Genesis of a climate change disinformation meme, News Corp style

Although Rupert Murdoch has ostensibly gotten serious about climate change, you wouldn’t know it from the actions of his publication empire.

First we have yet another entry in The Australian’s (owned by Murdoch’s News Corp) continuing war on science (well-documented by Tim Lambert). It conflates two well-trod phenomena in the Antarctic (slight upward trend in recent sea ice, not all of the continent is uniformly warming as much as the western peninsula) to further the impression that Antarctica is somehow evidence against anthropogenic warming and resulting climatic change. As one can see at Lambert’s Deltoid site, for The Australian to engage in misdirection on climate change is not in and of itself exactly “news”.

However, the story is then picked up by another Murdoch/News Corp Ozzie outlet, News.com.au, giving it legs beyond the usual Australian idiocy. The story really catches fire, though, when it is further trumpeted by Murdoch/News Corp’s US media centerpiece, Fox News. From there it travels through the usual far right denialosphere outlets, such as Glenn “Mad Max” Beck, and on into Greater Wingnuttia.

What is the impetus of this artificially amplified piece of disinformation? A paper in GRL discussing the impact ozone depletion has had in buffering Antarctic sea ice against expected loss due to warming, which will diminish as stratospheric ozone recovers, leading to a loss of one third of Antarctic sea ice by end of century. Look through The Australian’s piece, News.com.au’s piece, the Fox News piece, Beck’s piece, etc.- does the word “ozone” appear in any of them? Does the expected loss of Antarctic sea ice appear in any of them?

Of course not.

Does the Fox piece mention that the origin of the “story” is a fellow News Corp outlet that is itself repeating it from yet another News Corp publication? Does Beck mention that The Australian is owned and run by the same people that own and run Fox News where he has a show?

Of course not.

The purpose of this bit of “journalism” and its subsequent journey through the News Corp echo chamber and into the right wing/denialosphere was never to inform.

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3 responses to “Genesis of a climate change disinformation meme, News Corp style

  1. I am just curious about what Murdoch and Fox are up to by having the companies “go green.” They are hard to figure out. Wal-Mart is easy. They’re trying to counter the shiploads of bad publicity because of their labor issues, and it is a sort of “corporate scrubbing.” But if Fox is so editorially bound to denialism, why are they doing the “green image” thing within the corporation?

  2. The greenwashing is so they can look objective while continuing with delaying tactics. i.e. “We care about the environment so you can trust when we say the push to renewable energy is going to cost you lots of dollars and you should oppose the liberal Obama agenda that is going to steal from you. It isn’t so bad as they say. We’re a green company and we know.”

    Sound about right?

  3. Pingback: Small-Town Kansas is Skeptical of Global Warming, But Big on Energy Conservation – Planetsave

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