…but we should expect to be swindled some more.
It is over a year now since I and 265 others complained to the UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom about Furedi cultist Martin Durkin’s execrable documentary for Channel 4, The Great Global Warming Swindle. I wrote then that Ofcom was waiting on a “substantial complaint about the programme from a group of scientists.”
Even though this particular objection is the one described today as amounting to 176 pages documenting 137 alleged breaches of the Broadcasting Code, it still doesn’t explain why it has taken until now for Ofcom to declare that Durkin’s film did not fulfil obligations (on Channel 4) to be impartial and reflect a range of views on a controversial issue. Since the documentary was first broadcast by Channel 4, it has been sold to 21 countries, and distributed on DVD by WAGtv: “…one of the world’s leading producers of factual TV”, no less.
Channel 4 will now have to broadcast a summary of the Ofcom findings, which include the following astounding statement:
“The complainants (including the Group Complaint) stated that the programme was not accurate and therefore in breach of the Code. However, whilst Ofcom is required by the 2003 Act to set standards to ensure that news programmes are reported with ‘due accuracy’ there is no such requirement for other types of programming, including factual programmes of this type.”
Despite the overall ruling against the film, this effectively lets Durkin and Channel 4 off the hook, and will only encourage similar contrarian efforts. I guess the only option now is for those who were misrepresented in the documentary to sue Martin Durkin, WAGtv and Channel 4 for defamation. At which point the Furedi cultists will yet again complain of a witch-hunt, and that their detractors are denying them freedom of speech.