Harrabin the Untrustworthy

Dave W in the comments section of the previous post kindly shares this scan of a letter from Roger Harrabin published in today’s Daily Mail…

Harrabin is attempting to stick to the BBC response following the exchange between him and bombastic environmental campaigner Jo Abbess.  Sadly for Harrabin, despite the BBC’s assertion that the news report was changed as a result of the World Meteorological Organisation pointing out: ‘that the earlier version had been ambiguous’ the email trail of contact between Harrabin and Abbess suggests no such thing.

To sum up the communication as relayed in The Register

Abbess: “Several networks exist that question whether global warming has peaked, but they contain very few actual scientists, and the scientists that they do contain are not climate scientists so have no expertise in this area.”

Harrabin: “No correction is needed. If the secy-gen of the WMO tells me that global temperatures will decrease, that’s what we will report”

Abbess: “Personally, I think it is highly irresponsible to play into the hands of the sceptics/skeptics who continually promote the idea that ‘global warming finished in 1998’, when that is so patently not true.

“Please do not do a disservice to your readership by leaving the door open to doubt about that.”

Harrabin: “We can’t ignore the fact that sceptics have jumped on the lack of increase since 1998. It is appearing reguarly now in general media. Best to tackle this – and explain it, which is what we have done.”

(still no mention of the WMO…)

Abbess: “When you are on the Tube in London, I expect that occasionally you glance a headline as sometime turns the page, and you thinkg [sic] ‘Really?’ or ‘Wow !’ You don’t read the whole article, you just get the headline.

“It would be better if you did not quote the sceptics. Their voice is heard everywhere, on every channel. [Even the BBC? – astonished ed] They are deliberately obstructing the emergence of the truth. I would ask : please reserve the main BBC Online channel for emerging truth.”

“A lot of people will read the first few paragraphs of what you say, and not read the rest, and (a) Dismiss your writing as it seems you have been manipulated by the sceptics or (b) Jump on it with glee and email their mates and say “See! Global Warming has stopped !”

“I am about to send your comments to others for their contribution, unless you request I do not. They are likely to want to post your comments on forums/fora, so please indicate if you do not want this to happen. You may appear in an unfavourable light because it could be said that you have had your head turned by the sceptics.”

Harrabin: “Have a look in 10 minutes and tell me you are happier. We have changed headline and more.”

One wonders, what else would have changed if Abbess had replied that she was not happier?

Does this appear to any reasonable person that Harrabin is changing the story because of something the WMO has allegedly told him?  Or does it appear that Harrabin is changing the story to abide by the wishes of Jo Abbess?  You decide.

10 Responses to “Harrabin the Untrustworthy”


  1. 1 David Jones 01/02/2011 at 12:56 pm

    Not only her wishes but her saying that his reputation would plummet among true believers.

  2. 2 peter geany 01/02/2011 at 1:47 pm

    I think at the time it was Jo that posted the email trail on her website and boasted to her fellow true believers that she had forced the BBC to change its web site. Roger is hoping that no one will be able to dig it out and post the truth.

    I also had some email correspondence with Roger at the time and got a polite reply to each of my mails. Each time I pointed out the he was barking up the wrong tree as the real science didn’t support his position. I reminded him at the time the money was running out and a day of reckoning was near for the BBC. OK we still have some way to go but I still think that our financial situation will worsen and further big cuts in our wasteful institutions will be needed.

    Last night I wrote to my MP asking the the government sack the BBC. I have already had a call from him for a meeting

  3. 3 James morrison 01/02/2011 at 1:53 pm

    Has this exchange been sent to the Mail in response to Harrabin’s letter?

    I think it is essential it gets publicity, even if it is just in the form of another letter…

  4. 4 Autonomous Mind 01/02/2011 at 1:55 pm

    No, but feel free James.

  5. 5 Pirran 01/02/2011 at 2:00 pm

    “Emerging Truth”

    I think we have a winner here for a new euphemism for the BBC (or AGW, or…I could go on), or perhaps “Emerging Truthiness”? ET has already been taken, I think.

  6. 6 The Gray Monk 01/02/2011 at 2:57 pm

    Interesting that she resorts to a rather thinly veiled threat at the end of that diatribe. Unfortunately this sort of coercion is all to common among the current crop of Greenies, Warmistas and Policticians.

  7. 7 Barry 01/02/2011 at 3:39 pm

    A frog in slowing heating up water doesn’t have enough perspective to notice their predicament either.

  8. 8 hippiepooter 01/02/2011 at 8:32 pm

    Harrabin’s second email is extremely revealing. He seems to be saying (nay, begging) ‘I’m being rumbled, please allow me to try to maintain some veneer of professional integrity, it’s just a veneer, I promise’.

  9. 9 David S 01/02/2011 at 11:54 pm

    I suspect that like the man from Greenpeace, Jo Abbess knows where Harrabin lives.

  10. 10 Hide the decline 02/02/2011 at 12:21 am

    She undoubtably has the same characteristics as a religious fanatic/cultist.


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