You will recall the story recently where ABC “science” presenter Robyn Williams opened a programme on climate “denial” with the following:
“What if I told you that paedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma, or that smoking crack is a normal part, and healthy one, of teenage life, and to be encouraged? You’d rightly find it outrageous. But there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths, again and again in recent times distorting the science.”
Lewandowsky got in on the act as well, naturally. I guess he’d be the go-to guy for people like Williams looking for an easy smear quote:
“I discovered that those people [sceptics] were not sceptical at all. They were rejecting the science, not on the basis of evidence but some other factor. We basically found that the driving motivating factor behind the rejection of climate science was people’s ideology or personal worldview.
Specifically what we find it that people who are endorsing an extreme view of market fundamentalism are likely to reject climate science.”
You forgot to mention that they also deny the moon landings took place, or that smoking is linked to cancer, or HIV linked to AIDS, or that the sun revolves around a (flat) earth – you’re slipping.
Former chairman of the ABC, Maurice Newman, like many of us, was incensed by these comments and lodged a formal complaint. Especially since an article he had written a while beforehand was referred to specifically in the segment.
And the result?
“ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs have carefully considered the complaint, reviewed the program and assessed it against the ABC’s editorial standards for harm and offence which state in part: 7.1 Content that is likely to cause harm or offence must be justified by the editorial context.
“ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs have also sought and considered a response from ABC Radio. Audience and Consumer Affairs have concluded that there has been no breach of the ABC’s editorial standards for harm and offence.“ (source)
What a surprise! No groupthink there, right? So the next time a filthy “denier” equates climate alarmists like Williams to paedophiles (not that “deniers” ever get invited on to ABC except to be ritually humiliated and ridiculed), and the complaints come flooding in, the ABC will dismiss them too?
Newman responds in an op-ed:
Ordinarily it should be unnecessary to object to such appalling commentary. It should have been automatically withdrawn. But no. An ABC response used sophistry to satisfy itself “that the presenter Robyn Williams did not equate climate change sceptics to pedophiles”. Tell that to his listeners.
Global warming is today more about politics than it is about science. If flawed evidence fails, coercion and character assassination is deployed. No slur is too vicious, nor, as we saw with the BBC’s 2006 seminar of the “best scientific experts”, which despite strenuous attempts to resist freedom of information requests were finally revealed to be mainly NGOs and journalists, no deceit is too great.
Lubos Motl, a climate commentator and string theory physicist, said about the ABC’s Science Show: “We used to hear some remotely similar (Czech) propaganda programs until 1989 … but the public radio and TV simply can’t produce programs that would be this dishonest, manipulative, hateful and insulting any more”.
This is not the first time I have provoked the public wrath of the ABC’s climate change clique, but it is the first time I have publicly responded to it. It is important that I do. (source)
One thing we can be absolutely sure of: nothing at the taxpayer-funded broadcaster will change an inch.