As reported, Fox & Friends manipulated a Rasmussen poll to show that more people think that scientists falsified data to support Global Warming. The error was obvious and inexcusable, especially in light of the new Fox News “zero tolerance policy” for such mistakes.
Media Matters for America sent an open letter to Fox News senior vice president Michael Clemente regarding the “zero tolerance for on-screen errors.”
The erroneous percentages Fox & Friends showed in its graphic added up to 120 percent (even without the 15 percent who responded that they weren’t sure).,” wrote Ari Rabin-Havt, Media Matters’ vice president of communications and research. “More importantly, Fox News’ presentation of the data made it seem as though 94 percent of Americans think it’s at least “somewhat likely” that climate scientists falsify their research data.
Unfortunately, Fox & Friends executive producer Lauren Petterson defended the erroneous reporting.
PETTERSON: We were just talking about three interesting pieces of information from Rasmussen… We didn’t put on the screen that it added up to 100 percent… The mistake I do see is we could have been a little clearer here
Media Matters has responded to Petterson’s statements:
Lauren Petterson clearly did not watch the segment in question. Host Steve Doocy agreed with Media Matters’ interpretation seeing as he attempted to add up these numbers as they appeared on air and said “so you get 90 – you got a lot of people.” On Fox News, percentages don’t add up to 100 and, apparently, “zero tolerance” means unless we get caught
So, there are a few possible scenarios here: 1) Lauren Petterson does not understand percentages, 2) Petterson does understand percentages but is inept at displaying data correctly, 3) Petterson did not watch the segment and responded without fact checking, or 4) Petterson, executive producer of the show that made the mistake, is an outright liar.