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Fox Reports, Fox Decides (Whether You Need to Know the Truth)

Reported by Julie - February 26, 2010 -

Guest Blogged by Nayef

Bill O'Reilly, to put it nicely, conceals or distorts facts in order to deceive his audience -- mainly to pander to the right-wing agenda of anti-this and anti-that. Depending on your perspective, one may even think he lies. The purpose of the segment on Monday (2/22/10) with "Bill Nye the Science Guy on debunked global warming study" was to misrepresent what actually happened, but this is nothing new for Fox.

O'Reilly opened the segment with the blatantly misleading line: Another global warming study debunked in the journal Nature Geoscience... the study showed the ocean rising because of global warming. Now the journal says sorry, study was flawed.

Except . . . that's not what the story was. The study was not on global warming or current rise in ocean levels. It was a study on predicted ocean rise into the future. There is a big difference between a report on what's going on now (or what happened earlier) and a prediction.

The prediction was based on "data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century." This was based on an earlier estimate by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which estimated the rise to be 18 to 57 cm. Why were the two studies criticized and the last one retracted? O'Reilly won't tell you, but we will. The reason is simple -- and surprisingly unpleasant to O'Reilly and the Right . . . it's because it's too conservative an estimate.

"Many scientists criticised the IPCC approach as too conservative, and several papers since have suggested that sea level could rise more. Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a study in December that projected a rise of 0.75m to 1.9m by 2100." So in fact, the reason it was retracted is because it may underestimate the impact of global warming . . . and Fox can't have that.

The report goes on to explain the procedure followed in the scientific community: "Announcing the formal retraction of the paper from the journal, Siddall said: 'It's one of those things that happens. People make mistakes and mistakes happen in science.'" He said there were two separate technical mistakes in the paper, which were pointed out by other scientists after it was published. A formal retraction was required, rather than a correction, because the errors undermined the study's conclusion."

The scientific approach includes peer-review. This is why "science" is real and can be trusted. Unlike Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, scientists who publish papers have to take questions and criticism from many scientists in the field in order to ensure the integrity of their work.

Fox - they report what suits their agenda.