The Impartial BBC

This is a precis of the piece by Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph, 11 Nov 2012

The BBC Trust does not hide the fact that in 2006, the BBC arranged a seminar, attended by sympathetic scientists and others, in which it was decided to take a proactive line in promoting alarm over global warming.

This decision was in breach of its Charter, which states that its coverage of controversial issues should be impartial.

The seminar was held at TV Centre, attended by senior BBC officials, and was organised by a lobby group set up by the BBC's journalist Roger Harrabin to promote the global-warming scare in the media, financed by public money and other climate pressure groups.

Eventually it emerged that one speaker at the seminar was Lord May, ex-President of the Royal Society, a global warming alarmist.

Tony Newbery, who runs the Harmless Sky science blog, believes the public has a right to know the identity of those participating in the BBC's decision to abandon impartiality. He appealed to an Information Commission tribunal.

After a two-day hearing, in which Mr. Newbery was pitted against six lawyers hired by the BBC, the tribunal decided that the BBC, being a private organization, was entitled to keep its policy deliberations secret.

To paraphrase James Delingpole, this is an example of how the BBC deals with valid criticism. It uses its privileged position to promote one side of a debate, and then uses licence-fee money to pay for lawyers so that the truth remains concealed.

11 Nov 2012

Follow-up...the identity of several of those attending the seminar has been worked out by individuals on the Bishop-hill blog. For a fuller account of the hearings, see Andrew Orlowski’s blog for TheRegister.co.uk.

    Further update ... there was a full-page article on this affair in The Spectator, 11 Nov 12, by Sebastian Payne.

    Richard North was present, and he is reported as saying: "I found the seminar frankly shocking, The BBC crew (senior executives from every branch of the Corporation) were matched by a equal number of specialists, almost all (and maybe all) of whom could be said to have come from the ‘we must support Kyoto’ school of climate change activist. I was frankly appalled by the level of ignorance of the issue which the BBC people showed....... I heard nothing which made me think any of them read any broadsheet newspaper coverage of the topic..... though they purported to be aware that this was an immensely important topic, it seemed to me that none of them had shown even a modicum of professional curiosity on the subject ...."

habitat21, with acknowledgements to Christopher Booker, James Delingpole, and The Spectator.

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