In order to immediately acquit the fossil fuels industry of any responsibility for the massive, deadly power failure in Texas, Fox News viciously and dishonestly blamed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and green energy 128 times in less than 48 hours.
Media Matters crunched the numbers and the results are shocking, even for me, and I’ve been keeping track of Fox lies, spin and distortions for more than a decade.
From 6:52 PM ET, February 15 – 12N February 17 (not even two full days), Media Matters counted 80 lies from Fox News and Fox Business opinion shows and 48 lies on the supposed “straight news” shows. That’s about 41 hours of programming for each network. By my calculations, it works out to a lie about every 38 minutes.
I wrote about supposedly “straight news” anchor Harris Faulkner stating on February 16, "Millions of Americans in the cold and dark say the lack of power is because of green energy policies and the vilification of oil, gas, and coal - the stuff that really keeps you warm." Similar lies were repeated more than 100 times.
More from Media Matters:
For instance, on the February 15, edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, host Tucker Carlson stated that “It seems pretty clear that a reckless reliance on windmills is the cause of this disaster.” On the February 16, edition of Fox & Friends, guest host Pete Hegseth began a segment on the Texas snowstorm by highlighting that the state’s “wind turbines are frozen solid” and then asking, “Is this what America would look like under the Green New Deal?” Numerous Fox segments ran chyrons claiming, “Frozen wind turbines cause blackouts in Texas.”
Fox & Friends, including its early morning counterpart Fox & Friends First, pushed such claims the most -- 38 in total. Following with 16 claims each were Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight and America’s Newsroom -- a supposed “straight-news” show co-hosted by Dana Perino, a former White House press secretary for George W. Bush.
Although it’s true some wind turbines froze, they were not a major factor in the systemic failure. Houston Public Media reported:
The electricity grid was designed to be in high demand during the summer, when Texans crank their air conditioning at home. But some of the energy sources that power the grid during the summer are offline during the winter. So when Texans stayed home during the storm on Sunday and demanded record amounts of electricity, the state's energy system could not keep up.
Some of the energy sources powering the grid were knocked out by the inclement weather, most of which were facilities run by gas, coal or nuclear energy.
"Most of the plants that went offline during evening and morning today were fueled by one of those sources," said Dan Woodfin, senior director of system operations at ERCOT [Electric Reliability Counsel of Texas].
Wind turbines, which provide a much smaller source of energy for the state's power grid, were iced over and also out of commission.
Trevor Noah got it right in his excellent skewering of Fox and its GOP pals on the subject. Noah likened blaming wind turbines, which in Texas are not built to withstand the record-breaking cold the state just suffered, to claiming that tires are useless because cars without snow tires can't handle snow.
If you missed Noah’s funny and sharp commentary, you can watch it below, from the February 17, 2021 The Daily Show.
They are truly delusional.