With weary inevitability, the BBC has decided that it is going to issue an apology after a sceptic – Nigel Lawson in this case – was allowed a rare opportunity to state their case on the airwaves. This is starting to be something of a ritual for the corporation.
Once in a month of Sundays, a dissenting voice will be given a brief airing, an event that will be followed by a screams of outrage from greens and their cronies, a “fact-checking” by some green-minded BBC journalist, a public climb down and an apology for not being ruder to said sceptic on air or for allowing them on in the first place.
Note that the ruling is only about the way Lawson was treated on air – the corporation is not actually getting involved in the debate over the numbers. This is probably just as well, as they are no doubt wary of the public realising that, a temporary El Nino aside, temperatures are again failing to warm as fast as climatologists would have us believe they should be.
Met Office’s HadCrut4 temperature record
And of course, there really is very little evidence of a worsening of extreme weather (unless you accept the preposterous idea that a daily temperature maximum is a “weather extreme” – I’ll have to look out for that when I pop out to the shops tomorrow lunchtime). No, the BBC is just saying that the Today programme staff should have bad-mouthed Lawson more and challenged him a bit harder, which, as was pointed out by the journalists involved, is a bit hard to do when you are trying to conduct a live interview. And if the BBC’s standard is that “contestable claims must be challenged” then this is a standard honoured more in the breach than the observance.
Which is why it’s really just a charade. Underneath it all, it’s just the BBC caving into a very aggressive and very vocal green lobby. That said, it’s fair to say that there are few within the corporation who would take any persuasion at all when it came to supporting the greens; as one senior BBC journalist once told me, most BBC staff think that – similar to apartheid – the moral righteousness of the environmental cause transcends their legal duty to be balanced. This is, no doubt, why the BBC didn’t apologise for allowing Al Gore to utter his wild claims about the climate in the same Today programme segment, why they never challenge the absurd statements greens make about fracking (indeed BBC journalists were at the forefront of disseminating them), and why they have thus far maintained a determined silence over the astonishing glyphosate scandal the other day. To this day, the BBC has never made a programme critical of any environmental group.
In some ways I simply don’t care about the BBC’s behaviour any longer. The majority of people within the corporation look as though they are card-carrying members of the green movement and will attack anyone or anything that stands in the way of the environmental agenda. So long as people know this, they will increasingly shun and ignore it.