- William ShineExecutive Vice President of Programming, FOX News Channel
- Brian LewisCorporate Communications Executive Vice President, FOX News Channel
Tell Fox News To Retract Climategate Smears
Climategate is officially dead, the last nail officially sealed its coffin this week with yet another, third report backing climate scientists' work and declaring their "rigor and honesty" is "not in doubt."
Climategate erupted in December after an unknown hacker published hundreds of emails from prominent climate scientists. Media outlets then followed with an echo-chamber of stories based on lies, rumors and unsubstantiated claims that allowed global warming deniers to wave around cherry-picked "proof" of their long-held global warming hoax conspiracy theories.
These lies, spread by the media, in the face of bald scientific evidence have had a real effect. Several polls show the scandal has since shifted public opinion about global warming at this crucial time for action.
While Climategate has died this week, the last thing we need is to mourn its passing with a moment of silence.
Media Matters for America has joined with 12 clean energy and progressive organizations in writing a letter to 50 top news outlets that spread disinformation during the pseudo-scandal, asking them to correct their claims and devote as much attention to the Climategate takedown.
While many outlets are at fault, our old bastion of fair and balanced reporting -- Fox News -- led the charge. Chris Wallace and Sean Hannity repeatedly called climate scientists "fudgers" who "tried to supress opposition." Months later, they were still at it. Fox & Friends celebrated Earth Day with a segment pushing Climategate falsehoods.
Now, Fox should stand corrected. Instead, a story published on their web site on July 7 reads with the backwards headline: "British Panel Criticizes 'Climate-gate' Scientists but Clears Them of Bias."
Since Fox News led the Climategate charge, Fox News should be the one to go first and correct its reportage. If they actually would do this, then other media outlets would certainly cover this as "news" and the death of Climategate would become a real story that won't be buried.
Sign this letter to demand that Fox News publish or air a correction about their Climategate coverage.
- Executive Vice President of Programming, FOX News Channel
- Corporate Communications Executive Vice President, FOX News Channel
Your newsroom led the charge in spreading lies and disinformation about the Climategate pseudo-scandal that blew up last December. You aired and reported stories based on lies, rumors and unsubstantiated claims.
According to Media Matters, Fox's Chris Wallace and Sean Hannity repeatedly called climate scientists "fudgers" who "tried to suppress opposition." Months later, you were still at it. Fox & Friends, in fact, celebrated Earth Day with a segment pushing Climategate falsehoods. These are just a few examples of the disservice you have done to journalism in reporting these falsehoods, which have have had a real impact on public opinion.
Now that a full three panels have cleared the scientists of any wrongdoing and have backed their scientific integrity, it's time to set the record straight. If you want to live up to your "fair and balanced" motto and have any jouranlistic integrity whatsoever, you will issue a public correction for your previous coverage on air or in print.
I realize you are not the only media organization who spread disinformation in the heat of Climategate. But because you led the charge, you would set an example by going first in admitting you were wrong. Please do so immediately.
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