Ofcom Complaint

Well, I was warned at the very least. But as the old adage goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” If not a single one of us holds the mainstream media accountable for the demonstrably biased inaccuracies they put out, then they will never admit that they commit that kind of journalistic malfeasance, and they’ll keep doing it with reckless abandon.

Once again, back within the limited confines of the Complaints process in the British Broadcasting Corporation, I submitted the following next-stage complaint to Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, regarding the program report I first described in my July 31, 2020 blog post, “BBC Radio 4 vs Rush Limbaugh: ‘How They Made Us Doubt Everything’ Episode 6 ‘Reposition Global Warming as theory, not fact’.” (for the newest readers of my blog, see my list of 5 more posts on the topic at the end of my September 2021 post)

Here’s the blank Ofcom online form for anyone who wonders what it looks like, and here’s what I filled in, with key bits boldface-highlighted for emphasis:

Programme title
“‘How They Made Us Doubt Everything’ Episode 6 ‘Reposition Global Warming as theory, not fact'”

Date you watched, heard, downloaded or streamed programme

Time of broadcast (24 hour clock)

BBC Channel/ station/ website/ app on which the programme was seen or heard
BBC Radio 4 – radio broadcast 03/08/2020 / online audio download 30/07/2020

Your complaint
Subject (please use 255 characters or fewer)
Improper, unsupportable conclusion reached by Colin Tregear at BBC ECU regarding my complaint about the BBC Radio 4 report that contained huge inaccuracies which egregiously misled the international listening audience.

Description of original complaint (please use 1500 characters or fewer)
In its podcast report, BBC was misled by its guest Kert Davies and thus subsequently misled its listeners by offering two sets of ‘leaked memos’ (the “victory will be achieved” set & “reposition global warming” set) as primary evidence that sinister fossil fuel industry disinformation campaigns exist. Neither set were ever implemented and thus CANNOT serve as evidence that coal/oil companies engaged in disinformation campaigns. I did my best to convey the depth of this problem to BBC Complaints within the limitations of its online complaint form, and expanded on it much further when I was able to exchange direct emails with BBC ECU’s Colin Tregear. I went so far as to suggest a comparative fictional illustration — someone proposing that the BBC try a disinformation stunt to gauge public reaction to it; BBC rejects the stunt, but a memo of the stunt is later leaked, whereupon the American Fox News touts it as irrefutable evidence that the BBC spreads disinformation — that claim would be equally false and obviously ludicrous! Thus when BBC / Radio 4 fundamentally allowed huge multiple inaccuracies in the 8/3/20 podcast report, including improper portrayals of the leaked memo sets, the international listening audience was egregiously misled that evidence existed which proved industry-led disinformation campaigns existed. This has been compounded in subsequent BBC reports which quote from the “victory will be achieved” / “reposition global warming” memo sets.

Have you made this complaint to the BBC?

Reason for dissatisfaction with the outcome of the BBC’s final response (please use 750 characters or less)
Colin Tregear at BBC ECU demonstrated in one of his emails that he did not correctly comprehend what my complaint concerned when he attempted to defend BBC/Radio 4 when he stated, “… in apparent contradiction to your assertion, I have seen documents which indicate the Information Council for the Environment [ICE] did run a test campaign.” My complaint was not that the ICE campaign didn’t take place, but instead that the core subset which BBC/Radio 4 referred to in its report was UNSOLICITED and NEVER USED. It therefore is worthless as evidence to prove disinformation campaigns operated from its directives. I offered considerable detail to support my complaint and can provide more if requested.

BBC Reference Number

Date you submitted your complaint to the BBC

My complaint was accepted. But note the words seen within the screencapture of the acceptance: “Ofcom will not normally write back to you with the outcome of its considerations.” It’s plausible that such wording arises out of Ofcom being inundated with trivial complaints not worthy of any response, and they can be given some credit for providing a link to their “Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin” page, where there’s a better-than-average chance that my ultimate complaint will land there.

Call me an optimist, though, I believe I’ve made a good case, and if they see the wisdom of how unused memo suggestions aren’t proof of sinister efforts, then we might finally see the first-ever official news media push back against the giant Gore / Oreskes / Gelbspan / “Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action” smear of skeptic climate scientists.

I’m not holding my breath in expectation of that, the odds are very much against it. However, the irrefutable fact is that the chances of success here would be precisely zero if I didn’t give the effort this one last shot. The mainstream media collectively has long overplayed their hand in pushing one-sided news, and who knows where the breaking point is to be found within their system? The proverbial ‘last straw,’ in other words, where somebody with a conscience inside that system finally says “enough!” and decides to free the system from its dependency on, its addiction to — its enslavement to — unsustainable political storylines.

That was it … I was finished. I was done. It was as if I had reached my life long limit for lies. I could not tell one more lie. … I betrayed the public trust. I did. ……. but for the first time in my life … I’m free.