TwentyEightGate: How the BBC justified breaking its charter commitment to impartiality

Posted: November 13, 2012 by tallbloke in alarmism, climate, government, Incompetence, Legal, Politics, propaganda

This is a followup to yesterdays post on 28gate, an emerging scandal at the BBC


The BBC is in crisis. Revelations over ex-employee and paedophile Jimmy Savile, and its false accusations of child sex abuse against top tory benefactor Lord McAlpine have led to the resignation of the Director General George Entwhistle after 54 days in post, and several top news executives; Helen Boaden – Head of News and Peter Rippon – editor of ‘The World at One’ and ‘PM’ among them.

All these three were present  at the IBT organised seminar: ‘Climate Change – the Challenge to Broadcasting’ which was held at the BBC’s Television Centre in White City London on 26 January 2006. The seminar ran from 9.30am to 5.30prn. Later the BBC said, concerning what happened at this meeting:

“The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on anthropogenic climate change].” From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel, Page 40

So who were these “best scientific experts” that the BBC would entrust with the almighty responsibility of deciding that balanced reporting would be abandoned and that sceptics of man made climate change would be effectively silenced, allowing AGW advocacy to become dominant in BBC reporting?

The BBC refused FOI requests and even went to court with six high powered lawyers to prevent bloggers like Andrew Montford and Tony Newbery finding out. The issue of the identities and competences of these 28 people has become a touchstone of credibility for the BBC, right at a time when they are in great difficulty on other issues. Then last night, another blogger, Maurizio Morabito, tracked down the relevant IBT document using internet archiving service The Wayback Machine and all was revealed.

It turns out there were two actively practising scientists well known for their strongly pro AGW stance, and a disparate collection of representatives from NGO’s such as Greenpeace and the Stop Climate Chaos, commercially interested parties standing to gain from the promotion of AGW such as British Petroleum,  and a couple of academics who are closely involved with climate advocacy and campaigning groups.

So now the BBC has yet another big problem on it’s hands. It turns out it has lied to the public who pay for it about the makeup of the group which has determined it’s climate reporting policy. This is no small matter considering the billions of pounds involved in the Green energy industry. Additional carbon taxation has directly led to fuel poverty for hundreds of thousands. The excess cold related deaths in the UK have shot up in the last few years. We hear stories of pensioners buying secondhand books by the yard and burning them to keep warm.

As an example of the inter-related connections, here is an example of someone in close contact wit the scientists at the centre of the Climategate scandal which broke in Nov 2009

Attendee Mike Hulme of University of East Anglia (Home of CRU) and the Tyndall Centre funded CMEP to run these seminars, Mike appears at the seminars, and Mike invited BBC’s Roger Harrabin (and Co founder of CMEP) onto the Tyndall Centres advisory board at the same time as all these seminars, whilst funding these seminars..

From the Climategate 2 emails, Mike Hulmes (Tyndall) intentions are clear for CMEP seminars, persuade the BBC to keeps sceptics (in this case Prof Philip Stott) off the airwaves.

Mike Hulme:

“Did anyone hear Stott vs. Houghton on Today, radio 4 this morning? Woeful stuff really. This is one reason why Tyndall is sponsoring the Cambridge Media/Environment Programme to starve this type of reporting at source.”  Climategate email

When did Roger Harrabin step down from Tyndall advisory board?
(and he no made no mention, when reporting BBC climategate, of his connections to advocacy groups)

The BBC has some explaining to do. In fact, The BBC has got a lot of explaining to do.

  1. Barry Sheridan says:

    I doubt the BBC has the capacity to explain anything any longer, its stock in trade is just to assert. Whether evidence supports, verifiable evidence that is, what it is saying is neither here nor there to Auntie. It knows best, or so it thinks!!

  2. kim2ooo says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  3. Gray says:

    Some snippets from TheRegister

    Dated 29th October 2012 16:44 GMT

    The director of BBC News Helen Boaden took the witness stand in London today.

    A squad of Beeb legal staff, including two barristers, crammed into a small court room to support the £354,000-a-year news chief against her opponent, a North Wales pensioner who was accompanied only by his wife. The case is a six-year freedom of information battle in which the BBC is refusing to disclose who attended a seminar it held in 2006.

    The corporation has refused to hand over the requested information, defending its inaction using two arguments: one is that the refusal is justified for the “purposes of journalism”, the other is that the attendees of a meeting held under the Chatham House Rule must not be named. Newbery maintains that the BBC, as an organisation bankrolled by the public and operating under a Royal Charter, must reveal its guest list as a matter of legitimate public interest.

    The Beeb’s climate change seminar had been organised by the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme (CMEP), established by activist Joe Smith and BBC reporter Roger Harrabin. CMEP received funding from the hardline green organisation WWF and the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It later transpired that £15,000 was also received from the University of East Anglia – the institution at the heart of the Climategate scandal.

