Fox News' Special Report on June 12 introduced a report on a Rocky Mountain News article about Denver's plan to address global warming by noting that the city set a record low temperature on June 8. In doing so, host Brit Hume parroted the website The Drudge Report by suggesting that cold local temperatures belie climate change.
In a June 12 report on a Rocky Mountain News article about Denver's plan to fight global warming, Fox News' Special Report host Brit Hume parroted the Internet gossip website Drudgereport.com by suggesting that the city's record low June 8 temperature belied climate change. As Colorado Media Matters has noted repeatedly, scientists, government researchers, and other credible sources assert that pointing to any sporadic regional weather event as “evidence” that disproves global warming is simplistic and misleading.
Hume introduced the “Grapevine” segment of the show by noting Denver's cold spell. As he spoke, onscreen graphics read, “Extreme measures?” and “Radical agenda?”
From the June 12 edition of Fox News' Special Report:
HUME: Last Friday was the coldest June 8th ever recorded in the city of Denver. But this week city officials are moving forward with exceptionally strong measures to combat global warming, and much of the response is not enthusiastic. The proposals include extra charges for high energy users, higher auto insurance rates for long distance drivers, and requiring houses to meet new and higher energy efficiency standards before they can be sold. The Rocky Mountain News reports that after word of the plan hit the Internet, the mayor's office took many calls accusing it of embracing a radical environmental agenda. The newspaper says it has received emails calling the scheme crackpot, loony, and stupid.
By beginning his second sentence with the word “but,” Hume suggested that city officials' efforts to address global warming with the Climate Action Plan were not warranted given the fact that the city recently experienced a record low temperature. However, as Colorado Media Matters has pointed out (here, here, here, here, here, and here), extensive documentation shows that drawing conclusions on the basis of temperatures in a limited area over periods of time that are infinitesimal on the historical scale contradicts the nature of how scientists observe climate change: by identifying the annual temperatures -- global and national -- over significant periods of time.
Hume's juxtaposition of reports about Denver's record cold temperature and the proposed plan echoed the June 11 home page of The Drudge Report, which featured the banner headline "'WARMING' PLAN IN DENVER: CRACKDOWN ON RESIDENTS" that linked to a June 11 News article about the plan. The same day, the site featured the headline “Denver Sees Coldest June Morning In Over 50 Years ...” to link to a KMGH 7News online report about Denver's cold snap, which noted, “Residents of Colorado's Front Range awoke Friday morning to frost-covered windshields as temperatures dropped to the lowest readings in over 50 years.”
The June 12 News article to which Hume referred noted that critical responses to the proposed plan came "[a]fter the online RockyMountainNews.com version of the [June 11 News] story was posted as the lead item on Drudgereport.com."
Additionally, as Colorado Media Matters has noted, on June 12 the conservative “news” website FacetheState.com linked to the June 12 News story under a banner headline that misleadingly suggested the News had reported on wide-ranging “Web outrage” over the Climate Action Plan, when in fact the article mentioned only Drudgereport.com.