Fox “News” Reports 120% Of Those Polled Have An Opinion About Global Warming Emails

by Ben Hoffman

This post previously blamed Rasmussen for the Fox lie. Here is what really happened:

What happened? Well, here’s the Rasmussen poll Fox & Friends cited. They asked respondents: “In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?” According to the poll, 35 percent thought it very likely, 24 percent somewhat likely, 21 percent not very likely, and 5 percent not likely at all (15 percent weren’t sure).

Fox News’ graphics department added together the “very likely” and “somewhat likely” numbers to reach 59 percent, and called that new group “somewhat likely.” Then, for some reason, they threw in the 35 percent “very likely” as their own group, even though they already added that number to the “somewhat likely” percentage. Then they mashed together the “not very likely” and “not likely at all” groups, and threw the 15 percent who were unsure into the waste bin. Voila — 120 percent.


Our appologies to Rasmussen for the mistake.


29 Comments to “Fox “News” Reports 120% Of Those Polled Have An Opinion About Global Warming Emails”

    • How is this a “catch?” Apparently Ben didn’t quite read the words carefully. It says 59% say it’s AT LEAST likely that some scientists have falsified research data.

      Let’s put it in probabilistic lingo.

      Let A = the set of people who think it is very likely that some scientists have falsified research data

      and let B = the set of people who think it is somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data.

      Read the quote again, it says that 59% say it’s AT LEAST likely that some scientists falsified data. That would be set A plus set B. So what the report says is:

      P{A} = 35%
      P{A U B} = 59% (where U stands for the union of two sets)

      Since these sets are mutually exclusive (i.e. people can only give one answer), basic probability will show that

      P{B} = P{A U B} – P{B} = 24%

      So we can infer that the percentage of people who think it is somewhat likely that some scientists falsified data is 24%.

      If we let C = set of people who think it’s not very or not at all likely that some scientists falsified data, then we can reasonably infer that 15% of people are likely undecided.

      1 – ( P{A} + P{B} + P{C} ) = 15%

      Basic statistics that you can probably pick up in a high school class.

      • sorry for the typo:
        P{B} = P{P U A} – P{A} = 24%

      • sorry for the type again:

        P{B} = P{A U B} – P{A} = 24%

        ugh, think i typed it right this time!

      • Oh my god – a mathematical statistician is aboard! I am sunk.

      • That’s way wrong, ML. This doesn’t involve statistics. It’s just basic set theory. What we have is:

        A = somewhat likely (59%)
        B = very likely (35%)
        C = not likely or not at all likely (26%)

        You’re saying that B is a subset of A, which would give you the 24% who believe it’s somewhat likely, exclusively. You may be right, but if that’s the case, they presented the numbers in a way that was deliberately misleading. There were probably five choices: very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not at all likely, and no opinion. (A + B + C + D + E = 100%)

        So if what you’re saying is true, A + B = 59%, C + D = 26%, and E = 15%

        This poll shows that Rasmussen is either grossly inaccurate or just plain dishonest.

      • ben, you need to read it again. let me repeat again.
        it says 59% believe it is “AT LEAST SOMEWHAT LIKELY.” it does not say 59% believe it “IS SOMEWHAT LIKELY.” you keep missing the “AT LEAST” which includes “VERY LIKELY.”

        it is stated as an INEQUALITY not an EQUALITY!!! at least is “>=” NOT “=”.

        you are correct that i rely on set theory. set theory is foundational to probability and statistics which is used to analyze and interpret the poll data.

      • Okay, I have to admit, it was originally from a Fox “news” video.

        Here is the poling data:

        3. In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?

        35% Very likely
        24% Somewhat likely
        21% Not very likely
        5% Not at all likely
        15% Not sure

        So, I owe Rasmussen an apology. Sorry ’bout that. 🙂

  1. [Post deleted due to it containing only insults and no redeeming value.]

  2. ML106,

    I am glad that you debunked this. When I read the original post I figured it could not be true. I did not have the time to research it myself, but I did not believe that Rasmussen and Foxnews could have made that gross of an error. For that matter that our host would have been the one to catch it. I would have heard the idiots on MSNBC gloating about it.

    • Thanks Alan and Steve. It is easy to fall victim to confirmation bias, to see what we want to see. I am guilty myself at times. It’s human nature. But if we want to have real reform, reform that actually has a positive impact on our lives, and not ones that just conform to our personal ideology, we need to have a frank, rational discussion of issues and not just knee-jerk reactions to bury our opponents.

  3. I can see how this could look misleading – one naturally assumes the numbers should all add up to 100%, even though they were showing a comparison of different totals and not a true breakdown of the poll.

