Posts Tagged 'Bias'



Nobel Peace Prize: Union européenne, douze points

Following the ludicrous decisions in 2007 to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in 2009 to Barack Obama only two weeks after taking office and while he conducted a war, many people may have started to feel the awards had been undermined by overt politicisation.

If anyone still harboured any doubts about the Nobel Prize having been made worthless by those awards, then the news today that the European Union has won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for having “contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe” should leave them in no doubt.

Like the Eurovision Song Contest, the Nobel Peace Prize has descended into farce. Something serious and meaningful has been corrupted by a desire to force political agendas into the faces of the population. No doubt the BBC will report this in glowing terms, as one would expect from an organisation that enjoys large amounts of our money channelled to it from the EU.

The Nobel Prize is of the elite’s most highly favoured, for the elite’s most highy favoured… pals in the establishment network conferring awards and plaudits on each other.

If you doubt that, perhaps it is worth noting Thorbjørn Jagland, head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee, is also Secretary General of the Council of Europe, with its stated aims ‘To achieve greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress.’ Clearly no conflict of interest there.

It is time people started treating the award with the same contempt its committee shows for reality. Richard North at EU Referendum is already doing that, being similarly dismissive of the news.

BBC: All hail the ‘prevailing consensus’

Here we go again.

The BBC Trust publishing the terms of reference and planned approach for its impartiality review of the BBC’s breadth of opinion.  It went on to explain that breadth of opinion means reflecting a range of voices and viewpoints in BBC output and the BBC has a unique commitment to it included in its Editorial Guidelines.  The review, which will be led by former broadcasting executive Stuart Prebble, will focus on the BBC’s news, current affairs and factual output.

Well it sounds suitably fluffy and well intentioned.  But then the BBC Trust’s own viewpoint is shown to creep in as it outlines its perspective on the world, unsurprisingly giving the BBC the scope to defend its behaviour and claim it has been acting impartially and has allowed a breadth of opinion in its programming:

Through content analysis, audience research, and submissions from the BBC Executive and interested stakeholders, the review will assess, where appropriate:

  • Whether decisions to include or omit perspectives in news stories and current affairs coverage have been reasonable and carefully reached, with consistently applied judgement across an appropriate range of output;
  • Whether ‘due weight’ has been given to a range of perspectives or opinions – for example, views held by a minority should not necessarily be given equal weight to the prevailing consensus;
  • Whether the opinions of audiences who participate through phone-ins or user-generated content have been given appropriate significance, and whether the use of audience views in this way has correctly interpreted the relative weight of opinions of those who have expressed a view on an issue;
  • Whether the BBC has ensured that those who hold minority views are aware they can take part in a debate such as a phone-in.

The content analysis will include an analysis of the BBC’s coverage of immigration, religion and the EU, by comparing some coverage from 2007 with coverage from 2012/13.

Not for nothing am I reminded of the episode of Yes Prime Minister, where Jim Hacker learns the wrong ‘Ron Jones’ has been awarded a peerage.  When asked by Sir Humphrey if Jones owns a TV, Hacker replies no, to which Sir Humphrey suggests ‘make him a governor of the BBC’.  It seems the level of ignorance – or is it wilful self deception – that Sir Humphrey saw as a qualification, is shared among today’s BBC Trustees.

So to the bullet points.  The first has so much wriggle room it is utterly meaningless.  Trust: ‘Did you carefully research the perspectives in your news story in a reasonable way?’  Beeboid: ‘Why yes, impartiality is in my DNA too, Lord Patten.’

Then on to the second, Trust: ‘Did you give due weight to the range of opinions?’  Beeboid: ‘Of course, but I took into account the prevailing consensus so the weighting tipped in the favour of XYZ.’

As for the third, Trust: ‘Was appropriate significance given to the range of opinions of audience members who called in?’  Beeboid: ‘We found most of the callers during the first part of the show held view A, so the researchers put those on air. We had no way of knowing if more people with a contrary viewepoint would call in.  How could we use them?’

And the fourth, Trust: ‘Did we ensure those with minority views are aware they can take part?’  Beeboid: ‘Well of course they know they can take part. It’s just when they try to they don’t get included because their view doesn’t have equal weight to that of the prevailing consensus, and having carefully researched the topic in a reasonable way, our highly trained activists researchers skipped past them.  It’s OK though.  When they complain we tell them impartiality is in our DNA you see.  Then if they are really miffed they write to you and you hold an impartiality review with terms of reference that confirm we did everything as per the guidelines.  Fancy a Pimms?’

Perhaps the BBC Trust might do well to consider the perspective it holds about having impartiality in its DNA could be a minority view and therefore not deserving of equal weight when taken in the round with the prevailing consensus that the BBC is a biased bastion for socialist and authoritarian propaganda that treats its audience with contempt and opponents with undisguised hostility.  Then it could save licence fee payers a whole lot of money on such a waste of time review such as this.

BBC’s pro Obama bias shines through after debate

It must be very lonely being the BBC North America editor when the rest of the world also happens to be focusing on the same topic as you. For the BBC’s Mark Mardell, it means the usual formula of casual bias, loaded verbiage and perspective delivered through a Demmocrat Party prism could easily be exposed for what it was, leaving him in a space all his own in the mediascape.

So it was in the early hours of this morning as Mardell filed his analysis of the US Presidental debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Mardell clearly saw how poorly Obama had been without the comfort of a teleprompter and how effectively Romney had rebutted Obama’s claims and landed blows on taxation and the economy.

