Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Great ABC Swindle

ABC Television had demonstrated yet again its total rejection of any standards in presenting science programs. From Second Opinion to Psychic Investigators and now to a documentary of less than perfect journalism arguing that global warming is a myth.

A leading US climate scientist is considering legal action after he says he was duped into appearing in a Channel 4 documentary that claimed man-made global warming is a myth. Carl Wunsch, professor of physical oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the film, The Great Global Warming Swindle, was 'grossly distorted' and 'as close to pure propaganda as anything since World War Two'.

As The Australian reports:

THE ABC was under pressure from its board to air a British documentary that challenges climate change theories. The Great Global Warming Swindle, which aired controversially on Britain's Channel 4 in March, argues changes in radiation from the sun, not human activity, is the main cause of global warming. Scientists, including some featured in the program, said it contained fabricated data and misleading statements. The documentary will be shown on the ABC in July against the advice of ABC science journalist Robyn Williams, who instructed the ABC's TV division not to buy the program, Fairfax newspaper said. Mr Williams yesterday accused the broadcaster of "verging on the irresponsible" for airing a program that was "demonstrably wrong".

While EoR is sympathetic to Robyn Williams, he can't see the difference from every other instance of ABC television absolving itself of any sort of standards in determining what to broadcast, and whether to present it as fact or fiction. Sadly, the majority of ABC television these days seems to be fiction.

ABC Radio National still maintains some journalistic standards, particularly with programs such as The Health Report, Ockham's Razor, and The Science Show. Even The Philospher's Zone, dealing as it does with much more nebulous concepts, still understands what proof and logic are.

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