Here’s a letter a colleague has just received from the BBC’s complaints unit. I reproduce it in all its glory so it can be fully savoured:

I understand you’re unhappy with the BBC’s reporting of climate change as you feel we’ve been biased towards the AGW’s point of view. The BBC is committed to impartial and balanced coverage when it comes to this issue. There is broad scientific agreement on the issue of climate change and we reflect this accordingly; however, we do aim to ensure that we also offer time to the dissenting voices.

Flagship BBC programmes such as Newsnight, Today and our network news bulletins on BBC One have all included contributions from those who challenge the general scientific consensus recently and we will continue to offer time to such views on occasion. You might be interested in the views of former Newsnight editor, Peter Barron, who explored this issue in an online posting at our Editors’ Blog and explained some of the editorial issues it throws up.

I can assure you that we’re committed to honest, unbiased reporting and are determined to remain free from influence by outside parties, whether political or lobbyists. Our Charter and Agreement allows us independence from political pressure and the licence fee gives us independence from advertising, shareholder or other commercial interests. Impartiality forms the cornerstone of BBC News and Current Affairs and we’ve nothing to gain by weighting our coverage in political terms or by allowing influence from any other outside body.

I appreciate you may still believe the BBC is biased with regards the climate change argument and so I’ve registered your comment on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s circulated to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers. The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content. Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.


Joe O’Brien
BBC Complaints

Thrown up yet? Note that the official line is still that there is a consensus. Laughable, if it wasn’t so serious a subject. Meanwhile, the Spectator has a cracking piece which shows how totally cuplable the MSM have been in not reporting ‘climate change’ – and ends on a note that the BBC should be responding to.

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  1. Guest says:

    This is an interesting new ‘technique’, which I have been subject to as well; namely citing ancient history by way of showing how ‘balanced’ they are.

    There have been a few subsequent outings since this 3 year old effort, by a variety of sulky editors trying to spin how objective they are… and getting slaughtered as the facts pile on to simply show they live, literally, on another planet.

    No wonder the BBC’s science reporting/editorial is now a laughing stock.

    It was worth it for the comments, even back then…

    ‘Too often we have complete U turns by the scientific community and your reference to “scientific opinion” rather than scientific fact enforces my view that we are experiencing views not fact.’

    Hang your heads, BBC.


  2. TheBoilingFrog says:

    That response is almost identical to the one I received; a standard cut n paste job then.


  3. Abandon Ship! says:

    Did you hear The Today Programme at 7.17 this morning?

    “The chairman of the UN’s Inter-government Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr Rajendra Pachauri, has said the science driving international fears about global warming is still extremely convincing. His comments follow recent controversies surrounding the IPCC’s scientific claims. South Asia correspondent Chris Morris spoke to Dr Pachauri <!– S ILIN –>about the IPCC’s reputation and trust.

    It was the tone of Morris’s voice that gave the game away – a sort of “sorry I have to ask you these questions but we’re on your side really” tone of voice i.e. the sort never used with the Israeli Ambassador or  a representative of Esso or Mobil.

    Pachauri swatted away the questions with consummate ease as both interviewer and interviewee were desperate to return to the main narrative. How can the BBC give Pachauri such an easy ride when it is quite clear he is a charlatan?<!– E ILIN –>


    • Roland Deschain says:

      You obviously never heard the interview the other day with the representative of BP then! Once it was established he was on board with AGW, you could almost hear the purring.

      Big oil companies have realised there’s a lot of money for them in this scam.


    • hippiepooter says:

      Erm, because the BBC is a completely bent news organisation?


  4. FrankFisher says:

    <i>Pachauri swatted away the questions with consummate ease </i>

    Well he didn’t have to try hard did he? When challenged abotu the melting glaciers innacuracy, he simply said the IPCC hadn’t made any mistakes! And the Beeb drone just walked right by it. Pitiful.


  5. rogerslade says:

    I received the following reply from the BBC when I compained about Naughtie calling Osborne “bonkers” :-

    “Thanks for your e-mail regarding ‘Today’ broadcast on 23 January.

    I appreciate you were left very concerned by James Naughtie’s interpretation of banker David Buick’s comments on the programme. I note you felt it was wholly inappropriate to use the term ‘bonkers’ in describing how he sees George Osborne’s position on President Obama’s banking proposals.

    As a specialist, James’ passion, perception and political knowledge are matched by his communication skills and deep commitment to fairness and impartiality and we’re confident that he adheres to the BBC’s high standards.

    In dealing with any matter we’re required to give a fair and balanced report.  While James’ reading of the remarks was off the cuff and quite blunt, David Buick was forceful in his opposition to these banking initiatives and James merely sought to sum this reaction up.

    Nevertheless, I do recognise you felt his description went too far and we’re grateful for your feedback in this respect. We monitor reaction to programmes carefully to try to ensure that presenters do not overstep the boundaries of what is considered acceptable by most people. 

    Please also be assured that your comments have been included in our audience log. This is circulated widely within the BBC and made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

    Thanks again for taking the time to contact us with the strength of your views.
    Alec Mackenzie
    BBC Complaints”

    It’s enough to make you vomit, particularly the bit about Naughtie’s impartiality.


    • hippiepooter says:

      Dont complain to the BBC.  Complain to politicians concerned about it’s bias and demand Parliamentary action.  Make sure you send the BBC copies and advise them you have not complained to them because you have no confidence in their integrity.

      Do you think people bothered complaining to Pravda about bias?



  6. Mr Monday says:

    IN fact that is precisely all that the BBC’s good for these days… making you want to vomit.


  7. Grant says:


    Many thanks for that. It really sums up the terminal rotteness of the BBC.

    ” As a specialist, James’ passion…  ”

    What is Naughtie a specialist on ?  He is a mere journalist, so not a specialist on anything.

    Who gives a damn about his “passion”  ?   His job should be to be dispassionate and objective.


    • Millie Tant says:

      I wondered that too. Specialist in bonkerdom perhaps. His own, I mean!

      That reply is lyrical in parts, isn’t it, about Mr. Bonkerdom Specialist? But overall, it is like a Civil Servant’s letter.

      All that earnest and laborious prose makes you long for a plain letter that says: Yes, it was wrong and we are sorry. Will take greater care in future. Over and out.


      • hippiepooter says:

        The only thing James Naughtie is a specialist in, and his employer the BBC, is conducting a rolling election campaign for the Labour Party.


  8. JohnW says:

    “Impartiality forms the cornerstone of BBC News and Current Affairs…”

    Tell that to the Israelis! I seem to recall it was a soppy BBC reporter that wept openly on air at Arafat’s death. That’s unbiased professionalism for you.

    I also suspect George Bush would have a rather  different take on the BBC’s legendary impartiality.