The following is a Google translated version of this original post in French – published with permission of the author:
Recently I relayed on my Facebook page the response of RTBF (French-speaking Belgian TV) to a listener who questioned him on the opportunity to reserve a space for so-called “climate-skeptical” theses:
“At the risk of disappointing you, we do not consider that exposing climate-skeptical theses is evidence of courage or daring. We do not feel that we should dare to speak on this subject. There are enough scientific studies going in the direction of global warming so that we can consider, without being accused of partiality, that global warming is a fact. Have a nice week end “.
That the RTBF drastically reduces the climate debate to the mere existence or not of a global warming, any “climate-skeptic” can only be a retrograde fossil that denies this obviousness and must therefore be ignored if not fought, is an example striking of the submission of the whole of the world press, and more particularly of the Belgian audio-visual media, to the only thesis of the human origin of the climatic fluctuations. They tolerate virtually one speaker on the subject: the catastrophist Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele of Strihou, ex-vice president of the IPCC. (1)
But all this is not new, and on several occasions already I have treated the subject of a press reduced to the rank of mere propagandist (2), and more particularly of the editorial line of the RTBF and the VRT, which remember that public service organizations.
The imperious instructions and invitations given to journalists are scrupulously respected. Among many others, note:
– “Not only do journalists not have to report what skeptical scientists say, they have a responsibility not to report on it” . GELBSPAN ROSS- publisher of the Boston Globe – 07/2000.
– “We have the duty not to be impartial. It is our duty to take the scientists’ point of view and not waste time wondering if they are right or not . ” Alan Rusbridger – Director of the Oxford LMH College – Member of The Scott Trust, owner of the Guardian and the Observer – former editor of the Guardian. (3)
– The instructions given to BBC journalists. (4)
The Dutch site “climategate.nl” (5) relays the complaint lodged in Belgium before the Council of Journalism, after the remarks concerning the partiality which the VRT (Dutch-speaking Belgian television) shows in its relation of the climatic problematic, were rejected by the mediator of that body. A position that will not surprise anyone! Below are some of the arguments presented following the responses received from the mediator.
One of them particularly appealed to me: the actual existence of a cordon sanitaire around so-called “climate-skeptical” personalities, much more rigorous than the one supposed to preserve us from extremist ideas. In the Middle Ages, heretics were burned. Today, we must preserve the population from the pernicious contagion of “climate-skeptical” scientists!
Complaint to the Belgian Council of Journalism regarding climate information (VRT)
In response to my recent correspondence with the VRT mediator, he clearly acknowledges that there is only one credible source for VRT’s climate information service, the IPCC.
The Ombudsman also said that journalists can not replace scientists because they do not have the knowledge to judge whether scientific opinions are correct or not? And yet, that’s what they do by promoting only one (political) vision.
Moreover, to our knowledge, in its TV programs of the past six months, VRT has not invited any climate-skeptical scientist to defend its point of view. And if there had been, it would have been an exception drowned in the almost daily broadcast of the IPCC’s alarming news on the climate.
The VRT attaches great importance to the code of ethics and claims to be seeking the truth, but not with regard to global warming . For example, it pays no attention to the many sources criticizing IPCC positions.
This selective blindness of the VRT editorial team has consequences.
– The unilateral nature of VRT’s broadcasts is a form of deception that does not respect ethical rules.
– This contributes to a bias without a scientific basis.
– This puts pressure on politicians with the obvious consequence that some political parties are thus favored. In this case, it is the Flemish party GROEN and its Walloon equivalent ECOLO. Their unilateral views confirm the suspicion that VRT publishers follow a left-wing ideology directed against anyone who departs from it.
– The great attention paid without any criticism to young schoolchildren also contributes to the manipulation of the population. After all, if children are not scientists, they are very interesting and easy to manipulate media players.
Regardless of these ethical concerns , it remains of course to be determined whether VRT has the right to lay a cordon sanitaire around scientists who have not manifested themselves as right-wing activists. We note that party chairman Vlaams Belang (6) is invited, but not climate-skeptics.
It is not acceptable that during debates, the TRV authorizes the guests to denigrate unfettered climate-skeptics unrepresented.
Today, everything is different: everything is now a question of consensus. If there is consensus, no need for discussion or research. Consensus is the new magic word. Not surprisingly, postmodern philosophy has elevated consensus to the rank of supreme arbiter of truth and falsehood, good and evil.
Our VRT apparently thinks so too. From the answer to our question, ” Why does the TRV provide exclusive coverage representing the position of the IPCC, ” we extract the following sentence: “The editors can only declare that the UN panel on climate benefits always of a consensus for the academic debate. It is therefore not illogical that the publishers pay the greatest attention to the work of the panel “.
“They say it all and it’s true,” CQFD ! I must admit that it is much simpler to apply than previously accepted methods of proof. If we want to know if something is true or false, we must focus today on the existence of a consensus.
I address this complaint to VRT editors at the Council for Journalism because recent correspondence with the ombudsman shows that VRT writers are clearly not ready to change their unilateral information on climate change.
(6) The Flemish Vlaams Belang is a far-right Flemish party, heir to the 2004 Vlaams Blok, of which several components were condemned for racism and xenophobia. Antenna is forbidden in the French-speaking part of the country.
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