But Operation Save Barack was in full flow on Mardell’s keyboard as he submitted his analysis to the BBC write up of the debate – a story which itself took nearly three hours from first publication under the headline ‘US election: Obama and Romney clash in Denver’ to grudgingly acknowledge what less partisan observers were saying from the moment the debate ended, resulting in a change of headline to ‘US election: Polls show Romney won TV debate with Obama’. Here is Mardell’s analysis posted at 04:30 UTC…

Mitt Romney had been practising hard. And it paid off. He was animated, in command of his information, overriding the moderator and interrupting the president. He seemed to be in charge and enjoying the scrap.

On the other hand, President Obama started out looking very nervous, and although he warmed up and got into his stride, he ended up giving overlong, mini-lectures straight to camera rather than engaging and arguing.

He seemed unwilling to actually debate with his opponent and missed a few obvious openings when he should have challenged. This may be deliberate. Perhaps his team decided that he shouldn’t get riled, so it was best not to get into a fight. If so, he held back too much.

If Mr Romney clearly won this debate, in terms of style at least, he can’t celebrate too hard just yet. If the polls don’t move after a win, then he really is in trouble.

Having seen how far removed his version of the story was from all other reports of the debate , yet determined to remain as defensive as possible of the BBC’s preferred candidate without being quite so obvious where his favour rests, his analysis has been heavily edited, through one assumes gritted teeth, to now read thus in version 7 of the story…

As theatre, a battle of image and confidence, Mitt Romney was the clear winner. He had obviously practised so hard and so long that he was nearly hoarse. But not quite. Instead his voice was a touch deeper. No bad thing.

He looked Mr Obama in the eyes as he interrupted with animation, overriding the moderator, insisting on a comeback. He didn’t seem rude. He did seem in command and to be enjoying the scrap.

President Obama on the other hand looked as though he’d much rather be out celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife. He started out looking very nervous, swallowing hard, not the confident performer we are used to seeing.

Republicans certainly feel that they have used the debate to shift the perception of their candidate, shake up the etch-a-sketch and talk about his passion for job creation and focus on the middle classes.

The next string of opinion polls could hardly matter more. If they narrow or he starts moving ahead of Mr Obama, that will be a huge boost for his campaign, and suggest he could win the White House. However if after an acclaimed victory the opinion polls hardly budge, then it would mean he is in a very serious hole indeed.

There is no surprise here, this is the BBC at work after all. But it does underline the lack of trust BBC viewers and readers should have in the editorial position of key staff.

Perhaps the driver of this is a simple desire to once again wear woolly Obama hats in Washington DC in January at what the Beeboids hope will be the start of Obama’s second term in office. But somehow when BBC coverage of North America is examined we see time and again the same distorted, leftist and authoritarian viewpoint being relayed to this side of the Atlantic at the expense of balanced and impartial reporting.

The aggravating factor in all this as always is the fact we are compelled to pay for this propaganda and have no say in how our money is spent, and no entitlement to receive information freely on request about the behind the scenes editorial discussions that drive such biased coverage. We continue to complain, but the political class has no interest in taking on the corporation, vast, powerful and overbearing as it now is.

The tactics of the globalist warmists are legion

In the comments to my previous post about the article on melting Arctic sea ice causing colder winters, by Richard ‘Black is White’ of the BBC, is this response from fellow blogger, Dephius, who writes:

AM, if you haven’t noticed it, I sense a paradigm shift in the trend of the BBC’s output. Its not so long ago that a report like this would have rammed the AGW message home loud and clear with several references to it.

Instead we have just one paragraph related to how man made CO2 might skew the natural pattern of global climate cycles.

When natural cycles and the effects of the Sun on global climate are given more emphasis than warmist dogma, I just wonder if we’re seeing the tide finally turning.

I’ve seen more emphasis given to Chinese (no friends of the AGW cult) climate research now too, which is interesting.

And then on another post prior to that, where I invited readers to forget the climate science feeding frenzy and focus instead on the real issue of the globalisation of government, which is using climate change as a justification for its development, commenter Karl Hallowell, contributes these thoughts:

I have to disagree. Not that there are ideologies that move to overthrow the current democratic order, but rather the claim that the strategy for dealing with them are flawed. Coming up with a policy attack -based vehicle for ideological purposes is not a trivial task. It’s not like guessing passwords or trying different keys in a lock. Each attempt takes a great deal of effort, communication, and coordination. And exposes the participants to risk of humiliation, disfranchisement, and even criminal charges, if they go too far.

Dealing with the attacks rather than the ideology has three strengths. First, it builds up a body of policy for when a valid weakness is found. Ultimately, having an established, democratic plan for dealing with valid environmental or societal problems will do more to cut off these attacks than fighting the ideology directly. Democracy by itself has done much to weaken the power of these ideologies, precisely because it provides conduits for debate and action that ideologues can’t bypass.

Second, they lose something every time they fail. The more they cry “wolf” the more they discredit themselves in future assaults. They don’t have infinite resources at their disposal.

Finally, it means that the strategy remains effective, even if the ideology mutates or is replaced. It works as well against would-be theocrats (of any flavor), Marxists, or any new ideologies that haven’t yet had a chance to rear their nasty, little heads.

Both are very good comments and worthy contributions to the debate.  As I was about to write a post replying to these points I spotted a great blog post on Biased BBC by the ever excellent Robin Horbury.  It addresses both points at once.

Firstly is demonstrates the shift in approach by the BBC, explaining the point raised by Delphius.  As, for example, the comments section on Richard Black’s activist page are increasingly pock-marked with spaces where comments have been removed and comments that are allowed to remain that nevertheless pull Black’s warmist position and bias to pieces, the angle of the warmist attack has changed.

