A very interesting episode of Media Watch screened tonight which threw a spotlight on the waves of climate skepticism that are the norm across Australian talk back radio.
Apart from recently chastising the Prime Minister for being 10 minutes late to a interview, 2GB radio host Alan Jones has also been busy drumming up support for a rally against the proposed carbon tax,set to happen at Parliament House this Wednesday (where you could choose to sport a hand made Pinnochio-style Julia Gillard mask courtesy of the Climate Skeptic Party. Check the legal disclaimer -they’ve got all their bases covered on inexpert advice).
A couple of interesting snippets – the first is the not-so surprising bias towards giving air time to reknowned climate skeptics over practicing climate scientists:
Let’s ask Chris Smith. He’s certainly got no time for the people the Prime Minister listens to …
“She said she knew who she’d rather have on her side, not Alan Jones, not Piers Akerman, not Andrew Bolt, but the CSIRO, The Australian Academy of Science, the Bureau of Meteorology, NASA, the National Atmospheric Administration, and every reputable climate change scientist in the world. Did you hear that?
There was no mention of leading Australian scientists who question climate change including Professor Ian Plimer, Professor Bob Carter and Dr David Evans, among others. What, none of them are reputable now?”
— 2GB Sydney, The Chris Smith Afternoon Show, 17th March, 2011
In fact, the bias was greater than I expected:
Not one orthodox climate scientist – not one – has been interviewed by any of the climate sceptics on Fairfax stations.
Despite the skewed viewpoints that are constantly being broadcast over the airwaves, we’ve all become so used to it that it seems pointless to consider anything different on talk back radio. Radio broadcasters do have to adhere to a code of practice, but interestingly, so far no-one has made any complaints:
As we’ve seen, there are requirements for accuracy and diversity of view in Code of Practice No 2. The problem is, the regulator won’t or can’t enforce the Code unless someone complains it’s being flouted. And, says ACMA…
“The ACMA does not have any current code 2.2 or 2.3 complaints or investigations into these programs on their coverage of global warming science…
— Response from ACMA, 18th March, 2011
Time to write some letters?