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Leaked Email Proves Fox News Slanted Climate Change Reporting

Reported by Ellen - December 15, 2010 -

Another devastating email leak from Fox News proves demonstrably that the "fair and balanced" network slants its so-called objective news reporting - this time with regard to climate science.

An email from Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon - the same guy caught telling his staff to use the GOP-preferred term "government option" over "public option" when reporting on the health care debate - reveals that Sammon also instructed reporters to report climate change data as part of a controversy despite scientific consensus otherwise. In this case, Sammon told staff, "(W)e should 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."

Media Matters, which obtained this as well as the previous leaked email, reported:

The directive, sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, was issued less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record."

...Sources familiar with the situation in Fox's Washington bureau have expressed concern about Sammon using his position to "slant" Fox's supposedly neutral news coverage to the right.

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.

That night, reporting on Special Report, Fox News' evening "objective news" show, reflected Sammon's directive with "context" that had not been provided by the same reporter in a prior Fox newscast. Media Matters' Ben Dimiero also noted that by the time Sammon sent his email to reporters, Climategate had been proven to have "no bearing on the validity of scientific theories about climate change."

Furthermore, a month after Sammon's email, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies confirmed that 2009 was indeed the second warmest year on record and the last year of the warmest decade on record. But Special Report, never mentioned that report.

The entire post at Media Matters is a must read.