Blimey. 409 comments. Looks like it’s time for a roundup, below, and a new “open thread” post coming up in a minute.
- An article in the New York Sun by Daniel Johnson says
The BBC now has a huge audience in America as well as in the rest of the world for its endless reiteration of the implied thesis that the Jewish state is the root of all evil — not only of war in the East but of terrorism in the West too — and that the ” Israel lobby” rules in Washington. Gloating over the supposed triumph of Realpolitik since the midterm elections, the BBC can hardly contain its Schadenfreude at the departure not merely of Donald Rumsfeld but also of John Bolton.
(Hat tip: Alan)
“Hi BBBC – I thought this report interesting especially the line:
“The barrier goes up, and you drive in through a gap in the 30-foot high concrete wall that Israel says it has built to keep out suicide bombers.”
Love that ‘says it has’…
- Neil Craig of A Place to Stand wrote to the BBC, copying us in. An extract:
Dear BBCThis morning David Attenborough was interviewed on the Andrew Marr programme on the subject of putative global warming & made the somewhat improbable statement that “in 20 years much of Norfolk will be under water”. Since sea level has been rising at about 0.6 mm a year since the last ice age & does not appear to have significantly changed recently this would require much of Norfolk to be less than half an inch above sea level now which I do not believe is the case. Indeed historically Norfolk has, for geological reasons, been rising faster than the sea. Even the alarmist BBC have heretofore claimed only 30 cm* a century which amounts to 2 inches in 20 years.
I was therefore somewhat surprised when the interviewer never even questioned the remark & finished the interview calling Mr Attenborough, whose basic claim to fame is as a BBC spokesman an “icon”, which clearly put a BBC seal of approval on it.
If it really is the case that the BBC are officially promising us that Norfolk will largely be underwater by 2026 I will have to accept that as the sort of ridiculous propaganda which represents the very highest standards to which the BBC aspire.
*Taken from the BBC article. A typo in Mr Craig’s email meant that the link url had been typed over the next few characters. Read the rest of his post here.
- On a similar subject, another correspondent writes:
- First, we know how these signed “petitions” by THOUSANDS of scientists go as reported by the BBC et al. Did deep and you’ll find a overwhelming list of left wing partisan advocates and non-“scientists”. This BBC article is no different. You get your usual suspects in this article. The BBC just carries the water whenever they put out a PR.
The statement, which includes the backing of 52 Nobel Laureates, demands a restoration of scientific integrity in government policy…..[and the Bush bashing begins]
One of the main article sources, the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security is a San Francisco area left wing “green” advocacy group represented by the BBC as a “Non Partisan” organization. Well, as usual, the reporter simply didn’t look at the board of directors or it’s advisory board. Look for yourself
The other source The Union of Concerned Scientists, again, is a green advocacy organization. Check it out. http://www.ucsusa.org.
I don’t see this blog as having any particular collective opinion on whether and whither climate change. But we are getting quite a few emails saying, as these do, that the BBC is very much of one opinion when presenting the issue.
UPDATE: Ian Hart, the communications director of the Pacific Institute, comments
First, the Pacific Institute is a think tank or a research institute, not a “‘green’ advocacy group.” While we may advocate certain policies, it is not our primary goal or tool. If you look at our staff you will not find lawyers or lobbyists, but mostly scientists.
Second, the Pacific Institute is a non partisan organization and Jonathan Amos was correct in noting that in his article. When we work with governments, we’ve worked with Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians. We’ve also worked in numerous countries where those parties mean nothing. So we are indeed non partisan.
Looking at its website, it is true that the Pacific Institute is non-partisan in the sense that it is not connected to any political party. The Advisory Board contains both Nancy Ramsey, the Legislative Director for Senator John Kerry (D) and the Hon. Claudine Schneider, a former Republican Representative for Rhode Island.
Nonetheless, the Pacific institute is not apolitical. Sample quotes: “Social justice has long been the missing element from the debate over environmental pollution and economic development.” “Globalization and privatisation of the world’s resources are leading to controversy, dispute and even violence.” It favours mildly statist solutions.
I am more sympathetic to Ian Hart’s defence of his own organisation than I am to the BBC’s description of it. The phrase “non-partisan” will be taken to mean “non-political” by most readers of the website, and I rather think the BBC knows this and exploits it – in many cases, not just this one. In particular I think that the BBC gently exploits the fact that in the US, because of campaign finance restrictions and the fact that political donations from individuals are made public there, the fact that an organisation can be non-partisan and yet have a political agenda is widely understood, whereas over here the two terms “non political” and “non partisan” are practically interchangeable. A think tank as right wing as the Pacific Institute is left wing would almost always be described as “right wing” on the BBC.