Accuracy in Media

The revelation that Fox News aired a one-sided global warming program featuring Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has alienated the channel’s conservative base. In response to our column on the controversy, we received a number of emails, some of them threatening to leave the channel in disgust.

One said, “Thank you for investing your time and energy in putting forward the truth.  As a conservative environmentalist and fan of FNC I sat dumbfounded throughout the entire program. With roughly 15 years experience working on transportation/Energy issues and policies in both the private and public sectors, I can only agree that this show was not the least bit balanced?At the end of the broadcast I turned to my wife and said, ‘Well, there goes Fox as a fair and balanced source . . . it looks like we’re going to be left with only the radio and internet for balanced news regarding global warming.'”

We speculated in our column on the matter that Fox was trying to curry favor with Kennedy, who may be running for high office in New York, home of Fox News parent News Corporation. If Kennedy, for instance, becomes New York state Attorney General, he could be in a position to help or hurt the company.

“If Fox is truly afraid of Kennedy,” said one person, “they should move their headquarters out of New York. This show was shameful. I have hardly watched Fox since this show. If conservatives get turned off on Fox News, they are in trouble.”

We received several copies of emails sent to Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. One said, “I was deeply disappointed, even saddened, by your grossly biased propaganda piece touting the scientifically discredited polemics of the Radical Left. My sympathies go to the fine people at FNC who were forced to participate in this grotesque distortion of truth and science. They and we, your loyal fans, deserve much, much better from your vitally important stewardship.

On the other hand, one person still likes Fox and disagreed with our criticism of the Kennedy show. 

“What on earth has caused you to dislike Fox News and Bill O’Reilly so much,” she asked. “Is it jealousy or what? You never seem to be able to say a decent word about the best news channel on TV. Through Fox we have a chance to get honest reporting for the first time in years but you don’t seem willing to give them credit for that.”

Regarding the global warming program, this person said, “So they showed a program about global warming that had Robert Kennedy Jr. in it. I watched this program and found it to lean slightly toward global warming but also heard the opposite side. I think your prejudice has clouded your thinking.”

For the record, we don’t dislike Bill O’Reilly. He’s got an entertaining show and covers some important issues. However, like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., O’Reilly is also a believer in the man-made global warming theory. O’Reilly has failed to have the leading critic of the theory, Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT, on his show.

All we are asking for is some fairness and balance.

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