  4. […] This story is such a target-rich environment, with so many ramifications one could go on writing about it all week. As indeed, I hope we will. For the moment, I highly recommend the comments at Watts Up With That? and also at Bishop Hill. Jo Nova offers a characteristically thorough summary. So too does Andrew Orlowski at The Register. So too does Tallbloke. […]

  5. oldbrew says:

    Don’t miss Steve McIntyre’s take on it. Here’s a sample…

    That might explain the presence of one of the attendees.

  6. tallbloke says:

    Here’s one of the two ice experts present at the seminar in action. Anyone who goes along with Al Gore’s take on climate science is too far gone to give unbiased views on journalistic balnce IMO:

    Gore: Polar ice may vanish in 5-7 years
    by CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent, December 14, 2009

    COPENHAGEN – New computer modeling suggests the Arctic Ocean may be nearly ice-free in the summertime as early as 2014, Al Gore said Monday at the U.N. climate conference. This new projection, following several years of dramatic retreat by polar sea ice, suggests that the ice cap may nearly vanish in the summer much sooner than the year 2030, as was forecast by a U.S. government agency eight months ago.

    Gore and Danish ice scientist Dorthe Dahl Jensen clicked through two slide shows for a standing-room-only crowd of hundreds in a side event at the Bella Center conference site.

  7. Doug Proctor says:

    Does this really impact the BBC, or is it just one of the things that make skeptics crazy?

    From this side of the pond, I can’t tell.

  8. Brian H says:

    The brazenness of the warmists is beyond comprehension. Sorta like the US’ Dem vote riggers; they’re sure they won’t be called to account. The “network” is tight and motivated.

    BTW, tb — you still score 100% on blowing the “it’s-its” distinction. (2/2 wrong). 😀

  9. Gras Albert says:

    There is another issue, there were at least some 30 invited guests and 28 BBC employees present at that seminar. All will have read Bridcut’s report, all will have followed the 5 year FOI debacle, many will have followed the proceedings of the Tribunal.

    All knew the BBC’s public unique-in-peace-time abandonment of impartiality was NOT based on “a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts”, none have had the integrity to correct this disinformation.

    Why would anyone trust any of them on anything ever again?

  10. oldbrew says:

    Doug Proctor says: ‘Does this really impact the BBC, or is it just one of the things that make skeptics crazy?’

    The BBC has a charter which obliges it to be impartial especially in ‘controversial’ matters. It’s supposed to be a public service after all.

  11. oldbrew says:

    ‘The BBC has got a lot of explaining to do’

    Tony Newbery is already on the case 🙂

  12. Alan Lewis says:

    What came first, the governments hardline approach to global warming, or the BBC oneline reporting? Maybe a case of the blind leading the blind.

  13. Jo Nova says:

    Doug Proctor says: “Does this really impact the BBC, or is it just one of the things that make skeptics crazy?”
    That depends on the skeptics. Will skeptics persistently, tenaciously and repeatedly keep the pressure on? It’s hard work writing letters to MP’s, to editors, and phoning local stations to remind them that the BBC lied, spent thousands trying to cover it up, and didn’t represent half the paying public,nor serve the whole country.

  14. tallbloke says:

    Jo, welcome, and thanks for dropping by.

    Tony Newbery has kept the pressure on. He’s the real hero here. If it wasn’t for him forcing the BBC to court, Maurizio wouldn’t have got so interested in tracking down the seminars document with the attendee lists in the appendices.

    Alan L: there’s no doubt the BBC culture had more …affinity with the Labour govt whch was so trenchant in is support for AGW dogma and so harsh against it’s critics. I have voted labour a few times in my life, but when Gordon Brown was endlessly replayed on BBC calling sceptics ‘Flat Earthers’ I stuck my boot through the TV screen and sacked the labour party.

    Haven’t looked back really 🙂

  15. oldbrew says:

    Barry Sheridan says: ‘its stock in trade is just to assert’

    That was OK in the days when someone was invited to reply to the assertions. Nowadays everything seems to depend on what the BBC bigwigs think the public should hear, which we now know is decided at seminars with (let’s say) ‘selected parties’ in the case of climate issues.

    How they square this with the BBC charter is a mystery. Are you there Ofcom?

  16. oldbrew says:

    GWPF wades in with an open letter to the BBC, suggesting it’s time for another climate seminar.

    Click to access GWPF-letter-to-Lord-Hall.pdf

  17. tchannon says:

    Additional reading can be had at Bishop Hill where other letter authors are recounting.

    There is very mixed opinion on whether the above will do anything.

  18. oldbrew says:

    Lord Lawson (GWPF chairman) has already written to Lord Patten (chairman of the BBC Trust) about climate change bias, following the Newbery court case.

    They should perhaps complain to Ofcom who are supposed to monitor the BBC and its charter.

    At Bishop Hill, omnologos (the 28gate source) says:
    “Keep your hopes up and wait for the enemies’ corpses to float down the river”.

  19. […] Nova has an excellent post up today covering David Rose’s exposé of the shameful 28gate saga. Here’s an […]

  20. […] Nova has an excellent post up today covering David Rose’s exposé of the shameful 28gate saga. Here’s an […]