  4. There is fresh news on the Global Warming Front. Al Gore opens mouth and sticks in an inconvenient foot. Vice President Gore stated that a Scientist had a model that showed the Arctic could be ice free during summer in perhaps 5 years. Well the Climatologist, Dr. Maslowski just threw Vice President Gore under the proverbial bus.

    • People, here’s what has Alan clapping his hands:

      Al Gore, speaking at Copenhagen, cited the work of Dr Wieslav Maslowski to the effect that “there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

      According to todays original story in The London Times “Maslowski, who works at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California, said that his latest results give a six-year projection for the melting of 80 per cent of the ice.”

      five to seven years VS six years
      80% VS 75%

      Yup. It’s devastating all right. The Times had a bizarre headline on this story but the info above was the gist of it.

  5. Ms. Holland,

    You left out the time line.

    After Vice President Gore said ““there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.””

    Then came.

    “‘It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,’ Dr Maslowski said. ‘I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.'”

    Mr. Hoffman, These are the relevant facts. Spin it however you want now.

  6. I hear it is going to snow during the Global Warming conference and it will be cold. It’s even supposed to snow in DC tomorrow. When is Global Warming supposed to kick in anyway? I hope it is soon?

    • I saw solid evidence of global warming last time I went to the mountains. The glaciers are only a small fraction of what they were just 20 years ago.

    • It could snow in SOUTH FLORIDA for a week and it would not be evidence that warming is not happening. Temperature trends are what matter – global ones, over years and decades and centuries. Another symptom of course is extreme weather.

    • an interesting video to watch

      also, did you see the russian news story about how their climate data was selectively used to push the global warming viewpoint?

      also, i had recently seen an older article that mentioned that polar icecaps on mars (if i remember correctly) were also melting. one scientist considered this as proof that what is happening on earth is not necessarily man-made but rather a function of increases in our sun’s temperature. i don’t think that there is a scientific consensus (i think other scientists attribute mars’ melting to other astrophysical phenomenon) but it does pose some very interesting scientific questions and highlights how little we actually know. i think if climategate has shown us anything, we should really keep an open mind and view the data very very critically.

    • Climate Denialism is nothing particularly new.

      Some ‘skeptics’ came to my blog and were promptly smacked down (including a guest appearance by Pino) for exhibiting a deficiency in certain facts about climate change and the many issues surrounding the topic. There is a informative video, and in the comment section there is a worthwhile deconstruction of some of the positions climate deniers take.

      Weather (grin) you believe the scientific claims about climate change is not particularly relevant, as you could also deny gravity as well, but your opinion does not change the veracity of the proven science.

  7. Mr. Hoffman,

    “I saw solid evidence of global warming last time I went to the mountains. The glaciers are only a small fraction of what they were just 20 years ago.”

    I’ve lived in Eastern Pennsylvania all of my life. The last 37 years in the lower Pocono Mountains. We are at about the Southern and elevation limit for a viable Ski industry. I worked at a small Ski area during the winter of 1972-73. That was a warm winter, at least in January.

    Since then I have always worked outside. We’ve had very warm winters and brutally cold ones. The worst was 93-94 after the Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines. We hit -21F in the warmer towns.

    In the last 10 winters, at least 5 or 6 have been colder than usual. I usually go by whether my local lake freezes enough for the ice fishermen. It has the last few years and that is unusual.

    My point in all of this is that if there had been a significant warming trend in my area, I believe we would not have a ski industry. Most of the resorts have expanded quite a bit over the last 3 decades. Yes they still get bad seasons, but I see no trend at all.

    In the mean time I leave you Global Warming believers with the following heresy. I think it is even funnier than the Obamaville story. 🙂


    “Accumulation at National Airport has burned past the previous greatest December snowfall on record for Washington, D.C. (12 inches in 1932). With 14 inches as of last report, and still going strong,”

    • We only received about 5 inches because we were North and West of the storm. As I look out at my front yard, me thinks we will have a white Christmas. This ain’t melting anytime soon. Global Freaking Warming, yea right. 🙂 We will freeze to death long before we die of Global Warming.

      Thank God I heat my house with fossil fuel and not Green Technology that doesn’t work.

      • It’s been in the 50s here in Denver. I’m going out to play tennis this afternoon. Global warming has its benefits.

        We get sunshine 300 days out of the year so solar panels are very effective here. We’re looking at systems for our house.

  8. Mr. Hoffman,

    I have a friend who buys in to all of this solar stuff. He had a relative that worked in a plant making Solar panels and could get me a good deal on a package. I think it was $5-7,000, for a roof top panel. I just can’t see how you ever get your money back out of them, except with an Obama tax credit. Which I’m philosophically opposed to. I don’t see why my fellow citizens should pay for me being green.

  9. good logic to solved the falsified data produced, nice

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