The BBC has been caught red-handed breaking its own rules on impartiality by running a series of green propaganda documentaries funded by the United Nations on its BBC World News channel.
But you’d never guess this from the way the BBC has reported on the story about its censure in a report by the broadcasting regulator Ofcom. Instead, like a laser, it has focused on what it considers to be the only important bit of the report, viz:
Commercial rival ITV should have made it much, MUCH clearer to viewers that the amazing, performing dog which won Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year was in fact two amazing, performing dogs. That’s because there was one trick – walking the tightrope – that the main amazing, performing dog Matisse couldn’t do. So it had to be faked using a Matisse lookalike called Chase, who had trained for years and years after being inspired by watching an acclaimed arthouse documentary called Dog On Wire.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m as shocked as anyone by the appalling deception which Britain’s Got Talent practised on its viewers. Had I voted for the evil, lying, faking trickster devil dog Matisse and then subsequently discovered that I had been duped about his talents, I expect that I would almost certainly have wished to commit suicide in shame. TV documentaries involving animals, as we know, are widely recognised for their scrupulous accuracy and integrity and lack of artifice. The same is true of TV talent shows. So I can well understand why viewers who’d voted for Matisse rang to ask for their premium phoneline money back. And if David Cameron doesn’t call a public inquiry into this vital issue then I think we all have a right to know why.
All that said, I still think there may be more pressing issues of public concern in this Ofcom report.
Take, for example, the revelation that BBC World News ran no fewer than three documentaries plugging the United Nations REDD scheme, kindly funded by and made on behalf of the United Nation’s REDD scheme. (These were among 14 half-hour programmes run on BBC World News and all “funded by not-for-profit organisations operating largely in areas of developing world issues and environmental concerns.”
It’s clear from the BBC’s defensive response towards Ofcom’s initial inquiries that it saw nothing wrong with this.
BBCWN, however, believed that not for profit bodies such as United Nations agencies could fund programmes without engaging the sponsorship rules.
It believed that if the content of the programme could not be considered promotional of the funder and its activities or interests, the funder should not be categorised as a sponsor.
BBCWN said it believed that subjects of general public interest such as health, education, social welfare etc. could not be considered to be proprietorial interests of a funder provided that the particular activities of the funder were not promoted.
But this tells us more about the ideological mindset of the people who work at the BBC than it does about the BBC’s actual charter obligations as a public service broadcaster with quasi-monopolistic privileges.
In the Beeboids’ eyes, NGOs and UN bodies like the ones that funded this propaganda, are so pure in motivation, so unimpeachably correct in their collectivist urges, that there is need to subject them to any kind of scrutiny.Had they done their due diligence – a basic requirement, you might have hoped, for a news organisation of the BBC’s international stature and supposed respectability – they might have discovered otherwise.
REDD, as Christopher Booker revealed at the time those programmes ran, was a scam of epic proportions, cooked up by the green movement in order to enrich its cronies at public expense.
If the world’s largest, richest environmental campaigning group, the WWF – formerly the World Wildlife Fund – announced that it was playing a leading role in a scheme to preserve an area of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of Switzerland, many people might applaud, thinking this was just the kind of cause the WWF was set up to promote. Amazonia has long been near the top of the list of the world’s environmental cconcerns, not just because it includes easily the largest and most bio-diverse area of rainforest on the planet, but because its billions of trees contain the world’s largest land-based store of CO2 – so any serious threat to the forest can be portrayed as a major contributor to global warming.
If it then emerged, however, that a hidden agenda of the scheme to preserve this chunk of the forest was to allow the WWF and its partners to share the selling of carbon credits worth $60 billion, to enable firms in the industrial world to carry on emitting CO2 just as before, more than a few eyebrows might be raised. The idea is that credits representing the CO2 locked into this particular area of jungle – so remote that it is not under any threat – should be sold on the international market, allowing thousands of companies in the developed world to buy their way out of having to restrict their carbon emissions. The net effect would simply be to make the WWF and its partners much richer while making no contribution to lowering overall CO2 emissions.
Fortunately, the scam was nipped in the bud by the collapse of the carbon-trading market.
But it’s quite a big deal, don’t you think, that the BBC willingly lent its services to help promulgate this outrageous scheme?
Bigger even, I’d suggest, than the Britain’s Got Talent scandal. I mean, however, much Matisse’s owner may have trousered as a result of that relatively innocuous sleight of paw involving his canine pal Chase, I suspect it didn’t come anyway near the $60 billion the WWF and its greenie co-conspirators stood to make at our expense if they’d pulled off that Amazonian eco-heist.