Of all news outlets across the world, the supposedly unbiased BBC has been one of the greatest cheerleaders of global warming alarmism in general, and the Hockey Stick in particular. My encounters with the journalists who write on the BBC website have been brusque and condescending. As a mere taxpayer and license fee payer, I have no right to give askance to the BBC, because the BBC is not simply a television company and a news agency, but a British institution, like the Queen.
Institutions in the UK cannot be completely wrong. Therefore anyone who points out that the BBC is wrong once is a nuisance, twice an irritant, three times or more a lunatic. So usually they’ll answer nicely (to show you the error of your ways) the first time, then brusque the second time, then dismissive after that.
Thus, despite belatedly finding that their favorite climate reconstruction is a little controversial, the BBC blithely uses that reconstruction alone to exaggerate the very slight change in climate of the 20th Century into a monster.
Here’s a typical article about the Hockey Stick and the dismissal of criticism by skeptics is plain for all to see. The usual tactic is to get responses from the Hockey Team (usually Phil Jones) and allow no rebuttal or reply.
All of this came into sharp focus when the BBC Radio 4 "Today" programme interviewed Michael Mann about his work and the criticism of it. Despite repeated calls and e-mails no-one from the Today programme would immediately call either Ross McKitrick or Steve McIntyre or explain why not.
To this day, no-one from the BBC can be bothered. Why? Because the BBC is right and you’re a lunatic for suggesting otherwise (you have a bee in your bonnet about it – clear signs of obsessive and irrational behavior).
Skeptics are given extremely short shrift. Take the "Apocalypse NO!" conference organized by the Scientific Alliance. The article was posted mid-way through the morning of the conference itself (to prevent anyone who might be interested in going from being unnecessarily forewarned) and only sometime later was a link to the Scientific Alliance put on the article ( I had to google for it at the time). Note the title "Science sceptics meet on climate" as though anyone who disagrees with global warming must disbelieve science itself (ie they’re lunatics). The conference a few days later organized by the Uk Met Office got the full trailer of scare stories before, during and after.
There are those on the blogosphere (like John Brignell of Numberwatch fame) who regard the BBC Science department as an environmenalist propaganda unit in all but name. Certainly the bias is obvious and there are no checks and balances to ensure fair journalism. After all, who can possibly be opposed to people trying to save the planet?
If the BBC is not biased, why has no-one contacted either Steve or Ross in regard to the Hockey Stick? There must be a reason why Michael Mann, an American, chose the BBC for an exclusive interview – he was practically guaranteed that no nasty skeptics would be there to rebut what he said. After all the BBC doesn’t want to confuse the licence payers unnecessarily, do they?
Update: Ross McKitrick has pointed out that the article published by the BBC quotes him directly, so there was some communication. There was the usual content-free rebuttals from Schmidt and Jones which did not address the question of Mann’s methodology nor why his work is still trumpeted as proof of dramatic climate change in the 20th Century. Ross also pointed out that someone from the BBC has been in contact since, and has indicated interest in pursuing the story further.