Have you ever seen a news channel present a specific narrative that doesn’t capture the whole story? Here’s one famous instance of a news channel doing just that. In this case, we catch a news organization red handed – not only acting in bad faith, but deliberately lying.
Compare the two news clips below to see for yourself.
Original Testimony – Unedited
On April 24th, 2009, Al Gore testified before Congress about global warming. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R Tenn) rightly wanted to know if Gore would personally profit off of the cap-n-trade legislation under discussion.
In response to her initial question on the topic, Al Gore stated,
“…Every penny that I have made, I have put right into a nonprofit, the Alliance for Climate Protection, to spread awareness of why we have to take on this challenge.”
Just to confirm, Rep Blackburn again asked, “…you know, are you willing to divest yourself of any profit? Does all of it go to a not-for-profit, that is an educational not-for-profit…?”
“Every penny that I have made has gone to (the not-for-profit). Every penny from the movie, from the book, from any investments in renewable energy.”
Al Gore didn’t hide his petulance at the line of questioning, so he didn’t come off great. Even so, Representative Blackburn seemed fairly satisfied with his answer.
Here is this original, unedited exchange:
Newscast Video: Edited to Mislead
Nearly a week later, the O’reilly Factor reported on Al Gore’s testimony. However, the Fox producers cut out key components from the video. What parts? You guessed it – the two sentences I cited above, where he confirms that money made off of his investments in clean energy went directly into a not-for-profit charity.
See for yourself. Here’s the Fox version of the Gore / Blackburn exchange:
Did you notice anything missing? Did you notice the selective edits? Could you feel how the narrative pushed the viewer to believe that Gore was profiting off of his message?
Immediately after the edited testimony clip, Laura Ingraham asks, “did she (Rep Blackburn) get the, uh, question, actually answered?”
If Fox had shown an unedited clip, the answer would have been yes – he answered, “uh,” her question twice. But in the selectively edited Fox video, the host and guest laugh, as if Al Gore never answered at all.
That’s a lie.
While the raw testimony in the first video may have left you satisfied in Al Gore’s answer, or even unsure of his motives, the Fox video was unambiguous. The clear intention was to lead the viewer to conclude unequivocally that Al Gore was profiting off of his global warming advocacy. Even though he wasn’t.
Just one of a Sampling of Lies
This is but one of many examples of how Fox spins its own narrative to tell a story that is patently false.
This is how Fox news lies.
Resources and acknowledgements:
- A comparison of the full transcripts of each video
- Opening segment for May 1 2009 O’Reilly Factor Episode
- Fox News Archives. While I found all kinds of transcripts of other segments of this specific O’Reilly Factor episode, no references to Al Gore were to be found.
- Credit to a redditor (will credit if he/she agrees), who helped me locate a cached copy of the Fox version on cloudfront.
- The Alliance for Climate Protection:
“The organization was partially funded by proceeds donated from Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth, as well as profits from the book of the same name. Gore also donated his salary from his work for the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and prize money from his 2007 Nobel Peace prize for a total of more than $2.7 million. The distributor of An Inconvenient Truth, Paramount Classics, also donated 5 percent of the film’s box office earnings to the Alliance. The Alliance was also funded by profits from Live Earth concerts in 2007″.