In contrast to official temperature records showing a consistent warming trend, Fox Business reporters have claimed that the "temperature basically hasn't changed much since the ice age" and that it's actually "getting colder." Fox News figures have also denied the scientific consensus that human activity is driving climate change, claiming that carbon dioxide "literally cannot cause global warming" and suggesting that "Mars wobbles" or "wind farms" may be causing it instead. Those are just some of the 10 dumbest things Fox News, Fox Business and their websites said about climate change in 2012:
1. Fox Reporter: "The Temperature Basically Hasn't Changed Much Since The Ice Age." During the Ice Age, much of North America, northern Europe and southern South America were covered with ice sheets. Natural climate cycles led to the end of the Ice Age tens of thousands of years ago. In the last century, temperatures have increased dramatically as a result of our massive emissions of greenhouse gases. Yet Fox Business reporter Tracy Byrnes claimed in March that "the temperature basically hasn't changed much since the Ice Age," before confusing global warming with the depletion of the ozone layer:
2. During Record-Breaking Heat, Fox Anchor Claims "It's Getting Colder." During the third warmest summer on record in the U.S., David Asman, who hosts shows on both Fox News and Fox Business, claimed "it's getting colder":
3. Fox "Expert": Carbon Dioxide "Literally Cannot Cause Global Warming." Joe Bastardi is a meteorologist that is often presented as a climate change expert on Fox News, even though he has no climate science training. Bill O'Reilly has cited Bastardi as the reason that he is "skeptical" about global warming, but scientists have called Bastardi's statements "completely wrong," "simply ignorant," and "utter nonsense." In March, Bastardi attempted to "throw out 150 years of physics" by dismissing the greenhouse effect -- the reason there is life on Earth -- as impossible. Bastardi stated on Fox Business that carbon dioxide (CO2) "literally" -- yes, literally -- "cannot cause global warming" because it doesn't "mix well in the atmosphere." But physicist Richard Muller told Media Matters that CO2 is actually "completely mixed."
4. Fox Reporter: "Mars Wobbles" May Be Causing Climate Change. Elizabeth MacDonald, a Fox Business reporter who often appears on Fox News, incorrectly said in November that "there's no consensus on what's causing climate change, and asked "is it solar flares? Is it the Mars wobbles? Is it the earth's axis tilting in a different way? I mean, that's the issue." After being subject to mockery, she tried to walk back her comments saying she doesn't "think Mars wobbles cause hurricanes," but did not explain her previous comments.
5. Fox Website: "Wind Farms Cause Global Warming." In April, a study found that nighttime temperatures in areas around Texas wind farms were higher than in areas without wind turbines. Fox Nation, a section of FoxNews.com, linked to a story about the study with a headline declaring that wind farms "cause global warming." But the study's authors called this coverage "misleading," explaining that it is "[v]ery likely" that "wind turbines do not create a net warming of the air and instead only re-distribute the air's heat near the surface, which is fundamentally different from the large-scale warming effect caused by increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases."
Karl Rove reappeared on Fox News to parrot his own political organization's view on the deficit negotiations without disclosing his ties to the group. Rove's commentary came just six days after it was reported that Fox had limited Rove's appearances following his "election-night tantrum" over Romney's loss -- yet Fox still failed to disclose Rove's involvement with Crossroads GPS, which has aired an ad on this issue.
Appearing on Special Report to discuss the deficit reduction negotiations, Rove pushed the Republican claim that U.S. debt is a "spending problem" rather than a revenue problem. He cited Office of Management and Budget (OMB) statistics to claim that "we're back above the revenue level we had" in 2008 but that spending has increased by almost $900 billion since then:
Rove said that "Republicans are emphasizing savings" from spending cuts in social insurance programs and concluded that "[w]e got to find fundamental reforms that allow us to save money."
But economists say that decreased revenue is a major cause of the deficit. According to the Tax Policy Center, federal revenue as a percentage of GDP was 15.4 percent in 2011 and 15.1 percent in 2010. These are the lowest figures since 1950 -- and well below the post-World War II average.
And Rove's choice of numbers paints a misleading picture. The OMB's 2013 figures, which are estimates, are higher for both outlays and revenues than the latest available data, which are for 2011. Total revenues in 2011 were $2.3 trillion -- which is still less than the figure for 2008, so the U.S. is not yet "back above the revenue level we had" in 2008.
Fox News tried to undermine President Obama's tax plan by pushing six debunked tax myths in advance of negotiations on how to avoid a series of automatic tax increases and spending cuts. In reality, Obama's proposal to let tax cuts for wealthy Americans expire will grow the economy and is supported by a majority of Americans.
Fox's Bret Baier misleadingly cited recent polling to falsely imply Americans are evenly split on whether income taxes should be raised for the wealthy. In fact, 60 percent of voters support some form of increase in income taxes.