It seems the BBC is slowly giving up pushing such an alarmist narrative because it is increasingly rejected and derided by readers those who stop to think about the reality of the situation and provide counter evidence.  Why waste time trying to convert people who refuse to accept the party line?  Far better to seek the adoration of and nodding agreement of those who believe the alarmist argument on climate and stand to benefit financially from the UN mandated wealth redistribution programme under the guise of fighting climate change.

On to Karl Hallowell’s comment, the Biased BBC post shows that going toe-to-toe over the scientific arguments being used by the globalist warmists only serves to drive them down another avenue, while maintaining their direction of travel.  The opportunity to engage and challenge the science is being removed from the sceptics while the globalist agenda is furthered in a different way.

Ultimately our money and resources are still going where the UN wants it to, and we will still pick up the tab for the alarmists’ policies as we are forced to pay for wind turbines that don’t work and CO2 emission measures that make no difference to the environment.  Surely that demonstrates that focusing on holding the line in one theatre of battle is futile as the enemy troops elsewhere isolate you from the rest of the war.

Their tactics are legion.  Until we stop tackling the climate science symptom exclusively and go after the political root cause of this agenda, we will be swamped and lose the war.

Winters are colder because it’s getting warmer

And so the game goes on.  The useful idiots (and hard core activists) of the cult of sustainability continue to create new arguments at public expense to justify a political ‘solution’.

The subtle and blatant distortion of the facts in the article aren’t important, but they will keep opponents of the anti-science global warmists occupied for days or even months. And while they might win another battle against the warmist using proper scientific method, they are unwittingly still losing the war because behind the scenes the real agenda continues its advance.

This claim from Richard ‘Black is White’ is faithfully carried in support of the ’cause’ yet if it is ever falsified by other scientists the new research will be ignored, omitted from the record, buried – instead a new claim requiring the same political solution will rise to take its place in the narrative and the incessant march towards global government on the basis of controlling spending to fix a problem that isn’t really a problem, will continue.

Broadcaster political bias – not just a BBC phenomenon

Regular readers will be familiar with the often noted examples of BBC bias when it comes to political coverage and promoting activism.

But a piece in the Irish Independent today shows the problem of state broadcaster employees exhibiting political bias is not confined to the BBC.

It seems monitoring of Ireland’s RTE news and current affairs coverage by Fianna Fail has thrown up some interesting statistics showing a similar phenomenon on the other side of the Irish Sea, particularly with the flagship Prime Time programme.  Fianna Fail have submitted a dossier to RTE outlining their accusation of bias by the broadcaster:

The submission, which contained statistical evidence, states: “Prime Time appears to have taken a radically different approach to covering opposition voice. Before the election, share of voice was clearly biased in favour of the opposition. Since the election, that bias has been dramatically reversed.”

It goes on to say that despite identical Dail representation, Labour enjoyed 21.6 per cent share of voice before the election (when in opposition), compared to Fianna Fail’s 10.1 per cent after the election (having lost the election and become the main opposition). Fianna Fail is now getting more than 100 per cent less access to Prime Time than the Labour Party in the same position.  It certainly suggests a very uneven approach to coverage that amounts to bias by omission.

Of course it won’t come as a shock that the more avowedly socialist a political party is, the more favoured it is by media corps stuffed to the gills with ‘progressive’ hacks keen to push their ideology on the public.  But in Ireland this bunfight is somewhat interesting as the political spectrum ranges from broadly socialist to extreme socialist with nothing approaching a small ‘c’ conservative alternative.  Perhaps ideological purity is the name of the game?

BBC – only the news they want you to know

Perhaps the BBC acronym should be short for Bias By Censorship.  One of the big stories in the EU today was the news that the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands refused to sign off the EU’s accounts for the last year. It is the first time these countries have voted against accepting the accounts, as they usually abstain.

The story is covered in detail on the EUobserver website.  But if you were surfing around the world’s most extensive news gathering organisation’s website, you would not find anything to suggest it ever happened.  Here’s a snapshot of the BBC Europe page.  And here’s one of the BBC Politics page.  Nothing. Nada. Zip.

In fairness, the BBC has mentioned the story.  It is buried in paragraph 9 of their article about the government’s criticism of pay rises for EU staff.  However the BBC gave more prominence in the article to Labour saying the government must accept some of the blame for the plans to increase Eurocrat salaries.  It prefers to gloss over a significant issue concerning what is now 17 years of controversy, lack of transparency and breeding ground for fraud that is the EU’s finances.

Of course this couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the BBC’s pro-EU stance and cosy financial relationship that has seen it receive nearly £3million in grant money from the European Union over the past four years…

Harrabin achieves aim despite BBC Weather Test unravelling

EU Referendum has a tidy summary of events this morning, building on today’s Mail on Sunday story about the Roger Harrabin inspired BBC Weather Test project falling apart.  If Weather Test does finally collapse it will not be any surprise to regular readers here.

For in addition to the issues highlighted on EU Referendum, we can point to our coverage of the evident lack of impartiality among the individuals and institutions Harrabin had lined up to assess the weather and the forecasts for the project, which would fundamentally undermine it:

  • The Met Office would be acting as competitor and judge, using its own weather stations
  • The statistics would be dealt with by Leeds University – one of three academic institutions with whom the Met Office formed what is described as ‘a world class academic partnership to tackle the problems of climate change ‘
  • The ‘independent’ meteorologist for the project, Philip Eden, is another BBC man and has since that blog post been accused of making disparaging remarks questioning the accuracy of independent weathermen’s forecasts

After we had aired these factors we went on to speak to several meteorologists and established a major flaw at the very heart of the project, concerning the weighting of the day to day results and major weather events.  If a competing forecaster was able to produce a forecast accuracy rate for, say, 75% of the days in the test period when there are no major weather events, but completely miss major events, how would that be weighted to demonstrate that when it comes to forecasts that really matter their accuracy was found wanting?

