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Authority upholds complaint against TVNZ

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

7 October 2009
For Immediate Release

Broadcasting authority upholds Coalition complaint against TVNZ programme

A complaint against Television New Zealand Ltd by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition about the inaccuracy an item broadcast by TV One’s “Sunday” programme on 3 May 2009 has been upheld by the Broadcasting Standards Authority in a recent decision. The BSA found the item breached Standard 5 of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice. In a note to its decision, BSA said it “hopes that this decision will serve as a reminder that global warming is a particularly complex subject that requires careful treatment by broadcasters.”

“ This decision by the BSA confirms that the news media are being played for suckers by those promoting a global warming agenda,” said Terry Dunleavy, hon secretary of the Coalition, who lodged the complaint on its behalf.

“The patently false information about Takuu is a perfect illustration of what some global warming scientists have publicly admitted they do - stretch the truth for the sake of making an impact on the public. Just last week, we had Professor Clive Hamilton, of the Australian National University, comparing the situation to the psychology of the British and German populations before the Second World War and saying the only way to make people change their behaviour is to ‘ramp up the fear factor.’

“What TVNZ showed in its ‘Sunday’ programme, with waves crashing over Takuu island and a reporter describing this as ‘the ugly face of global warming’, was no mere stretching - it shattered the truth into a thousand pieces and broadcast a now proven lie into half a million New Zealand homes with the intention of scaring the public into believing sea levels were rising catastrophically.

“TV stations and other media have to start making a decision about whether they will continue to accept free material from lobby groups like Greenpeace or Oxfam, or even free trips overseas. That's how corruption of the news business begins, with insidious insider deals and lobbyists ingratiating themselves with gullible reporters.

“The ‘scientists’ who allowed themselves to be associated in any way with the Takuu fabrication should hang their heads in shame, as should the team at TVNZ ‘Sunday’ for swallowing it hook, line and sinker.

“The BSA has tried to leave TVNZ with a shred of dignity on this by declining to make an order. The BSA finds the issue is not substantial enough to warrant that. We think the public of New Zealand will disagree - they were the ones who were hoodwinked, and this footage was not a mere few seconds buried halfway through the programme - it opened the very show and went on for several minutes. It set the scene.

“The public have been betrayed by the media, and the media have been betrayed by the green lobby, “ Mr Dunleavy concluded.


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