to “And thus does Steve Doocy lead the nation

  1. To respond to Steve Doocey, I yield to this great American orator.


  2. One issue I have with the idea of Climate Change is the fact that throughout history our climates naturally do change. For the average individual it is very difficult to see or understand how we could or do affect that change. It would be SO much easier to get people on board if they focused more on how much polluting we are doing to the planet rather than trying to make them be aware of the .5 to 1.5 degree temperature change over the last 70 to 100yrs. Garbage dumps and poisoned water are so much more visceral and harder to deny. Is it any wonder they were successful in getting people to stick their head in the sand?


    • Hi T4T: It’s true that climate change has always happened. But what is different is that this time it will happen in a century or so . . . other climate changes happened over thousands of years. We can’t stop it – it’s way too late for that, but because we won’t deal with it, we are making it worse, much much worse! And pretty soon, we approach a tipping point, the point where that hockey stick curve happens. And with what’s happened to the summer ice in the Arctic that may be sooner than we thought.

      You’re right that people will respond to things they can see. And the evidence is that we really have done amazing stuff about pollution over the last 40 years. Tremendous stuff. Groundwater is still a great concern (because people can’t see it?) but we did a great job cleaning the air and waterways. Do you remember lakes on fire and acid rain and a Hudson River so polluted that if anyone went in the water htey had to go directly to the hospital? And that’s because we acted.

      Oh well, we’ll reap what we sowed.


  3. OK. An 83% : 07% plain fact to “misleading” ratio. That seems like a mirror image opposite of the Warmists’ outlets’ reporting.


    • jonolan, by ‘warmists’ do you mean the governments of the world, the US military, NASA and pretty much every credible scientific institution on the planet?


  4. I really don’t want to hear anymore scientific commentary from people who don’t know what would happen if you rolled the window down in a plane.


  5. Faux News is solidly in the grip of conservative politicians, and those politicians are solidly in the grip of corporations. That includes not only the Military Industrial Complex and the Medical Industrial Complex, but also Big Energy, a,k.a. Big Oil and Big Coal. Thus we are seeing the ramifications of the Citizens United SCOTUS decision made real in what we used to think of as television journalism but which has now become a form of corporate oligarchy. Profit trumps environment and the future is never more than one fiscal quarter away.


    • True and true Jim. The traditional network news shows are just shells, filling their 21 minutes a night with a few headlines, some syndicated video and a few press releases from the likes of Big Pharma or the military about cool new things. CNN is useless; they simply do an awful job (and until they remove Wolf Blitzer from the air, I cannot watch). FOX, as you say, is indeed in a class by itself, happily acting as transmitter of whatever meme suits that oligarchy. And of course, changing the narrative as instructed and doing it with absolute aplomb. MSNBC started out well, but seem now to be doing the ‘outrage of the day’, all day. Even so, they still have some good shows, Chris Hayes weekend show being the very best because it’s’ not the same old people, and is always about things that aren’t talked about elsewhere.

      My secret is I cannot give up Chris Matthews. He is frequently fact-challenged or ignorant of the current state of a story, but the guy is passionate, loves politics, loves the minutia of government and knows his political history unlike anyone else on air. I forgive him a great deal because of his sincere passion.

      So . . . since the majority of people get their information from TV, it’s not looking to good for the future – an ignorant citizenry, no sense of civics . . . it’s all Monday Niight Football.


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