In the original BBC interview, Oxburgh was asked:
Obviously there has been a lot of concern from climate change sceptics who brought this matter to the public eye. If you look at the wording of the emails, the fact is that Prof Jones talked of a trick to hide the decline.
Look, our concern was not primarily with the emails, other people are looking at that. Our concern was with the published record of the group. And we went back well over 20 years looking at their publications, right up to the present day. Then we spent something like 15 person-days interviewing and talking to the people um in detail. It’s absolutely and transparently clear that they were… uh, in their published science, they were honest. I think that sometimes all sorts of people say silly things in emails. When these things are looked at afterwards, frequently people don’t have the full story, they don’t know what was said on the telephone or letters or in other ways in between. And I think that some of the sceptical comment was in fact justified, and some of it was just plain nasty and ill-informed.
In a widely disseminated story, the LA Times cherry-picked Oxburgh’s statement, leaving out his observation that “some of the sceptical comment was justified”. The LA Times:
He [Oxburgh] said some of the criticism by skeptics, who pointed to the e-mails as proof of a massive scientific coverup, was “just plain nasty and ill-informed.”
Despite his usual attentiveness in such matters, Roger’s account was even further from the original:
Of the criticisms of CRU raised by climate skeptics?
just plain nasty and ill-informed
No mention of Oxburgh’s original admission that “some of the sceptical comment was justified”.