April 27, 2008 | Graham

Robyn Williams misrepresents The Spectator

In my previous post I referred to an introduction that the ABC’s Robyn Williams gave to an Ockham’s Razor presentation by Don Aitkin. He used a quote from a piece in The Spectator to suggest that Aitkin’s view should be taken with caution, if not disregarded.
Here is the part of the article that Williams quoted:

When there is so much data suggesting the world’s climate is heating up’, goes the review, ‘some may find it presumptuous of Nigel Lawson, who is not a scientist and has undertaken no original research, to hope to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy. Would we take seriously an appraisal of his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer written by someone whose only expertise was in oceanography?

Here are the next two paragraphs:

For some, this will be reason enough to rubbish his new book on global warming. Ironically those most keen to deride him may also be those who were first in the queue to embrace Al Gore, the Nobel prize-winning climate change campaigner. This would be the same Al Gore whose not very scientific qualifications amount to five F-grades from Vanderbilt Divinity School and a Harvard thesis on the impact of television on the American presidency.
In truth, pugilists on both side of the argument need to recognise that while expertise is always paramount, it is not out of place for other leading public figures to pose intelligent questions. After all, scientists and activists are demanding a political, not an academic, response to their findings. In this short and tightly argued book, Nigel Lawson successfully unravels some of the lazy assumptions upon which the current debate has been framed.

Williams has taken The Spectator quote completely out of context and used it to imply the opposite of what it in fact says. This is either extremely unprofessional sloppiness, or deliberate and therefore bad faith. Certainly it is unbecoming of a senior ABC broadcaster and reveals Williams to be just one of those “pugilists” that the article admonishes.

Posted by Graham at 4:14 pm | Comments Off on Robyn Williams misrepresents The Spectator |
Filed under: Environment

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.