Climate Change Denial Dominates 86% of Fox News Climate Segments

Cable News Giant Continues to Funnel Fearmongering and Fake Science, Give Voice to Deniers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Climate denial claims dominated 86% of climate change segments on Fox News this year, according to a new Public Citizen analysis.

In 2018, myriad extreme weather events wreaked havoc across the globe, yet dangerous climate denial still persists in our political institutions, funded by Big Polluters and fed to large parts of the populace by right-wing media, further contributing to ongoing and deadly inaction.

A review of Fox News programs for the first half of 2019 reveals that the network continues to give ample airtime to long-debunked climate myths and fringe deniers. Of Fox’s 247 segments that involved considerable discussion on the issue, 212 (86%) were dismissive of the climate crisis, cast warming and its consequences in doubt or employed fearmongering when discussing climate solutions.

Fox News programs had 10 contributors who commented on climate-related issues at least twice during the six-month period. None of these contributors is a climate scientist and none has appeared on another network. In absolute terms, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” ran the most climate denial segments with 41 or approximately seven per month, followed by “Hannity” with 32 and “The Five” with 29. However, two programs, “Special Report With Bret Baier” and “Fox News @ Night” together accounted for 24 of the 35 segments that were neutral when mentioning climate change or discussion of climate solutions.

“In this era of crisis, keeping climate denial alive is deadly,” said Allison Fisher, outreach director of Public Citizen’s energy program and author of the report. “No other major media outlet is pushing out climate doubt to so many viewers as frequently as Fox News. Other media outlets should shame and expose Fox for its climate deception and its role in obstructing climate action.”

For this analysis, Public Citizen searched Fox News Network television transcripts from the first six months of 2019 for mentions of “climate change” or “global warming.” Segments were deemed to include denial tactics or bias if any individual on the program downplayed the severity of climate change, denied the scientific consensus on climate change, spread scientific misinformation, redirected criticism to personal attacks on climate advocates or employed “big government” fearmongering tactics.

Due to data limitations, transcripts for “Fox & Friends First,” “Fox & Friends,” “America’s Newsroom,” “Outnumbered,” “Outnumbered Overtime with Harris Faulkner,” “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino,” “Fox Report Weekend,” “Shepard Smith Reporting,” “America’s News HQ” and “Cavuto Live” were not available, and therefore these programs are not included in the analysis.

Read the full analysis here.