There was nothing in any of Harrabin’s written or verbal pieces about the Weather Test that suggested any thought had been devoted to this.  It defies belief that Harrabin would have had dealings with meterological specialists about this project and not known this problem or communicated how it would be addressed.

When everythying is looked at in the round it is hard to argue that the BBC Weather Test was set up to do anything other than fail.  Perhaps the reason for this is that is provided a convenient distraction from the highly public failings of the Met Office over its lamentable 2009 summer and 2010-11 winter forecasts.  Maybe that was all that was needed.  The Met Office would be afforded some breathing space from its warm-biased forecasts if it was committed to having its predictions measured against other forecasters whose records appeared to be more accurate.  People would wait for qualitative evidence that proved what they had long suspected.

Harrabin has done his bit for the organisation he has repeatedy provided cover for.  Greater love hath no journalist than he lay down his credibility and career for the cause. Having been completely compromised by his warmist affiliations and biased analyses, and now safely tucked out of sight in the United States, Harrabin can’t be held to account for the wreckage he has left behind.  But he has bought time for the Met Office and deflected attention from its failures for a time, and for that he will have earned the eternal gratitude of the Met Office and the AGW alarmist community for his services to the cause.  It is mission accomplished – and the money from speaking at or chairing warmist events will continue to flow into his bank account as a lavish reward.

Credibility of Rajendra Pachauri continues to retreat

In 2009, the Indian environment ministry was accused of ‘arrogance’ by Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), after the release of a government report claiming that there is no evidence climate change has caused ‘abnormal’ shrinking of Himalayan glaciers.

Dr Vijay Kumar Raina, the geologist who authored the report, admitted that some: ‘Himalayan glaciers are retreating. But it is nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to suggest as some have said that they will disappear.’  The response of Pachauri, a railway engineer often described as a leading climate scientist, was this:

We have a very clear idea of what is happening. I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.

Pachauri went on to say that such statements were reminiscent of ‘climate change deniers and school boy science’, adding this money quote:

I cannot see what the minister’s motives are. We do need more extensive measurement of the Himalayan range but it is clear from satellite pictures what is happening.

He also went on record describing the Indian government report as ‘voodoo science’.  In light of this, one wonders how Pachy is feeling right now given the publication of scientific research using satellite data that shows there hasn’t been any melt of those glaciers at all in the last 10 years.  One also wonders, considering this new evidence, just what satellite pictures Pachauri and friends had been looking at.  He certainly seems to be the school boy after this.

It would appear that what is retreating at record speed is not the glaciers in the Himalayan range, but the last shreds of Rajendra Pachauri’s shattered credibility.  The excellent cartoonist, Josh, captures the moment in his own inimitable style over at Bishop Hill

Now let’s see if any of the British MPs who are jumping up and down about wind power subsidies have the gumption to challenge the government to distance itself from the IPCC and Rajendra Pachauri for being completely unreliable and discredited.

Starmer to give his friend Leigh a keep out of jail card?

Regular readers may remember this post back in December, when we examined the evidence given to the Leveson Inquiry by the Guardian’s self confessed phone hacker, David Leigh.  This blog posed a rhetorical question… is it possible that the Guardian frames the law in this country?

The post argued that at the very least, senior editorial staff at the Guardian appear to be using their close relationships with people in the highest echelons of the legal establishment to subvert the course of justice for their own ends.  Perhaps it is less a case of subversion and more a case of wielding undue influence.  A Daily Mail story today that Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, will introduce an interim policy in a ‘matter of weeks’ to set out ‘in one place’ the factors to be taken into account when considering whether to charge a journalist with a crime.

The story explains how Starmer has outlined six factors which would be looked at when weighing up prosecutions against journalists, although others also exist. These include:

  • The relative gravity of any potential offence committed and/or harm caused compared with the public interest;
  • Whether there was any element of corruption in the commission of the offence;
  • Whether the conduct included the use of threats or intimidation;
  • The impact of the conduct on any course of justice, e.g. whether it put criminal proceedings in jeopardy;
  • Whether the public interest in question could have been served by lawful means;
  • The impact on the victim or victims of the conduct in question.

Currently there is no public interest defence for a journalist intercepting the voicemails of someone’s mobile phone.  So quite why David Leigh has not been arrested and prosecuted for his actions, when a raft of staff from News International have been arrested ‘on suspicion of unlawfully intercepting mobile phone voicemail messages’ by the Metropolitan Police, defies logic and reason.

However, it appears that Starmer’s ‘factors’ give rise to the possibility that Leigh’s ‘defence’ of public interest, when deliberately accessing the voicemails of someone he was investigating for a story, might be accepted as reasonable and therefore ensure he doesn’t face prosecution for the criminal act he has openly confirmed he committed.

Is this yet more circumstantial evidence that the DPP is working in the interests of his friends and former co-writers at the Guardian, placing them above the law that is being applied to others?  We need to watch for the interim policy to see if its contents contain a get-out clause for Leigh that ensure charges are not brought against him.

And in the meantime questions must continue to be asked about why David Leigh has not been arrested as part of the phone hacking investigation.  The only conclusion that can be drawn is that his fellow left wing activist and friend occupying the office of the DPP has got his back, rigging the deck to ensure Leigh holds a keep out of jail free card.  This rank injustice is a scandal that the mainstream media continues to turn a blind eye to, to its enduring shame.  Their silence is deafening.

BBC takes advantage of Burwood School incident to push economic downturn meme

Hours after our previous blog post about the 10-year-old boy who hospitalised two of his teachers, in which were the only entity to provide details of the school and its circumstances, the BBC has followed our lead and updated its report to include the details covered in our post.

