Fox News gets instructions on climate talk

FOX NEWS GETS INSTRUCTIONS ON CLIMATE TALK…. About a year ago, Fox News correspondent Wendell Goler delivered a live report from Copenhagen and told viewers the truth. The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization, Goler said, had announced that that 2000-2009 was “on track to be the warmest [decade] on record.”

Not quite 15 minutes later, another memo was sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon.

In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the “veracity of climate change data” and ordering the network’s journalists to “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.” […]

Sammon’s orders for Fox journalists to cast doubt on climate science came amid the network’s relentless promotion of the fabricated “Climategate” scandal, which revolved around misrepresentations of emails sent to and from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

It’s almost as if Fox News’ managing editor in D.C. has some kind of political agenda or something. (Sammon’s marching orders were sent to the network’s news division, not its opinion shows.)

Of course, these propaganda efforts have been quite effective. Sammon not only has Fox News’ on-air talent spinning climate reports the way Republicans prefer, but it’s also having the intended effect on viewers. Remember, as recently as a few years ago, Republican voters, by and large, believed what the mainstream believed when it came to climate science. Then they were told to believe something new, as Sammon’s memo helps demonstrate.

None of this is even remotely surprising, but when memos like Sammon’s come to public light, it helps add additional weight to the larger indictment against the ridiculous cable news outlet.

Also note that this is the second interesting revelation in as many weeks about Sammon’s political agenda at Fox News. Last week, it was his memo about how the network should characterize the public option during the health care debate. This week, it’s reports on global warming.

In both cases, the stories were driven by Media Matters reports, suggesting the organization has a helpful source within the network. That’s good news.