Fox News CEO Warms to Climate Change After Heat From Left

Daily News Article   —   Posted on November 10, 2005

(by Randy Hall and Marc Morano, Nov. 10, 2005, – A Fox News Channel documentary on “global warming,” set to air Sunday night, provides only the liberal take on the controversial issue and was approved after environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reportedly “dragged” Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes to a lecture by former Vice President Al Gore, “kicking and screaming.”

Clay Rawson, the Fox News Channel producer of the hour-long special titled “The Heat Is On: The Case of Global Warming,” told Cybercast News Service Wednesday that the project “was a little bit different for us.

“Often on Fox News Channel, we present both sides, according to our ‘fair and balanced’ motto, but this is the global warming story,” Rawson said. “We do make it clear that this is one side of the issue through inclusion of a disclaimer,” he added. The documentary is said to ignore scientific skeptics who believe that human activity is not responsible for catastrophic climate change.

The Bangor Daily News (Maine) on Sept. 23 reported Kennedy’s comments about having “dragged” Ailes to the Gore lecture. The November edition of Outside magazine also features a column by Amanda Griscom Little, in which she asserts that Laurie David, the wife of comic Larry David, managed to persuade Ailes about the need to air the special.

According to Griscom Little’s column, Ailes telephoned Laurie David to discuss the “one-hour global-warming report that his network will air this fall, thanks in large part to Laurie’s badgering.”

Griscom Little also wrote that “Ailes was charmed by what he calls Laurie’s ‘impressive passion and dedication'” and that Ailes “considers her one of the country’s ‘leading authorities’ on global warming.” Laurie David is a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Ailes was unavailable for further comment Wednesday night.

Fox News Channel reporter Rick Folbaum, in a statement on the news organization’s website, explained that “after months of research and interviews with many experts, I’ve learned this simple fact: The earth is heating up. And it’s happening much faster than ever before. No one can argue with this.”

But Chris Horner, senior fellow with the free market environmental group, Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), is among those arguing about the theory of “global warming.” He is also criticizing Fox News Channel, not only for its decision to air the documentary, but for featuring “Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a prominent agenda-driven environmentalist and registered lobbyist for green causes … as a ‘special correspondent’ for the show.”

Despite the disclaimer at the beginning of the program, Horner told Cybercast News Service that “many and possibly most viewers would not even see this disclaimer …

“While it is unfathomable that a reputable news network would air so blatantly a one-sided program regardless of any disclaimer, that the ‘fair and balanced’ network would put itself in the position of suspending its motto is stupefying,” Horner said. CEI plans to deliver a letter to Ailes on Thursday morning, complaining about the documentary.

“I hate to draw attention to a Sunday night ‘filler’ program, but it is important to expose this disgraceful excuse for journalism, particularly by the so-called ‘fair and balanced’ crowd,” Horner said. “Maybe a special on the 10,000 dead in New Orleans could follow.”

Folbaum asserted in his Fox News website statement that “the vast majority of the scientific community says we’re witnessing a unique and troubling kind of climate change, one where changes that used to occur over centuries are now taking place during the course of a single lifetime.”

The reporter concluded by pleading for website visitors to tune in to Fox News Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. “Learn the facts about global warming and decide for your self what needs to be done about these new realities,” Folbaum stated.

Fox News Channel coordinated the special with the Alaska based Weston Productions, which has previously worked with Greenpeace and National Geographic.

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