After wishing viewers a “Happy Earth Day,” Fox & Friends hosts devoted a segment to pushing falsehoods about “Climategate” and alleging that other news networks “ignored” the story. However, despite falsely claiming the emails show that climate scientists “manipulated data,” Fox & Friends did not report that several official inquiries into the scientists' conduct found that they did not manipulate data.
Fox & Friends: Emails show scientists “held back” and “manipulate[d] data,” other networks “ignored” story
Carlson: “Happy Earth Day, America. Today we're taking a look back at how the mainstream media” ignored that “scientists held back data that discredits theories on global warming.” Co-host Gretchen Carlson opened the segment by saying, “Happy Earth Day, America. Today, we're taking a look back at how the mainstream media covered and didn't cover 'Climategate.' That was the release of all those emails exposing that scientists held back data that discredits theories on global warming.”
Bozell: There was a “campaign” to “destroy evidence,” “manipulate” data, and “bully journalists.” After co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Media Research Center's Brent Bozell what his “take” was on “some of the problems” with global warming this year, Bozell said that apparently stolen emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) show that “there were campaigns to manipulate the data in their favor. There was a campaign to destroy evidence that would go against them -- to manipulate that evidence. And there's a campaign to bully journalists to not listen to critics of this.” Carlson claimed the allegations are “real” because “big chief people resigned as a result.”
Kilmeade: “Of course, that's what trick means.” After airing a clip of Penn State scientist Michael Mann explaining that a scientist's use of the word “trick” in one email did not indicate deception, but rather a “a clever approach to the problem,” Kilmeade said, “Of course, that's what trick means.” Bozell responded: “What this fellow Mann was saying, and the evidence shows it, that this fellow Mann was saying was simply untrue. It wasn't about tricks. This was a campaign to manipulate scientific data.”
Kilmeade, Bozell accuse ABC News, NBC News of “dismiss[ing]” and “ignor[ing]” story. During the segment, Carlson asked, “How was it covered in the mainstream media?” and aired clips from NBC News and ABC News for discussion. Bozell criticized the ABC News segment by saying, “They simply dismiss [the emails] at the end by saying it's settled science. And, oh, by the way, it took ABC 16 days before they did their first story on this.” Kilmeade responded, “Because it wasn't in the direction they wanted it.” Bozell said of the NBC clip, which featured Mann:
BOZELL: Well, again, this one is a little bit better. It gives both sides of the story, except one side is dishonest. What this fellow Mann was saying, and the evidence shows it, that this fellow Mann was saying was simply untrue. It wasn't about tricks. This was a campaign to manipulate scientific data. This is what the critics of global warming have been saying all along. And guess what? They're right. But it goes against the narrative, so it's been absolutely ignored by the networks.
Inquiries found “no evidence” that scientists manipulated data, but Fox & Friends ignored them
Associated Press: U.K. investigation shows “no evidence” that CRU scientists “had tampered with data.” The Associated Press reported on March 31 that "[t]he House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee said Wednesday that they'd seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming -- two of the most serious criticisms levied against the climatologist and his colleagues." The House of Commons issued the report on March 31.
Penn State: "[N]o credible evidence" that Mann “engaged in, or participated in ... any actions with an intent to suppress or to falsify data.” In February, Penn State released the results of its inquiry, led by a panel of department heads and scientists, into whether Mann -- based on alleged evidence in the emails -- manipulated data or destroyed records. Among its conclusions was that there was “no credible evidence” that Mann had “ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with an intent to suppress or to falsify data” and “no credible evidence” that Mann had “engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data.”
Independent panel: “no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice.” An independent panel in the U.K., led by former industry scientist Lord Oxburgh, released a report in April finding “no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention.” The (London) Guardian reported that Oxburgh “said, many of the criticisms and assertions of scientific misconduct were likely made by people 'who do not like the implications of some the conclusions' reached by the climate experts,” and quoted him saying, 'Whatever was said in the emails, the basic science seems to have been done fairly and properly.' "
Scientists say the word “trick” does not mean distortion
Scientists have stated that the word “trick” is being misinterpreted. Contrary to Kilmeade's and Bozell's suggestion that the word “trick,” which Jones used in one of his emails, shows that he manipulated scientific data, scientists have stated that it's a commonly used expression in the scientific community and does not indicate distortion. For example, the Penn State investigation that exonerated Mann concluded that the scientists “were not falsifying data; they were trying to construct an understandable graph for those who were not experts in the field. The so-called 'trick' was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.” From a footnote in the report:
The word trick as used in this email has stirred some suspicion. However, trick is often used in context to describe a mathematical insight that solves the problem. For example, see in a classic text on quantum mechanics by David Parks: “The foregoing explanation of the velocity paradox involves no new assumptions; the basic trick, the representation of a modulated wave as the superposition of two (or more) unmodulated ones, has already been used to explain interference phenomena...” [italics in original]
Fox & Friends has repeatedly distorted emails in reports
Fox & Friends has repeatedly attacked scientists over the emails and advanced false claims and distortions that the emails “prove” scientists “doctored” or “fudged” climate data, despite scientists' repeated statements that the emails do not undermine global warming.