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Posted at 5:03 PM ET, 12/15/2010

Fox News slants climate change -- what won't they say next?

By Alexandra Petri

According to Media Matters, Fox News Washington editor Bill Sammon directed journalists to slant their coverage of global warming. In an e-mail to journalists after a climate change conference, he requested that they "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. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies."

When I saw the first email of Sammon's that urged Fox to slant its coverage of the Public Option, I was surprised. But after this, nothing surprises me anymore.

Here are some other directions I assume we will find out that Fox News anchors must take!

  • When talking about evolution, refrain from asserting that this is an accepted theory without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that "a theory is just a fancy way for scientists to say they aren't sure. And you know what you do when you're not sure? You have faith." Then look into the camera as though you've just made a really cutting point.
  • When talking about the earth, refrain from asserting that the planet revolves around the sun, not vice versa, without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that Galileo, the first to posit this theory, was probably "some sort of crackpot."
  • When talking about George W. Bush, refrain from asserting that anything went wrong during his presidency without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that, hey, that comes with the job; you do the best you can with the time you're given.
  • When talking about don't ask, don't tell, refrain from asserting that other countries have successfully transitioned to an integrated, open military without IMMEDIATELY shuddering and saying, "But they're foreigners; what do they know? Does it feel right to you?"
  • When talking about the economy, refrain from asserting that anything President Obama has done has improved things without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that if President Obama had his way, your job would be in Mexico, along with the broken remains of the American Way of Life.
  • When talking about "The Hurt Locker," refrain from asserting that this was the Best Picture Winner for 2010 without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that "Avatar was, quite frankly, robbed. That movie transformed the way I see things. The way, frankly, we all see things."
  • When talking about dinosaurs, refrain from asserting that their fossils indicate the Earth is more than 6,000 years old without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that "God put them there to trick us and test our faith."
  • When talking about the 2012 elections, refrain from asserting that Obama might not lose without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that "there is credible evidence the Mayans will return to earth in 2012 and this will no longer be a problem."
  • When talking about WikiLeaks, refrain from asserting that Julian Assange is not Osama bin Laden without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that "some people might disagree with you there, and, honestly, it's hard to tell in that lighting."
  • When talking about gay marriage, refrain from asserting that it has not caused the world to end in a fiery cataclysm in any given period without IMMEDIATELY adding "But you never know. What was that sound? The roof! The roof is on fire!"

But these are just thoughts. It is not my place to assert such notions as fact, especially as this debate intensifies.

By Alexandra Petri  | December 15, 2010; 5:03 PM ET
Categories:  Bad Advice, Petri, Reality? Television, Seems Suspect  | Tags:  Fox News, awareness, excuses  
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Next: Harry Reid: The Grinch Who Stole the War on Christmas?

Comments

"According to Media Matters, Fox News Washington editor Bill Sammon directed journalists to slant their coverage of global warming."

So George Soros and Hillary Clinton's Media Matters, the propaganda arm of the progressive left...the same progressives who have much of their fortunes tied up in this carbon-trading scam, claims that FOX news "slants" their climate coverage....
....Is that what the point of this was supposed to be?

WOW

Posted by: MrMeaner | December 15, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I can understand why the Washington Post thinks this is such a travesty. The concept that a major news organization should point out that stories quoting advocates for one side of an issue should include mention that there is another side is contrary to all journalistic principles as they are practiced today at the Washington Post. Clearly this kind of policy cannot be allowed to spread to other news purveyors. What would the world come to if the Post and similar warmist alarmist advocates printed both sides of the issues?

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | December 16, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Wow, one email from Fox has generated all this buzz in the leftist MSM. A year ago, we had many hundreds of emails from climate 'scientists' that showed unethical behavior and the leftist MSM barely touched it.

Your leftist bias is showing (again).

Posted by: SoCal_Mark | December 16, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Sorry deniers. Read it and weep:

http://www.realclimate.org/

Posted by: jaypem | December 16, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

jaypem -- You're forgetting that wingnuts say "liberal" for things that we non-brainwashed folks would call "factual."

For those who really need climate change (and the Climategate e-mails that were hardly ignored by the media) spelled out for them, look at the nice pictures here:
http://darryl-cunningham.blogspot.com/2010/12/climate-change.html

Posted by: BDVienna | December 16, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Fox News email to ComPost commenters:

Take everything she says literally, and refer to it as "drivel" or "leftest bias".

When confronted with facts, simply respond by mentioning "George Soros" or "liberal propoganda."

Try to keep a straight face when asserting that Fox News really is "Fair and Balanced."

If all else fails, blame it on Barack Obama.

Posted by: divtune | December 17, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Don't you people understand that Fox news will do and say anything that is in the corporate interest? The Koch brothers (who fund the tea parties) are the biggest pollutors on the planet, and it would cost them money to comply with EPA rules to stop their pollution? How foolish can you people be. Science is Science. The GOP talk endlessly about our grandchildren inheriting a big debt, but they aren't concerned about their grandchildren inheiriting a planet that is unliveable? Come on now, watch something other then Fox.

Posted by: sidney18511 | December 17, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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