During a report on Friday previewing President Obama's speech on the economy and his administration's plan to work with Congress on solving the fiscal crisis, Baier suggested Obama would argue that the election "sent a message" that Americans "are for this balanced approach, to have the wealthy pay their fair share."
Baier then cited election-night polls that he said did not show "a definitive answer" as to how voters feel about raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 -- which is part of Obama's solution to the economic crisis. Baier stated: "On the question of -- on income tax rates, you have 47 percent wanting an increase for only those above $250,000, 35 percent no increase, on tax increases, and 13 percent for increase for all." He concluded: "So basically, 47 percent want 250,000, or above and 48 percent don't raise them at all or raise them for everyone."
He concluded: "So, you know, if you look at the exit polls, there's not really a definitive answer."
From the November 5 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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Fox ignored President Obama's statements labeling the attack on a U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya an act of terror in order to push a new conspiracy theory involving the attack.
On Wednesday, Fox's Special Report host Bret Baier aired a clip of Obama saying on September 12 to CBS' Steve Kroft that the Benghazi attack "was not a situation that was exactly the same as what happened in Egypt, and my suspicion is that there are folks involved in this who were looking to target Americans from the start." Baier said he had never heard that statement before and purported to contrast it with a montage of Obama statements about the attack ranging from "a few days later" to September 25.
But missing from this montage were other Obama public statements on September 12 and 13, which were perfectly consistent with what Obama told Kroft. In a September 12 Rose Garden speech, President Obama referred to the Benghazi attack as an act of terror, saying: "No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for." Obama to the attack as an act of terror twice the following day, once in Colorado and once in Las Vegas.
Nevertheless, Fox & Friends picked up where Special Report left off and pushed a conspiracy theory that the White House had possibly pressured CBS into keeping a lid on the video.
Fox has previously spent hours trying to explain away Obama's "act of terror" comments in order to criticize Obama over the Benghazi attack.
Fox's coverage of the September 11 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi has increasingly been prone to extreme paranoia, excluding key evidence, and plain misinformation. Last night on his show, Stephen Colbert examined how Fox has been covering the Benghazi attack and why the network may be covering it that way.
From the October 24 edition of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report:
Since the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, Fox News has regularly criticized President Obama over semantics and taken his words out of context, creating a fictional version of Obama's handling of the attack.
Ed Klein, terrible journalist and prurient hack, writes today for the Daily Caller (naturally) that Hillary Clinton's statement taking responsibility for security lapses at the American consulate in Benghazi were motivated by a secret plan to capture the White House in 2016.
Sourcing his report to "a member of Hillary's inner circle to whom I have spoken" (Klein has a remarkable gift for retaining access to Clinton insiders despite years of peddling trashy nonsense about the former first lady), Klein writes that Clinton threatened to resign if the White House "continued to make her the scapegoat for Benghazi," but her secret team of lawyers and strategists came up with a more "rational" course of action.
Here's how he describes the plan:
After the Clinton legal team had a chance to review the State Department cable traffic between Benghazi and Washington, the experts came to the conclusion that the cables proved that Hillary had in fact given specific instructions to beef up security in Libya, and that if those orders had been carried out -- which they weren't -- they could conceivably have avoided the tragedy.
Clearly, someone in the Obama administration dropped the ball -- and the president was still insisting that it was not his fault.
In the end, then, Hillary decided to assume responsibility to show that she was acting more presidential than the president.
I am told by my sources that she firmly believes that when the State Department cable traffic is made public, either through leaks to the press or during formal House committee hearings, it will exonerate her and shift the blame for the entire mess onto the president.
Let's break this down this "rational" scheme, shall we?
According to Klein, Clinton knowingly and falsely accepted responsibility for Benghazi security in order to cover for President Obama so that he might stand a better chance at reelection. Clinton was also fully aware that there are secret State Department cables showing that, in taking responsibility for Benghazi, she was not telling the truth, and that these cables will soon see the light of day. This calculated effort to cover up the alleged truth about Benghazi under the assumption that the truth will eventually be exposed is, per Klein's telling, all part of a plan to make Clinton seem presidential. Because if there's anything that screams "leadership," it's complicity in a cover-up.
This makes absolutely no sense. None whatsoever.
Nevertheless, Fox News "straight journalist" Bret Baier is on the case, taking his cues from a credibility-vacant huckster's axe-grinding nonsense.
Fox News has launched a cover up of Mitt Romney's debate falsehood that President Obama waited 14 days before calling the deadly September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, an act of terror.
While debate moderator Candy Crowley immediately corrected Romney's falsehood during the October 16 presidential debate, pointing out that Obama called the attack an act of terror during his first public comments after it occurred, Fox anchor Bret Baier started the Fox cover up during the network's post-debate coverage. Baier claimed Obama wasn't "specifically speaking about Benghazi" when he referred to the attack on September 12 as an act of terror, but rather was speaking "generically."
