NOT long after Dr. Wes Allen published a critical examination of the claims and fictions in Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers, he was contacted by Wendy Carlisle, Background Briefing’s resident wholesaler of error. Allen’s sister explains how that little encounter went down:
My brother (Dr D Weston Allen) agreed to a request from the ABC’s Wendy Carlisle for an interview regarding his recently published book, The Weather Makers Re-examined. To his astonishment, during the interview she showed no interest whatsoever in discussing the science of is book or criticisms of Tim Flannery’s book, her sole purpose seemingly being an attempt to discredit Wes with an accusation of fraud over a totally unrelated matter. He successfully foiled her attempt with factual documentation and a threat of legal action.
However, she pinpointed a reference he’d made in his book to scientist Fred Singer. Anyone in possession of the book may check his reference by the index and note that the only reason for his mention of Fred Singer was to highlight Tim Flannery’s false assertion that he (Singer) belonged to a strange church.
During her Background Briefing report (on July 17) re Lord Monckton and the Galileo Movement, however, Ms Carlisle went to considerable pains to seek to denigrate Fred Singer and to imply that Wes in his book had relied on him for scientific evidence. I find it hard to view this as other than a shabby attempt to use her interview with Wes to further discredit The Galileo Movement and Lord Monckton.
Further, on Background Briefing, Ms Carlisle erroneously criticised Lord Monckton’s claims re the IPCC’s sea level rise projections, also obviously in an attempt to discredit. Wes sent her an email exposing her error, to which she finally responded but failed to admit her mistake or offer to correct it.
The copy Wes sent to Media Watch received a prompt reply thanking him, but to date there has been no further response. Wes comments: ‘Media Watch seems keener to look over the fence than to look into their own back yard.’ Are we not right to assume that such derogatory inaccuracies should not be permitted in ABC reporting and that Ms Carlisle should be compelled to publicly retract her statements or be censured? Or does Wendy Carlisle epitomise ABC bias!?
If you follow this link and scroll down, you can also read Allen’s letter to Carlisle and Media Watch. And there is more on the book here.
Just by the way, more than two weeks have passed since Carlisle put the hatchet into Viscount Monckton and no correction, explanation or retraction of the report's many errors has been made.
Bear that in mind tonight if you happen to catch Media Watch’s smug and self-satisfied Jonathan Holmes tut-tutting about some other news organisation’s alleged sins.