Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bias in the News: Fox News and Climate Science

I know that beating up on Fox News isn't exactly sporting but I just couldn't resist this.

Compare the opening of these two articles:

Climate scientist admits stealing docs from conservative think tank

Theft, deceit and outright lies: How ugly can climate science get?
Prominent climate scientist Peter H. Gleick relied on deceit and subterfuge to solicit a cache of sensitive internal documents from conservative think tank The Heartland Institute before leaking them to the press -- a fresh scandal that further darkens the highly charged debate on planetary climate change.
Climate Skeptics See 'Smoking Gun' in Researchers' Leaked E-Mails

Hackers broke into the servers at a prominent British climate research center and leaked years worth of e-mail messages onto the Web, including one with a reference to a plan to "hide the decline" in temperatures.
The Internet is abuzz about the leaked data from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (commonly called Hadley CRU), which has acknowledged the theft of 61MB of confidential data.
Climate change skeptics describe the leaked data as a "smoking gun," evidence of collusion among climatologists and manipulation of data to support the widely held view that climate change is caused by the actions of mankind. The authors of some of the e-mails, however, accuse the skeptics of taking the messages out of context, adding that the evidence still clearly shows a warming trend.
While no one seriously thinks that Fox News if fair and balanced, they could at least try to pretend not to be the mustache twirling villains of left wing fantasies.  With coverage this obviously slanted regarding virtually identical methods of obtaining information they're doing nothing but supporting some people's paranoia regarding bias and control of the media by business elites.

1 comment:

  1. While it's never a surprise that Fox News stoops to such levels, you'll find that ostensibly more balanced news outlets will often show just as much bias.


    (It's from Peter Gleick, who is the same guy named in the Fox News article as using "deceitful" tactics, fwiw)

    Forbes and the WSJ also have extraordinarily one-sided coverage of peak oil theory. This may be explained partially by their longtime association with IHS CERA, a consultancy that has long been inappropriately bullish on oil production, but it's gone to ridiculous levels now. The number of articles I've seen proclaiming a new era of energy independence because of exports of refined products, when we're still importing over a third of our oil, is astoundingly high.