On Friday, Roberts told viewers about a University of Michigan study that suggested cutting back on eating red meat would decrease harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Although the study was first presented in 2020 and wasn’t connected to Biden in anyway, Fox News decided to connect nonexistent dots with a graphic, “Up in Your Grill: Biden’s Climate Requirements,” of data from the Michigan study, according to Forbes.com.
Over the weekend, other Fox personalities ran with the false claim, especially Larry Kudlow, Donald Trump’s former White House economic adviser, who ridiculously insisted Biden’s next step would be to ban burgers and steaks on the Fourth of July.
The claims got enough traction that a spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture told The Hill on Monday that the claims made by Fox News were “a fabrication” and said any burger ban is “not a part of the climate plan nor the emissions targets. It is not real.”
On Monday, Roberts then walked back Friday’s false claim with a correction:
“On Friday, we told you about a study from the University of Michigan to give some perspective on President Biden’s ambitious climate change goals. That research, from 2020, found that cutting back how much red meat people eat would have a drastic impact on harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
“The data was accurate but a graphic and the script incorrectly implied that it was part of Biden’s plan for dealing with climate change. That is not the case.”
Fox gently acknowledges that its coverage about Biden supposedly trying to force Americans to eat less red meat wasn’t accurate: “A graphic and a script incorrectly implied that it was part of Biden’s plan for dealing with climate change. That is not the case.” pic.twitter.com/iClZSk8P4M
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) April 26, 2021
Many Twitter users pointed out that the damage caused by the false narrative may have already been done.
A bunch of Fox opinion hosts also spread the red meat nonsense; we’ll see if they too offer any kind of correction. But it was Roberts’ show that ran the phony “BIDEN’S CLIMATE REQUIREMENTS” graphic that went viral on right-wing social media. https://t.co/CkVX6YYzBk
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 26, 2021
This is bonkers — and this “correction” is way too late. GOP lawmakers and right-wing media ran w/ this nonsense without bothering to fact-check any of it. People now believe part of Biden’s climate plan includes limiting Americans’ red meat consumption (fact check: IT DOES NOT) https://t.co/OmGZ7ZLJOB
— Katie Peralta Soloff (@katieperalta) April 26, 2021
this wording is i similar to how police often describe shootings of civilians: “there was an altercation and then a gun went off” https://t.co/aQwXlYSeqb
— Steven Rich (@dataeditor) April 26, 2021
Scripts and graphics don’t just end up on air. For the script there’s a drafting, fact checking and review process by multiple people before it goes in the running order. Graphics are detailed commissions sometimes taking hours to have built properly. This was no simple “mistake” https://t.co/hBLvC00eHT
— Vincent McAviney (@VinnyMcAv) April 26, 2021