This week, a science writer was asked to appear on Fox News to discuss the future of science and technology. However, he says there was one caveat: The issue of climate change would be off-limits.
On Wednesday, Michael Moyer, an editor at Scientific American, described his experience with the news outlet this way:
Fox & Friends producer wanted to talk about future trends. I said #1 will be impacts of climate change. I was told to pick something else.
— Michael Moyer (@mmoyr) April 30, 2014
In a blog post on Scientific American, Moyer explained that he had offered to discuss what he foresees as the "trends for the future" on "Fox & Friends."
"About the only interesting thing that the scientific community is sure will happen in the next 50 years is that climate change is going to get worse, and that we’re going to have to deal with the impacts. So I put that as one of my talking points," he wrote.
But Moyer says a producer of the show soon reached out to him to tell him explicitly to not discuss climate change during the segment. Not wanting to back out of an opportunity to "share cool science with whomever will listen," Moyer agreed to still appear on "Fox & Friends" Wednesday.
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That, however, will likely be the last time Moyer will appear on the show.
"I found the tone and topics of coverage while I was sitting in the green room this morning to be not something that I wanted to be a part of in the future," he told Talking Points Memo of his "Fox & Friends" experience. "I didn't realize that the drumbeat of conservative propaganda was so ubiquitous on the show."
In an statement to Business Insider, Fox News disputed Moyer's version of events.
"We invited Michael on for a segment on technological and scientific trends we can expect in the future. We worked closely with him and his team and there was never an issue on the topic of climate change," Suzanne Scott, SVP of programming at Fox News, said. "To say he was told specifically not to discuss it, would be false."
Moyer, however, insists that the Fox producer wrote this in an email: “[C]an we replace the climate change with something else?”
This wouldn't be the first time that Fox News' coverage of climate change has been called into question. A recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found the conservative news outlet covers climate change inaccurately 72 percent of the time.
"There are some things that in science and scientific discourse are not controversial at all," Moyer told Talking Points Memo in light of his Fox News experience. "I hope that we can all as a society agree to at least discuss them and come up with good solutions. Just because you don't want something to be true doesn't make it not true."
According to a recent Associated Press-GfK poll, about four in 10 Americans said "they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases," per the AP. That's in stark contrast to the 97 percent of climate scientists who say global warming in the last 100 years has very likely been caused by human activity.
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