HT: Benny Peiser
Frozen Planet’s eight million devoted fans will not take kindly to being left out in the cold. It emerged yesterday a key scene from the hit BBC series showing a polar bear tending her newborn cubs was filmed in a zoo using fake snow.
—Euan Stretch, Daily Mirror, 12 December 2011
Sir David Attenborough yesterday defended Frozen Planet’s fake polar bear footage – by comparing BBC nature documentaries to movies. In a surprising justification for duping millions of viewers, the TV star argued that owning up to splicing archive film with real Arctic scenes during the programme would have spoiled the mood. His blunt remarks came as more footage from the series was exposed as a sham.
—Simon Boyle, Daily Mirror, 13 December 2011
No one wants to criticise Sir David Attenborough, given the amazing television he has made and the work he’s done to preserve wildlife and educate us about the way we are destroying the planet. But in the case of Polar Beargate, he would be better to recognise that what he and the BBC did was duplicitous and simply apologise. Viewers will be disappointed to find out that Sir David is yet another TV presenter they cannot totally trust.
—Jim Shelley, Daily Mirror, 13 December 2011
Sir David Attenborough is one of our finest journalists and a great expert on animal life. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to global warming he seems to prefer sensation to objectivity.
—Nigel Lawson, BBC Radio Times, 6 December 2011
I took something of a personal interest in the last instalment of Sir David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet series, billed by the BBC as yet another grim warning of the dangers of global warming. Next day I was due to launch a report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation on the BBC’s notorious bias on this issue. In fact, Sir David played it rather more cleverly than in previous forays. Accompanied by the usual breathtaking photography, he didn’t make his message too explicit. Instead he just conveyed that the polar ice caps are melting at an unprecedented rate, suggesting that this will cause a disastrous rise in sea levels. In each case, however, he arranged his evidence in a notably loaded way, carefully omitting much of the information a less selective picture would have included.
—Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 11 December 2011
MPs have demanded that the BBC reveals details of all commercial deals its journalists have with other organisations, amid fears of an increasing number of conflicts of interest affecting their work. The Corporation is under pressure following The Mail on Sunday’s disclosure two weeks ago that senior BBC journalist Roger Harrabin accepted £15,000 in grants from the University of East Anglia, which was at the heart of the ‘Climategate’ scandal, and then reported on the story without declaring this interest to viewers.
—Miles Goslett, Daily Mail, 12 December 2011
For almost three decades, the British Social Attitudes Survey has measured growing acceptance of things like homosexuality and single motherhood. On December 7th it picked up a more worrying kind of nonchalance. Ardour for environmentalism is cooling. Why might this be? Peter Lynn of the University of Essex reckons a fuss over the way some academics presented data, known as “climategate”, may have had an effect. And present economic woes have distracted people from long-term concerns.
—The Economist, 10 December 2011