Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 15, 2010

FOX NEWS GETS INSTRUCTIONS ON CLIMATE TALK.... About a year ago, Fox News correspondent Wendell Goler delivered a live report from Copenhagen and told viewers the truth. The United Nations' World Meteorological Organization, Goler said, had announced that that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record."

Not quite 15 minutes later, another memo was sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon.

In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the "veracity of climate change data" and ordering the network's journalists 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." [...]

Sammon's orders for Fox journalists to cast doubt on climate science came amid the network's relentless promotion of the fabricated "Climategate" scandal, which revolved around misrepresentations of emails sent to and from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit.

It's almost as if Fox News' managing editor in D.C. has some kind of political agenda or something. (Sammon's marching orders were sent to the network's news division, not its opinion shows.)

Of course, these propaganda efforts have been quite effective. Sammon not only has Fox News' on-air talent spinning climate reports the way Republicans prefer, but it's also having the intended effect on viewers. Remember, as recently as a few years ago, Republican voters, by and large, believed what the mainstream believed when it came to climate science. Then they were told to believe something new, as Sammon's memo helps demonstrate.

None of this is even remotely surprising, but when memos like Sammon's come to public light, it helps add additional weight to the larger indictment against the ridiculous cable news outlet.

Also note that this is the second interesting revelation in as many weeks about Sammon's political agenda at Fox News. Last week, it was his memo about how the network should characterize the public option during the health care debate. This week, it's reports on global warming.

In both cases, the stories were driven by Media Matters reports, suggesting the organization has a helpful source within the network. That's good news.

Steve Benen 9:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (13)

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When exactly are they losing their press credentials?

Ed Henry that douche lobbying for Fox to have a front row seat in the WH briefing room is part of what is wrong with this country.

Dishonesty is rewarded.

Posted by: mikefromArlington on December 15, 2010 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

what would really be nice (I know this falls in the realm of pure fantasy) is if the moronic dupes who fell for this bullshit recognized themselves as people who one believed one thing and then were manipulated into "believing" another and got pissed about being played and being tools and rejected Faux News en masse.

Posted by: zeitgeist on December 15, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

I'm f'in serious though. These pricks should NOT have the same privileges as other organizations. They aren't news. They are propaganda.

These letters are just solidifying what everyone suspected already.

Fox is a lobbying firm for business. They coordinate with the Chamber, the GOP, talk radio and the rest of the goon squad on the right to make our country less environmentally safe, tear down our standard of living for average Americans, tear down wages to compete globally with the multinationals.

When the hell are people going to wake up to what they are doing to this God damn country.

Posted by: mikefromArlington on December 15, 2010 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

This is surprising? Remember, Fox's goal is the make money, which they do by kowtowing to their base audience, white, middle and upper-middle class males. Their other goal is to get as much free publicity as possible. Reporting actual news is somewhat further down in the priority list for them.

You need to start giving equal time to CNN and CNBC by saying nice things about them.

Posted by: Mike on December 15, 2010 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Check out this Alternet article today. It's pretty appropriate and on topic with what we're seeing here.

"Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid"


Posted by: mikefromArlington on December 15, 2010 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

OK last spam but the last para on that Alternet article hits the nail on the head.

"This is not an isolated review of Fox’s performance. It has been corroborated time and time again. The fact that Fox News is so blatantly dishonest, and the effects of that dishonesty have become ingrained in an electorate that has been been purposefully deceived, needs to be made known to every American. Our democracy cannot function if voters are making choices based on lies. We have the evidence that Fox is tilting the scales and we must now make certain its corporate owners do not get away with it."

Posted by: mikefromArlington on December 15, 2010 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

FOX is original. One only has to listen to Beck drag out such golden oldies as Cleon Skousen and re-animate them to prove it.

Posted by: Kill Bill on December 15, 2010 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

How long until Fox calls for its whistleblower to be prosecuted for treason like they are for WikiLeaks?

How long until their Republican puppets start making the same calls?

Posted by: bernard gilroy on December 15, 2010 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Next memo will uncover instructions on the proper way to snort and say "Satan's minions" each time a host refers to someone from the Democrat party.

Posted by: paulf on December 15, 2010 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

The sad thing is, it's their world too, these Fox people.

Their children, schooled in Republican thought and track-trained in religious pretense, spoiled with every toy and fancy gadget money can buy, won't be any better equipped to resolve global issues when it comes their turn to follow in the lucrative footsteps of their parents.

Posted by: Skip on December 15, 2010 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

"Dont criticize my friends at Fox. They are doing an excellent job." Joseph Goebbels

Posted by: ComradeAnon on December 15, 2010 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Ooh, yippee, a mole at Foxda? Fun times!

Posted by: jsacto on December 15, 2010 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

George Orwell: 1984, h, 2010.

Need I say more.

Posted by: bonncaruso on December 16, 2010 at 5:06 AM | PERMALINK



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