BBC: More factual inaccuracy plus some spin

Posted: December 23, 2011 by tallbloke in flames, Incompetence, media, Politics

The story by Nikki Fox which appeared in the regional section of the BBC website and on BBC ‘Look East’ television news two days ago contains factual inaccuracies and omissions which indicate to me that ‘message massage’ is still a high priority for the BBC, rather than the unbiased reporting their charter requires them to produce.

I’m not blaming reporter Nikki Fox for this, as I believe she has been pretty fair with me. I think her editors and the news producers have put their own spin on her story. I contacted her when the story appeared with two concerns.

First was that the story originally stated that the file had been placed on a server in the U.S., rather than saying a link to the file which was hosted on a Russian download site had been so placed on several blogs hosted by

This one has now been corrected, but not my second concern. My guess is that they probably got a stiff email from the wordpress legal team about the same issue.

My second concern is the intro  to the article, where it says:

Police who seized computers as part of the Climategate inquiry involving the University of East Anglia (UEA) have been accused of being “heavy-handed”.

I never said this. If Adrian did perhaps he’ll say so in comments. Nikki said to me on the phone that she took the point and would try to get the quote marks removed. Thinking about the message the BBC is trying to put across, I wonder if their intention is to cast us as ‘whingers’ in the public eye. As I said to the police when they left with my computers:

I understand the police have a job to do, but I hope that when you’ve sorted this one out you start really working for the people of this country and properly investigate the billions of pounds of public money which have unnaccountably disappeared down the climate hole.

The BBC is not going to be kindly judged by history for averting their eyes from the big story either.

  1. tallbloke says:

    I’m out with family today aand this evening so new commenters won’t see their comments published for a few hours unless my co-mod has time today. Moderation will be generally sporadic over the Christmas period. Thanks for your patience.

  2. Otter says:

    ‘The BBC is not going to be kindly judged by history for averting their eyes from the big story either.’

    A liberal friend of mine who unfortunately believes in this crap, likes to keep saying ‘The victor writes the history.’ I’ve learned a great deal in the last few years and and I know that a LOT of history is written by ALL sides of the issue. What history is believed, depends on the ideaology of the person reading, regardless of higher truths. We Will eventually win the day, but the BBC and others hope that, 40 years from now, their version of history will be on top again.

  3. Otter says:

    And Merry Christmas!

  4. tallbloke says:

    Merry Christmas to you too

  5. RichardSCourtney says:


    Please will you and your lady relax, raise a glass, and have a very Happy Christmas.

    It is the time of good chear and you both need it.


  6. Tony Mach says:

    You should have given the police a link to your RSS-feed. And maybe explain how a RSS-reader works, maybe even recommend one. That way you would know that they follow you instead of reading BS in the beeb…

  7. Firstly, I would like to wish your wife and yourself a Merry Christmas and all the best for the coming New Year.
    With regards to the Beeb, at my advanced age (57) I have given up listening to Today, I find Chris Moyles more entertaining and less BP raising! As for World At One & PM, I’m not experiencing any withdrawal symptoms.
    I fully endorse what you said to the Norfolkish plod, I’d also add that the Met let us down over the MP’s expenses daylight robbery.

  8. Barry Woods says:

    Have the police told you when you are going to get back your laptops and ADSL router yet….?

    After all how long does it take to clone a couple of harddisks, and return them to a non-suspect..
    I hope your solicitor doen’t need to remind them of the inconvenience to you.

    I think that so much journalism is shallow and lazy these days, that ‘mistakes’ are the just lazyness and a pride in getting stories factual and accurate, vs a ‘message’ has changed journalism for the worst. BBC take note.

  9. Justme says:

    Maybe you should listen to what I say or learn by telepathy what I havn’t said 🙂

  10. tallbloke says:

    Justme: submit a coherent guest post via comment and I’ll consider it

  11. tallbloke says:

    Barry: another 12 days is the current estimate

  12. tallbloke says:

    Richard: yes, I promise.:-)

  13. A. C. Osborn says:

    Another 12 days to do a job that should take a few hours, talk about total incompetence.
    Here is wishing you and your family a Happy Christmas & prosperous new year.

