The heat is on Drudge Report: Right-wing media exposes site’s climate denial

This week, the conservative media outlet the Washington Examiner detailed the extensive climate misinformation that the Drudge Report website has been spreading for years.

“Matt Drudge, the creator and editor of the Drudge Report, has a history of seeking to undermine climate change,” explained the Examiner in a Monday story about the launch of this very website, FrontPageLive.com, which is designed to be, in part, an antidote to Drudge.

“The Drudge Report treats climate change in a mocking and skeptical fashion,” the Examiner adds.

In reality, there’s an overwhelming scientific consensus that emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of the climate change that threatens the health and well-being of humanity — a consensus shared by every major country in the world.

So those who spread misinformation about climate change might as well be going into your house and removing the batteries from your smoke detectors.

The attacks on climate science by Drudge, a long-time aggregator and vitalizer of right wing content, have been detailed by many over the years. My colleagues and I at ThinkProgress have been documenting Drudge’s role in the right-wing digital disinformation campaign against climate science and factual reality for over a decade.

But it is unusual for a right-wing outlet like the Examiner to detail Drudge’s role in the antiscience disinformation campaign. Indeed, a more typical Examiner story is “The internet has been great for conservative speech; let’s keep it that way,” which also ran Monday.

But the Examiner’s story on our site, FrontPageLive, which we see as an antidote to Drudge, focused on this site’s commitment to accurate reporting on climate change, which is certainly the gravest preventable threat to humanity.

    “Climate change is the clearest instance where President Trump and the right-wing disinformation machine promote the opposite of science,” said Romm, a physicist trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who served in the Clinton administration’s Energy Department. “History will judge it more harshly than anything else.”

The Examiner’s reporter for the story, Josh Siegel, goes on to document a variety of instances of how Matt Drudge and his website misinform and mislead on climate change: “Drudge was criticized for suggesting the government may have lied about the danger of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 to increase the public’s concern about climate change.”

“The deplorables are starting to wonder if govt has been lying to them about Hurricane Matthew intensity to make exaggerated point on climate,” Drudge tweeted before the storm hit Florida.

Siegel goes on to explain how Drudge writes about “climate change in a mocking and skeptical fashion.”

  • Most of its links have headlines with the phrase “climate change” written in quotation marks.
  • “NYC to Slash Red Meat Consumption to Fight ‘Climate Change,’” an April 25 headline reads.
  • “Young people blame ‘climate change’ for their small savings!” blares a May 23 headline.

It is time for every person who cares about the health and well-being of their children and all of the world’s children and future generations to stop spreading climate disinformation.

— Joe Romm

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