The folks at the Ecorazzi website (“The latest in green gossip”) were amused to note that Fox News had launched a new internet showcase – “How Green?” – for its own reporting on the environment and environmental stories by other news organizations.
“Hilarious: Fox News Starts a Green Website” was the headline on the Ecorazzi piece, which started off: “Someone should tell Fox News that their latest online venture is playing into the hands of the far-left liberal agenda!”
It was not a surprising jab. In various ways, Fox continues to underscore its longstanding reputation as a venue for outspoken skepticism about manmade climate change.
The network recently hired away CNN talk-show host Glenn Beck, for instance. Beck brought along his record as a global warming skeptic, which he had manifested in such CNN fare as a one-hour special in 2007, “Exposed: The Climate of Fear.”
On January 27, meanwhile, a blogger for the Fox website’s Fox Forum did his best to perpetuate a jokey theme favored by some climate change contrarians: “It’s almost Groundhog Day. That means it must be time for Americans to wait anxiously for Al Gore to pop up out of his hole, mumble ‘global warming’ to the shivering masses and then scurry away again while we suffer through several more weeks of winter,” wrote Dan Gainor of the conservative Media Research Center.
Over at The Wall Street Journal, like Fox a property of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, editors of the op-ed page continue to enhance their own reputation for global warming skepticism. Soon after “Jurassic Park” novelist Michael Crichton died last November, the paper published a column excerpted from a 2003 speech by Crichton, which ended with this passage, reflecting continued confusion between weather and climate: “Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we’re asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds?”
It’s inaccurate, however, to imply a uniform, corporate-wide pattern in the willingness by New Corporation entities to give vent to such views.
Gainor himself had blasted Fox in 2005 for airing a climate change special, “The Heat Is On,” which reported that “the earth is sending out a desperate alarm.”
At the Journal, the newspaper’s reporters and news pages, and also the paper’s Environmental Capital blog (“Daily analysis of the business of the environment”), implicitly treat manmade climate change as a real phenomenon, as when blogger Keith Johnson observed recently that “an honest tallying of the costs and benefits (of mitigation actions is) all the more necessary to make climate policy work.”
And it shouldn’t be forgotten that News Corporation Chief Rupert Murdoch has been, for some time now, what Fast Company called “an unlikely crusader against global warming.”
In December, a News Corporation official was one of “140 global business leaders” who signed the Poznan Communiqué, a document developed at Cambridge University for a climate initiative of Britain’s Prince Charles. The communiqué calls, among its other points, for “deep and rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.”