  14. John Silver says:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and a Happy End to All This Nonsense!

  15. Faux Media and Faux Education are symptoms of the real problem, a world wide Ponzi scheme banking fraud controlled by the monarch/monopolists. They have ‘written’ the Faux History and created the Faux Science to stage-set every human crisis in the last century, and more planned for the near future. More about this in the article “Fractional Reserve Banking Begat Faux Reality”. It is time for a New Magna Carta and an end to the New World Order Feudalists.

    [Reply] It’s inevitable that my drama will be the current ‘lightning rod’ for all and sundry’s complaints about how society runs. I don’t mind highlighting their links to their websites here, so long as they don’t follow up with lots of irrelevant stuff. If people want to read, they’ll click and visit. – Rog

  16. Stoke Parva says:

    At most 2 days would required, perhaps an FOI request to the police for details of their cloning procedure or get your solicitor on the phone to them ASAP? Shouldn’t be secret as it’s a legitimate question for the defence to ask in court. They shouldn’t even have turned the computers on.

  17. hengistmcstone says:

    In paragraph five Nikki states that the emails were ‘leaked’. Wrong because whether it was a hack or a leak hasn’t been proved yet. You could have picked her up on that remark too. Unless Tallbloke you know something we dont 😉

  18. Barry Woods says:

    12 days!!

    1 hour would all that be required, a technically competant person could have done it in your own house, and caused you no inconvenience… not forgeting the intrusion of privacy, on the basis what actual ‘crime’ …..

    What is your dolicitor doing about the police..

  19. tallbloke says:

    Barry, they are saying it’s my own fault for not supplying the bios password for one of my lappys. It’s true I asked them to get in touch with Nokia if they wanted to remove the hard disk from the Booklet 3G. There are no obvious hatches or casing screws and the fanless body is made from a single billet of alloy…

  20. tallbloke says:

    Hengist, now you’ve pointed it out, it’ll be interesting to see if the BBC change the wording on their next history rewrite.

  21. Vuk says:

    Enjoy Christmas !

  22. hengistmcstone says:

    Ok let’s fact check your claims of factual inaccuracy.

    Ive been googling “heavy handed” Tallbloke and found this account which uses the phrase and appears to predate the BBC’s account. But there’s more. Your own brief Stephen P Wilde has posted on WUWT (December 17th at 4.05 pm) “…the heavy handed treatment of Tallbloke…” which was reposted by tallbloke December 18th at 12.22 am on this very blog !

    The BBC don’t intend to cast you as whingers, you are doing that very well yourself.

  23. tallbloke says:

    Hengist: fair point about Stephen’s statement. Things were moving fast at that point and I didn’t recollect that.

    As I said in my BBC interview, the raid upset my lady. And when somebody upsets her, I naturally feel upset and annoyed myself.

    I hope your home is never unexpectedly invaded by a large number of police armed with a warrant to sieze your personal stuff so that you find out what it’s like.

  24. hengistmcstone says:

    Cheers tallbloke. Yes, well I am sure it was a very unpleasant experience for all at Tallbloke Towers. Merry Yuletide to you and your lady.

  25. tallbloke says:

    Hengist: thanks and the same to the McStone household too.

    Right, big family dinner this evening with relatives gathering from the four corners of the realm. The after dinner stories will get interesting this year… 🙂

  26. Tallbloke
    you brave, brave man.
    Heck, I hear Joanne Rowling’s words behind me as I write this (Dumbledore to Harry when they meet during Harry’s near-death-experience). And I reckon she is one of our real heroes too, the sunlight shines through her words at almost every point.

  27. CanSpeccy says:

    [co-moderator edits]

    Can you clarify something for me.

    Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, has now blogged about you at least twice (here and here), describing you in each case as a denier of human influence on the climate.

    [Quote Murray:- “I blogged recently about excessive police action against a blogger who argues against the existence of man-made climate change. I think he is wrong, but I don’t see why he should be the victim of police raids.”]

    If only in view of the butterfly effect, the position that Murray claims to be yours seems kind of stupid. I am wondering, therefore, if you can point me to a more or less concise statement of your actual belief about the nature and extent and certainty or uncertainty of the effect of human activity on climate. Alternatively, perhaps you could comment on Murray’s blog. [snip (unwise statement mentioning tort)]

    [Murray is a former diplomat who can write. I think he previously and now is very close to the line. However, he is calling out in a commendable way about hypocrisy and that gives him more latitude, diplomatic balance where like workplace disputes a good solution has all parties complaining.

