Media bias: Monckton and Delingpole stitched up

BBC is tied up with it…

Hands up who is in the least bit surprised by this? Two shows featuring climate sceptics by the BBC, both heavily biased against any kind of scepticism whatsoever (and in favour of gullibility, therefore). Earlier this week, James Delingpole was done up like the proverbial kipper in a documentary presented by new Royal Society president, Sir Paul Nurse [that should have rung alarm bells for a start – Ed]:

Nurse came to interview me at my home last summer, ostensibly – so his producer assured me – as a disinterested seeker-after-truth on a mission to discover why the public is losing its faith in scientists. “Not scientists,” I replied. “Just ‘climate scientists.’” But as is clear from the Horizon documentary Nurse had already made up his mind. That’s why about the only section he used out of at least three hours’ worth of footage is the one where he tosses what he clearly imagines is the killer question: Suppose you were ill with cancer would you wish to be treated by “consensus” medicine or something from the quack fringe?

As you’ll see in the programme, this took me rather by surprise. Nurse had come posing as an open-minded investigator eager to hear why Climategate had raised legitimate doubts about the reliability of the “consensus” on global warming. Instead, the man I met was a parti-pris bruiser so delighted with his own authority as a proper Nobel-prizewinning scientist that he knew what the truth was already. And to prove it, here was a brilliant analogy which would rubbish the evil climate deniers’ cause once and for all!

But Nurse’s analogy is shabby, dishonest and patently false. The “consensus” on Climate Change; and the “consensus” on medical care bear no similarity whatsoever. (source)

But what does it matter? The aim is to smear the filthy deniers at any cost, right? We need to shelter the viewers from their opinions [because they are so damaging to our beloved consensus… – Ed].

The second example in a week did the dirty on Christopher Monckton. This time, “independent” filmmaker Rupert Murray ingratiates himself with the sceptics and convinces them that he’s sympathetic to their cause – but then dumps on them from a great height. As Dellers reports again:

Murray’s documentary is another hatchet job. This time the man designated for the chop is Lord Monckton. Except, knowing Monckton as I do, I don’t think he’s going to let this one lie. Sure he’ll probably be made to look a fool, but then as Richard North explains in this superb essay, this means nothing.

This is the practice of modern documentary makers, who can gather huge amounts of material and then edit and assemble the material in a way that they can present a message, the message the producer wishes to convey. This is irrespective of what is actually said, and what interviewees actually intended.

The process, North explains, works like this:

You write the script first, setting out what you want to say. Then you go out and find the talking heads that will say the words you need to fit the script. You (in this case I) interview them, collect up the words on the tape and then go back to the edit suite and pull out the words that fit.

Murray, it seems likely, had made up his mind what his angle was long, long before he inveigled his way into the sceptics’ circle and passed himself off as a decent fellow just trying to find out the truth. I’ll say one thing for him: he’s very plausible. I only twigged last week, when I rang him up to find out what his documentary would look like and how much I was in it.

“We’ve decided to concentrate on Monckton I’m afraid,” he said.

“Oh never mind,” I said. “I quite understand. Christopher is way more colourful and exciting than I am.”

We then had a chat about peer-to-peer review, in the course of which Murray quoted approvingly one “Dr Trenberth.” “Well Dr Trenberth says….” he began, in a way which suggested regular contact and great admiration.

Anyway, at least I’m not in it, I don’t think. When Calum asked me to sign the release form for my interview, I said that I would quite like to see the programme beforehand. Funny, I haven’t heard from them since. (source)

Monckton went so far as to seek an injunction preventing broadcast without a right of reply. Unfortunately, it failed.

Media bias at its absolute worst.


  1. Well, you’ve experienced media bias first hand from 6pm.. mind you, that looks like a picnic compared to James and Christopher’s treatment.

  2. As the BBC lawyer said

    “an injunction should not be granted as, though “dressed up” as a claim in contract, the real complaint was one of defamation. ”

    Should be interesting

  3. I added the Hatchet Job on Delingpole and Monckton to my Post BBC and ABC – AGW Propaganda Organisations:

  4. The Loaded Dog says:

    Go get em Christopher!

    I hate to say it but sceptics should be far more sceptical of so called “olive branches” from these bastards.

    Don’t trust them. They are nothing but a bunch of snakes. They have proven their true colours time and time again.

    Cover yourselves with a healthy veil of suspicion before any interviews, think ahead during them, always suspect they have an angle, and be cunning.

    I am speaking from 20 years experience in interviewing deceitful people so have a fair bit of experience in this area.

  5. ‘Nurse came to interview me….to discover why the public is losing its faith in scientists. “Not scientists,” I replied. “Just ‘climate scientists.’”’

    Indeed, for that is the central distinction. Surely other scientists, including Nurse himself as a cell biologist, would agree with James’ emphatic statement that did make it to air:

    “Science has never been about consensus…Consensus is not science.”

    Praise be that modern medicine, from which Nurse drew his analogy, is no exception. It rightly is subservient to the Scientific Method. Empirical evidence is foremost. Consensus follows.

    Climate science, on the other stands alone. It is the exception. There is no empirical evidence. Consensus is all.
    For one still learning the HTML tags, it was handy having the preview of the comment on the run. It would be nice if that could be reinstated. Thanks.

    • “Climate science, on the other (hand) stands alone.”

      “Climate science” here implying, of course, the alarmist strand to which James referred. Needless to say there are countless scientists of integrity involved in the various sciences related to climate.

    • Hi Graham, live preview re-enabled! Apologies for its disappearance…!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Anti Al Gore, Simon from Sydney. Simon from Sydney said: Media bias: Monckton and Delingpole stitched up: Hands up who is in the least bit surprised by this? Two shows f… […]

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