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The Earth has gone through a great deal of NATURAL climate change. To order news anchors to say otherwise throws out basic science and throws out one of the best arguments against the belief that man is causing warming.  (Source: Corbis/Royal BC Museum, British Columbia)

The Earth's climate is incredibly complex and we have a long ways to go before we can fully understand it or accurately predict what effect changes to certain variables will have on it.  (Source: NASA)
I thought this analysis was straight-forward, but it appears that I may not have explained my points ideally...

This week a memo leaked from a top Fox News staffer, ordering employees...
...we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.
Now this memo was leaked by a notoriously liberal-slanted group, Media Matters.  However, that seems largely immaterial as Fox News has not denied the authenticity of this memo, which it likely would have done, had the memo been doctored.  The memo has been reported at the likes of ArsTechnica, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, and The Washington Post.  And yes, I wrote a report on it as well.

Since some people seemed to misunderstand the point I was trying to make, let me reexplain my perspective in further detail, striving for greater clarity. 

First, let me state that I am somewhat skeptical of the notion that man is causing climate change.  I believe that there's a wealth of evidence to show that the climate has naturally and dramatically changed throughout its history.  And there's a lack of definitive evidence that man is indeed somehow "overriding" the Earth's natural cycle and kicking it into a heating one.

In other words, when it comes to global warming, we really don't understand what's going on.  And "trends" are statistics, so we don't know whether the heating in recent years will continue unabated (in fact, some evidence point to recent cooling trends). 

All of this is significant because the nation is contemplating costly legislation that would place what some estimate to be trillions in debt on the backs of the American people.  Now granted, those are estimates from conservatives who have shown themselves, much like anthropogenic warming advocates, to be less than scrupulous in trying to prove their point.  But at the end of the day, most would agree that the cost of a carbon credits scheme would be quite high.

So those who somehow thought I was attacking AGW skepticism clearly misunderstood me.

I did however try to convey how illogical this particular edict -- "we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period" -- was.

There is virtually sound-proof geological, chemical, and paleontological evidence that the Earth has gone through numerous cool periods.  To suggest otherwise is lunacy.  Further, it's somewhat comical considering that the fact that climate has warmed and cooled over many periods is a key argument against the notion that man is affecting some sort of unique change on our planet.

My point I tried to raise was that Fox News (or at least its editor) became so blind in their pursuit of disproving warming, that they ordered their employees, at least at face value, to abandon basic science.  And it doing so they're doing a disservice to climate skeptics everywhere.

As I said, this is an issue that needs unbiased, peer-reviewed research.  But I think that people are increasingly treating climatology like politics, and dirty politics at that.  Science is being thrown under the bus in the rush to be out-point the other side.  And that bothers me, as someone who has bother participated in research and written on a great deal of scientific topics.

When I first started writing for DailyTech, I took a collection of studies from U.S. agencies like the NOAA and NASA as the end all, without objectively evaluating which of their conclusions made sense.  Perhaps that was reasonable to do -- as a reporter.  But as I've increasingly become a news analyst, as well, I've been forced to think more on this topic and reevaluate my stance. 

The Earth has changed a great deal over time, so it's arrogant to assume any change that's currently occurring is due to us.  Carbon levels may be going up, but exactly how much that is influencing warming versus a host of other factors remains to be seen.  Further, as my colleague Michael Asher pointed out on numerous an occasion, a little warming might have some benefits.

But again, I think ultimately climatology research -- assuming it becomes more unbiased -- is still a critical and worthwhile investment because at some point in the future -- perhaps 200 years, perhaps 1,000 years -- mankind will have the power to fully understand the Earth climate -- and perhaps discover ways to control it to its advantage.  Much like space flight or nanotechnology, this is a key arena for progress, looking ahead.

On the other hand, the Fox News memo and many other recent incidents by skeptics and warming "believers" alike illustrate the dangerous politicization of what should be a scientific topic.  That dangerous trend is ultimately fueled by the quest for money on both sides of the debate.  What is desperately needed is for the government and media to look at individual climate studies and cover their conclusions, taking care so as not exaggerate them. 

The same goes for climate skeptics.  By all means, point out studies that support alternative viewpoints or flaws in existing studies.  But avoid making blanket generalizations -- especially misinforming and scientifically inaccurate ones like Fox News did, surely in an attempt to cater to its partisan audience.