    He makes a number of other mistakes, is not a good article from the point of view of accuracy — Tim]

  28. Chief Inspector Barlow says:

    Hi Tallbloke,
    The techie who’s going to put trojans and spyware or you hard drives is on hols. till the new year.

    Happy Xmas,

  29. Aussie says:

    Tallbloke, a Merry Christmas from Australia.

  30. Zeke says:

    The video coverage is a precisely crafted white-out of the real story, which is that there was a Climategate 2, and foia is making revelations in a controlled and timed manner.

    The first leaked emails came before Copenhagen, and the second before Durban. This greatly impedes the international carbon emissions reductions agreements.

    “Foia” is still at large, and may have even more intimate information; the authorities may have opened the password protected emails, but now they must find ‘foia’ because it is not actaully known what else he or she has, and is plainly in cool control of what is released and when.

    This is keeping the US Dept of Energy wide awake at night, and they can’t even enjoy their billions of dollars or their green fanaticism knowing that someone out there might have some very damaging insider emails.

    So in short: two bloggers are whinging on and on about a routine action in an investigation of a crime commited against the UEA some two years ago.

  31. Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd. says:

    Mr. T to the Bloke,

    you, along with Rush Limbaugh, are 2 of the biggest heroes in the world today. I don’t think that anybody in their wildest dreams could’ve seen this day coming.

    A recent Rush quote comes to mind that I think fits Tallbloke perfectly

    “You can hate me but I won’t lie to you.”

  32. Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd. says:

    Also, I have been telling everyone at Rabett run that I know who FOIA is, although I have no clue. Vicious anger from J Bowers ensued. I am well funded and so I relish the chance to greet police at my door asking for my computers. When the smoke settled, it would be their jobs and their reputation on the line, not mine.

  33. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Hengist: fair point about Stephen’s statement. Things were moving fast at that point and I didn’t recollect that.”

    One does one’s best at the time. I’d still say that 6 Policemen turning up and staying for several hours when they could have just sent two on a prearranged visit seems heavy handed to me.

    There was no reason to think that Roger would not have cooperated.

    I don’t think it is a matter of whinging either. We should all be wary of the authorities going beyond what is necessary.

  34. tallbloke says:

    Be careful. Truth is best.

  35. Evil Denier says:

    I find your writings (elsewhere) fascinating, but I must take issue here:

    “a crime commited (sic) against the UEA”

    Do you, or anyone else, for that matter, have any evidence to support that?
    And I mean evidence, not speculation (nor, for that matter, wishful thinking).

    [zeke wrote “So in short: two bloggers are whinging on and on about a routine action in an investigation of a crime commit[t]ed against the UEA some two years ago.”
    Only a law court can decree on that one, but still is not proof, hence we stopped hanging people. –Tim]

  36. Zeke says:

    What I meant to underline is that they did not even mention Climategate2 in the bbc video coverage. They only discussed the Climategate leaked emails from 2009.

    Climategate1 derailed Copenhagen, and Climategate 2 disrupted Durban, two international summits it was hoped would result in a massive worldwide carbon impoverishment scheme. So now the authorities are seizing the personal effects of citizens who oppose the fraudulent science. If you take a person’s computer, you are actually taking boxes and boxes of personal correspondences, pictures, internet browsing history, and a good part of their library.

    But bbc had the nerve to characterize it as some continuation of the investigation of the first Climategate leak only, and also that these two men were suspected of being part of the actual leaks or “hacking”. It really ought not to be called the bbc, but the ddc – dirty double crossers!

  37. Jockdownsouth says:

    Wishing a very happy Christmas to you and your family, Tallbloke. I hope some good will eventually come out of this, but so far there is little evidence that the mainstream media is willing to review it’s prejudices.

