Stories You Should Be Reading, September 24, 2012

Union of Concerned Scientists says Fox News misleads its viewers on climate change. — Say it ain’t so?

In a study (PDF) published Monday, the group [Union of Concerned Scientists] takes Fox News and The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page to task for consistently misleading their audience on climate change. Data collected over six months showed that Fox News was the worst offender on climate issues between the two, allowing misleading statements to permeate “93 percent” of its broadcasts on the subject from February to July 2012. The Journal‘s editorial page did not fare much better, however: the Union said “81 percent” of their climate coverage from August 2011 to July 2012 was “misleading.”

“[Fox News and The Wall Street Journal] both were staggering in the levels of misleading information about climate science,” Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Raw Story. “We found that both Fox News and [The Wall Street Journal] opinion page have staggeringly high levels of misinformation.” – Scientists: ’93 percent’ of Fox News climate change coverage is ‘staggeringly misleading’, The Raw Story


Are Americans finally realizing how extreme the Republican party has become? Robert Reich thinks so, and he thinks it could be the reason Romney is struggling.

There are two major theories about why Romney is dropping in the polls. One is Romney is a lousy candidate, unable to connect with people or make his case.

The second is that Americans are finally beginning to see how radical the GOP has become, and are repudiating it.

Many Republicans — including some of the right-wingers I’ve been debating — hold to the first view, for obvious reasons.

But the second explanation strikes me as more compelling. The Republican primaries, and then the Republican convention, have shown America a party far removed from the “compassionate conservatism” the GOP tried to sell in 2000. Instead, we have a party that’s been taken over by Tea Partiers, nativists, social Darwinists, homophobes, right-wing evangelicals, and a few rich people whose only interest is to become even wealthier. – The Two Major Views About Why Romney is Losing, and Why the Second is More Convincing, Robert Reich


To believe Mitt Romney’s 47% statement you have to disregard a lot of facts, including the actual taxes that people pay, rich and poor. Ezra Klein presents the “only tax graph you need.”

At the heart of the debate over “the 47 percent” is an awful abuse of tax data.
This entire conversation is the result of a (largely successful) effort to redefine the debate over taxes from “how much in taxes do you pay” to “how much in federal income taxes do you pay?” This is good framing if you want to cut taxes on the rich. It’s bad framing if you want to have even a basic understanding of who pays how much in taxes.

[H]ere is really the only tax graph you need: It’s total tax burden by income group. And as you’ll see, every income group is paying something, and the rich aren’t paying much more, as a percentage of their incomes, then the middle class. – The one tax graph you really need to know, Ezra Klein – Wonkblog


Chart by Ezra Klein – The Washington Post – Wonkblog

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  • One reason why Fox News might be misleading the public about climate change could be because Rupert Murdoch, owner of parent company, News Corp, is a shale oil man.

    Jacob Rothschild and Mr. Murdoch separately purchased equity positions equivalent to a cumulative 5.5% stake in Genie Oil and Gas Inc., which consists of IDT’s interests in American Shale Oil, LLC (AMSO), and Israel Energy Initiatives, Ltd., (IEI), for a total of $11.0 million dollars.

    Also connected with this company is former vice president Dick Cheney. Genie Oil has two projects, one in Colorado (160 acres of federal government land in North Western Colorado, by the way) and another in an historic valley in Israel. Both of these projects use the controversial fragging technique. Before he left office, Cheney reported engineered the Halliburton loophole which help the company get around EPA standards. A special exemption was made and there have been some very real concerns about the destruction of the underground water..

    In any case you might find this research interesting:

    • indeed. The people who own and invest in these companies need the “debate” to continue. They don’t need to flat out deny climate change, they just need a sufficient number of people to believe the science is not settled. And it’s all in the name of short-term gain whether politically or monetarily. They have no regard for the long-term implications of these short-term decisions. — I’ll check out the article.