Mixed Verdict on UK Global Warming Documentary.--

In several posts at Climate Audit, Steve McIntyre reviews a "remarkable decision" by Ofcom, the U.K. television regulator.

After Channel 4 showed "The Great Global Warming Swindle," a film skeptical of the "standard model" on global warming, complaints were filed by dozens of academics and ordinary citizens against Channel 4 for showing the film and against the filmmakers for not fairly presenting the individual views of some experts interviewed.

From McIntyre's detailed posts it appears that almost all of hundreds of allegations of wrongdoing were rejected, but a small number were upheld. For example,

Ofcom found that [Professor] Wunsch had not been adequately warned under Practice 7.3 of the aggressive polemical turn that the production itself would take and for which there was little hint in his correspondence and actual interview. Ofcom:

it found no indication that Professor Wunsch had been informed of the polemical line that the programme would take, for example that the programme would state that the public was "being told lies" and the "scientific evidence does not support the notion that climate is driven by carbon dioxide, man-made or otherwise". In the circumstances, the Committee considered that Professor Wunsch was not provided with adequate information to enable him to give informed consent for his participation.

While Wunsch may well have been naive, the obligation to comply with Practice 7.3 rested with the producers regardless of potential naivete on Wunsch's part.

Wow! In the UK, you can be found guilty of some sort of TV or filmmaking misconduct for not adequately disclosing your angle on the story to the person you are interviewing. I wonder how this rule would be applied if it were imported into the US.

I sometimes ask reporters who call me what their angle on the story is. Some are fully honest, some are not. During the Arming America dispute, a reporter for a major British newspaper responded to my question that he was trying to find any errors in my long list of problems with Michael Bellesiles's book so that he could write in defense of the book. I just laughed at the reporter's candor. It never occurred to me that there might have been a different journalistic standard in the UK.