Conservative media are defending the "right" of fossil fuel companies to knowingly deceive the public about climate change, after a group of climate scientists and members of Congress called for an investigation of such companies under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Contrary to claims by conservative media that these advocates are seeking to "shut down free speech," RICO would only apply to those who purposefully misled the public about climate change, with some Congressmen pointing to recent reports that ExxonMobil funded climate science denial for decades after discovering that fossil fuels drive climate change.
Conservative media rallied to dismiss the gender pay gap after actress Jennifer Lawrence published an essay discussing making less than her male peers while working on the film American Hustle.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, cited information from the CIA to debunk the claim that Hillary Clinton compromised national security by revealing the name of a CIA source in an email sent from her private account. The claim originated from the Republicans serving on the U.S. House Select Committee on Benghazi and was amplified by right-wing media, but now the CIA has informed the Select Committee that the e-mail did not contain any classified information, according to a letter released by Cummings.
The Guardian's Dana Nuccitelli criticized Breitbart News and multiple UK-based outlets for mischaracterizing a recent scientific study to promote climate denial and seeming "more interested in promoting a specific political cause ... than in getting the facts right," which Nuccitelli called "the very definition of propaganda."
In an October 15 article, Nuccitelli highlighted false claims by the conservative media outlets about a recent study on isoprene -- a gas that helps clouds form and can impact temperatures. The study found that oceans are emitting more of this gas than previously observed, which, as Nuccitelli wrote, could "reconcile" a previous "discrepancy between measurements and models." Several conservative news outlets used the study to cast doubt on human-caused global warming, with the Daily Express reporting that the study "throws previous estimates of rising temperatures into doubt," The Register claiming that the study shows "there isn't as much urgency" about global warming "as had been thought," and Breitbart News claiming that its findings "may pose a serious threat to man-made global warming theory."
The mischaracterizations led one of the study's authors to publicly argue that the study does not support such conclusions and dispute the notion that it provides evidence against global warming. Nuccitelli reported that Christian George told Carbon Brief: "Our study is a new brick that should help understanding our complex world, by providing new knowledge on air-sea exchanges, but it definitively does not question climate change, it just helps us understand its impact. There is no question that the global climate will become warmer. The question is just how much, how fast and how the effects will change our lives." Nuccitelli concluded that the conservative media outlets "seemed more interested in promoting a specific political cause -- undermining efforts to implement climate policies -- than in getting the facts right," adding that their misuse of science to suit a political agenda was "the very definition of propaganda."
Conservative media outlets have a long history of twisting scientific studies on climate change to dispute the overwhelming consensus that humans are responsible for climate change.
From The Guardian:
Marine isoprene releases could only cause global warming or cooling if the level of the emissions were to change. However, this paper merely suggests that the overall level of isoprene emissions is higher than previously thought, not that the levels are changing. And in fact the study indicates that climate model simulations might be more accurate on ocean isoprene emissions than previously believed.
Conservative media outlets choose propaganda over journalism
However, several conservative media outlets falsely claimed that the study had uncovered a "global cooling process." Writing for Breitbart, James Delingpole claimed that the paper "may pose a serious threat to man-made global warming theory." The Register and Express both claimed that temperatures have been stable for 15 years (they've actually risen by about 0.2°Cduring that time), and that this paper could explain that fictional temperature stability.
The problem lies in the fact that unlike Carbon Brief, whose reporters discussed the study and its implications with two climate scientists including one of the study authors, these conservative media outlets tried to interpret its meaning on their own. This led to mischaracterizations of the paper that Professor Forster described as "quite crazy."
All of these conservative media pieces misrepresenting the paper shared another characteristic. Each revealed its bias by wishfully suggesting the international climate negotiations that will soon be held in Paris could be undermined by the study's findings.
Rather than contact the study's authors or any other climate scientists, the Express and Breitbart quoted Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist, climate fake expert, and director of the anti-climate policy Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The UK government's Charity Commission ruled last year that the GWPF was blurring fact and comment on climate change, lacked neutrality, and promoted a contrarian position on the subject.
