The BBC’s Censoring of News on the Gulf Oil Spill

I’m sure everyone remembers the BBC’s tireless, seemingly non-stop coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill a few months ago. It was declared the greatest natural disaster in the history of the US, with unfathomably dire environmental consequences. We all saw the footage of the soiled pelicans and turtles, and worried about shrimp and scallops. The occasional tear was also shed for what this disaster would do to the local economy, specifically the Louisiana coast and New Orleans, which had previously been devastated by George Bush’s failure to…er…by Hurricane Katrina.

As time went on, the various failures of the Obamessiah Administration kept cropping up in the news. The Administration’s inept handling of the clean-up effort, including being even less competent than Bush when it came to getting around the Jones Act and allowing foreign countries to send in ships to help out, started gaining attention. Then there was the fact that He ignored a pre-approved, pre-existing plan to burn off some of it, and then waited too long to react in general. Even we noticed here that He took nine days to even make a real public appearance about it, forcing himself to cut short yet another vacation. The BBC never said a word.

In fact, it got so bad that the people of Louisiana thought the President handling things worse than Bush did with Katrina. Meanwhile, the BBC was telling you about some silly anti-British sentiment because the President kept saying “British Petroleum” and one or two locals said something in anger in front of a BBC camera.

Naturally, once the media started carping about the President’s handling of the problem (even JournoListas were unhappy), Mark Mardell was there to support Him. At first, of course, Mardell declared that the real reason that people were upset was because the President wasn’t acting dramatically enough for the stupid proles. Then, when He gave a more ponderous performance, Mardell eagerly lapped it up:

It was a measured, sober speech of quiet power, the speech of a president projecting absolute command, if not empathy. But the last quotation says much: a strong, very American invocation of the country’s might and optimism, its ability to muster its strength and overcome.

It was intended to rally a people who were rather feeling he’d not gripped this crisis.

A less sycophantic view would be that it was an empty series of platitudes, with more fluff than substance. But not to a believer like Mardell. Soon enough, word got out that the Obamessiah Administration was colluding with BP to block media access to certain areas of the clean-up. Nobody was sure why, although the most obvious reason was to make sure nobody found out just how screwed up the whole situation was. The BBC, of course, censored that news, as they did for just about any problems the Administration was having. The only thing the BBC audience was allowed to know was that the President wasn’t making enough great speeches to please the unwashed masses, but He sure was taking responsibility and would make BP pay.

At one point, the President appointed a commission to study the spill, to find out what went wrong and recommend a course of action. Unsurprisingly, it was full of environmentals and policy wonks, with nearly all of them already having set opinions against the oil industry. Some of the commissioners were expressing their opinions on the matter – all anti-oil – even before the proceedings began. It was rigged from the start, but instead the BBC dutifully reported the White House talking points about it.

In between vacations and photo-op luncheons, the President found time to place a six-month moratorium on off-shore drilling. At the time, this was hailed by Greenpeace and the BBC as a much-needed action, necessary until we learned more about the dangers of off-shore drilling, put more safety measures in place, etc. The message was that off-shore drilling is bad, m’kay, and the President did the right thing for the environment and to save us all.

This ban cost thousands of jobs, and killed plenty of business and tax revenue for the region the President was supposed to be saving and protecting. As it was supposedly based on science and real danger, nobody objected too much, and the Gulf Coast, already devastated by Bush…er…Katrina, would suffer further hardship.

However, it turns out that this ban was done for ideological reasons and not based on science or technical expertise. In fact, we’ve since learned that the spill wasn’t all that bad. Even though it was visually very sexy, it seems that the damage was exaggerated. The media played a large role in this, including the BBC, and one has to wonder if this is in part due to the Obamessiah Administration’s collusion in blocking media access to key areas.

And what a shock: an independent investigation has found that the White House altered part of an Interior Department’s report to make it appear that a group of scientists and engineers approved of the drilling ban:

“The White House edit of the original DOI draft executive summary led to the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer-reviewed by the experts,” the IG report states, without judgment on whether the change was an intentional attempt to mislead the public.

So the ban, which cost thousands of jobs, and harmed the already precarious economy of the Gulf Coast region, was done for purely ideological reasons, and not based on science. Justin Webb told us that this President would bring science back and wouldn’t deny it based on ideology. Turns out this, just like so many of Webb’s other pronouncements on the President back when he was the BBC’s North America editor, simply isn’t true. Utter silence from the BBC, as usual.

The BBC aided and abetted the White House Narrative, in part by censoring key information. This was all done for purely ideological reasons, and not based on science or the facts.

