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New Memo Shows Fox News’ Unacceptable Level of Bias

December 30, 2010

(This news brief is re-posted from PRWatch.)

Media Matters uncovered another internal email sent out by Fox News Washington, D.C. Managing Editor Bill Sammon which ordered Fox Network journalists to slant coverage of the climate change issue by “refrain[ing] from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.”

The memo is inflammatory because the increase in global annual average temperatures over the last 50 years is a well-established fact. The National Climatic Data Center (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) says “The warming trend that is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change is also confirmed by other independent observations, such as the melting of mountain glaciers on every continent, reductions in the extent of snow cover, earlier blooming of plants in spring, a shorter ice season on lakes and rivers, ocean heat content, reduced arctic sea ice, and rising sea levels.”

Media Matters also recently revealed an internal Fox News email in which Sammon ordered network journalists to stop using the phrase “public option” in favor of a term cooked up by prominent Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who was helping Republicans turn public opinion against health care reform.

Exposure of the two emails has led the Los Angeles Times to print a rare rebuke of another mainstream news organization in an editorial saying that Fox News needs to either “come clean” about the partisanship within its newsrooms, or “stop pretending to be an objective news source.”


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