BBC London despatched reporter Paul Curran to report from outside an empty Burwood School on Saturday afternoon and share some of the details published on AM.  However, the BBC journalist has shamelessly taken advantage of the situation to further the corporation’s line on the economic downturn (code for cuts).  We have posted the details of this over on the Biased BBC blog, where AM is now a contributor.

Rocket attacks on Gaza – school and house hit, civilians injured

If you keep a close eye on reports from the Middle East you might be wondering why you haven’t seen news broadcasts and pages of coverage on the BBC and CNN and in the Guardian and New York Times about these attacks that are harming Palestinians.

Perhaps this insightful blog post will explain why there has been no coverage about this outrageous onslaught.  It is food for thought about the media and its agendas.

Director of Public Prosecutions perverting the course of justice?

Is it possible that the Guardian frames the law in this country?  Many people would rightly laugh at such a question.

But it appears, from the weight of circumstantial evidence that exists, that the Guardian’s journalists are capable – or at the very least have an expectation – of using their close relationships with people in the highest echelons of the legal establishment to subvert the course of justice for their own ends.

A case in point is kindly provided by the Guardian’s David Leigh, who with typical arrogance, argued before the Leveson Inquiry that the law regarding ‘phone hacking’ should not apply to him for his admitted instance of criminal activity because he believes it was in the public interest. The look on his face as he spoke suggested a confidence that other people opening admitting a crime in public just do not have. As the Daily Mail reported, Leigh argued:

I like to think that if the incident I have described came to the attentions of the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions], and I was asked about it, the DPP would conclude that there was no public interest in seeking to prosecute me or another person for doing something like that. That is a backstop that the law has to stop it making an ass of itself.

Ordinarily this would seem a quite staggering assertion to make. Particularly as there is no public interest immunity from prosecution for that criminal offence.  But Leigh’s circumstances are anything but ordinary. Leigh appears to feel in a strong enough position to effectively challenge the DPP to prosecute him. And that is because of his close ties to the man this blog has previously identified as the Guardian’s Angel, the DPP himself, Keir Starmer.

Unlike the vast majority of the population, there is more than a hint that Leigh enjoys protection and preferential treatment reserved for good friends and colleagues who inhabit the same ideological, activist plane on the distant left of the political spectrum.

In our Guardian’s Angel post we showed how Keir Starmer’s career had been nurtured by his close friend and mentor, the activist left wing lawyer Geoffrey Robertson.  We reminded readers of Robertson’s direct involvement as contributor to the Guardian and its legal counsel in court actions.  We also established the clear conflict of interest Starmer has personally as a former contributor to the Guardian and also its legal counsel in court actions.  What we did not show was the professional links between Robertson/Starmer axis and Leigh.

Many people do not realise that David Leigh (then at the Observer) actually worked as an aide to Geoffrey Robertson during the Neil Hamilton sleaze action.  This was explained in Leigh’s co-authored book ‘Sleaze’ shown in extract below:

Then of course there Robertson’s fawning adoration of Leigh in his book ‘The Justice Game’ shown in extract below:

Taken in the round it can be of little surprise that this very cosy network of friends and allies working in a mutally supportive manner to further their aims.

Interestingly, in media reports from the Leveson Inquiry, there was no mention of Leigh’s involvement in other criminal activities concerning the infamous Benji ‘the binman’ Pell, which show the same contempt for the law exhibited in his phone hacking and ‘blagging’ behaviour.

The focus now turns once again to Director of Public Prosecutions Starmer.  Arrests are being made as journalists suspected of being involved in the commissioning of phone hacking are pursued by the Met Police’s Operation Weeting investigation team.  Here, in the shape of David Leigh, the Weeting investigation has a journalist who has openly admitted personally hacking the messages on a mobile phone.  It’s an open and shut case.

So where is the arrest and where is the Crown Prosecution Service action?  As the police and CPS are aware there is no public interest defence for the action Leigh has confessed to.  So what is holding them back?

Could it be that with these evident conflicts of interest and biases, Leigh’s former colleague and ideological soulmate who currently occupies the office with DPP on the door, has got Leigh’s back?  Could it be that to protect a former colleague and ally Keir Starmer is perverting the course of justice?

The ignorant and learning impaired BBC

Having the dubious distinction of working in an office that has its TVs constantly tuned to the BBC News channel, it has been impossible to avoid the corporation’s obsessive coverage of proceedings from the Leveson inquiry.

Hugh Grant’s moody features and Steve Coogan’s inability to find a barber have featured heavily.  The BBC line is clear, the press has behaved outrageously by publishing distorted stories, fabrications and smears in order to sell papers. In the past month alone (at the time of writing) a Google search shows the BBC has been thoroughly enjoying itself, publishing no less than 856 stories and references about the Leveson inquiry – while taking a moral high ground that is wholly unjustified.

Unjustified, how?

Well, for all the wall to wall coverage on its news channel and the incessant stream of stories on a number of areas of its website, the BBC has itself been shown to be… publishing distorted stories, fabrications and smears.

The BBC has published no less than 22 articles and references this week about the Conservative and Unionist Society at the University of St Andrews burning an effigy of President Barack Obama.

However, the Tory boys and girls have not taken the thinly veiled insinuations of racism laying down.

What the BBC will not report is that there is more to the story than they are happy for people to know, lest it exposes their scoop as the meaningless piece of spiteful bile it really is.  Instead, for the facts, we need to turn to the blog pages of Biased BBC, where a member of the St Andrews little Tories explains what really happened and why.  The ignorance of the BBC is left on full display.  Their inability to learn the very lessons they are so keen to thrust down the ether and across the airwaves at us, is self evident.