  38. hro001 says:


    The first leaked emails came before Copenhagen, and the second before Durban. This greatly impedes the international carbon emissions reductions agreements. [emphasis added -hro]

    I don’t dispute that this is the line that activist-scientists and their coalition of willing advocate-journalists have taken! But, IMHO, FOIA (whom I prefer to call The Saint!) had no expectation of affecting the outcome of either. However, it’s a very convenient scapegoat for the activists and advocates on which to focus their spin – so they don’t have to discuss either the actual content of the emails or the failure of both Copenhagen and Durban (not to mention the crash of the carbon-trading market)!

    If I might be permitted to quote myself:

    I’m inclined to think that The Saint had no illusions about “derailing” either Copenhagen or Durban. But he knew that all enviro-journalist hands would be on deck. Agendas for such meetings are set well in advance – there was no chance whatsoever that Climategate would have any impact on such proceedings. But I do believe that s/he recognizes that the general public is far smarter than politicians and media mavens give them credit for. And I further believe that the choice of “timing” was simply to get mentioned. Call it “stealth PR”, if you like … and more power to her/him!

    I don’t want to veer from the topic of this thread, but for those who might be interested in what has led me to the above conclusion, I invite you to take a look at [my pre-Durban]:

    Climategate: Of thumbnails, big pictures and timing

    In which you will also find [an unencrypted ;-)] link to my earlier musings on this same topic:

    Of Climategate, constabularies and Copenhagen: coincidences worth considering (Part 1)

  39. ianl8888 says:


    I know you are pretty sick of this now, but the issue I cannot grasp relates to the unreleased information that the police had to supply to the Judge to convince him to sign the warrant

    I read in one of the previous threads that this information is NOT released to your solicitor or you

    My *guess* is that IF you had been accused or charged with something, this information would have had to be supplied to you and your legal representative. So it appears to me that NOT accusing or charging you with anything is the sleazy way around releasing this information (it surprises me that your home contents can be seized and searched without revealing why)

    If this supposition has any force, then all the speculation here and elsewhere about the reasons for the raid would be answered quite simply.

    So, is there any hope of your solicitor shaking this information loose ?

  40. Gixxerboy says:


    Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a very peaceful and happy Christmas. Remember, there’s a whole world of people supporting you so rest easy over the break.

  41. u.k.(us) says:

    No gears (anywhere) are going to moving in the next 2 days, possibly 10 days.
    Have a merry christmas, they can’t take that from you.
    Know, there are so many eyes following your saga, that the truth will out.
    The “eyes” have been underestimated for too long.

  42. Jim Z says:


    Goodwill to you, and I wish you and your loved ones a merry Christmas!

  43. tallbloke says:


    Ianl8888: I’m in contact with civil liberties lawyers. watch this space.

    Everyone: Thank you all so much for your support, you have given us strength and resolve.

  44. tallbloke says:

    From Bishop Hill:

    barnacle bill

    “I notice the Beeb says the emails were hacked in 2009”

    Even more interesting, I thought you must be referring to a different story.

    When I first read that story, when it was first posted on the bbc site, it said they were “leaked.” Which I see has now been changed to “hacked.”

    Little temporary slip up at the Ministry of Truth, apparently.
    Dec 22, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    I didn’t think it would take long 🙂

  45. Barry Sheridan says:

    Tallbloke, I wish you and your good lady a very happy Christmas and 2012. With any luck you will get your equipment back, not that I would ever use it again just in case, but at least you can sell it and use what is new.

    I note your comments on the BBC, similar sentiment encouraged me to finish with television and the need to contribute to supporting this disappointing organisation. The web provides all the news anyone could ever want from those capable of discerning what the truth actually is, Richard North amongst others.

    Good luck.

  46. Stephen Wilde says:

    For those who are still puzzled about the issue of non disclosure of information supporting a search warrant I can report what the Police told me but I am not a criminal lawyer so cannot comment on the subtleties.

    It seems that it is standard procedure for such information not to be disclosed because the Magistrates or Judges who are called upon to make the decision require the Police to make a strong case. Therefore the applications often contain confidential information about third parties who might have been involved in the investigative process.

    I can see the logic of that especially if all the suspicions turn out to be wrong.

    Probably there are ways of getting at least some of the information if it later turns out that the Judge/Magistrate might have been misled by the Police but I would expect that to be quite a high bar to reach.

