CBC Explains Why Deniers "Given the Hook"

Tue, 2007-11-06 10:14Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

CBC Explains Why Deniers "Given the Hook"

In multi-part complaint about fairness at the CBC, Tim Ball and Tom Harris have inadvertently provided the response that they received when they took their complaint directly to the national broadcaster.

It turns out that Ball and Harris have been chiding the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for years for taking serious scientists seriously and for dismissing the ramblings of PR people (Harris) and retired academics with no relevant scientific qualifications or research (Ball) . In response to a specific complaint from Ball, the CBC Ombudsman said:

The CBC, in its decision making process, is entitled to make its own editorial determination about what opinions are in the mainstream, and need to be reflected, and what opinions are on the margins, and can be given the editorial hook they so often deserve…”
'Nuff said.

 

Comments

It's about time.

In the "Office of the Ombudsman, Annual Report 2001-2002", pp 21-23, a complaint from Tom Harris about coverage of AGW on the National, and one from William Kay re: other programs were reviewed. Before making the exact same decision on the complaint as reported today, 5 years on, David Bazay did a bit of research: "I questioned the premise of Mr. Harris’s complaint, because it seemed to me that he was overstating both the nature and the extent of the controversy . . . I examined about a year’s worth of coverage of the climate change issue on The National and in publications such as The Globe and Mail, The New York Times and The Guardian in Britain. Apart from learning that there is a nasty little war going on here, I retained for purposes of this review the informed observation that in climate science there is a majority of scientists on one side and a minority on the other. . . Yes, the views of the skeptics should be reflected in the CBC’s overall coverage, and in fact they were, but, given the strong consensus, there was in my view no need to give voice to their doubts about the reliability of climate science in each and every story about the international movement to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases."

Bazay further suggested the issue would make a good documentary. And here we are again, la plus ca change!

If the press wants to treat other science stories in the same way that they have treated climate science stories, we might be seeing this:

New item: CAPE CANAVERAL. Astronauts on the Space Shuttle Discovery return to Earth after a successful 15-day mission preparing for future deployment an international space station.

And now a few words from the other side of the debate:

The Flat Earth Society:
http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm
"Why we don't believe the world is round;
Scientific data and measurements backing up our claims;
Dispelling common myths about "proof" regarding round earth theory;
Uncovering the conspiracy to withold the truth from the public"

and

Apollo landings were faked (and all space walks are, too).
http://www.ufos-aliens.co.uk/cosmicapollo.html

Yeah, that sounds fair.