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Talk about taking things out of context
By phanmc on 12/17/2010 7:43:03 PM , Rating: 5
This whole thing is ridiculous. The editor sent out a message that should have been in reporting 101 and all some people get out of it is that he's trying to push some agenda?

It was a short quote. It sounds like he was simply trying to tell his reporters to present both sides of the story at all times. Even with your explanation, how you got from "in any given period" to him denying any climate change in the past, present, or future still doesn't make any sense.

You're taking his words out of context, making wild assumptions, and forming straw man arguments all over the place. Good job, you did the very thing you complained about by making this a political attack on Fox News.




RE: Talk about taking things out of context
By JasonMick (blog) on 12/17/10, Rating: -1
RE: Talk about taking things out of context
By johnsonx on 12/18/2010 2:09:03 AM , Rating: 5
oh come on, it's not that poorly worded. could better wording have been chosen? yes, but the intent is still crystal clear. your line of reasoning is absurd, an in a way, deeply offensive.

You say: ""in any given period" generally means "in the past present, present or future", and in that context the statement is utterly incorrect". Yet before you even start you've already taken the words out of context and expanded them to include all of time. All of time, including past ice ages, is clearly not the context of the statement. Only an idiot could believe that is what was intended. No intended recipient of the memo could have been unclear about the intent. The fact that you have found a way to take the words out of context and twist them to mean something absurd does not make you right, nor particularly clever.


RE: Talk about taking things out of context
By Iaiken on 12/18/2010 10:51:37 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Yet before you even start you've already taken the words out of context and expanded them to include all of time. All of time, including past ice ages, is clearly not the context of the statement.


If read purely within the context of the entire paragraph, that is exactly what that specific wording would imply. Mick is not adding an expansive meaning, the editor made the mistake of using a generic statement "in any given period" without restraint or limitations to which period he is referring to. This basically makes it a weaselly ambiguous sentence that he can later apply any meaning he wants to as a clarification. Why? Because any meaning outside of its literal meaning is an inference applied by the reader.

So technically it is actually YOU who has "ound a way to take the words out of context and twist them to mean something absurd". This doesn't make you right, nor particularly clever. :P


RE: Talk about taking things out of context
By kattanna on 12/20/10, Rating: 0
RE: Talk about taking things out of context
By Schrag4 on 12/20/2010 12:27:04 PM , Rating: 4
I'm sorry, but you guys are just on a witch hunt here. Is Fox biased? Everyone is biased. BUT, nobody except the "lunatic fringe" left believes that FOX really thinks the earth has never warmed or cooled. The first time I read the text in question I understood that they meant that they should refrain from pretending to know whether or how much the earth has warmed or cooled during "any given period." They didn't mean during all periods. They meant during the period being discussed in their news segment. And they didn't mean it has never warmed or cooled. They meant they, as reporters, shouldn't claim know what can only be theorized based on the evidence we've gathered and analyzed so far.

Seriously, is your hate for FOX really that blinding to you people? Don't get me wrong, they're biased, but trust me, you guys are really trying to nail them on a technicality here (how the memo was worded). And what's worse is you're pretending to know what they meant, when it's clear, to me and others, that they meant something else.


RE: Talk about taking things out of context
By adiposity on 12/20/2010 12:42:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
BUT, nobody except the "lunatic fringe" left believes that FOX really thinks the earth has never warmed or cooled.


No one is saying they actually think it...just that they are asserting it.


RE: Talk about taking things out of context
By Schrag4 on 12/20/2010 1:49:13 PM , Rating: 3
No, they're not. The memo says "...we should refrain from asserting ..."


RE: Talk about taking things out of context
By Mortando on 12/23/2010 12:46:08 PM , Rating: 1
Unless you're being facetious I think you should go back and read the quote again.


By Schrag4 on 12/25/2010 12:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
Which part? "...we should refrain from asserting..." or "It is not our place as journalists to assert..."? I'm still missing how you guys read this as anything other than them saying they don't really know what happened in the past.


