Here's a conundrum for you, Ricochet. What would you understand by the phrase "some of the best scientific experts"?
Do you think it means:
a) a group of pre-eminent scientists with strong expertise in the relevant field. (eg - on, say, climate change - Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT; Professor Fred Singer; Professor Pat Michaels...)
b) a bunch of activists, mostly, from bleeding heart charities, socialistic church groups, left-leaning NGOs
If your answer was a) then join the club. If your answer is b) then clearly a bright future awaits you working for the BBC. Just so long, of course, as you also believe the "truth" about "global warming," which is: it's serious, it's all our fault, the polar bears are drowning, the Maldives are sinking, and we need to build more wind farms and bomb Western Industrial civilization back to the Dark Ages because if we don't we're ALL GOING TO FRY!!!!
Now to be fair, I acknowledge that in the US you get served up exactly the same kind of hysterical drivel by CNBC, MSNBC, CNN ... pretty much any broadcast media outfit that isn't Fox, in fact.
But here's the big difference: the BBC is publicly funded. If you don't pay your compulsory Licence Fee (currently an annual £145 - so, roughly, 200 bucks) you can actually get arrested and put in jail. Which is why the BBC takes its charter obligations to be fair and balanced very seriously.
Or at least why it ought to take them seriously.
To reiterate: it doesn't matter so much whether or not CNN or MSNBC are biased because ultimately you're not paying for them and if you don't like them you can just watch Fox instead.
The BBC is different. Not only is it more dominant and all-encompassing (besides four TV stations, it has numerous radio stations catering to all regions and all age groups) but it is, to all intents and purposes, an unofficial branch of the state - the voice of the nation, which represents everyone and which everyone has to fund accordingly.
Which brings us to the conundrum at the beginning of this post. The phrase "some of the best scientific experts" comes from a 2007 report in which the BBC strove to justify its decision to give up all pretence of neutrality on the climate change issue and from henceforward to act like Al Gore's amen corner. (Or, as the document put it, "[the BBC] has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus...") Apparently the decision had been made after a high-level meeting in 2006, attended by all those science experts - 28 of them in all.
But who were these 28 "experts"? That was the subject of an FOI request by a Welsh pensioner called Tony Newbery. Amazingly - given that it's a publicly funded organisation - the BBC refused to tell. Not only that but, pressed harder, the BBC fought a legal action to prevent the information being divulged - employing a crack team of lawyers costing upwards of $50,000 a day. (Nice use of the licence fee, guys!)
The BBC won the case but almost immediately afterwards lost the battle. Another enterprising blogger called Maurizio Morabito managed to find the information anyway, concealed on the internet. And when he did, it became immediately clear why the BBC was so determined to keep it a secret.
In that list of 28, there was barely a scientist among them. Almost all of them were greenie-left-leaning political activists. Frankly, they might just as well have gotten Greenpeace to write their script for them. Indeed, given that Greenpeace's Head of Campaigns was there, it may be just what they did.....
I've reported the story in more detail here - where you can also find links to some of the other coverage. This article in the Scotsman covers it too. But that's about as far as the MSM's coverage goes.
You may be familiar with the story about the BBC's house paedophile (for four decades) - a creepy children's entertainer/DJ called Jimmy Savile.
But this, I would argue, is a scandal of far greater significance for reasons I explain - in my inimitably forthright style - here.
Here's a taste. (You may gather: I'm not a big fan of the BBC...)
You think what Savile did to his victims was loathsome? I’d heartily agree. But what about the hundreds of thousands who’ve perished on a squalid NHS ward as a result of incompetence, negligence or maladministration? What about the pensioners condemned to spend their last years in penury? What about the school-leavers and graduates who can’t get jobs in our stagnant economy? What about the kids who’ve not only been denied a rigorous, disciplined education but have had their heads filled with lies? What about the bitterness, resentment and social tension stoked up by multiculturalism? What about the divisions and fear sowed by the rise of Islamism? What about the rural homeowners whose property values have been trashed and whose cherished landscapes ruined by the great wind farm blight? What about the church flower arrangers who now have to be vetted as potential paedophiles? What about the holidaymakers whose flight costs have been almost doubled by eco-taxes? What about the 2,700 elderly people who die each year from fuel poverty? What about the household budgets strained, the dream holidays foregone, the school fees rendered unaffordable, the choices limited as a result of all the money confiscated by the government through tax, borrowing and money printing?
The BBC was responsible for it all.
Not directly responsible: that would be a silly claim to make. Rather, what the BBC has done over several decades, is to create the socio-political climate which made all these things not merely possible but acceptable – and accepted – as the norm.