Fox in Oklahoma Ridiculously Edits Out Mention of Evolution During Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ‘Cosmos’

Neil-deGrasse-Tyson-shockedSometimes I run across a story that’s both shocking and not shocking at the same time.  That’s basically what happened when I read that an Oklahoma Fox station edited out the only mention of evolution during Neil deGrasse Tyson’s relaunch of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

It wasn’t until the end of the show that Tyson made any mention of evolution, but at the very moment that he began to talk about it, the Fox channel suddenly cut to a local news promo that ran just long enough to block Tyson’s only mention of evolution.

But of course, the station claims that it was all an operator error and it wasn’t intentional.

So they’re trying to actually claim that, in an hour long episode of “Cosmos,” they just “accidentally” ran a local promo for the news station right at the very mention of evolution?

I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it.

While I believe in coincidence, it just seems to0 convenient that in a state such as Oklahoma (a state that’s very anti-evolution and science but very pro-God and creationism) the lone part of the show that talked about some of the factual details of evolution was blocked out “by accident.”

Because isn’t that what many conservatives have been trying to do?  Dispute accepted science, or block it entirely (such as the ridiculous movement a few months ago in Kansas), so that children are raised believing that the Earth is 6,000 years old and evolution is just some liberal gobbledygook that should be ignored.  

And I say that as a Christian.  Though, like Tyson has said as well, I believe faith and science can co-exist.  But that’s a discussion for another article.

Though I hate using the popular conservative rhetoric of “waging war on,” I think it’s pretty clear that there’s a conscious effort being undertaken by conservatives to “wage a war” on accepted science.  Because it’s not just evolution they oppose, they’re also often staunch opponents of climate change – another thing that’s overwhelmingly accepted by the vast majority of scientists.

So did this Fox station deliberately edit out the mention of evolution during “Cosmos?”  We’ll probably never have concrete evidence of it.  Personally, I don’t believe for a moment that this was “just an accident,” but that’s just my educated guess.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Stephen Polasky

    There should be consequences for this kind of censorship. Maybe they should have to air the segment on their news broadcasts a couple of times.

    • Michael Reed

      How about morning, noon, evening, and night news broadcasts everyday for a week?

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        ….at a local church

  • Bozi

    I believe that during the next episode they will run a “local spot” while Dr. Tyson speaks about the earth circling the Sun.

    • Michael D Barber

      Or how no one should suffer a witch by killing it with a talking snake.

    • Joy Bush

      Actually, the next episode should almost entirely be about evolution, are they going to block the whole thing??

  • Artos

    if it is truly an error they need to rebroadcast the entire episode and announce that this will have footage accidentally lost during the last run otherwise they are lying (like usual but still)

  • Sunny Ray

    Keeping people ignorant, that’s how they can manipulate them. BTW, that shows that every single person working at FAUX is wicked, I just can’t imagine how they interact with themselves…

  • Pipercat

    Assuming for the sake of argument that this action was deliberate, think of the “outrage” from the locals had the sequence aired as produced. The obvious knee-jerk would be that this was some sinister plot. Taking a step back and looking with both eyes might create a possibility of preemptive damage control. Regardless, the fact it happened at all is a sad commentary on our contemporary times.

    • Sandy Greer

      >The obvious knee-jerk would be that this was some sinister plot.

      ^^^There’s an irony in there somewhere.

      • Pipercat

        There’s irony in there.. Everywhere!!

      • Charles Vincent

        Don’t forget the facetious nincompoopery!!!

  • Mickey

    Evolution is working. The problem is people are getting dumber

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      only in the southern white trash part of america

  • Alan Jones

    Did they edit both showings of the show? It is on Sunday @ 9:00 Fox and Monday @ 10:00 National Geographic!

  • Marc D

    I actually do think that was an accidental edit (ok, ok, I’m in the minority on that). The reason being is that practically the WHOLE show should really outrage the kind of people who think evolution didn’t happen, and cutting out 15 seconds of it just won’t make much a difference anyway. For example, the cosmic calendar featured prominently in the episode (so cool to see that again!), and the point was it represented 14 billion years of history… i.e. not 6000.

  • Ray Campbell

    Just how desperate are some of these people? How long do they think they can Force people’s heads under the sand? Are they going to follow certain other countries and block access to the net and other forms of media information next? Wow, just wow.