As always with the BBC what you get is half the story all the time – assuming they don’t ignore the story completely because it contradicts one of their sacred shibboleths.  As always with the BBC the story has been made possible because of the unique way they are funded – with our money, despite not being accountable to us.

Has the Guardian published fauxtography?

Sometimes reality is revealed in unintended ways.  Has it been again?  Here’s Rubbisher of the Graun praising the Guardian’s favourite snapper, Murdo Macleod…

Murdo Macleod’s pictures verge on the ridiculous. They seldom fall over the edge, but they often teeter on the brink. Murdo is the gentlest of men, with a soothing, Hebridean lilt that he evidently uses to beguile his sitters to most audacious effect. He charms them into improbable poses or amuses them for long enough to lower their guard. His use of lighting is extraordinary, as is his use of props. You must always expect the unexpected. There is sometimes an element of magic, sometimes a tinge of Dalí.

And as Anthony Watts of the blog Watts Up With That? has discovered, possibly an unhealthy application of Photoshop too.

Did Rubbisher unintentionally hit on something significant when he said Macleod’s pictures verge on the ridiculous, and that there is a Beckett-like sense of absurdity lurking in most of what he photographs?  As focus turns to the Climategate 2.0 emails and people scrutinise the honesty of a number of scientists and journalists, some people are examining everything that has been said and what has been published by the media.

A number of photographs used in climate change and environmental stories seem somewhat odd and have some people asking questions like; have you ever seen black steam coming from a cooling tower?  People should know if image by Murdo Macleod is an example of him falling over the edge from visual representation to gross distortion, in support of a pre-determined editorial line.  The question is this, is it what we are seeing photography or fauxtography?

This image of Eggborough power station (above) by Murdo Macleod appears to have been used exclusively by the Guardian. On WUWT, Anthony Watts shows the output from running the published image through the PSKiller.com application to see whether it has been Photoshopped.

This output leads to a suspicion that the Guardian may have commissioned/used an altered image in order to convey a false impression of power station emissions.

AM has written to Mr Macleod to ask if he will be willing to provide the raw, unaltered image for comparison purposes, and to detail what changes were made from the original to arrive at the image above.  Macleod has also been offered a right of reply that is so often denied to subjects by journalists in the mainstream media.

It would be improper to taint the long standing reputation of a man with such a high profile in his profession if he has done nothing wrong.  This is not about getting one over the Guardian, but a simple search for the truth.  There are questions to be answered here and those answers could have far reaching implications, so we await Macleod’s response with interest.

Update: Murdo Macleod has replied to my email.  The email exchange is reproduced in full below:

Dear Mr Macleod,

I write with regard to this photograph you took for the Guardian newspaper.

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Books/Pix/pictures/2010/3/10/1268222690808/Eggborough-power-station-001.jpg

There is currently speculation that the photograph has been enhanced or altered in some way to achieve a darkening of the cloud emitted from the cooling towers, as Photoshop quantization tables have been found in the image using http://www.pskiller.com. Before I write about this I wanted to give you the opportunity to respond, as the implications of this could be far reaching.

Would you like to comment about what changes were made to the image? Would you be willing to supply the original raw, unadjusted image for comparison purposes?

Yours sincerely,

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

——-

Dear xxxxxxx
Perhaps this makes it clearer for you.
Best wishes
Murdo
——-
Dear Murdo,
While you have kindly sent me a photograph to act as an illustration (which has been manipulated – resized only?), it is not the same one that was published and does not explain what changes were made using Photoshop (or similar) to the original image.
People driving past the Eggborough power station say they have only ever seen white steam coming from the cooling towers. This would sound logical as only water vapour comes from cooling towers. However, your images show darkened emissions. So I am trying to get to the bottom of this.
For the sake of clarity, is this as a result of shadow as the sunlight is coming from the left? Or have you used a particular filter, adjusted the contrast, or otherwise altered the image? Or are the emissions that colour when seen from all angles?
Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. It is appreciated.
Best wishes,
xxxxxxx
——-
Dear xxxxxxx

As you can see there is a shadow falling across the steam from the left towers. As you may be aware the Guardian has guidelines on photographs and their various aspects. I comply with those. There is a procedure for any readers who have any concerns about any images published. Nearly all photographs are processed in photoshop and a variety of adjustments are made for aesthetic and technical reasons. This photograph will have been adjusted within those conventions and regulations.
Best wishes
Murdo
————————————————————————————
So, Murdo Macleod is clear, the darker area is shadow being cast across the steam.  It is not black smoke.  But as others are saying, his comments are interesting for what he doesn‘t say.
While the Guardian has guidelines concerning photographs that are submitted, it seems they are happy for people to take the impression that dirty, sooty smoke is being emitted from cooling towers, when the reality is the image shows only steam with part of it in shadow.  That is the power of imagery.  Is the Guardian being sly and disingenuous in the use of the photograph?  You decide.

Phone hacking, the Met Police, corrupt sources and the Guardian’s DPP angel

Think back to September when the media went into full screech mode because the Metropolitan Police threatened to use the Official Secrets Act to force the Guardian’s Amelia Hill to reveal the police source leaking stories to her about the phone hacking investigation, Operation Weeting.

At the Guardian there was outrage.  Editor Alan Rusbridger started the wagon circling, declaring: “We shall resist this extraordinary demand to the utmost”.  His brother-in-law and the Guardian’s own self confessed exponent of phone hacking, David Leigh, also leapt into print to rail against the “unprecedented legal attack on journalists’ sources,” while carefully trying to distract people from the fact the source was a police officer whose actions broke the law.

