John Roberts, co-host of the afternoon show “America Reports,” made the Monday concession after CNN
and other media outlets published fact check articles explaining that Biden does not have any plan to restrict red meat consumption.
Roberts acknowledged Monday that “a graphic and the script” from his Friday show “incorrectly implied” that a 2020 academic study
about meat-eating and greenhouse gas emissions is “part of Biden’s plan for dealing with climate change.”
“That is not the case,” Roberts said.
Roberts had falsely claimed
on Friday that the study — which is not connected in any way to Biden’s actual policies — found that people need to “say goodbye to your burgers if you want to sign up to the Biden climate agenda.” As Roberts spoke on Friday, Fox aired a graphic
that claimed “Biden’s climate requirements” are to “cut 90% of red meat from diet, max 4 lbs per year, one burger per month.”
The graphic went viral online; it was amplified on Twitter by Donald Trump Jr.
, the Republican governors of Texas and Idaho
and others. But it was entirely wrong.
Biden has not put forward any proposal to force Americans to change their diets. And the study Roberts cited — which was published before Biden had even won the Democratic presidential nomination — was not about Biden at all.
The study from scholars at the University of Michigan and Tulane University looked at what would happen to greenhouse gas emissions if Americans hypothetically decided to reduce their meat consumption to four pounds per year. It said nothing about a government-mandated reduction to four pounds per year — and did not even mention Biden’s name.
The Daily Mail, a British tabloid, baselessly linked
the study to Biden in a Thursday article. A series of Fox personalities then did the same thing on Friday and Saturday.
Fox News hosts Jesse Watters
and Ainsley Earhardt
also pushed false claims about Biden and red meat. So did Fox Business host Larry Kudlow
, the former Trump administration economic official.
Carly Shanahan of Fox’s media relations department declined to comment on Monday when asked whether these hosts would also acknowledge they were inaccurate.