This week, we reported on a staff email from Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon questioning the "veracity of climate change data" and directing 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." While most of the nation's media have reported or commented on the story, Fox News has conspicuously avoided passing reference to it. Even Fox News' so-called media criticism show has ignored the story.
During its Saturday broadcast, Fox News Watch touched on a variety of issues from this week, including former President Clinton's return to the White House press briefing room and Larry King's departure from CNN. Host Jon Scott and the panel found time to talk about why the Tea Party wasn't chosen as Time's "Person of the Year," the Media Research Center's "Poison Tea Pot Award," and it even allowed Greg Gutfeld to get in a dig or two at the "No Label" campaign. But amidst all this, it didn't find any time to talk about Sammon's email.
As we reported, Sammon sent the email during crucial global climate change talks in Denmark, a mere 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record." At the time, Fox was relentlessly engaged in promoting the fabricated "Climategate" scandal, which revolved around misrepresentations of emails sent to and from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. But as we noted, the "scandal" did not undermine the scientific basis for global warming. Moreover, scientists, independent fact-checkers, and several investigations have since confirmed that the CRU emails do not undermine the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet.
That leaked email followed on the heels of another: Last week we reported on another email sent by Sammon to Fox journalists at the peak of the health care reform debate, ordering them to avoid using the term "public option" and instead use variations of "government option." That email echoed advice from a prominent Republican pollster on how to help turn public opinion against health care reform.
This is just the latest example of Fox News Watch avoiding stories of its network's ethical problems. As we previously noted, the program has kept silent about Fox host Andrew Napolitano's remarks that he believed the government lied about the attacks on 9-11. The program also failed to comment on the five potential Republican candidates for president Fox News employs.