Here’s a story on how a publicly funded broadcaster in Germany has abandoned obeying the laws of the Land, and succumbed to the temptation of practicing activism instead of journalism (a violation of German law). All of this of course on the premise of the fantasized urgent need to rescue the planet.
Well, EIKE has received a reply from Deutsche Welle Intendant, Erik Bettermann, and the reply couldn’t have been more mind-blowing. Certainly makes one appreciate the frustration Steve McIntyre must feel at times.
First recall one workshop at the conference: How to professionally deal with climate scepticism, has the stated objective:
This workshop aims to point out what journalists must know about climate change policy, whom to trust and when to question their own professional procedures.
The panelists at the conference go on to warn:
Falling back on a “neutral” journalistic position can mean playing into the hands of the skeptics at the expense of the basis of life.
Obviously this conference has nothing to do with balanced journalism, rather just the opposite. So how did Intendant Bettermann respond to EIKE’s request they obey the law and return to balanced journalism?
Easy – Bettermann simply denied any one-sidedness, and asserted they are being fair and balanced. Bettermann’s letter starts with:
In response to your letter dated 9 June 2010, we would like to inform you that Deutsche Welle neither influences the global discussion on climate development in a one-sided manner, nor does it intend to, through its reporting or through the international convention Global Media Forum.
That’s a flat-out lie. And later writes:
As we have already mentioned, we enable representatives of a wide range of viewpoints and opinions to discuss in an international forum. And we will report on these discussions with our media in an honest, comprehensive and balanced manner.
That’s untrue as not a single non-alarmist view is included in the conference. He then adds:
In these discussions Deutsche Welle is only offering a forum and does not represent a decided point of view in one direction or the other.
Yet, just compare the contents of the conference announcement with the statements made by Bettermann. They could not be more diametrically opposed. The conference’s own program announcement is proof of its total one-sidedness, which means publicly funded Deutsche Welle is actively violating German law by not remaining balanced in its journalism.
Let’s be honest. Bettermann is no fool. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He has no intention of being fair and balanced on the climate issue. He’s hoping EIKE will give up trying to take on the state-funded Deutsche Welle and all its legal counselors, and simply go away.
Deutsche Welle has de facto gone rogue. It has long since abandoned journalistic principles. Rather, the broadcaster intends to shape political opinion and public policy in Germany. Now that’s real power! Boring journalism be damned.
But EIKE is not about to back down, and has sent a reply and intends to turn up the pressure. It’s a battle between David and Goliath. It’s a battle they will probably lose, but it’s certainly worth fighting. There’s simply too much at stake.
Tomorrow, EIKE’s reply to Bettermann’s denial.