A climate of imbalance

Sometimes the BBC’s bias still has the power to shock. Perhaps because they just assume that this bias is ok; they know it and they think it’s ok. Reading this article about drought and farming dificulties in California, the story came down to an environmental clash over some fish. The BBC report:

It’s not just drought. The reservoir is fed from the the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, an threatened estuary that is home to a tiny fish called the delta smelt. Environmentalists say the smelt is essential to the food chain, and that a decline in smelt populations has led to falling numbers of bigger predator fish like salmon and bass. Late last year, the US government’s Fish and Wildlife Service argued that pumping water out of the delta harmed the smelt. A federal judge ruled water supplies to Central Valley farms should be reduced, in order to protect the fish. Farmers are challenging the water restrictions in court. They are a well-organised lobby with powerful support.

Notice how “environmentalists say”, federal government acts, and local farmers “are a well organised lobby with powerful support”. Yeah, Beeb, environmentalists aren’t a lobby, they are professionals right? Who just happen to have a massive international industry and lobby behind them. And obviously it’s the local farmers with the powerful support (sounds fishy to me) because that’s why they’ve just lost this years crop and are left challenging in court.

What a travesty. Oh, and I also intensely dislike the BBC’s attempt to generate a Steinbeckian scene out of this story by linking it to that of Latino migrants towards the end.

PS: somehow the indefatigable BBC journalist failed to mention the sterling work of totally impartial and unfishy environmental “organisation” Save the Bay, advised by nobodies like these and directed by disinterested public spirits like these. (including people from Wells Fargo and Cisco, two of California’s biggest companies and employers).

BBC Climate Blog

The extent of the BBC’s faith in the global warming mantra was in evidence today as they worked up an articleto claim that- contrary to all the actual trendlines of temperatures in existence- we are facing a greater threat from climate change than so far believed.

It really feels like a flame-war between blogs- the more the BBC find their tendentious theory challenged by reality and by the people who inconvenientlly notice it, the more they ramp-up the rhetoric.

Well, this is perhaps not totally fair to them- but earlier this week there was a report released by the Met Office and covered by the Guardianwhich criticised global warming exaggeration. I didn’t hear anything about it on the BBC, and couldn’t find reference to it on the BBC website- showing perhaps that the BBC are not afraid to diverge from their climate mentors when a sacred cow is threatened. Yet when one scientist squeals that global warming is underestimated, it adorns the Sunday morning frontpage of the BBC website.

As the excellent Wattsupwiththat? website says, the BBC misreported the issue raised and misrepresented the qualifications of the scientist featured. Ignorance and bias going hand in hand, unsurprisingly.

Roundup

  • Bishop Hill on the close yet unclear relationship between the Cambridge Environment and Media Programme and the BBC.
  • Tom Gross of the WSJ writes, “If this isn’t terrorism, what is?”

    For much of the Mumbai siege, the BBC went out of its way to avoid reporting that the Jewish community center was one of the seven targets. At one point viewers were told that “an office building” had been targeted (referring to the Jewish center as such).

    Then on Friday morning, TV pictures of Indian commandos storming the besieged Jewish center were broadcast by networks around the world. Heavily armed commandos, their faces covered by balaclavas, rappelled from helicopters onto the roof while Indian sharpshooters in buildings opposite opened fire and a helicopter circled overhead. Huge crowds of onlookers could be seen looking aghast as they watched from nearby streets. While Sky News and other channels were gripped by these dramatic pictures, BBC World was not, almost pretending there was no siege at the Jewish center — even though by then it was one of only two sites that remained under attack in Mumbai. Had the terrorists chosen to besiege a church or mosque instead, can you imagine the BBC ignoring it this way?

  • You mean those scary statistics in the letters from TV Licensing weren’t true?
  • Following on from Laban’s post, I was listening to Radio 4 the day before yesterday at about 6.15pm. There was quite a lengthy discussion of Governor Rod Blagojevich’s corruption without, yet again, any mention of what party he represented. I expect this tactic works quite well. Anyone listening properly would have gathered Mr Blagojevich was of the same party as Mr Obama, but the many, many people who listen with half an ear while they get on with something else would never hear “blah blah corruption blah blah Democrat blah” whereas you can be sure that in a similar scandal involving a Republican they would get “blah corruption Republican blah THAT’S RIGHT, REPUBLICAN blah”.

DEAD WOOD.

Did you see the BBC shilling for Brown again this morning? It asks, and I quote, “Gordon Brown is due to launch a masterplan to save the world’s rainforests by paying developing countries for not chopping them down. Environment analyst Roger Harrabin reports on whether this new plan will be successful.” A masterplan, eh? Paying people for doing nothing? Think welfarism but this time with trees.

WHAT EXTINCTION?

First, let’s quote the facts .There are some 4500 species of mammals , there have been around 110 extinctions, which is 2.444% of the total, or 0.00611% per annum. That’s not a very big figure to worry about, right? But the BBC headline today is “Mammals facing extinction threat” with the further sensational line that 25% of all mammals are on the way out. Oh, and just in case you still don’t embrace the eco-wackery, there’s a fetching picture of a baby seal to pull those heart strings. I appreciate that there is a lobby such as that represented by the Red List of Threatened Species which has a right to have its opinion heard, but by the same token there are many others who profoundly dispute this unscientific sensational. The BBC prefers to only offer a platform to the former group.