As always when the Guardianista comrades find themselves in the legal mire, their celebrated barrister and proxy in the assault on the Murdochs, Geoffrey Robertson QC, waded in to bemoan that it was an “attempt to get at the Guardian’s sources is not only a blatant breach of the Human Rights Act and article 10 of the convention, but it appears to involve a misapplication of the Official Secrets Act”.

The Met Police backed down shortly after.  A ‘victory for press freedom’ was the way the media reported the Met’s sudden climbdown.  Of course, if any of them uncovered a police officer breaking the law by leaking information from an enquiry on which he was working, they would report it gleefully as an example of disgraceful police behaviour that risked perverting the course of justice.  But it seems as long as the copper’s actions are benefiting a hack, he is treated as an untouchable source to be protected at all costs.

Writing in the Daily Mail, cor blimey merchant Richard Littlejohn explained:

I’m told the Yard only backed down after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, had a serious word in their shell-like and made it plain they would receive no backing from the CPS.

The intervention of Keir Starmer and its timing is something the media, in its own vested interest, warmly welcomed as it breathed a collective sigh of relief.  Had the media not been so self serving it might have chosen to look into Starmer’s links to the Guardian, and examine if his intervention was truly impartial, or influenced by something other than a legal standpoint.

Starmer had a history of left wing political and legal activism prior to becoming Director of Public Prosecutions.  When he was younger he was the editor of a magazine called Socialist Alternatives.  Almost a year after becoming DPP he defended himself against this history and the wider charge of being political when interviewed by the BBC’s Martha Kearney, declaring:

These are things of 25, 30 years ago now. They’re not relevant to the work I do now. I hope that since I’ve been in office I’ve made it absolutely clear that every single decision is made absolutely independently.

So just how independent is he?  This post will show Starmer was being very economical with the truth about his political activity and as such cannot be trusted to be independent.  His intervention on behalf of the Guardian against the Met Police needs to be put into proper context, and the media’s bias by omission exposed.

Starmer was not only a member, but Secretary, of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers which supports a variety of hard left causes and actively opposes anything considered right of centre.  That is in no way a thing of 25, 30 years ago.  Starmer’s left wing activism is long standing and has never gone away.  His first interview as DPP was given to, surprise surprise, the Guardian.  In it Stephen Moss explained of Starmer that: “[H]he has generally been seen as a Labour supporter and doesn’t demur when I mention that perception.”  Starmer was also kind enough to tell Moss that:

My background is not typical of a lawyer or a DPP.  My dad was a toolmaker before he retired, so he worked in a factory all his life. My mum was a nurse, and she’s been physically disabled for years. We didn’t have much money, and they were Guardian-reading, Labour-leaning parents. That inevitably created an atmosphere where my thinking developed.

How very cosy.  That same interview even saw Starmer reveal the fawning, high esteem in which he holds the Guardian, ironically on the subject of the phone hacking investigation:

Starmer also decided not to reopen the News of the World phone-tapping case following allegations made in this paper that its illegal surveillance operations went beyond its disgraced royal editor Clive Goodman, who was jailed in 2007 for plotting to intercept phone messages from members of the royal family. “I did get a review off the ground,” he says. “We looked at it and we formed the view that what was done at the time was the appropriate thing, and that it wouldn’t now be the right course to prosecute anybody.” But he does not rule out a case being brought at some point. “I keep an open mind. It might move on and develop if Guardian journalists or anybody else show us other stuff. What I don’t want to do is say, ‘We looked at that, we’re not going to look at it again.'”

Earlier in his career as a barrister, Keir Starmer had joined Doughty Street Chambers, founded and headed by one Geoffrey Robertson QC – the same chap who has doggedly pursued the Murdochs through his pieces in the Guardian, acted as counsel for the Guardian in the Neil Hamilton/Ian Greer libel case, and howled in protest against the Met’s proposed legal action to get the name of Amelia Hill’s police source.  Over time Robertson promoted Starmer to be joint head of chambers at Doughty Street.

Robertson as the boss had influence over Starmer and helped to advance his career.  Robertson as the joint head of chambers with Starmer arguably had an even closer bond with him.

Within days of Robertson popping up to defend the Guardian within its pages, imagine our surprise that Starmer stepped in to put an end to the Met’s idea of using the Official Secrets Act to use Hill’s notes to root out the law breaking police officer.  Was this a case of Starmer listening to his former boss, mentor and colleague and following his demands to the letter, rather than letting the police test the law in court in an effort to nail a bad apple?  If so it justifies the Guardian’s adoration of comrade Keir.

That would be enough to convince some people Starmer has too close an association with the Guardian to be an honest broker.  But looking back there’s more.  Not many people realise that in 2002 Starmer was himself paid counsel for the Guardian alongside Robertson.  Starmer even wrote for the Guardian, cementing his link with the paper.  If this was a couple of Bullingdon Club boys rather than Guardianista, you can imagine the howls of outrage that would have been flowing from Alan Rusbridger’s office.  As the Guardian will no doubt privately attest, the socialist strategy of getting fellow travellers into the top echelons of the state is paying off.

Alan Rusbridger, speaking after the Met Police dropped its action, described their attempt to confirm Hill’s source as “sinister”.  What is really sinister though is how one newspaper possibly enjoys special protection under the law as one of their favourite sons holds the senior criminal prosecutorial role in the land – and that the media turns a blind eye to a potentially serious conflict of interest, because it suits their own.

Gilad Shalit, Hamas and the BBC-Guardian axis of bias

I intended to write a detailed blog post about the release of Gilad Shalit and the consequences of the prisoner swap in return for this kidnapped Israeli soldier.  But again the bias of elements of the British media dictate a change of focus.