RE: Talk about taking things out of context
By kattanna on 12/20/2010 3:03:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Seriously, is your hate for FOX really that blinding to you people? Don't get me wrong, they're biased, but trust me, you guys are really trying to nail them on a technicality here (how the memo was worded). And what's worse is you're pretending to know what they meant, when it's clear, to me and others, that they meant something else.


first off, i have no love or hate for any news source, as that would imply some sort of emotional attachment, of which i have none. I shift through a wide variety of local and foreign firms for news. not caring for them personally, but the quality of their news content.

my view of the fox memo is not based on solely this one incident, but over a long history of them. they have well known, and many more not so well known instances of them exaggerating the truth. which in and of itself most news sites seem to do. but they also have gone to the point of lying and intentionally fabricating news stories. so, IMO, they rate no higher then "weekly world news". actually lower as with the weekly world news can be good for a laugh!

me personally i willnt even click on a web link that goes to any fox news website anymore. so this email is just one more step in their long path of shenanigans.

I am also having to continually correct the news my poor grandmother gets from them, which ranges from worryingly wrong to amusingly wrong.

what worries me is how people could NOT see fox news for what they are, but alas it seems most are content to be entertained, not educated.


By Schrag4 on 12/20/2010 5:39:25 PM , Rating: 2
So...since they're biased and you think they make up news, then you know what they really mean in this memo? Even though it says something else? I'm sorry, but that sounds kind of like Dan Rather saying that the Bush National Guard documents were fake but accurate.

Let's stick to the memo at hand, shall we?


By phanmc on 12/18/2010 7:07:41 AM , Rating: 2
According to MediaMatters, the offending email was sent 15 min after a Fox correspondent reported that the UN's WMO announced that the current decade is on track to be the warmest on record. Presumably, this email is a response to that particular piece of news. So the "any given period" in this case would be the current decade.

Perhaps I'm assuming too much but it makes much more sense than him denying that the climate ever changes.

I don't think anyone else came to the same conclusion you did. Most of the other sites criticizing him do it because to them he's promoting skepticism.


By mkrech on 12/20/2010 2:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
Nice job generating traffic. DT is succeeding largely on these type of posts. However, I believe you can do better.

quote:
a memo leaked from a top Fox News staffer

The comment was to a targeted audience. To imply that the meaning was not carefully written is absolutely presumptuous. I would agree that a better wording should have been used if the statement was written for a public audience but it was not.

Stop fishing Mick. There are plenty of factual issues from both sides of the warming debate that could be presented by DT to entice discussions (and traffic) within these forums.


By nstott on 12/22/2010 12:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
Reporters are supposed to report news, not tell us what they think or push their ideas (That's the job of commentators). If anything, this memo shows FNC to be, as you mocked, "fair and balanced" on the issue. They aren't supposed to push warming OR cooling, and, despite your mischaracterization, they were not told to DENY anything either. They are not scientists, and ancient climatology is not exactly NEWs . They have climate experts and political pundits from both sides of the issue and allow them to present those points during the interview process. That is good journalism: they allow experts from both sides to present the facts without journalists pontificating on what they are not experts in.

The point you made would only be valid if the memo told reporters to not allow experts onto FNC to discuss warming or cooling. What this shows is that you didn't really think about it before spreading the György Soros-funded propaganda from Media Matters. Don't be such a useful idiot, comrade.

Jason, I'll give you credit for having come a long way, but your old biases are proving to be difficult to discard.


Question for Jason (or other skeptics of ACC)
By bollwerk on 12/20/2010 6:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
I have one simple question, that I can never seem to get a logical answer from when I ask skeptics.

How do you know who to believe, when you are not an expert in the subject matter?

For example, here is a recent study showing that 97+% of actively publishing climate scientists are in agreement about man's effect on climate change. - http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/10031...
-----quote-----
Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC. A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions. Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.
---- end quote-----
I'm not a climate scientist, nor are most of the general public. Therefore, how do we know who to believe on any scientific subject? Most people tent to trust in the majority of the experts, when there is a clear majority. Consider the medical field. Why do you trust a doctor to diagnose and treat an illness?




RE: Question for Jason (or other skeptics of ACC)
By phanmc on 12/21/2010 8:40:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's not uncommon for people to ask for a second or even a third opinion for issues like medical operations or car repair. How do you know which opinion to trust? I look for the opinion that is most open and transparent. The doctor that will give me all of the options and the risks/advantages to them.

There is a serious issue with transparency with climatology right now. Scientists refusing to release data so others can reproduce or double-check their findings. Scientists attempting to corrupt the peer review process. Scientists trying to suppress dissenting views. These things do not promote trust for the experts.

