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CBC Radio-Canada responds to our Complaint of their Coverage of #NoClimateEmergency Declaration

Compiled and contributed by Michelle Stirling, Communications Manager for Friends of Science Society. © 2020

On Nov. 26, 2019, Friends of Science Society issued a press release about our complaint to CBC Radio Canada of their coverage of the CLINTEL declaration by 500 scientists and professionals (now more than 700), who state there is no climate emergency.

On December 19, 2019, we got a reply. The CBC Radio-Canada respondent, Pierre Champoux, says that CLINTEL was contacted by the International Fact Checking Network which includes “Climate Feedback” for climate science stories. CLINTEL tells me that they have never been contacted by IFCN.

We did an analysis of the Climate Feedback critique of CLINTEL and we find their scientific credibility to be very low.

IFCN (Poynter) and facebook have a joint fact checking and journalism project in progress where IFCN’s network determines whether or not they think stories are factually correct. Based on what IFCN self-appointed experts (who hold the ‘consensus climate view’) state, then facebook and virtually all other mainstream media, block the story or in facebook’s case, they downgrade sites posting such stories for ‘page quality’ violations.

We did an exposé on Climate Feedback and the CLINTEL story.

But Canadians are likely more interested in what CBC Radio-Canada had to say. We believe this story to be in the public interest. Here it is:

From: Radio-Canada Info plaintes-information@radio-canada.ca
Date: Thu., Dec. 19, 2019, 11:02 a.m.
Subject: Stirling, Michelle / RC.ca / Clintel’s letter to the UN
To: contact@friendsofscience.org
Cc: Ombudsman de Radio-Canada ombudsman@radio-canada.ca

Dear Ms Stirling,

First of all, thank you for taking the time to write to us. Comments like yours are important, and we make a point of reading them to inform our thinking and take the appropriate follow-up actions.
Your complaint is in regard to Bouchra Ouatik’s story published on November 23rd, on Radio-Canada.ca.

You wrote the following:

« Instead of investigating and reporting on the views of the CLINTEL group of some 700 scientists, “Décrypteurs” seem intent on trying to delegitimize the signatories. Radio-Canada interviewed only one Montreal scientist who rejects the CLINTEL perspective, and none of the Canadian scientists who are signatory to the CLINTEL declaration. This appears to be contrary to CBC-Radio-Canada’s Journalistic Standards of “…reflecting a diversity of opinion…. On issues of controversy, we ensure that divergent views are reflected respectfully, taking into account their relevance to the debate and how widely held these views are. We also ensure that they are represented over a reasonable period of time. “We request that you review the scientific explanation of the CLINTEL group and that you properly interview signatory scientists who hold these dissenting views on climate and give them equal time and space to all the climate catastrophists like Greta Thunberg who are not scientists at all; or the headline coverage CBC/Radio Canada gave to the 11,000 scientists who turned out to include Prof. Micky Mouse and Dumbledore. (…) »

You seem to see in our article an intention to delegitimize the signatories of the letter sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations, and you are blaming us for having let Professor Michel Jébrak react to Clintel’s conclusions, without allowing Canadian signatories to speak. Thus, in your opinion, this article lacks balance.

With all due respect, Ms. Stirling, we do not share your point of view.

As the title of our article indicates (translated it would read as follows : Who are the “500 scientists” who say there is “no climate emergency”?), journalist Bouchra Ouatik focused on the signatories of the letter sent on September 23, 2019. To do so, she worked with the International Fact-Checking Network, of which Radio-Canada’s Décrypteurs team is a member. The goal was to review the list of « scientists » who have endorsed Clintel’s position and to highlight, in addition to their expertise, any past or present links that could lead to bias or the appearance of bias.

Contrary to what you may think, Bouchra Ouatik tried to reach all Canadian signatories, as did the other members of the IFCN in their respective countries. She was finally able to track down twelve of the seventeen Canadian signatories, but only eight of them responded. If their comments added to what was already in the Clintel letter, our reporter mentioned it in the article. Here is an example from her text:

« William van Wijngaarden, Professor of Physics at York University, specializing in optics and lasers. To CBC, he conceded that the use of fossil fuels has had an influence on the increase in greenhouse gases, but he said that it has had a minimal influence on global warming. He worked with the Global Warming Policy Foundation. »

Our article also summarizes the contents of the letter, which is tantamount to a speech by the signatories, with detailed arguments in support. Our concern for balance therefore led us to interview Professor Michel Jébrak, who brings a different point of view.