Sean Hannity followed suit, claiming that Obama was actually referring to the September 11, 2001, attacks. Straight news anchor John Roberts said that because the remarks "came at the end" of his speech, it's unclear that Obama was referring to Benghazi.
Fox's effort to cover up Romney's debate falsehood continued throughout its October 17 coverage. Watch:
At the same time Fox was trying to deflect from one Romney debate falsehood, they were completely ignoring many other Romney falsehoods from the debate, including his debunked boast that his economic agenda will be responsible for creating 12 million new jobs in 4 years.
A Fox News special on President Obama's "green agenda" presented a one-sided discussion of Environmental Protection Agency rules that distorted the intention and impact of regulations, downplayed the threat of climate change, and ignored the public health threats of coal use.
Fox's hour-long special painted a one-sided picture of environmental regulations, featuring 18 critics and only 1 supporter of EPA clean air and water rules. Fox interviewed three Republican politicians, an industry executive, a radio host, and five coal miners, but not a single scientist, Democratic member of Congress, or environmental group to discuss the threats of air pollution and global warming.
Fox focused the first segment of its special on former regional EPA administrator Al Armendariz, who resigned after a political firestorm erupted over an analogy he made in 2010 comparing his environmental enforcement strategy to Roman crucifixion. Although he clearly stated that he was referring only to companies that were "not compliant with the law," Fox once again took his comments out of context to suggest that the EPA targets oil and gas companies unnecessarily.
While Fox suggested that Armendariz's comments revealed the EPA's "radical" intentions, many in the industry have praised the EPA under the Obama administration for its restraint and recognized that the agency is legally required to implement many overdue rules.
In a segment on the EPA's supposed "mission creep," the host of the special, Bret Baier, questioned whether global warming is a "real problem":
In its newest special "Behind Obama's Green Agenda," Fox News turned to right-wing radio host Mark Levin to explain global warming, rather than quoting a single scientist. The vast majority of scientists say that our increased emissions of greenhouse gases are causing global warming, but Levin declared that we do not need to worry about these emissions because "carbon dioxide is what we exhale, carbon dioxide is necessary for plants."
Fox identified Levin as the co-founder of the Landmark Legal Foundation and suggested he is an expert on the Environmental Protection Agency, which he said "has many of the attributes of the old Soviet system." But Levin is better known for his rants as a right-wing radio talk show host than for his expertise on environmental issues.
The host of the hourlong special, Bret Baier, is often viewed as one of the more credible news anchors at Fox News. But consistent with previous directions from Fox News' Washington Managing Editor, Baier cast doubt on the science of climate change:
[A]n all-out effort to lower the temperature of the planet, assuming global warming is a real problem that humans can reverse, would surely be the most complicated and expensive undertaking in human history.
From the October 3 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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Fox's Eric Bolling suggested that President Obama was hypocritical in his criticism of the government's response to Katrina by claiming Obama voted against waiving a bill that restricted emergency funding while accusing former President Bush of refusing to waive those same funds. But Obama, who strongly supported the measure, voted for a previous version of the bill which would have provided the same relief funds, but also included a timetable for withdrawal from the Iraq war.
While hyping the Daily Caller's 2007 video that purportedly showed "racially-charged rhetoric" from then-Senator Obama, The Five co-host Eric Bolling claimed that Obama voted against waiving the Stafford Act, which mandates local governments match a portion of federal relief funds, while attacking the government for not waiving the Act:
But Bolling's attack is way off base. Then-Senator Obama did vote to waive the Stafford Act for Katrina relief. In fact, he was one of the Senate's major proponents for waiving the Stafford Act.
In 2007, two similar supplemental spending bills contained funding for Katrina relief that was not subject to Stafford Act restriction. At the time Obama opposed one version of the bill because it did not contain a timeline for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. In a May 24, 2007, statement explaining his vote against the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, Obama said: "With my vote today, I am saying to the President that enough is enough. We must negotiate a better plan that funds our troops, signals to the Iraqis that it is time for them to act and that begins to bring our brave servicemen and women home safely and responsibly."
While Obama voted against the 2007 supplemental spending bill Eric Bolling is referring to, he voted for the other version of the supplemental bill that included both a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and a waiver for the Stafford Act that would provide relief to New Orleans.
On Fox's Special Report, senior political analyst Brit Hume attacked President Obama for overseeing a weak recovery, suggesting recessions caused by a financial crisis usually lead to "strong, sharp recoveries." However, economists say that recessions caused by financial crises, like the most recent recession, are more severe and have slower recoveries, and that Obama's economic policies have helped the recovery.