I just sent the following email to Fox News and Pat Michaels:


Patrick Michaels appeared on Fox’s Hannity & Colmes on May 16. He said this:

I have a quote from [Al Gore], from Grist magazine recently. He said, "I believe it’s appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is."

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He says it’s appropriate to over-represent the danger on this issue. You have to realize what he said and take that as you see this movie.

I interviewed VP Gore for Grist. Here’s what he said:

Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.

Over time that mix will change. As the country comes to more accept the reality of the crisis, there’s going to be much more receptivity to a full-blown discussion of the solutions.

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Admittedly, "over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is" is an inelegant phrase. But in context, its meaning is quite clear. An Inconvenient Truth spends the bulk of its time on basic global-warming science; only the final few minutes are devoted to solutions. My question was about that ratio, and so was Gore’s answer. Michaels intentionally distorted it. I invite your audience to read the whole interview and judge for themselves.

I don’t bother to turn a fan on every intellectual smoke grenade tossed by the dwindling number of well-paid climate "skeptics." But in this case I was in the room, and Gore’s depth of knowledge, care with facts, and moral passion were striking.

Michaels should apologize for using Sean Hannity’s gullible ideological enthusiasm to spread discredited spin on global warming and discredited spin on Al Gore. And Fox viewers should see the movie for themselves so they can, to quote Fox, decide.

David Roberts

(hat tip: News Hounds and Media Matters)