Put all the data out there and allow others to reach their own conclusions. If your data and hypothesis is correct, they should reach the same conclusions. The data may be incomprehensible to the general populace and there are bound to be some with the wrong conclusions but bad ideas will eventually be filtered out under scrutiny.

Simply having faith in the experts alone is just that, faith and not science.


RE: Question for Jason (or other skeptics of ACC)
By bollwerk on 12/22/2010 12:17:52 PM , Rating: 1
I understand the need for 2nd and 3rd opinions. In the case of climate science, of those who are actively publishing, we have well over 1000 opinions and 97% of them are of the opinion that man has some effect on changing the climate.

I see no evidence of this lack of transparency you claim. Please provide some evidence of this.
Nor have I seen any evidence of widespread attempts to corrupt the peer review process. Same with refusing to release data, etc.

The fact that most (if not all) Acadamies of Science around the world also endorse the consensus carries a great deal of weight as well.

Or do you think there is some massive, worldwide conspiracy to deceive the public on this?


RE: Question for Jason (or other skeptics of ACC)
By Keeir on 12/22/2010 4:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
Hello Bollwerk,

That was a nice sophistic question there in your OP.

For example, you seem to feel "97%" of opinions on climate change point that man has "some effect" of unquantified magnitude. My question is then, have you read 1,000+ peer reviewed climate papers? How many of these 970+ papers had made making significant negative effects on climate? Do they identify the source for mankind's affect on climate? When it gets right down to it, each and every species of plant, animal, bacteria, etc have an effect on the climate. Earth's oxygen and the subsquent climatic shifts this created are the result of life forms.

As for "proof" of lack of transparency and the "corruption" of the peer review process. One needs look no further than the "Hockey Stick" incident, http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/McKitric...

"Or do you think there is some massive, worldwide conspiracy to deceive the public on this?"

Yes and no. One needs to keep in mind that the majority of the public recieves information through the filtered sources of various media outlets. Outlets that have after all been led astray in the past.. outlet who have a vested interest in panic and headlines
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&...

Science has multiple componets. There is what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. I am very skeptical of anyone who looks at what -is- happening and claims to know what -will- happen without being able to explain what -has- happened. To my knowledge, there is not a valid model or theory (tested hypothesis) that explains temperature variations from 1850-1950. Yet, we are to use these models and theories to predict what will happen? Has anyone explained cause and effect of the Medi. warming period?

The truth is that climate science really has no conext to understand what -has- happened or what -is- happening. Its seems like a big stretch to assume they will know for certain what -will- happen... at least to the level of commitement that is being asked.


By bollwerk on 12/23/2010 1:08:54 PM , Rating: 1
Why was my question sophistic? It seems quite straight forward to me. I don't see how I'm trying to deceive people with my question about how to know who to trust.

Based on your first paragraph after that statement, you seem to either completely misunderstand me and/or didn't read the study I linked in my OP. I was pointing out that 97+% of the most qualified experts in the field agree on ACC. Your further comments about all life on earth having an effect on climate shows a willful lack of understanding at even the most basic level of this issue. If you are not going to make an honest effort to understand both sides of the argument, then it is a waste of time to debate.

As for the "hockey stick" incident - you link a paper by an economist. Seriously? You're going to take the word of an economist over the vast majority of climate scientists on the subject of climate science? Would you go to a plumber to get treatment for cancer?

For further reading about the hockey stick controversy - http://www.skepticalscience.com/broken-hockey-stic...

You are exactly right about how the public receives information through filtered media. This is why it is important to go straight to the source. In this case, it is the climate scientists, especially those who are actively publishing.

Regarding the medieval warm period - http://www.skepticalscience.com/medieval-warm-peri...
Firstly, evidence suggests that the Medieval Warm Period was in fact warmer than today in many parts of the globe such as in the North Atlantic. This warming thereby allowed Vikings to travel further north than had been previously possible because of reductions in sea ice and land ice in the Arctic. However, evidence also suggests that some places were very much cooler than today including the tropical pacific. All in all, when the warm places are averaged out with the cool places, it becomes clear that the overall warmth was likely similar to early to mid 20th century warming. Since that early century warming, temperatures have risen well-beyond those achieved during the Medieval Warm Period across most of the Globe. This has been confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences Report on Climate Reconstructions. Further evidence (Figure 1) suggests that even in the Northern Hemisphere where the Medieval Warm Period was the most visible, temperatures are now beyond those experienced during Medieval times.

Secondly, the Medieval Warm Period has known causes which explain both the scale of the warmth and the pattern. It has now become clear to scientists that the Medieval Warm Period occurred during a time which had higher than average solar radiation and less volcanic activity (both resulting in warming). New evidence is also suggesting that changes in ocean circulation patterns played a very important role in bringing warmer seawater into the North Atlantic. This explains much of the extraordinary warmth in that region. These causes of warming contrast significantly with today's warming, which we know cannot be caused by the same mechanisms.


RE: Question for Jason (or other skeptics of ACC)
By phanmc on 12/22/2010 6:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
Here's an example of withholding data:

http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/25/willis-eschenba...

Here's an example of sending data to one party while withholding the data from the dissenting party:

http://climateaudit.org/2010/01/01/sent-loads-of-s...

The site Climate Audit has a pretty extensive blog list of issues they have encountered dealing with certain climate scientists and science magazines. Alot of their blog posts are very technical but you can get the gist of what they have to go through.


By bollwerk on 12/23/2010 1:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding the withholding of data - http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climategate-freedo...
The 2 points I took away from this were:
1) Many of the requests were purportedly part of an organized "Storm" of requests, which led some to believe that the majority were either inappropriate or frivolous. This may or may not be true, but isn't evidence of widespread wrongdoing.
2) It is very unlikely that the conclusions of the scientific community could have been influenced by the behavior of these few individuals — because the entire work of CRU comprises only a small part of the large body of evidence for anthropogenic global warming.

Your 2nd link also deals with CRU, which as I stated above is a small part of the large body of work. Also, the most comprehensive independent review of "Climategate" had this to say:

So when put into the proper context, what do these emails actually reveal about the behaviour of the CRU scientists? The report concluded (its emphasis):

Climate science is a matter of such global importance, that the highest standards of honesty, rigour, and openness are needed in its conduct. On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.

In addition, we do not find that their behaviour has prejudiced the balance of advice given to policy makers. In particular, we did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.

But we do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness , both on the part of the CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA, who failed to recognize not only the significance of statutory requirements but also the risk to the reputation of the University and indeed, to the credibility of UK climate science. [1.3]

For further reading - http://www.skepticalscience.com/fake-scandal-Clima...
http://www.factcheck.org/2009/12/climategate/

One other thing to keep in mind - climateaudit.org is run by a former mining company consultant.

Again I ask, how do you know who to believe? If both sides can make convincing arguments and you yourself are not an expert on the subject, who do you trust and why?


You brought it on yourself
By amanojaku on 12/17/2010 8:41:22 PM , Rating: 3
First, let me applaud you for attempting to clarify your intentions in writing the original article. When I saw "Fox News Tells Reporters to Deny Earth Has Ever Warmed or Cooled" I was shocked. That's a hell of a statement. However, the title did NOT match the content of the article, which lead me to believe it was all about page hits. I'm sure part of that is true, but the length of this blog implies it wasn't the only reason.

I hate Fox News for its conservative leanings as much as I hate MSNBC for its liberal leanings. Journalism is about fact, not opinion, although there is room for opinions in journals when they are labeled as such. And Fox News, along with the other major outlets from across the political spectrum, has never been known to serve you the truth without spiking it with opinion. Which is why I was surprised to read this:
quote:
Subject: Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data...

...we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.
This does not say "the Earth has never warmed or cooled". This says "some people have falsified data or findings, so be careful with trusting your sources".

I'm not surprised you got so many negative responses. There are people on this site who hate you. I just hate your WRITING, but I could easily name a few visitors I think would leave you dying on the street without calling an abmbulance. Why are they like that? Because you rarely keep YOUR opinions out of your articles. It doesn't help that you don't cover all angles fairly, either.

Instead of writing as an independent observer, you make yourself a target by injecting your thoughts, opinions and quips in an attempt to make this a different kind of news site. You shouldn't be surprised at the backlash. That's just how people are when they don't agree with you. That's why you're not supposed to discuss economics, politics or religion at work.

I'm not telling you to change. I'm just saying that unless you stop personalizing your articles people will continue to attack your person.




