Young scientists say Fox sold them out to bash global warming
Nick Juliano
Published: Tuesday October 30, 2007
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Hannity & Colmes focused on negative comments from global warming panel

After CNN aired its heavily promoted "Planet in Peril" series examining the impact of humans on the environment and the devastating impact of earth's rising temperatures, competitor Fox News aired a segment aimed at debunking the "Al Gore rhetoric."

Conservative host Sean Hannity made clear his disdain for CNN's environmental alarm when the show he co-hosts convened a panel of graduate students to discuss the program. Several students involved say their views were misrepresented, and they are now complaining the Fox talker made them out to be a bunch of science-denying rubes.

"We ... feel like we were sold out by Fox News," Chris Hain, one of the participants, told RAW STORY.

Hain was one of about 10 graduate students at the University of Alabama-Huntsville who watched CNN's four-hour mini-series then participated in a focus group led by Dr. John Christy, a professor at the school and prominent global warming skeptic.

"Using their so-called "Planet in Peril" series, the network [CNN] is scaring you, the American public, into believing the Al Gore rhetoric," Hannity spat introducing his segment. "Our cameras traveled to the University of Alabama, at Huntsville, to provide a very different perspective on a subject that by no means should be considered accepted science."

Participants said the students participated in a lively, hourlong debate with at least half the students having a positive reaction to the CNN special, despite Hannity's characterization. In its heavily edited segment, Fox cut students' quotes short to mischaracterize their sentiments and accent the negative, Hain claimed.

Will McCarty, a doctoral candidate at the university, is seen in the Hannity & Colmes segment saying that the CNN special lacked data because of ratings concerns.

"This whole (CNN) special was more of a human interest piece. It was not here to give us numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers" he said in comments aired on Fox. "We (scientists) like that, not everybody likes that in the world, and that's not ratings."

McCarty tells RAW STORY those comments were cut-off to portray a negative slant; during the discussion, McCarty says, he praised CNN's "balanced" report and said its presentation was the "logical" approach to make a complex topic engaging for the average viewer. (Those comments didn't find their way to Fox.)

"Nobody's going to watch physics specials on PBS that they show you in high school for fun," McCarty said in an interview Tuesday. "That's not going to teach anybody anything, 1.6-degrees-celsius per decade doesn't mean a lot to most people."

Students said they knew of Christy's views on global warming and Fox News's bias before agreeing to the focus group, so the slanted segment wasn't a huge surprise. The professor/moderator defended the segment, saying Fox's presentation was no worse than what appears on any other network covering controversial subject matter.

"If you look at Planet in Peril, that's the first example of people slanting," Christy told RAW STORY. "I think Fox was trying to go the other way."

The following video was posted to YouTube by News Hounds: