Excerpt from E&E News – December 15, 2010 (Subscription required )
Article Excerpt: “Marc Morano, a former staffer for Capitol Hill’s most prominent climate skeptic, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), and editor of the skeptic website Climate Depot, went a step further.
‘It’s an inspiration for journalism, and it’s a beacon of hope that Fox News gets it,’ said Morano, saying that by balancing experts who believe that climate change is a danger with others who do not, the network is living up to its ‘Fair and Balanced’ slogan.”
Full E&E article reprinted below:
CLIMATE: Debate trails leaked Fox News memo on global warming coverage (12/15/2010)
By Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter
A leaked year-old memo from Fox News’ Washington bureau chief setting guidelines for reporters handling stories about climate change sparked a skirmish today between factions in the global warming policy war.
The memo from Fox News’ Bill Sammon warns his reporters to “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.”
He added, “It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.”
The memo was published this morning by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America. A Fox News representative did not return a call requesting a comment.
Conservatives said there was nothing unusual in Sammon’s policy. “It’s in line with their ideological position, I guess,” said Kenneth Green of the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute and an occasional guest on Fox as a commenter on climate issues.
Green said that Fox’s take on climate change is probably biased, but he said CNN and National Public Radio have been guilty of the same thing on the left. “Every outlet has its agenda,” Green said, declaring effectively dead the “the ancient model.”
Marc Morano, a former staffer for Capitol Hill’s most prominent climate skeptic, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), and editor of the skeptic website Climate Depot, went a step further.
“It’s an inspiration for journalism, and it’s a beacon of hope that Fox News gets it,” said Morano, saying that by balancing experts who believe that climate change is a danger with others who do not, the network is living up to its “Fair and Balanced” slogan.
Media Matters Vice President Ari Rabin-Havt disagreed, saying Sammon’s directive offers evidence that Fox is distorting the debate on climate change.
“Fox consistently claims that their opinion side is opinion, their news side is news. This is their news side,” he said. “The head of the news side in D.C. setting his policy as editorial slant.”
Rabin-Havt said polls indicate that Fox viewers hold widely different views from other members of the public on a range of issues, including the veracity of climate change science, and attributed that difference to the network’s coverage.
Daniel Weiss, a fellow at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, said the memo shows Fox “uses its platform to sow doubts about settled science that burning coal and oil is responsible for global warming pollution.”
“Unfortunately, many conservatives now deny climate science, hardening conservative officials’ opposition to pollution reduction,” he said.
Former Vice President Al Gore has also panned Sammon’s memo on the website of his advocacy group, the Alliance for Climate Protection. “Fox News has consistently delivered false and misleading information to its viewers about the climate crisis,” he wrote in “Al’s Journal.” “The leaked emails now suggest that this bias comes directly from the executives responsible for their news coverage.”
Oct 2009 Climate Depot Report: Losing Their Religion: 2009 officially declared year the media lost their faith in man-made global warming fears — Excerpt: CNN’s coverage of global warming radically improved in 2009, since the news network let go its climate fear promoting science reporter Miles O’Brien and his CNN producer Peter Dykstra. The same goes for The Weather Channel. The network’s coverage of climate issues has improved dramatically since the woeful Heidi Cullen was let go. These are two ironclad instances where budget cutbacks and staff reductions noticeably improved climate news coverage.