Analysis: 93 Percent Of Fox News Climate Coverage Is ‘Misleading’

There’s a new report out today analyzing climate coverage from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and Wall Street Journal. The results likely won’t shock anyone who reads this blog.

According to a review of recent climate coverage at these two outlets, 93 percent stories from Fox News on climate were misleading and 81 percent of stories in the WSJ op-ed section were misleading. The assessment was conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

What makes a “misleading” comment? UCS researchers say they 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.”

Or, as climate scientists have called Fox News’ climate coverage over the years: “utter nonsense,” “utter rubbish,” “patently false,” and “simply ignorant.”

According to the UCS analysis, Fox News aired 40 stories or interview segments between February and July 2012 that mentioned climate change. Here’s how the misleading statements broke down:

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page also did very poorly. According to the UCS analysis, which looked at op-eds over the last year, 81 percent of pieces mentioning climate change were misleading. In this case, the WSJ featured many stories personally attacking climate scientists:

In 2009, a managing editor at Fox News issued a memo telling 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.”

This shoddy reporting isn’t just limited to U.S. operations. According to a recent analysis from the Australian Center for Independent Journalism, the top six Australian newspapers featuring overwhelmingly negative and misleading coverage about climate issues in 2011 were all owned by Rupert Murdoch.

“It’s fair to say they’ve campaigned against it rather than covered it,” wrote the report’s authors.

Responding to Rupert Murdoch’s disinformation campaign, one Australian climate scientist put it bluntly: “The Murdoch media empire has cost humanity perhaps one or two decades of time in the battle against climate change.”

This study shows once again that Murdoch’s news outlets are leading the charge in climate disinformation.

19 Responses to Analysis: 93 Percent Of Fox News Climate Coverage Is ‘Misleading’

  1. jimspice says:

    Seems low.

  2. Paul Magnus says:

    probably not only CC coverage…

  3. Mike Roddy says:

    This was worth doing, but people know what Fox and WSJ are all about. More insidious is poor or nonexistent coverage on network television and in daily newspapers. The New York Times still gives a nod to false balance in its climate and weather stories, and now the LA Times is backsliding. It’s worse in most other metropolitan areas, and cable TV has become a series of infomercials for corporations. Koch and Exxon were clever enough to invest in PGS, NGC, and formerly decent channels like History and Discovery, now all information ghettoes.

    There is really no excuse for this, and pandering to advertisers and keeping the truth from the public is something they are getting away with because they can. Nobody is really calling them on it in a comprehensive way. Correcting this situation is the most important action we could take. An informed public would lead us in an entirely different direction.

  4. Chris says:

    I’d be interested to know what is the 7% they got right, and if that was by accident.

  5. B Waterhouse says:

    When climate change becomes undeniable to all but the most entrenched denialists, Fox and the WSJ will lose credibility across the board on all subjects, not just climate science. Who is going to take financial advice or any other advice from a source that gets science so wrong?

  6. Merrelyn Emery says:

    It is important to note that the Murdoch press lost the war against a price on carbon in Oz, ME

  7. Stupid people. The same people who oppose financial regulations in the wake of the 2008 fiasco.

    Some people never learn.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Because they must, Mike, otherwise, in a crude and totalitarian MSM propaganda system, they will be unemployable due to ‘Thought Crime’.

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    That war is not over. If you contemplate the attack on all environmental law being waged by all the new, hard, hard, Right regimes in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland ( where, in the latter, they closed the Climate Change Office, ended subsidies on solar power and solar hot water, and greeted a report on the malign effects of climate change on Queensland agriculture with straight denialist disbelief in the science)and remember that Tony Abbott said that ‘climate change is crap’, then we must face the fact that he is likely, if he ever becomes PM, to destroy the carbon price scheme, one way or the other. And the Murdoch infestation will back him every inch of the way.

  10. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Someone will be sacked.

  11. _Flin_ says:

    On related news: scientists estimate that it is very likely that the sun rises tomorrow.

  12. John McCormick says:

    Flin, what you meant to say is there is 100% certainly that the earth will continue its rotation and change the orientation of any point on the earth towards the sun. Be precise.

  13. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Yes but look at the backlashes in the states and Tony’s cracking facade, ME

  14. Lee says:

    Isn’t it already undeniable?! I thought we had already passed that speed hump. Look at the Arctic sea ice, and the numerous other examples from around the world. Are we waiting for there to be daily hurricanes and cyclones, world-wide drought, and ridiculous torrential rain? What are we waiting for?

  15. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Matt Ridley, failed bankster.

  16. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Yes, it may be so, but the numbers still look bad. Bring back Malcolm Fraser, I say!

  17. A Rehman says:

    An optimism founded on ‘resilience’ immanent in the eco-system, ‘belief in the robustness of nature’ are presuppositions of ancient vintage ingrained in the quest for more (accumulation, resources, production, growth, spending, consumption).

    _ Useful to isolate the ‘business-as-usual’ interests

  18. Stephanie L says:

    Is he TRYING to destroy humanity? Where is the protest? How can we make these people accountable?

    I am agnostic, but SERIOUSLY starting to wonder if the Murdoch-Koch-Exxon crew compose the ANTICHRIST.