  • VeX

    The thing I don’t get is people sit with their domestic dogs evolved from wolves, inside their homes build from trees that evolved from early plant life. Taking their diabetic insulin that is made from E.coli being attached or changed to incorporate insulin then breeding to produce more insulin. They live this life and they want no word to name this process. We are just naming a process, like the theory of gravity and the theory of germs. We name the process that was once debatable when it was a hypothesis. It isn’t debatable anymore, only explainable.

    • Scaramongus

      Dog breeding is not “natural selection”

      • JD

        They used the word “evolution” not “natural selection”. The two are not synonymous. Natural selection is simply a mechanism by which evolution can happen. Even when humans choose which dogs to breed, the process is still evolution. It is sometimes called “artificial selection” but it’s still evolution. And it could certainly be argued that there is nothing but natural selection as we are still a part of nature and not external to its processes.

  • Jonathan

    Wow. Now this hits a new low.

  • Edward Krebbs

    So by “accidentally” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) removing the segment from what was said, wouldn’t that mean that the station deliberately
    misrepresented what Tyson said ? So when can we look forward to the correction / retraction from the station ?

  • MacHaggis

    Many times I have had my programming cut short due to news starting early. Happens quite frequently.

  • Peter Wyeth

    I work at a TV Station, I’ve made very similar operator errors, yes it is possible, and it’s much more possible than a Religious Right Conspiracy.

    1. Cosmos was a network program, meaning that it came down via the FOX TV satellites and was broadcast by the station as they received it, this happens all day long for network programming on every network. There might be a 5 second delay, but that’s hardly any time to be able to jam a news promo in there.
    2. They’re likely automated, which means that the FOX network sends down times where local breaks can be run, this includes a short news tease window where a network promo is covered by the local station to plug their newscast near the end of the hour. In the case of CBS, it’s a 10 second window. This window is never at the same time from day to day, it all depends on the segmenting of the TV show before the affiliates broadcast the program, like I said, at the time it’s fed by the network.

    Taking those two facts into consideration, I find it far more likely that an MCO wasn’t paying attention and did happen to screw up than ZOMG! Evolution, cover that sucker up! I should mention to that I am rather progressive and don’t believe at all in Intelligent Design or Creationism.

  • real_world_truth

    Or maybe it was an accident, which does sometimes happen. Come on, guys, let’s not all jump on the conspiracy train here.

  • rossbro

    Bitch to the FCC. Religious views used on broadcast MUST allow response .

  • moe/larry & curly keys

    ok,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, lets be civil— how about::::::::::::::::::::: we all have the good scientist on again– same time frame- an he can lead off with evolution. if anything happens; well– we know who is full of dinosaur poop

  • Daniel Stowens

    Just wondering – did they also accidently block out the tiny part where he said we were burning up the coal and, incidentally, changing our atmosphere?

  • Avery

    How many minutes was it that they cut the show short?

  • Dawn Mullinax

    Evolution is only a theory and so is creationism. It’s a matter of faith, depends where you core beliefs are. In God or man’s ideas.

    • Daniel Stowens

      I realize you’re probably being sarcastic, or trolling, but on the off-chance you might be serious, you should think about what you’ve written. You have misused the word theory, and allowed yourself thereby to equate Darwin’s explanation for his observations with your own story of how mankind came to be. They are not the same and neither reflects core beliefs of any sort.

      • Dawn Mullinax

        No, I’m not being sarcastic and have the right to look at different opinions. Believing mans “observations” or believing the word of God are pretty core to me.

      • Daniel Stowens

        I do not think I mentioned anything about rights or opinions. What I did mention is your misuse of words in the English language. This is, obviously, not the first time I have discussed this with a devoutly religious person, and you are certainly not original in the words, phrases, and concepts you express. The word theory means several things, and you’ve been coached to deliberately use the wrong definition. Putting quotation marks around a word means you disagree with it or question it. What is wrong with the word observations?
        That really does not matter to me. What does puzzle me though, is why you bothered to comment in this thread. Why did you?

      • Dawn Mullinax

        I commented to remind those who are of progressive thinking that there are millions of us that believe the word of God are out here and will not just sit back and let the evolutionary view point roll on without a different opinion.I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t school me in what I have said and how I said it.Have a good day.