Hume mischaracterized, selectively cited Tennessean article to smear Gore
Research ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN
On the March 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Brit Hume mischaracterized a March 19 Tennessean article -- which discussed royalties former Vice President Al Gore received from a zinc mine located on his property -- to suggest hypocrisy on the part of Gore, whose documentary film warning of the catastrophic effects of global warming recently won an Academy Award. After claiming that "Gore may be contributing to global warming" through the mining on his property, Hume went on to cite an individual quoted in the article criticizing Gore as hypocritical, but did not mention that the article also quoted an environmentalist saying that Gore's connection to the mine "doesn't bother him." Further, Hume highlighted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the zinc mine is "part of a complex that released more than 19 million pounds of toxic substances," but left out the Tennessean's report that "there is no evidence the mine has caused serious damage to the environment."
From the March 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
HUME: Al Gore may be contributing to global warming in more ways than just using large amounts of energy at his Nashville mansion. The Tennessean newspaper reports Gore has received more than a half-million dollars in royalty payments from zinc mining on his property.
The EPA says Gore's mines are part of a complex that released more than 19 million pounds of toxic substances into the air, water, and land from 1998 to 2003. The mines are scheduled to be reopened later this year after four years of inactivity.
The paper says some of Gore's neighbors see a conflict between the mining and the former vice president's moral call for environmental activism. One man said that Gore was, quote, "not walking the walk," adding, "Mining is not exactly synonymous with being green, is it?"
In claiming that "[t]he EPA says Gore's mines are part of a complex that released more than 19 million pounds of toxic substances into the air, water, and land from 1998 to 2003," Hume omitted the fact that The Tennessean also reported that "there is no evidence the mine has caused serious damage to the environment in the area or threatened the health of his neighbors." Further, according to the article, Greg Denton, manager of the planning and standards section in the Tennessee Division of Water Pollution Control, said of the water testing, "I don't see anything here that indicates a water quality issue."
Additionally, as Media Matters for America noted, the article also quoted Caney Fork Watershed Association representative John Harwood as saying that the "operation has a record of vigilance in not operating to harm the environment."
Hume went on to cite one of "Gore's neighbors," who said that Gore was "not walking the walk" and said, "Mining is not exactly synonymous with being green, is it?' " But Hume did not include The Tennessean's identification of him as a "conservative" who "says Gore's view that global warming is a certainty is arrogant." Moreover, the article also cited an environmental activist who saw no conflict between Gore's mining involvement and his environmental advocacy. According to The Tennessean, "Earthworks president and chief executive Stephen D'Esposito said Gore's involvement with mining doesn't bother him 'in any way, shape or form.' 'We are going to have mining. The question is doing it in the right place and the right way,' said D'Esposito." Earthworks is a Washington, D.C., environmental program which, according to its website, "evolved from the work of the Mineral Policy Center (MPC)" to "to help reform mining laws and practices in the U.S. MPC has worked largely behind the scenes to combat the destructive impacts of mining, drilling and digging." Gore has asked the mining company to work with Earthworks "to make sure the operation doesn't damage the environment," according to the newspaper.