Thursday, February 05, 2009

BBC doctors Obama speech

One of the points I have emphasized regularly is the tendency of the media to distort stories and facts in order to fit a political agenda that they share. In particular the media is often dishonest in their reporting of issues related in any fashion to the global warming scare.

Here is a link to a BBC report on President Jesus Obama’s inaugural speech. As you listen you will hear Mr. Obama saying the following sentence:
We will restore science to its rightful place, roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run factories.
Before going further please give the story a listen and listen carefully. That will be important later on.

I do not wish to comment on Mr. Obama’s policies, bad as they are, but wish to point out that the BBC doctored this quote from Mr. Obama. It is a fraud. Yes, he said these things. But what the BBC did was piece them together from various parts of his speech, including changing the order of comments. They twisted Obama’s general statement into meaning something specific, which he just didn’t say.

Worse yet the BBC reporter then refers to the doctored quote by saying “President Obama couldn’t have been clearer today...” She then goes into a litany of events supposedly proving catastrophic global warming. Surely if Mr. Obama “couldn’t have been clearer” then it was unnecessary to rearrange his words and combine parts of three different sentences from two different paragraphs in order to obtain the couldn’t-have-been-clearer message.

Here is how the BBC invented the new quote. They took the first half of the fourth sentence of the 16th paragraph of Obama’s speech, which was then inserted immediately before the last nine words of the fourth sentence from the 22nd paragraph. Then they then added these two fragments to the fifth sentence from the 16th paragraph. The net result was a brand new sentence, which doesn’t actually resemble anything that Obama said at his beatification in Washington.

The global warming reference was moved from a section five paragraphs later and inserted between fragments of two other sentences in order to give the story the sort of “oomph” that the BBC wanted. This is fraud. Who committed the fraud is open to debate. Perhaps the BBC “science editor Susan Watts” knew the sentence was created by a sound technician piecing together various fragments of different sentences, perhaps she didn’t. I find it hard to believe the sound technician did it without any authorization. And I find it hard to think Ms. Watts hadn’t actually read Obama’s speech before reporting this. So I suspect that she, at the very least, knew the quote was a bogus concoction.

The BBC got caught doing this and is now trying to excuse their dishonesty. They admitted that they “did edit sections of the speech to reflect the elements in it that referred to Science” (which they capitalize for some reason). But the BBC official who commented insists that their doctoring of three sentences together “in no way altered the meaning or misrepresented what the President was saying.”

If you followed my advice, and listened to the report before proceeding with reading, the next part will be of interest to you. The same BBC official claims that the doctoring of the sentences was made clear to the audience because they were “signposted to audiences with fades between each point.” When I listened to it I didn’t hear fades, just the typical pauses between phrases that any decent speaker uses. How does the audience know the difference between a “fade” and a “pause”? Fades you see, pauses you hear. And they sound alike.

The BBC claimed the distortion was just a collection of phrases on what Obama said about science. This might have credibility if they said that, but they didn’t. And more importantly they changed the order of the fragments, which is unnecessary if all you meant to do was present separate fragments. In addition the opening sentence of the reporter wouldn’t make sense unless you are specifically trying to sell this as a whole sentence outlining a position on one issue.

One BBC reporter candidly admitted that he simply doesn’t know “whether the doomsayers are right about the human causes of climate change. But I am willing to acknowledge that people who know a lot more than I do may be right when they claim that it is the consequence of our own behavior. I assume this is why the BBC coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago.”

This reporter was not alone. An internal report by the BBC, which was produced last year, admitted that there is “a tendency to ‘group think’ with too many staff inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone”. They also said there was an inherent liberal culture” with the staff. By this they don’t mean liberal whatsoever, they mean statist Progressive. Of the issues where this group think bias was apparent was climate change reporting. The Times reported:
THE BBC is institutionally biased, an official report will conclude this week. The year-long investigation, commissioned by the BBC, has found the corporation particularly partial in its treatment of single-issue politics such as climate change, poverty, race and religion.
The Times says the report indicates, “staff ape each other’s common liberal values.”

Previously this blog reported on a BBC report, which accurately stated that 2008 temperatures “will be lower than in 2007 .. This would mean that global temperatures have not risen since 1998, prompting some to question climate change theory.” All that is accurate, and in fact, 2008 was even cooler than 2007. A global warming “activist”, Jo Abbess, threatened the BBC in a series of emails.

At first the BBC reporter said his reporting was accurate and that he was quoting a UN official. But Abbess warned him “it’s counterproductive to even hint that the Earth is cooling down again”. That begs the question: counterproductive to whom and for what? Abbess was saying that they should not “hint” that cooling took place even AFTER cooling took place. Abbess then threatens the reporter that she will spread the story that he was disputing the global warming gospel -- which he wasn’t.

The net result was that the BBC immediately caved and changed the story in the ways that Abbess demanded. So the BBC removed the words “cooling effect” from the story. That some people questioned warming theory was moved farther down in the story where it was less likely to be read. Abbess herself suggested it and for that precise reason – the change gave the appearance of impartiality while positioning that information in such a way as to favor one side. The sentence that acknowledged the fact that “global temperatures have not risen since 1998” was deleted entirely and replaced with one predicting new global temperature highs “within five years”. The amazing thing is that when this activist non-scientist demanded changes in an article to delete facts and include alarmist predictions the BBC did it. And Abbess is so sure of her gospel message she entitled her report on the matter as “Balance Restored.”

(Please note that the original report that Abbess had censored was accurate. 2007 did see global temperatures drop. It should also be noted that this happened again in 2008 as world temperatures fell even further.)

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