News and Commentary

Georgia Science Professor: Fox News Is ‘Questionable Source,’ CNN, New York Times Are ‘Reliable News Sources’
ATHENS, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES - 2015/11/13: Park Hall on the University of Georgia campus.
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

A science professor told students that Fox News is not a credible source for news, though The New York Times and CNN are.

An ecology professor at the University of Georgia asked students to refrain from using Fox News as a source for a writing assignment, according to emails obtained by the Young America’s Foundation (YAF). Professor Scott Connelly suggested that his students use sources such as CNN and The New York Times instead.

“For this assignment, please do an internet search or rely on information from reliable news sources that you already read (factually reliable news sources include media such as BBC, CNN, NYTimes, ABCNews, etc. Please do not draw from questionable sources such as National Inquirer, Fox News, OAN, blogs, etc.),” Connelly wrote.

When a YAF employee emailed Connelly asking why he had singled out only conservative news outlets as unreliable, the professor said his choice had nothing to do with politics.

“Politics do not play a role in this assignment as this is an introductory science course. This has to do with scientifically accurate news pieces that focus on the topic we are studying,” Connelly said. “If a student were able to find an appropriate article from any news source they may use that, although it will be much easier to complete the assignment in a reasonable amount of time if students start with the reliable news organizations that I suggested.”

Attempts to bar Fox News from the classroom are not new. According to Inside HigherEd, in 2013, a professor at West Liberty University in West Virginia told students that they must keep a “politics journal” wherein they record their reactions to various articles they read. The instructor encouraged students to use The Economist, BBC, CNN, and The Huffington Post, though students were not allowed to use Fox News.

“The tagline ‘Fox News’ would make me cringe,” the professor told students. “Please do not subject me to this biased news station. I would almost rather you print off an article from the Onion.”

“Reliable sources” such as CNN and The New York Times have lost bipartisan credibility following their coverage of the Trump White House. Both organizations have been forced to retract or correct high-profile stories that were demonstrably false and poorly sourced.

According to an analysis from The Daily Wire, CNN was forced to retract a story alleging that the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating a Russian financier linked to former White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci. The article was based upon a story provided by one anonymous source.

Three CNN journalists resigned following the retraction, two of whom had received Pulitzer Prizes.

The New York Times was forced to correct a story claiming that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had affirmed that Russia orchestrated hacking attacks against the United States. 13 of those agencies had reached no such conclusion.

Despite these colossal oversights — many of which seem to only target the Republican Party — university professors still view CNN and The New York Times as unbiased news sources.

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