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Come Heat or High Water, Fox News Climate Denial Goes On

By Allison Fisher, Outreach Director, Climate and Energy Program

In New York City, where the Fox News Network is headquartered, the heat index soared over 100 degrees and day time temperatures remained there for three days in late July. 

Last month, three new climate studies were published showing that there has never been a period in the past 2,000 years when temperature changes have occured as fast as in recent decades, piling on even more evidence that human activity is responsible for the cataclysmic changes in our climate.

The studies came when the planet was experiencing its hottest month ever recorded.

But neither the unequivocal evidence that human activity is heating our planet nor the actual experience of baking in climate-driven heat has deterred Fox News from pumping out misinformation about the climate crisis.  

During July, Fox News programs mentioned climate or global warming 56 times, and of those mentions, 38 involved considerable discussion of the issue. Only two of the 38 segments were neutral. The remaining 36 were dismissive of the climate crisis, cast warming and its consequences in doubt or employed fear-mongering when discussing climate solutions.

During the three-day period in July when two-thirds of Americans were experiencing dangerous heat, Fox’s most popular show, “Hannity” (3.12 million total viewers on average) mocked the connection between the extreme heat and the climate crisis.

In fact, “Hannity” ran the most climate denial segments with 11, or almost three per week, followed by “Ingraham Angle,” “The Five” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which each ran 6 segments in July.

These numbers are consistent with the findings in a new Public Citizen report reviewing the network’s climate coverage for the first half of 2019, which shows the extent to which Fox News is spreading denial.

The review also tracks the core messages and identifies the roster of deniers Fox uses to keep its climate misinformation machine churning. 

Findings include the following:

From January through June 2019, Fox News Network programs mentioned climate change or global warming 391 times, which amounts to roughly 65 mentions per month.

Fox News’s three top-rated programs ran 25 more segments discussing climate, or four more per month, than MSNBC’s three top-rated programs. 

Of the 10 contributors who commented on climate-related issues at least twice during the six-month period, not one is a climate scientist, and none has appeared on another network.   

Check out the full report:

Foxic: Fox News Network’s Dangerous Climate Denial 2019

It’s no surprise that Fox News is a vector for the spread of climate denial.  

It’s almost a cliche.  

It’s almost hard to muster outrage.

But the most watched cable news network in the country is giving oxygen to long-debunked climate lies and voice to phony, fringe “experts” at a time when the global community is in the throes of the climate crisis and our time to act is limited.

In the fight for a livable planet, Fox News is on the wrong side.

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