ALL GO VEGGIE?

I was watching the BBC’s “Countryfile” programme just now and was surprised to see an item which put forward the bizarre idea that we must all become vegetarians in the UK if we want to have national food security. As it happens, I am a vegan myself – but that is purely a personal choice for health reasons and I would not seek to impose my dietary regime on anyone else. In summary I may not eat meat but I will defend to the death your right to eat it! But this kind of insidious propagandising on Countryfile shows that the BBC cannot be trusted to provide balance on any topic. I’m afraid Countryfile is just one more arm of the BBC pushing eco-wackery in the guise of rural and scientific matters.

DON’T MENTION DDT.

It’s remarkable the number of articles the BBC can run, like this, on the topic of Malaria without ever ONCE mentioning the fact that DDT remains the most practical and effective means of controlling it. Why? I think the BBC still accepts the entirely discredited drivel “Silent Spring” served up by Rachel Carson decades ago – the consequences of which are millions of lost lives caused by the de facto banning of DDT.

IN THE WINDMILLS OF THEIR MIND

. The BBC is always enthusiastic to put across ONE side of the environmental debate. If you check out this latest news item concerning the announcement by UK PM Gordon Brown that thousands of new wind turbines could be built across the UK over the coming decade as part of a £100bn plan to boost renewable energy you only get to read one side of the issue. Brown warns that this surge in wind power would not come from “business as usual” and he called for a national debate on achieving the UK’s target of 15% renewable energy by 2020. But where is the debate folks? The article provides us with several sources all trying to outdo each other as to just how great windpower will be but there is NO balance of this kind for example..

Professor David J C MacKay of the Cambridge University Physics Department has some fascinating conclusions on renewables. “MacKay offers maps and figures indicating the staggering scale of the engineering. Britain would be literally covered with — and girdled by — massive wind farms, tidal barriers and wave barrages, and every sizeable body of water in the land would rise and fall to the strange new tides of the national grid. We would have literally rebuilt the British Isles as a single mighty renewable generator, pouring concrete and erecting steel on a scale so far matched only by human habitation — industrialising the land and sea in a way that would make intensive agribusiness look like a wildlife refuge. And still we’d be importing power.” How about the BBC does what their master Brown asks and gives us a debate – not a one-sided litany?

MORE GLOBAL WARMING ALARMISM

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Each day, the sun rises anew and each day the BBC spews out more tales of global warming alarmism. I am sure this must have an impact on views held by the general population – which is all part of the alarmists agenda in the first place, propaganda before science, eco-faith before fact-based certainty. Today the BBC breathlessly tells us that the Arctic sea ice is melting even faster than last year, despite a cold winter. An ice free Arctic by 2013 is posited as is the prospect of a global 22ft increase in sea level, should the Pole melt. I’m sorry but this is pure eco-wackery, it’s The Day after Tomorrow on the license fee . There is NO serious climate scientists suggesting a 22ft increase in global sea level and in fact the UN, not itself an independent player on this issue, suggests that sea levels on average will rise by 34.5cms during the next century. (In itself the sea level has risen by 29cms since 1850) Using apocalyptic imagery – such as a total Polar melt – plays well to the media and this is what this is all about. There is no mention of the thickening in the Antarctic sea ice though presumably that would not suit the BBC narrative. There is also no settled science on this issue, For example a study published in Geophysical Research Letters (Winsor, P., “Arctic sea ice thickness remained constant during the 1990s,” Volume 28: 1039-1041 (2001)) found the same to be true in the Arctic. The study concluded, “mean ice thickness has remained on a near-constant level around the North Pole from 1986-1997.” Moreover, the study noted data from six different submarine cruises under the Arctic sea ice showed little variability and a “slight increasing trend” in the 1990s. Since the current warming phase ended back in 1998, what would drive the loss in sea ice area that the BBC reports on since that date? Climate is a huge issue and there is room for many opinions. My problem with the BBC is that it only allows one as this new story shows and that is pure green tinged bias.

WHY CAMERON IS A CONSERVATIVE THE BBC CAN DO BUSINESS WITH.

It’s quite amazing that at a moment when the Eurocrats have been thrown into crisis thanks to the actions of our friends the Irish, and when the NuLabour junta seek to remove even more of our hard won liberties through the imposition of the 42 Day Detention Bill, Conservative leader David Cameron takes the opportunity to insist that his “green agenda” is still his pressing concern. As you can imagine, the BBC delight in giving favourable coverage to Cameron’s eco-wackery at this moment and that is why he IS the sort of Conservative that the BBC will do business with. He runs away from tough issues and returns to the soft soap sell of the environmental gospel that plays so well through the BBC . It strikes me that British conservatism has been ratcheted so far to the left thanks to years of Labour triangulation, that if administration on power changed tomorrow we would not notice the real difference. And therein lies why the BBC will settle for Cameron’s mob in the medium term.