Finally, you demand, for the signatories of the letter from Clintel and other climatosceptics, air time or space equivalent to that granted to Greta Thunberg or to this other open letter signed by 11,000 scientists in the journal Bioscience. With all due respect, we believe that to give similar attention to the dissenting thesis would violate our principle of balance, if not accuracy, as the scientific consensus on climate change enjoys great credibility by virtue of the overwhelming support of the scientific community.

We believe, Ms. Stirling, that Bouchra Ouatik’s report, in addition to being in the public interest, was balanced and provided Canadians with an insight of great relevance.

I hope that I have assured you of our good faith in this matter. If not, you can ask the Radio-Canada Ombudsman to review your complaint.
The Ombudsman, who is independent and reports directly to the President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, is tasked with ensuring that news and information content is compliant with the current Journalistic Standards and Practices.

You can reach the Ombudsman as follows:

By email:
ombudsman@radio-canada.ca

By phone:
514-597-4757 (Greater Montreal)
1-877-846-4737 (toll-free)

By mail:
Ombudsman of Radio-Canada
P.O. Box 6000
Montréal, QC H3C 3A8

Sincerely,

PIERRE CHAMPOUX
Directeur des Opérations numériques et des relations citoyennes
Service de l’information, Radio-Canada
ici-radio-canada

Our original complaint

November 26, 2019

Radio Canada
Make a complaint: ombudsman@radio-canada.ca

To Whom it May Concern:
RE: Bouchra Ouatik’s report:

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1402070/lettre-500-scientifiques-urgence-climatique

Instead of investigating and reporting on the views of the CLINTEL group of some 700 scientists, “Décrypteurs” seem intent on trying to delegitimize the signatories.

Radio-Canada interviewed only one Montreal scientist who rejects the CLINTEL perspective, and none of the Canadian scientists who are signatory to the CLINTEL declaration.

This appears to be contrary to CBC-Radio-Canada’s Journalistic Standards of “…reflecting a diversity of opinion…. On issues of controversy, we ensure that divergent views are reflected respectfully, taking into account their relevance to the debate and how widely held these views are. We also ensure that they are represented over a reasonable period of time.”

We request that you review the scientific explanation of the CLINTEL group and that you properly interview signatory scientists who hold these dissenting views on climate and give them equal time and space to all the climate catastrophists like Greta Thunberg who are not scientists at all; or the headline coverage CBC/Radio Canada gave to the 11,000 scientists who turned out to include Prof. Micky Mouse and Dumbledore. (SEE ATTACHED)

Sincerely,

Michelle Stirling
Communications Manager
FRIENDS OF SCIENCE SOCIETY

CBC Radio Canada gave extensive coverage to this petition of 11,000 scientists which included mostly grad students and non-climate scientists… and Professor Micky (sic) Mouse and Dumbledore. We have not seen a retraction or correction from CBC.
Professor Micky Mouse, signatory to this headline making peer-reviewed paper.

Since mainstream media originally did not pick up the CLINTEL story, we did a video about the story, which as of Jan. 11, 2020, has almost 700,000 views. Clearly the public are interested in this story; why isn’t taxpayer funded CBC Radio-Canada?

French Version

CBC’s broadcast license is up for renewal this spring. Here’s where you can tell the CRTC what should be done with the CBC. https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/television/cbc-src-consultation.htm

5 Comments

  1. “Balanced journalism” has a different definition at CBC. They take as incontrovertible the “overwhelming” consensus on human-caused climate warming, therefore refuse to consider opposing points of view, and congratulate themselves on being “balanced” Myopic and dogmatic would be a better description.

  2. I don’t no why people even bother to ask why , when the CBC only publish the stories that are approved by Turdeau

  3. The response from the CBC is not surprising. The CBC continues to align itself with popular, Progressive ideals, relying on convenient sources to support those ideals. Good on you for calling them out, and sharing this glaring example of biased reporting on the part of the CBC.

  4. i called pierre and told him if they are so right why are they scared to show opposite proof showing co2 cannot cause global warming.. everyone should call..

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