Michael Mann's cosy chat on ABC's Lateline

Very cosy

UPDATE: Baldrick in the comments reminds ACM of Tony Jones’ hostile and patronising interrogation of Ian Plimer on Lateline in April 2009. What a contrast to the kid gloves employed here with Mann. Biased much, ABC?


Michael “Stick” Mann has a very pleasant, cosy little chat with Emma Alberici (quelle surprise…) on Lateline last night. Mann will no doubt be regarded as a valiant hero to most of the warmist journos at the ABC, so there were no tricky questions, just an easy ride and bags of sympathy for the poor climatologists who are being “intimidated” by filthy deniers:

MICHAEL MANN: the FBI actually came in at my – when I reported to them the fact that I had received a letter, an envelope that had white powder in it. And initially I had assumed the worst, but the FBI sent it off to their lab, they checked it out, it turns out it was a false alarm. Nonetheless, as you allude to, I have been subject to all sorts of personal attacks, threats to my safety, my life, threats to my family, and it’s not just me, it’s dozens of climate scientists in the US, in Australia and many other regions of the world where our findings are finding that climate change is real and potentially poses a threat to civilisation if we don’t confront that challenge. That represents a threat to certain vested interests and they’ve tried hard to discredit the science, often by discrediting and intimidating the scientists. Unfortunately it’s not all that new a tactic. We saw the same thing back in the 1970s, 1980s with tobacco, with the tobacco industry trying to discredit research establishing adverse health impacts of their product. It’s an old tactic and it’s now being used to try to discredit climate science, mainly coming from vested interests who don’t want to see us shift away from our current reliance on fossil fuels because they – understandably, they profit greatly from our current addiction to fossil fuels.

EMMA ALBERICI: Who are these vested interest groups? [See, really tough question, eh Emma? Didn’t think to pick up Mann on any of the allegations above – Ed]

MICHAEL MANN: Well I actually talk about this in some detail in the book and I refer to some other books that have been written on this topic that actually trace much of the attacks against climate science and climate scientists to various organisations and front groups that derive most of their funding from the fossil fuel industry and what they often do is issue press releases attacking mainstream science. They publish – they have folks publish op.’ eds attacking climate scientists. They sort of create what some have called an echo chamber of climate change denial that permeates the airwaves and our media and it’s been a real challenge for scientists, for the scientific community to try to communicate the very real nature of the climate change threat in the face of this fairly massive disinformation campaign.

Tobacco, Big Oil. Echo chamber of denial. Mann should find a new scriptwriter. And yet none of this is challenged.

The fact that Exxon gives millions of dollars to Green groups is irrelevant to the ABC. The fact that the alarmist industry funding is three or four orders of magnitude greater than for sceptics is irrelevant to the ABC. The fact that the Hockey Stick was bad science debunked by Steve McIntyre is irrelevant to the ABC. The fact that the Climategate emails show repeated manipulation of data, corruption of peer review, threats to journals that dare publish papers challenging the consensus, and avoiding of FOI requests is irrelevant to the ABC. They were all “taken out of context”, right?

Michael Mann is a key player in The Cause, and here was an opportunity to ask any number of very awkward questions – unfortunately the ABC avoided them all.

Read/watch here.

Quotes of the Day: Stephen Conroy on Lateline

Quote of the Day

I woke up this morning to hear Stephen Conroy’s lamentable, blustering performance on Lateline last night, repeated on News Radio. Now there’s a fine way to start the day … There was all the usual spin and hot air, but the funniest bit came when Tony Jones (who is one of the ABC’s most vocal climate change alarmists) held up his hands in horror at Maurice Newman’s accusation that the ABC was less than balanced on the issue of climate change. It was a classic “What, me?” moment. And then he successfully bullied Conroy into saying “No, no, it’s all fine you’re doing a great job”, and Conroy didn’t have the balls to resist:

TONY JONES: Alright, a final question. You’ve refused to comment in any detail on the claims by the ABC’s chairman Morris Newman that coverage of the global warming climate change issue is an example of “group think” where contrary views have not been tolerated.

Do you see any evidence of that?

STEPHEN CONROY: Well, look, the chairman… The ABC is an independent statutory authority. The chairman is entitled to his views and I understand from discussions that I’ve had over the last 24 hours it was a very robust discussion that followed that, uh, that speech and I think that is a healthy thing for all involved.

TONY JONES: Do you see any evidence? I am asking for your opinion. Whether you see- because it is a serious accusation he’s making: “Should there be a view that the ABC was sheltering particular beliefs from scrutiny or failing to question the consensus, I would consider it to be a dangerous perception that could lead to the public’s trust in us being undermined”.

That is the suggestion. Do you see any evidence that that has been happening?

STEPHEN CONROY: Well, I do remember that the ABC screened the documentary the Global Warming Scandal, I think last year.

TONY JONES: Swindle.

STEPHEN CONROY: Swindle, sorry, yes. So I think the ABC can point to a whole range of areas where it has given all sides of the debate a fair run.

TONY JONES: So you don’t see any examples or signs of “group think” in the ABC?

STEPHEN CONROY: Well, I am not sure that Mr Newman pointed his finger at any particular area. I don’t think he was speaking in a general sense but on an issue that you’ve mentioned like climate change, I think you’ve got a proud record where you can point to the screening of that documentary and there’s been plenty of debate over the last 12 months on this topic on the ABC. (source)

Ah, so showing the Great Global Warming Swindle is balance is it? Let’s remember what happened there, shall we? Firstly, Tony Jones himself, who was presenting the film, proclaimed before it was shown:

I am bound to say The Great Global Warming Swindle does not represent the views of the ABC.

Which means that the public service broadcaster has “views” on climate change – and I don’t need to tell you what they are. Hardly balance there. And following the screening, there was a round table debate in which TGGWS was thoroughly ripped to shreds by a typical ABC left-leaning audience. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Why did the ABC take TGGWS apart, and yet never raise a finger to the partisan, innaccurate propaganda film An Inconvenient Truth? Where were the round table discussions picking that apart, Tony? No, wait. You’ve already explained. TGGWS doesn’t represent the views of the ABC, because AIT does, right?

If you want to see ABC bias at work for yourself, just go to the ABC’s Great Global Warming Swindle pages here and especially the nauseating article by Bernie Hobbs (ABC science broadcaster) here – it’s all there in black and white.

ABC balance on climate change? Don’t make me laugh.

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