RE: You brought it on yourself
By Iaiken on 12/18/2010 11:10:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because you rarely keep YOUR opinions out of your articles.


That's why it's called an editorial and NOT an article...

quote:
An editorial is an opinion piece written by the senior editorial staff or publisher of a newspaper or magazine.


Of course, I'm no longer surprised by people who don't actually know what the differences are between reports, articles, editorials, expositions, etc, but I digress.

It would actually be nice if Daily tech moved to a more formal separation and categorization of such posts. Personally, I dislike reading "reports" that slowly morph into editorials as you get closer to the end. Instead, it should have been written as two separate pieces, one report, one editorial, but I doubt that's something we'll ever see on DailyTech.


RE: You brought it on yourself
By nstott on 12/22/2010 1:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
In general, I agree with what you wrote here. That being said, I am impressed and pleasantly surprised at the growth Jason has made over the past couple of years, and he's taken many of the more 'mean-spirited' comments by me and others here at DT in stride, which I respect.

However, I find comparisons of FNC to MSNBC as equal in opposite political poles annoying. A better comparison is FNC (right-of-center) to CNN (left-of-center). Most media outlets are so biased to the left that it makes FNC seem more right-wing than it really is. I do admit that FNC was definitely far-right when it started out and CNN was far-left at that time, but I think they both pulled each other closer to the center as they've competed. MSNBC is more like Pravda meets SNL, and I actually find ‘Keif’ Olberman to be hysterically hilarious although sad since the comedy is unintentional. MSNBC reminds me of the KCNA broadcasts coming out of North Korea.


Bias is all over...
By vortmax2 on 12/18/2010 10:22:31 AM , Rating: 2
All this really shows is that people with pre-existing biases shouldn't be writing news articles (fact based), but editorials (opinion based). They just can't keep their opinions out of it.

Jason clearly has a bias against Fox News...




RE: Bias is all over...
By JasonMick (blog) on 12/18/2010 12:20:20 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Jason clearly has a bias against Fox News...


Absolutely not. I actually think that sometimes they offer very good coverage and commentary (e.g. their story on the parents in Toronto area schools pulling their children out due to Wi-Fi "illnesses", which I sourced). My local Fox station is one of the best in the area.

On the other hand, I do have a problem with some of their evolution commentary, which I've watched in which they portray evolution science as unproven conjecture, which is very misleading.

As to this particular incident, it seemed very straightforward how that email read, and I disagreed with its statements. Some people seemed to interpret it as saying that anchors should discuss skepticism about the theory that man is causing warming. But that is not what the email said. It clearly stated that anchors should challenge that warming or cooling has occurred during "any period" -- which is a ridiculous assertion.

Despite both of my above complaints, I'll still read Fox News on a regular basis (as I do BBC, CNN, and ABC).

I think a network as big as Fox is impossible to judge as wholly "good" or "bad".


Love it
By TechIsGr8 on 12/21/2010 12:33:35 PM , Rating: 2
I just love reading posts from the loyal Fox News defenders. Let me guess, you are the wealthy elite? The corporate CEOs? Living on your yachts? What in the world would cause human beings to fight on behalf of a corporation that is bent on doing the bidding of other corporations? Brain damage? Insanity?




RE: Love it
By Kurz on 12/22/2010 11:42:04 AM , Rating: 2
Why are you defending a Government that sells you out, makes backroom deals, Sides with Corporate interest time and time again. And you are all for giving them more power?

Man You speak of Insanity look at yourself in the mirror.


Orderd?
By Zoridon on 12/18/2010 5:49:43 AM , Rating: 2
" My point I tried to raise was that Fox News (or at least its editor) became so blind in their pursuit of disproving warming, that they ordered their employees, at least at face value, to abandon basic science. And it doing so they're doing a disservice to climate skeptics everywhere ."

Can you show me the un-altered documentation or recording that FOX news ORDERD
their employees to abandon basic science to push a political agenda? I'll bet you abandoned all basic common sense when you spew out lies like that based on your assumptions. Its clear the memo from the editor was poorly written but its also clear he is attempting to keep FOX journalists from putting in their own personal bias either for or against "MAN MADE GLOBAL WARMING" when reporting on the subject. Funny I don't see MSNBC or CNN or any other left wing outlet reminding thier journalists to report facts and avoid placing bias in their reports. Yet FOX gets demonized for trying to be fair. Do you lie about the intentions of others on purpose or do you have a mental disease? Or maybe your god and all knowing? Now if you can prove the statement you made above I'll be the first in line to congradulate you for accuratly reporting the "FACTS"




I don't get the update
By davmat787 on 12/18/2010 1:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
How does this quote from NASA in the article sidebar conflict with the "leaked" memo from Fox?

