Over the past week, Fox News figures have repeatedly asserted that emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia that critics have dubiously claimed undermine the scientific consensus on climate change were “leaked” -- citing no evidence for their claim -- or have described those emails as having been “revealed,” “uncovered,” or “discovered.” In fact, CRU has stated that the emails were stolen from CRU's servers by one or more hackers.
CRU, media reports: Emails stolen by hackers
CRU statement: Emails “illegally taken.” In a November 24 press release, CRU stated that the emails “appear to have been illegally taken from the university and elements published selectively on a number of websites.” The release also referred to the emails as “stolen.” In a separate statement, Prof. Trevor Davies, pro-vice-chancellor for research, likewise said that the emails had been “stolen.” A third statement refers to the “hacking and publication of emails from the Unit.”
Initial media reports likewise stated emails were “hacked,” “stolen.” On November 20, the UK Guardian reported that "[h]undreds of private emails and documents allegedly exchanged between some of the world's leading climate scientists during the past 13 years have been stolen by hackers and leaked online," while BBC reported that "[a] university spokesman confirmed the email system had been hacked and that information was taken and published without permission." On November 21, The Washington Post reported that "[h]ackers broke into the electronic files of one of the world's foremost climate research centers this week and posted an array of e-mails," while The New York Times reported that "[h]undreds of private e-mail messages and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics."
Fox News: Emails “leaked,” “revealed,” “uncovered,” discovered"
Wallace claims “growing controversy over global warming” involves “more than a thousand emails that have been leaked.” On the December 6 edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace stated: “All this, of course, comes amid the growing controversy over global warming which some people are calling 'Climategate.' It involves more than a thousand emails that have been leaked that indicate that some of the climate scientists were apparently fudgers and tried to suppress opposition comments.”
Wilson: "[C]ritics say leaked emails indicate scientists manipulated climate data." On the December 5 edition of America's News HQ, host Brian Wilson said that "[t]op White House science officials defend the validity of global warming research, this after critics say leaked emails indicate scientists manipulated climate data."
Gigot says emails were “leaked on the Internet.” On the December 5 edition of Journal Editorial Review, host Paul Gigot said that “thousands of emails between some of the world's leading climate scientists were leaked on the Internet last month."
Goler says emails were “leaked from the” CRU. On the December 4 edition of Special Report, White House correspondent Wendell Goler stated that “the U.N. announced an investigation of emails leaked from the British university that serves as its main data source on climate change.” Likewise, on the December 3 edition of Happening Now, Goler said that “the head of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University believes that undermining an agreement in Copenhagen is the reason that these emails were leaked.”
Hemmer refers to “leaked emails.” On the December 3 edition of America's Newsroom, co-host Bill Hemmer reported that “some lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to put climate change measures on hold until the controversy over these leaked emails can been cleared up.”
Tucker Calson: “It seems more likely” emails were “leaked” by a “whistleblower.” On the December 3 edition of Fox & Friends, contributor Tucker Carlson said: “We are not even sure exactly where these emails came from. It seems more likely a whistleblower from within this community leaked them to the press. And that's good news for anyone who cares about science.”
Gretchen Carlson: Emails were “revealed.” On the December 4 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson responded to a poll on, in co-host's Steve Doocy's words, whether “scientists falsify research to support their own theories on global warming” by saying, “In the spirit of fairness, I believe that question was asked before these emails were revealed.”
Kilmeade: “Damning emails have leaked out of the highest reaches” of climate scientists. On the December 3 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade stated: “Damning emails have leaked out of the highest reaches of those who -- those scientists who think that global warming is in fact happening, that the polar bears are sinking, that Antarctica is becoming like the Bahamas. The articles have leaked out, and look at some of the quotes.”
Hannity says emails were “uncovered,” “leaked” by a “whistleblower.” On the December 3 edition of his Fox News program, Sean Hannity stated: “The climate change emails uncovered at the University of East Anglia shed serious doubts on the science of global warming.” Later in the program, he said, “I don't think” its “accurate” to portray the emails as stolen, adding that “it seems like this is a very different story, this is more about a whistleblower.” Likewise, on the December 2 edition of his program, Hannity said that “the controversy erupted when emails were leaked from a leading U.K. climate change research center that showed that its scientists attempted to hide evidence disproving man-made global warming.”
Napolitano: “hundreds of emails leaked” from CRU. Guest-hosting the December 3 edition of Glenn Beck, Andrew Napolitano stated, “It's been dubbed 'Climategate': the controversy over hundreds of emails leaked from a top global warming data hub.”
Cavuto cites “the revelation of these emails.” On the December 2 edition of Your World, host Neil Cavuto asked whether “the revelation of these emails and some of this hypocrisy means the president should not go to Copenhagen next week.”
Gallagher: “You know those controversial climate change emails discovered?” On the December 2 edition of The Live Desk, host Trace Gallagher said, “You know those controversial climate change emails discovered? Well, now there is more controversy.” In a subsequent report, Goler referred to “leaked emails.”
Beck refers to “leaked emails.” On his December 1 program, Glenn Beck stated, “And yes, the leaked emails from climate scientists that seemed to settle the science that the science is not at all settled.”