Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
4 February 2010

The Beeb and the climate denialists

Why is our public service broadcaster giving credence to climate conspiracy theories?

By Mehdi Hasan

I’ve blogged before about the BBC’s unspoken, conservative and often right-wing biases and prejudices, and even written a feature in the magazine on the subject. Like me, Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy has also highlighted the myth of a liberal, left-wing, pro-Labour BBC.

In his most recent tirade against Auntie, on Comment is Free, Sunny takes on the BBC’s odd coverage of the climate debate in a piece entitled: “Our licence fees pay for climate denial”. He begins with this typically provocative statement:

After watching last night’s Newsnight, I can only come to one conclusion: the BBC has become this country’s most pernicious climate-change-denying media outlet in the UK.

Read the whole piece here.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

But, here’s my favourite paragraph:

If its journalists are so intent on providing balance on every issue, why doesn’t it invite 9/11 and 7/7 Truthers to every discussion of those terrorist attacks? If overwhelming evidence is an unnecessary guide to coverage, why not invite the Birther to discuss President Obama’s origins on a more regular basis?

So true! There is nothing more infuriating than the BBC’s earnest and often misplaced quest for “balance” on settled issues such as climate change, which often has the effect of tilting its coverage to the right.