On May 21, Fox News will air a one-hour special, Global Warming: The Debate Continues, in which host David Asman will "speak with scientists who are skeptical of what they view as alarmist fears about climate change." Among the roster of contributors are several global warming skeptics with ties to the energy industry and records of misinformation on the issue.
On May 17, Pat Robertson once again warned 700 Club viewers of "vicious hurricanes" and a possible tsunami after saying on May 8: "I go away at the end of each year to pray, and if I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms."
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On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Cato Institute senior fellow Patrick J. Michaels distorted comments made by former Vice President Al Gore to falsely suggest Gore endorsed exaggerating the threat of global warming.
On Fox News' The Journal Editorial Report, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Rob Pollock falsely claimed that "most" of the global warming that has occurred "over the past century ... happened before 1940." In fact, according to data presented by the Climatic Research Unit, the last three decades have seen a sharper rise in global air temperature than any other period since at least 1860, including the years preceding 1940.
On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, ABC News 20/20 co-anchor John Stossel trivialized global temperature increases, stating "[t]he globe is warming, but it's one degree." In fact, scientists have determined that the approximately 1 degree Fahrenheit * increase in global temperature during the 20th century has adversely affected several ecosystems and that a continuation of warming trends could be detrimental to humankind.
On the CBS Evening News, CBS Washington correspondent Bob Orr reported that President Bush "asked Congress to give him the authority to raise the mileage requirement for cars." This is at least the second time CBS neglected to mention that support of higher mileage standards is a significant shift by a White House that, as recently as February, opposed increasing efficiency standards for passenger cars.
On ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos failed to correct a series of misleading statements by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) concerning the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and potential sources of oil off the coastal United States.
A Washington Times editorial that advocated drilling in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge exaggerated estimates of the refuge's oil reserves and the amount of daily oil production that could be achieved through exploration there.
In his Time magazine column, Joe Klein advocated drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) as a means of lowering gasoline prices. Contrary to Klein's suggestion, however, a U.S. Department of Energy study found that oil production in ANWR would have a relatively insignificant impact upon crude oil prices.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto hyped the Bolivian government's recent decision to nationalize its energy industry as a "socialist threat" to the United States. Cavuto asked Fox military analyst Col. David Hunt: "Colonel, I'm wondering whether this is a military threat -- leave aside the energy concerns -- but a military threat to our country now?" Hunt replied: "Yeah. There is no question," adding that "oil is a weapon ... and why wouldn't ... states getting close to being a terrorist state ... like Bolivia ... consider it?"
On Fox News' The Journal Editorial Report, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore falsely claimed that "in the outer continental shelf," the United States has "more oil available than Saudi Arabia." Similarly, the New York Post claimed in an editorial that drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) "could eventually produce close to what America now imports from Saudi Arabia" -- a claim also contradicted by U.S. Department of Energy estimates.
Fox News analyst Mara Liasson touted President Bush's endorsement of a proposal by Senate Republicans to grant the executive branch authority to set fuel-efficiency standards for cars. But despite noting the opposition of some Democratic and Republican lawmakers to raising fuel-efficiency standards for cars, Liasson did not inform viewers that Bush had also opposed raising those standards -- as recently as February. Fox News host Chris Wallace also noted Bush's endorsement of the proposal but left out the fact that this represents a shift in policy for the Bush administration.
In two separate reports, Fox News' Major Garrett omitted key conclusions pertaining to the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense in a recently released Senate report on the government response to Hurricane Katrina, while highlighting findings implicating the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state and local officials.
MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell failed to challenge Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-TN) suggestion that drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is necessary to reduce America's "60 percent dependen[ce]" on foreign oil. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, drilling in ANWR would reduce projected U.S. dependence on oil imports by only 4 percent over the next 20 years, from 68 percent in 2025 to 64 percent.
Both the CBS Evening News and NBC's Nightly News reported that President Bush endorsed a proposal by Senate Republicans to grant the executive branch authority to set fuel-efficiency standards for cars -- a power that currently resides with Congress. CBS and NBC failed to note, however, that this move by Bush represents a significant shift for the White House, which opposed, as recently as February, increasing efficiency standards for passenger cars.