"The Earth's climate is incredibly complex and we have a long ways to go before we can fully understand it or accurately predict what effect changes to certain variables will have on it. (Source: NASA)"

Aren't they both essentially saying that we still don't know enough to make assertions either way, especially in the spirit of true journalism?

Why hasn't the headline been changed? The first paragraph or two of the original article contradicts it.




Further, as my colleague
By YashBudini on 12/18/2010 2:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Michael Asher

The pro-corporate terrorist who makes lobbyists look like Mother Teresa.




By carigis on 12/18/2010 4:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
I notice.. the original article still has the same title.. media matters spins whatever fox says into a all blown out of proportion controversy.. thats why even wikipedia knows enough to blacklist them..




Sensationalist trolling
By sleepeeg3 on 12/20/2010 3:15:28 AM , Rating: 2
The point of your article was to troll DailyTech readers to illicit a response. Good job - you succeeded. You are not an idiot and any intelligent person can see it was taken out of context. Anyone who can disconnect themselves to view mainstream TV objectively can see that they are all heavily biased in one way or the other and I am no fan of any one of them. However, using DT as your own personal soapbox to pitch your contempt for a station in a veiled attempt at an article is a waste of this site's resources and irrelevant.

DailyTech was once an entertaining source of new technology, but is slowly degenerating into sensationalism and another vacuous outlet of liberal propaganda. Thanks for that.




For Pete's sake Jason
By cochy on 12/20/2010 9:47:35 AM , Rating: 2
Quite simply you're putting words in his mouth. Nowhere is he denying anything. It's pretty clear cut in fact. They aren't confirming or denying anything. Yes they are being stupid because it's obvious the climate is dynamic and always has been but the point is they are not confirming or denying.




You're all missing the point
By zBernie on 12/20/2010 1:32:56 PM , Rating: 2
News organizations such as ABC, CNN, and the NY Times, often report global warming stories as though AGW is a matter of fact. The Fox News staffer was simply emphasizing "It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts". I could not agree more.




By morphologia on 12/28/2010 3:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
The memo was a specific directive to refrain from supporting a particular stance on a contentious issue, and to specifically and vocally question the validity of that stance if it comes up in discussion. It wasn't a reminder to stay unbiased , it was more like a reminder to go out of their way to attack the credibility of a particular side of the story. Sounds like a reminder to stay biased , to me.

And for those die-hard fans of Glenn Beck who can't handle all these big words, I'll clarify: the memo should have said "Don't take a side, remain impartial" instead of "If anyone says this, tell them their ideas are unproven."




By jah1subs on 1/5/2011 12:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
Jason:

I subscribe to the climateprogress.org and realclimate.org blogs specifically to keep up on what I believe to be the reality of the climate debate. I find climateprogress.org to be more accessible at my level of knowledge, which I consider to be intermediate.

I refer you to the following two blog entries on climateprogress.org :
-- Rebutting climate science disinformer talking points in a single line (The list in this blog entry includes 136 dis-informer talking points)
-- So you want to find a peer-reviewed paper in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (Explanation of a website that indexes all peer-reviewed papers in the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report)

I wish you well reviewing these two slices of the available information.

I am older and I will pass away long before the more extreme parts of the global warming scenario are fully realized. We have an 18 year old daughter about whose future we worry.

It will cost money to fix the problem. The money involved today will be minor compared to the money that will then have to be spent in the future to fix the problems further down the road.




Stop digging
By Dorkyman on 12/18/2010 1:45:43 PM , Rating: 1
Jason, I'd gently suggest that when you are in a hole, the best thing to do is to stop digging.

Okay, so you despise FoxNews--we get that. But most readers would conclude that in this instance you let your hostility bias your writing, and that costs you credibility.

By the way, I watch Fox along with other channels. You might be surprised to learn that it (a) scores as having the MOST balanced reporting on numerous surveys, including those performed periodically by liberal thinktanks, and (b) it has an enormous and growing audience, most likely due to (a).

Play fair.




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