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Rebecca Martin

Author ››› Rebecca Martin
  • Right-wing media lash out over Bill Nye’s Last Week Tonight call to action on climate change

    Fox News host: "If it was a real crisis, he wouldn't be joking like that."

    Blog ››› ››› REBECCA MARTIN

    From the May 12 edition of HBO’s Last Week Tonight:

    Bill Nye appeared on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on May 12 for a segment about climate change. In the segment, Nye issued a blunt warning that action must be taken to curtail changing climate or otherwise there will be dire consequences. After the segment went viral, right-wing media lashed out at Nye.

    • While the onscreen chyron said "Climate Hysteria," Fox host Jesse Watters said of Nye: “If it was a real crisis, he wouldn't be joking like that.” From the May 13 edition of Fox News' The Five:

    • Frequent Fox News guest and climate-denier Joe Bastardi: “It’s just crazy, are you angry?” From a May 13 video Bastardi uploaded to his YouTube channel:

    • Dana Loesch: “If the planet is on blanking fire, and we’re all going to die in 10-12 years, then how is it that the only action you want to take is to take people’s money?” From the May 13 edition of Radio America's The Dana Show:

    • RedState: “WATCH: Fake Reporter John Oliver and Fake Scientist Bill Nye Try to Sell You a Fake Crisis”

    • Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles: “Guys, @BillNye is using the f-word. That's how you know he's super serious”

    • Glenn Beck’s The Blaze “Bill Nye loses it and melts down over climate change, goes on expletive-laden rant during late-night show”

      "Bill Nye used adult language to explain climate change to adults on Sunday night's "Last Week with John Oliver." During a segment on Oliver's HBO show, Nye — famous for "Bill Nye the Science Guy," as well as his staunch liberal schtick on climate change — appeared to demonstrate the effect of climate change on the planet. Oliver, who was fact-checking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) comprehensive Green New Deal, cued a segment Nye filmed for Oliver's show. The Senate voted the deal down in March. The late-night show host was also discussing a new report from the U.N. that warned that the planet could experience a lasting change as early as 2040 due to climate change." [The Blaze, 5/13/19]

    • The Daily Wire: Nye “threw a temper tantrum.”

      Bill Nye, The “Science Guy,” threw a temper tantrum in a video played Sunday night on HBO’s "Last Week with John Oliver,” hysterically proclaiming, “The planet's on f***ing fire!” and ranting, "Grow the f*** up! You're not children anymore!”

      The video of Nye showed him in his lab coat accompanied by a globe, a blanket, a fire extinguisher, and a pile of sand. Nye stated, “Here, I’ve got an experiment for you. Safety glasses on.” Donning glasses, he continued, “By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another 4 to 8 degrees.” Yanking out a blowtorch, he then announced, "What I'm saying is, the planet's on f***ing fire!" [Daily Wire, 5/13/19]

  • Fox "straight news" anchor Martha MacCallum allows Rush Limbaugh to spew racism and conspiracy theories with no pushback

    Fox News pushes "straight news" anchors like MacCallum and Bret Baier as somehow distinct from its prime-time opinion programming -- but Rush Limbaugh of all people just proved otherwise

    Blog ››› ››› REBECCA MARTIN

    Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum allowed Rush Limbaugh to make long debunked claims, racist statements, and false accusations which she left unchecked throughout her interview with the right-wing radio host.

    During the interview, Limbaugh claimed fomer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be investigated, indicted and put in jail. Limbaugh offered no evidence to back up this claim, and MacCallum did not ask for any. Limbaugh also used a racial slur to attack Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and MacCallum again let the attack slide without mention. Limbaugh then claimed Democratic candidates do not have plans to pay for their policy proposals, another falsehood that MacCallum did not push back on.

    Shortly after the segment ended, President Donald Trump enthusiastically tweeted it:

    A few minutes after Trump's tweet, Sean Hannity also gushed over Limbaugh's remarks on his Fox News "opinion" show.

    While Fox News presents MacCallum as a “straight news” host, labeling her as a contrast to its problematic opinion hosts, she continually pushes right-wing misinformation and allows conservative guests to present falsehoods with minimal pushback. As Media Matters' Matt Gertz recently wrote, "MacCallum is every bit as pure an ideologue as anyone else on the network, using her show to claim that a border wall is 'needed' to stop the immigrant 'invasion' and declare that 'both sides' were at fault during the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, among other misdeeds."

    Fox's chief political anchor Bret Baier, whom Fox touts as being on the “straight news” side, recently interviewed Limbaugh with similar results -- even though it was days after Limbaugh had called the New Zealand shootings a false flag. Baier and MacCallum hosted Fox’s town hall with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

    Fox News is currently in an advertiser crisis and has been pushing "straight news" anchors like MacCallum and Baier as somehow distinct from its prime-time opinion programming. In reality, the two are cogs in the same machine -- as Rush Limbaugh himself just proved.

  • The year in Fox News non-troversies

    ››› ››› JASON CAMPBELL, BOBBY LEWIS & REBECCA MARTIN

    In 2018, conservatives controlled all levers of the federal government, Fox News once again led in ratings, and conservative websites dominated the national narrative on the internet. But Fox News, hell-bent on portraying conservatives as victims, nevertheless found random events to be outraged about throughout the year. Below are some top Fox News non-troversies as documented by the Media Matters staff.