- Last year, Fox News unveiled plans to create a 24-hour weather channel.
- But as its debut date approaches, climate experts are worried that it could adopt a similar tone to Fox News.
- The popular right-wing network has previously perpetuated climate misinformation.
The upcoming launch of a new weather channel run by Fox News Media has some climate crisis experts deeply concerned, according to multiple reports.
The network, owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, announced in December 2020 that it would debut Fox Weather, a 24-hour channel devoted to all things meteorological, by the end of the year.
The channel promises “cutting-edge display technology” with “forecasting experts surrounding every major weather event,” according to a press release.
The channel will be led by six meteorologists, including Jason Frazer, Britta Merwin, Craig Herrera, Brigit Mahoney, Nick Kosir, and Stephen Morgan, the New York Times reported. Shane Brown, a meteorologist from The Weather Channel, already defected to Fox last month.
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As its debut date approaches, climate crisis experts are concerned that the network’s weather arm will adopt the same rhetoric of its sister channel.
They say that Fox News has spent years undermining the idea of a man-made climate crisis with its biggest hosts, including Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, repeatedly downplaying the global threat of the climate crisis.
—Media Matters (@mmfa) July 6, 2021
A Public Citizen analysis in 2019 found that 86% of climate segments that aired on Fox News in 2018 included claims dismissing or casting doubt on the global threat.
“Fox News has access to and is highly trusted by a wide range of conservative Americans – which is precisely the audience that least well understands the serious threats that climate change poses to the safety, security, and health of all Americans,” Edward Maibach, director of George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, told the Guardian.
“If Fox chooses to use its access and credibility to inform viewers about the realities of climate change and its impacts on the weather, it could be a game-changer. Conversely, if it opts to perpetuate misinformation to advance political goals, it will be a huge disservice to all Americans – conservative, liberal and moderate,” Maibach added.
Michael Mann, another climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, told E&E News that Fox News has been “the greatest promoter of climate change disinformation over the past two decades.”
A Fox Weather spokeswoman told the Times: “While the Weather Channel is focused on trolling FoxNews.com for unrelated stories, Fox Weather is busy preparing the debut of our innovative platform to deliver critical coverage to an incredibly underserved market.”
According to a Fox News statement sent to The Guardian, Fox Weather will “provide in-depth reporting surrounding all weather conditions.”
“We are excited to showcase to viewers what a full-service comprehensive weather platform can deliver beginning this fall,” the statement read.
The move by Fox News comes amid increasing demand for weather updates, the New York Times reported.
A rapid attribution study published this week concluded that the heatwave across the Pacific Northwest, which has killed more than 100 people, would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change, CNN reported.
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