Feb 27, 2021

Fox Used To Pretend It Was Part News And Part Opinion. That Pretense Is Over. Now Its Lies All the Time.

Side by side, Fox News’s and North Korean State TV’s reverence for their countries’ respective leaders is pretty telling.

The Evidence

For the first time ever, Media Matters has named Fox News our Misinformer of the Year. In addition to the network's lies, propaganda, conspiracy theories, bigotry, and misinformation, Fox's coverage of -- well, everything -- in 2020 was also frequently very stupid. 

Statement from Media Matters President Angelo Carusone on Shep Smith stepping down from Fox News

Media Matters: The Fox “News” Lie
Fox's “news” side pushed misinformation every day for four months straight

Fox News likes to tout the “hard news” side of its operation, setting up a false distinction between its right-wing prime-time hosts and the members of its news team as a defense against those who flag the propaganda, lies, conspiracy theories, and bigotry that pervade the network. But a Media Matters investigation found that the “news side” isn't as inoculated as the network claims. We looked at Fox News and Fox Business programming for the first four months of 2019, and we documented examples of the “news” division spreading misinformation on air every single day between January 1 and April 30.

Media Matters: CNN guest: Fox's remaining dayside shows “look like news shows but they’re stacked with people who replicate the talking points of the White House” - The Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik tells Brian Stelter that Shep Smith resigning is a “severe blow” to Fox News' credibility

Media Matters: How Fox News is exploiting Texas' power outages to fearmonger about clean energy

Industry-backed climate deniers and The Wall Street Journal editorial board also join in to scapegoat renewable energy

Seth takes a closer look at the Republican Party lying about the Green New Deal and the 2020 election as the U.S. passes a grim coronavirus milestone and Texas experiences an unprecedented power crisis.

  • As a historic winter snowstorm devastated Texas, personalities and guests on Fox News and its sister network Fox Business went to bat for the fossil-fuel industry by falsely blaming frozen wind turbines and green energy policies for statewide power outages a staggering 128 times since Monday evening. Fox has continued its false narrative even after other outlets already debunked the claim that renewable energy sources and green energy policies were solely or primarily the cause of the blackouts.

  • Texas blackouts
  • For instance, on the February 15, edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, host Tucker Carlson stated that “It seems pretty clear that a reckless reliance on windmills is the cause of this disaster.” On the February 16, edition of Fox & Friends, guest host Pete Hegseth began a segment on the Texas snowstorm by highlighting that the state’s “wind turbines are frozen solid” and then asking, “Is this what America would look like under the Green New Deal?” Numerous Fox segments ran chyrons claiming, “Frozen wind turbines cause blackouts in Texas.”

    Overall, personalities and guests made such claims 104 times on Fox News and 24 times on Fox Business. The vast majority of those claims -- 75% -- came from journalists and pundits affiliated with either network.

    Fox & Friends, including its early morning counterpart Fox & Friends First, pushed such claims the most -- 38 in total. Following with 16 claims each were Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight and America’s Newsroom -- a supposed “straight-news” show co-hosted by Dana Perino, a former White House press secretary for George W. Bush.

    Contrary to claims on Fox, renewable energy sources and the shift toward green energy policies are not solely or primarily to blame for the current power outages in Texas. As Bloomberg reported, the cold weather wreaked “havoc on the region’s entire energy complex” and crippled “fossil-fuel and renewable resources alike.” Further, wind farm failures were not a large part of the state’s electricity issues. Rather than frozen wind turbines or green energy incentives, “systemic, long-standing issues with how Texas manages its power system” appear to be the primary culprits. In fact, a senior official from ERCOT, which runs the state’s power grid, has acknowledged that turbines were the “least significant factor in the blackouts” and that natural gas, coal, and nuclear played a bigger role.

    Scientists have linked such extreme weather to the warming Arctic Circle, which is heating up faster than the rest of the planet, and a weakened Arctic jet stream that has driven frigid air south to the continental United States. But despite these direct connections between disruptive weather events and climate change, Fox continues to host industry-backed climate deniers like Marc Morano, who is the director of communications for the conservative and ExxonMobil- and Chevron-funded think-tank CFACT, and climate skeptics like Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish political scientist with a history of dismissing climate science.

    The effort by Fox networks to push false claims about frozen wind turbines and green energy policies is just the latest example in a long-running, fossil-fuel industry supported campaign to discredit emerging renewable energy technology and deny overwhelming climate science pointing to the warming of the planet. It’s also just another attempt by Fox News to blame Democrats for any and every problem in America. Their argument that “the left” -- which has had no state-wide control in Texas in over a decade -- and that the Green New Deal -- which isn’t official policy anywhere, let alone Texas -- is to blame for Texas’ power problems is simply laughable.

They’re experts on law and order because they’ve committed crimes, they celebrated victories over coronavirus in March, and they think “every death is a tragedy, but…” This is Fox News.



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