    I have recommended that Roger speak to a more specialised civil rights firm if he wishes to pursue that aspect.

    In effect the law is very liberal as regards allowing the Police to investigate (issuing warrants) but quite strict on the manner in which they exercise their powers (numbers used, time of day, degree of courtesy towards the person or persons affected, whether or not notice is given, damage to property, loss of use of property).

    So there is a lot to unravel before making a judgment and a good deal of subjectivity involved.

  47. Steve Eades (VP) says:

    Just to say Happy Xmas to both Roger and his family but also Stephen his family.

    I only found TallBloke’s Talkshop via another forum which had highlighted this incident.
    But I will continue supporting and following your journey from now.

    [Reply] Steve, welcome, and thanks. – Rog

  48. CanSpeccy says:

    Re: Comod’s comment:

    “Murray is a former diplomat who can write. I think he previously and now is very close to the line. However, he is calling out in a commendable way about hypocrisy and that gives him more latitude, diplomatic balance where like workplace disputes a good solution has all parties complaining.”

    Well if you find it diplomatic to be called “unlovely” as in the title of the piece: “Free Speech for the Unlovely.”

    Question is though, is Murray not grossly misrepresenting the owner of this blog by stating that he “argues against the existence of man-made climate change”?

    Since in this politically correct age to “argue against the existence of man-made climate change” is to be a denier, a hateful creature comparable to a Holocaust denier, I don’t see anything diplomatic or commendable in what he is saying unless it is true. So some further clarification would, I think, be useful.

  49. ianl8888 says:

    @Stephen Wilde

    Thank you & TB for the replies above

    >Therefore the applications often contain confidential information about third parties who might have been involved in the investigative process.

    I can see the logic of that especially if all the suspicions turn out to be wrong.

    Probably there are ways of getting at least some of the information if it later turns out that the Judge/Magistrate might have been misled by the Police but I would expect that to be quite a high bar to reach.<

    In essence, that means that the police may exaggerate or even lie to the Judge to obtain the warrant (claiming confidential information, eg. some anonymous informant), are not required to supply such information to the target or the public, and the target has very little hope of redress

    Confirms my Golden Rule: authority looks after itself first. Then one can see the logic

  50. pouncer says:

    Okham’s Razor notwithstanding, I see no reason to conclude that the 2009 leaker-hacker “RC” is also the 2011 hacker-leaker “FOIA”. Why, if the two releases were the work of a single agent, would that agent change handles?

    The Norfolk police made their own copy of data from the UEA’s email servers after the initial release. Or rather, they paid data experts to make such a copy.

    Assume, just for fun, the agent code-named RC leaked (or hacked) the UEA and another agent code-named FOIA hacked (or leaked) from the Norfolk constabulary evidence room — and the the police recognize their own files. Which release (or leak, or hack) represents the greater offense, in the eyes of the police? Which agent would they more vigorously pursue?

  51. J Martin says:

    @ Pouncer

    interesting idea, but a tad far fetched me thinks. But I wonder about the remaining emails, it’s said there are another 220,000 of them, how do we know that, and if that’s true that’s surely too many for hadley cru to have created, so perhaps a lot of the encrypted emails contain emails from across the whole of the UEA ? If that were the case then there might be some incriminating stuff in there that impacts politicians and university officials, maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part. One can but hope.

    But why did the UEA pay to have a copy of those emails, surely they already had them, that they paid money to get a copy of them, implies they didn’t. There must be some sort of conclusion to be drawn from that, though I can’t work out what.

    Assuming it was a hack, into 230,000 emails ? how would you by chance see there was some interesting stuff in there, you wouldn’t. So my guess would be that someone amongst the email subjects decided to blow the whistle or and take a copy as protection. Keith Briffa had a copy on a portable drive ? does he still have that drive ? did he lose it ? was his laptop hacked into while the drive was attached, does he have kids, were they using the laptop ?

    I guess it’s all academic, and the emails will also come to be irrelevant, we can only wait and see. Certainly the on course solar minimum makes it all academic in any case. Global warming alarmism will soon be irrelevant history courtesy of mother nature and the sun as it goes to sleep for the next twenty years or so.

    We need to work out how cold it will get, at what pace, and for how long and what that means for food supplies.