Study Finds News Corp. Climate Coverage Is "Overwhelmingly Misleading"
A new report  by the Union of Concerned Scientists finds that coverage of climate science by Fox News and the Wall Street Journal -- both owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation -- has been "overwhelmingly misleading ," despite Murdoch's 2007 pledge  that his media outlets will treat manmade climate change as "a fact."
The Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed six months of Fox News coverage and found that 93% of representations of climate science were "misleading." These segments either broadly  dismissed  the scientific consensus  that manmade climate change is occurring, or drowned out  accurate information on climate science with misleading claims.
These findings echo a 2011 study published in The International Journal Of Press/Politics which found  that compared to other cable networks, "Fox broadcasts were more likely to include statements that challenged the scientific agreement on climate change, undermined the reality of climate change, and questioned its human causes." This is no surprise considering that Fox's Washington managing editor Bill Sammon directed  Fox News reporters in 2009 to cast doubt on the basic fact that the planet has warmed. Indeed, Fox regularly distorts  climate research , cherry-picks  stories to cast doubt on climate change, and turns climate change into a punch line .
UCS also examined the Wall Street Journal's opinion section and found that over the past year, 81% of the representations of climate science either cherry picked data, attacked individual scientists, or otherwise "attempted to broadly undermine the major conclusions of climate science." This is consistent with the Journal's history of casting doubt on established science to undermine action on climate change, acid rain, and ozone depletion, as a recent Media Matters analysis  found. In the last year the Journal published a op-ed by non-experts that misled  readers on climate science, but declined  to publish an op-ed by a physicist who studied the issue and re-confirmed the temperature record.
The report added that both outlets were guilty of "promoting distrust in scientists and scientific institutions or placing acceptance of climate change in an ideological, rather than fact-based, context." Both outlets falsely  claimed  that the so-called "Climategate" controversy showed climate scientists deceitfully manipulating data to promote a political agenda. Fox continues  to push this claim even though multiple investigations into "Climategate" found no evidence  of wrongdoing by scientists. And when the hacker released more "Climategate" emails last year, both outlets distorted  them again.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has called on News Corp. to conduct "a thorough examination of how its media outlets portray climate science and to develop standards and practices for communicating the subject to its audiences." It added that "News Corp. needs to help its staff to differentiate between ideological beliefs and scientific facts." The organization is circulating a petition that you can sign here .