Another News Corp-Endorsed Expert Criticizes Fox News Global Warming E-Mail

Blog ››› ››› JOE STRUPP

Another global warming researcher who had been cited by News Corp. as an expert has criticized Fox News' effort to slant reporting on the issue.

Media Matters disclosed this week an e-mail from Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon that questioned the "veracity of climate change data" and ordered the network's journalists to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."

Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, criticized Fox News Friday after Media Matters revealed the slanting effort.

Claussen issued this statement in response to the Sammon e-mail story:

The science of climate change is clear and undeniably strong. The world is warming, and human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels, are the main cause. This fact is supported by an overwhelming majority of qualified scientists, and to present it a different way distorts the facts. Most media outlets try to maintain a high level of factual basis in their reporting. And my interactions with News Corp. officials reflect an organization that believes we must act now to advance climate solutions. But based on its newly-revealed directive, Fox News either does not understand the facts, or is attempting to insert fantasy into its reporting and present that fantasy as fact.

News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, has taken positive positions aimed at reducing energy use, supporting the use of renewable power, and pledging to be carbon neutral by this year. I support these actions and encourage their continued efforts to engage employees and other partners in addressing our climate and energy challenge.

Meanwhile, John Llewellyn, who co-wrote The Business of Climate Change II in 2007 for Lehman Brothers, also weighed in on the issue.

Asked to respond to the Sammon e-mail, Llewellyn told Media Matters: "This whole debate depends fundamentally on an honest examination of the evidence. It is always disappointing if you suspect that people are not looking at the evidence objectively. It is hard enough to get to the truth if you are being objective, it is even harder if you are not."

Llewellyn and Claussen's comments follow those of Nicholas Stern of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Zoe Tcholak-Antitch, vice-president of the Carbon Disclosure Project, who criticized Fox News on Thursday.

All four were among those cited on a resource list by News Corp.'s Global Energy Initiative as experts on the issue.

The News Corp. Global Energy Initiative, which has not responded to a request for comment, was created in 2007 to raise awareness of the global warming issue.

Fox News also has not responded to requests for comment.

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