In essence, The Register, Express, and Breitbart seemed more interested in promoting a specific political cause - undermining efforts to implement climate policies - than in getting the facts right. And presenting misleading information to promote a political agenda is the very definition of propaganda.
Conservative media are attacking the prospect of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) running for Speaker of the House, claiming Ryan supports "open borders," compromised with Democrats on spending, and supported President Obama's trade deal.
Several conservative media outlets cited a recent study in the Journal of Preventive Medicine to conclude that gun laws do not effectively deter criminals from obtaining firearms, even though the study actually found that gun laws in Chicago make it harder for criminals to acquire firearms by increasing opportunity costs. The study's authors are now speaking out against media misrepresentations of their work.
Right-wing media are championing a government shutdown, ignoring that it would cause millions of Americans to lose access to food assistance, health care, and their paychecks while costing the government billions of dollars.
Conservative media cheered the news that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will resign from Congress in October, calling him a "failure," claiming he has "no one to blame but himself," and declaring that conservatives are crying "tears-- of joy!"
El Papa Francisco está haciendo su primera visita a Estados Unidos esta semana. Antes de su visita, figuras de los medios conservadores han atacado sus esfuerzos para combatir el cambio climático y la desigualdad, calificándolo de "marxista" que es un "peligro para el mundo".
Pope Francis is making his first visit to the United States this week. Prior to his visit, conservative media figures have attacked him over his efforts to combat climate change and inequality, labeling him a "Marxist" who is a "danger to the world."
Right-wing media are now blaming 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for his own arrest after he brought a homemade clock to school, and accusing President Obama and others of capitalizing on the student's story to falsely push concerns about Islamophobia.
Brietbart News called on British-American actress Emily Blunt to "deport herself" from the United States.
Breitbart's attack on Blunt echoes Fox News' Fox & Friends, whose hosts told the actress to "leave Hollywood" September 15 in response to her joke: "I became an American citizen recently, and that night, we watched the Republican debate and I thought, 'This was a terrible mistake. What have I done?'" British-born Blunt became a dual citizen last month.
Brietbart News' Kipp Jones wrote September 15 "Naturalized citizen Emily Blunt should deport herself":
While filming a segment with other stars for The Hollywood Reporter at the Toronto International Film Festival this past weekend, British-born actress Emily Blunt said she regretted becoming a U.S. citizen after watching the Aug. 6 Fox News Republican debate.
While the actress did not expound on her anti-GOP comment, a number of statements made by her since she gained citizenship, along with her admiration for President Obama, tells us that in just six weeks, Blunt has already accepted in her own mind what most on the Left have been advocating for years: America is not an exceptional country, and the Republican Party is to blame for everything.
Blunt should have just said it bluntly: Americans are stupid, the idea of American exceptionalism is ignorant, and challenging the platform of the Democratic Party is racist.
While most naturalized citizens would describe the feeling of coming in through the front door as one of the greatest in their lives, Emily Blunt couldn't wait to use her fame to rip half the country.
With a total of 11 Republican presidential debates on the schedule for 2016, the next of which will air this Wednesday on CNN in two rounds, starting at 6pm ET, Mrs. Blunt might feel compelled to head back to where she came from before March 10, and she absolutely should.
With the U.S. Senate considering a Republican-backed resolution of disapproval over the historic nuclear agreement with Iran, Media Matters debunks the myths that have pervaded the media debate on the deal.
Numerous conservative media outlets are parroting the misleading conclusions of a September 2015 report by an anti-immigrant nativist group, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which claims that "immigrant households use welfare at significantly higher rates than native households." Like previous flawed CIS studies, these findings have been called into question by immigration experts for failing to account for the economic hardship of some immigrant families, lumping American-born beneficiaries into "immigrant household" categorizations, and conflating numerous anti-poverty programs with so-called "welfare."
Conservative media are outraged by President Obama's decision to restore the name of Alaska's Mount McKinley to Denali, the name used by Alaska Natives, lamenting the move and calling it an "executive power grab."