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"Junk Science" is Junk Journalism

Reported by Ellen - October 8, 2004 -

FOXNews.com has this "analysis" of Bush and Kerry on the environment. Appearing under the "Junk Science" category of the website's "opinion" section, it seems more an example of junk journalism than anything else. Long on supposition, short on facts, the only conclusion a rational person could draw is that author Steven Milloy favors Bush.

The first unsubstantiated opinion is right at the beginning when Milloy states, "Sentiment regarding 'the environment' doesn't seem to be a major factor in voters' minds as they weigh the decision whether to cast their ballots for President Bush or John Kerry." Notice how "the environment" is in quotes as if to let us know it's not really an issue. How/why does Milloy come to this determination? We don't know.

The next unverified statement is, "Bush has been roundly criticized on environmental issues since he took office. But this criticism has largely come from left-leaning environmental activists and their supporters in academia - the vast majority of whom didn't vote for Bush in 2000 and, moreover, probably wouldn't vote for a Republican under any circumstance." Comment: So therefore any criticism of Bush by these people is invalid?

Next comes a falsehood: "When Bush proposed more stringent regulations for arsenic in drinking water - something the two-term Clinton administration never got around to doing - the environmental community ran a television ad campaign implying that the president was actually going to permit more arsenic in drinking water."

Excuse me, but that's because the president WAS ACTUALLY going to permit more arsenic in drinking water. Bush wanted to roll back regulations PASSED BY CLINTON just before he left office. So says an article in the Chicago Tribune, dated March 23, 2001. According to that newspaper, "Among the Clinton administration's final flurry of regulations, the new drinking water standard (reducing the amount of arsenic allowed in drinking water to 10 parts per billion from 50 parts per billion, according to the Tribune) was issued Jan. 22, but has not taken effect. (Bush-appointee and head of EPA) Whitman asked for a 60-day extension before the new standard is implemented, as well as independent reviews of the science involved in determining the standard and costs to business of following it."

Milloy says, "So I pay no attention to what so-called environmentalists say about Bush. Their attacks usually don't present the facts fairly and are designed to politicize and polarize voters."

Comment: Now if that isn't a case of the pot calling the kettle black, then this must be another Carl Cameron joke.

Some more "fair presentations of the facts" Milloy-style:

"The most notable environmental decision Bush has made so far was his decision to pull the U.S. out of the economic dance-of-death known as the Kyoto protocol... The difference between the candidates is that Bush has rightly raised questions about the 'science' underlying global warming hysteria and is not at all interested in an international treaty."

But an article published yesterday by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. tells a different story about Bush's record. "After disavowing the Kyoto Protocol, the Bush administration commissioned the federal government's National Academy of Sciences to find holes in the IPCC analysis. But this ploy backfired. The NAS not only confirmed the existence of global warming and its connection to industrial greenhouse gases, it also predicted that the effects of climate change would be worse than previously believed, estimating that global temperatures will rise between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees by 2100."

As for Kerry, Milloy claims (again, without a single fact backing him up) that Kerry "rubber-stamps every piece of environmental legislation that comes down the pike, regardless of its merits or costs."

Milloy then has the audacity to add that "I suspect that the decision-making on the environment would be handed over to his wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry... much the same way the health care issue was handed to Hillary Clinton during the early part of the Clinton administration. The environment is a hot-button issue for Teresa, and I doubt he'd turn down the billionaire who made his presidential campaign possible. What that probably means is that environmental extremists will once again have free reign over the EPA."

Comment: FOX has sunk to a new low (something that previously seemed impossible) with this trash-talking piece of yellow "journalism."

Email FOX at foxnewsonline@foxnews.com and tell them that real journalism requires real facts.