That said it is wonderful that this young man is free again after being held hostage for so long and denied visits from the Red Cross.  But that said, Israel has just turned free a battalion of hardened terrorists who will resume waging death and destruction as soon as they can.

One wonders if those people who constantly accuse Israel of of human rights violations and mistreatment of Palestinians stopped for one moment today to compare and contrast the sight of the malnourished Gilad Shalit who has been violently kidnapped, with the fit and healthy Palestinian terrorists and criminals who has been arrested and put on trial before being sentenced.  One measure of a people is how it treats those in its prisons, and the Palestinians prisoners have clearly been well looked after.

The scene underlined the sheer inhumanity of Hamas. Yet here in the UK, the BBC and the Guardian, both of which publish so many stories that portray Israel in a negative manner while turning a blind eye to the viciousness and violence of Hamas, this was ignored.

Meanwhile, as Gilad Shalit was explaining how he hoped this exchange would help to bring about peace, the people responsible for snatching him from inside Israel and mistreating him for the last five years led the crowds in Gaza and the West Bank in chanting:

“The people want a new Gilad!”

And less than a week ago Khaled Mashal, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, told the media:

“Those released will return to armed struggle.  It is a great national achievement.”

You will not find either quote anywhere on the BBC or in the Guardian.  They don’t want to show the true nature of Hamas, for whom they act as cheerleaders and propagandists.

Peace was what Gilad Shalit and many Israelis continue to hope and pray for.  But violence, terror and death is all Hamas are interested in as they pursue their aim of destroying the nation of Israel and driving the Jews out of the Middle East again.

Peace seems as far away as ever, and the BBC and Guardian will do their best to ignore the evidence in front of them to lay the blame for that at the door of Israel.  It is hard to feel anything other than utter disgust.

A new twist in the Wolfgang Wagner resignation saga

Following on from the previous post about the Spencer and Braswell paper… In an ideal world journalists like Richard Black at the BBC and Leo Hickman at the Guardian would try to find out if there was something more to the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, which they reported in their traditionally biased fashion.

But given the BBC and Guardian acolytes, among others in the media, have an agenda  favourable to those who assert the world is warming and humans are to blame, what else can we expect? From to chairing conferences to delivering speeches and filing copy derived unquestioningly from press releases that enjoin people to accept at face value what they say, the BBC and Guardian.

Anything that raises questions about the actions of their friends in the alarmist ‘consensus’ is ignored or quietly shoved out of sight under the nearest convenient floor covering. Anything that goes beyond regurgitating the

This is why the blogosphere, so often derided by the oh-so-grand churnalists, is so important today.  This latest example of defacto censorship by the Guardian and outrageous bias exhibited by the UK’s taxpayer funded public service broadcaster, the BBC, can again be partially countered by bloggers who put the journos to shame and act in the public interest by searching for information and sharing the salient facts and background the media has deliberately omitted or tried to leave buried.

The lastest example of this can be found at the end of this post on Watts Up With That? which reveals information about a previously unmentioned relationship between Wolfgang Wagner and arch-alarmist who has been most affronted by the Spencer and Braswell paper – to the extent that Wagner issued an apology to him for publishing the paper – Kevin Trenberth.

What has been uncovered has the capacity to shed a somewhat different light on the motivation for Wagner’s resignation as editor in chief of Remote Sensing.  Yet the collective eyes, ears and mouths of the BBC and Guardian alarmists such as Richard Black and Leo Hickman will no doubt remain utterly immobile as they decide the information to be irrelevant and inconvenient to their agenda.

Dr Roy Spencer, adding to his previous thoughts on this incredible story and the reaction to the paper he co-authored, makes this comment (hat tip: Bishop Hill):

We simply cannot compete with a good-ole-boy, group think, circle-the-wagons peer review process which has been rewarded with billions of research dollars to support certain policy outcomes.

And as our focus on the media’s behaviour shows, it is an even more difficult proposition when those supposedly noble men and women of the news media – tasked with uncovering and reporting all the facts – are complicit in that group think and relay a distorted story to the general public.

The map CNN wants to see?

A bit of fun over at The Waspsnet as Wasp shares an image that has been doing the rounds on Twitter, poking fun at the standing joke that is American ability (or lack thereof) in geography.

But a more careful look at the image begs a serious question.  Can anyone else spot what’s missing from the map?  It’s enough to make one wonder where CNN sources its digital maps.  The Guardian, or Hamas perhaps?

BBC broadcasters don’t even try to hide bias any longer

This story should be utterly astonishing to people.  It should have people shocked by the sheer brazen cheek of what happened.  But it won’t because it is what now passes for normality at the BBC, aka the Biased Broadcast Corporation.

The Biased BBC blog has the details, but in summary, Radio 4 Today programme presenter, Evan Davis, this morning interviewed Ian Mulheirn – a director of the Social Market Foundation, a ‘think tank’ which is highly critical of the Department of Work and Pension’s Work Programme to get the long-term unemployed back into employment, before going on to challenge Employment Minister, Chris Grayling about Mulheirn’s assertions.

But Davis was not questioning Mulheirn and probing Grayling as an impartial, truth seeking journalist.  Evan Davis is himself on the Board of Directors of the Social Market Foundation and Mulheirn is one of his colleagues!

How could the Today editor possibly think that allowing Evan Davis to conduct the interviews was appropriate given he was so thoroughly compromised by a staggering conflict of interest?

With each passing day it becomes ever more clear that the BBC no longer even pretends to embody probity and impartiality because it feels immune from any consequences or sanction, so its employees do whatever they want.  In years past this kind of unethical behaviour would have resulted in resignations and fullsome public apologies. What odds we get anything remotely like that in respect of this latest instance of shameless contempt?


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