Saturday 28 December 2019

Charles Moore v Nick Robinson ('Today', 28 December: Transcript)

Nick Robinson: Now, your focus of this guest editorship, in many ways, seems to have been things you think the BBC either doesn't cover properly or doesn't cover at all because of what you described earlier in a conversation of the BBC acting as a sort of nationaliser of the culture?
Charles Moore: Yes. When I came into the building this morning, you have a statue of George Orwell just outside, and he speaks about the importance of the liberty to tell people what they don't want to hear, and I feel that the BBC doesn't want to hear a lot of things which the wider population keeps telling them. And I feel that, in particular, the whole Brexit story is a test which the BBC has utterly failed and with, I think, permanent damage to its reputation, and I don't think it deserves to stand as it did before.
Nick Robinson: Isn't part of your objection, in part, not so much to the British Broadcasting Corporation but to Britain and the way Britain has changed? You're a climate change sceptic. You've talked about it on the programme. You're anti-women priests. You're pro-hunting. You have a series of views which are not the conventional wisdom of the day, and it upsets you that the country has changed in ways you don't like.
Charles Moore: Well, I think the country has changed in a way that I do like, which is that it's supported Brexit and this was...
Nick Robinson: (interrupting) That's one example. I gave you a whole series of others.
Charles Moore: Well, that's a very overwhelming example because it's a popular decision. It's the biggest vote for anything in our history, and the BBC refused to cover that fairly and tried to disparage it and to prevent the execution of Brexit, so...
Nick Robinson: (interrupting) During the referendum many Leavers praised the coverage. They were critical afterwards. But, you know, they're were people on both sides. But just engage with my point, if you will, which is that you've made your point on Brexit but, it seems to me, in a series of areas you're highlighting and represent your views, you objection isn't to the BBC at all. You just don't like the fact that the Church of England's embraced women priests, hunting has been banned by law and your own party isn't going to change the law it says, and that you're a climate change sceptic even though you're own party is in favour of climate change policy.
Charles Moore: I don't really know who you're bringing up women priests - a subject which closed in the Church of England 25 years ago, but the...No, what I am objecting to is preaching. The BBC has decided to be a secular church. And it preachers, and it tells us what we ought to think about things. So it tells us we shouldn't support Brexit and we should accept...
Nick Robinson: (interrupting) No, no, no, no...
Charles Moore: Please let me answer the question...and we should accept climate change alarmism, and we have all to kowtow to the doctrines of diversity. And this is not right...that the BBC... All these issues should be aired, of course. Of course, they're very important, but they should not be preached. The difficulty I've had trying to get all this stuff about climate change onto this programme, even though I'm the guest editor, is very, very marked - obstacles coming every single time because of rulings and bureaucracy and the fact that Roger Harrabin, the environment analyst, is so biased...
Nick Robinson: (interrupting) Just to be clear, that's because of Ofcom regulations and the law. which applies to Sky and ITV News.
Charles Moore: No, it's not. It's because of the BBC's interpretation of, I think, a foolish ruling...
Nick Robinson: (interrupting)  Let me raise a last point with you. We're running out of time, and I want to give you the chance to address it if you would. You talk about that. Isn't the danger of what you advocate though is that we all end up listening to news that reflects our politics and reflect our prejudice? In other words, the price of what you want may be too high?
Charles Moore: Well, I think that the BBC News coverage does reflect the politics and prejudices of the people who run it, and this is wrong. And this is what I'm objecting to.
Nick Robinson: But do you want a news, like in the United States, where, as it were, most Republican activist watch Fox News, most liberal people watch MSNB or CNN? Do you want a divided country in terms of its news consumption? Isn't that what you'll get?
Charles Moore: This is a divided country in terms of our news consumption because the BBC has an artificial privilege which it abuses to put forward particular views.


  1. Bravo Charles, but still, what's the point?... It's a bit like smuggling a single puppy dog out of a starving beseiged city leaving behind thousands of people to die! The BBC are not going to relax their stranglehold on our politics and our culture...they hardly relaxed it for this one programme pushed into the Saturday morning graveyard slot!

  2. Robinson cannot railroad Moore or get one over him. Charles Moore has speed and clarity of thought and perspective, and with those at his disposal, it's child's play to cut Robbo down: 25 years since they settled women priests! And Brexit - the historical importance and scale of which should be obvious even to the BBC. Interesting that Robbo thinks it'd be a high price to pay to lose BBC public-funded monopoly and propaganda and to replace it with freedom and plurality of media news and views. What about impartiality and balance Robbo? Shouldn't half the public funds go to the Labour lefty doctrinaire BBC and half to a balancing Conservative righty Foxlike broadcaster? What are they but competing interests and politics? Fair's fair; why should one be favoured and funded over the other?

  3. Robinson is increasingly sounding like a professed bigot; he knows fully well that all BBC presenters and directors have been formally instructed in writing not to allow so called Climate Change deniers on air or on our screens.
    His performance this morning was appalling, as was that of King - the former UK Government's chief scientist who pathetically defended his support of diesels by saying the problem was solely down to Voltswagon cheating on laboratory emissions' tests. What about all the other Vehicle Manufacturers' diesels.
    Earlier this week we also had a BBC news report on cultivating strains of coral in the Seychelles, designed to accommodate increased sea temperatures. Yet this is a natural phenomena illustrated many times in nature all over the world where corals re-form "die off" and yet re-form almost immediately with their own temperature resistant. The correspondent then said that all corals will die off within 15 years due to increasing sea temperatures, but never mentioned this fact.
    What the BBC's Science Editor and their so called Environmental Analyst, whatever that is, have not one iota of experience, let alone even very minor qualifications, in any science and technology subjects. They have no credibility at all.

    1. I agree, also the BBC has busy creating the impression by the usual techniques - image over substance, omission, elipsis etc - that Australia has been experiencing its worst heatwave ever and its worst bush fires and it's all down to climate change. The facts are that there have been worse heatwaves - in 1939 and in the 1900s. Moreover, the BBC is deliberately not reporting how many people are being arrested for arson offences in the current heatwave...that is a major cause of fires in itself that was less present in the past. Moreover, it's not explained why raised global temperatures - which should mean more evaporation, more water vapour, more rain - have resulted in drought in Australia.

  4. Based on this transcript Charles seems to have acquitted himself very well.

    I agree that he might have been better to politely decline the invitation, although perhaps he was worried that Beeboids would run around saying "well we invited him to guest edit Today but he wasn't brave enough to take up the challenge."

  5. Excellent transcript, Craig - here's also a transcript of the Matt Ridley interview later on in the programme:

    1. Thanks. I was intending to transcribe that too, but this saves me the job.

    2. Actually, it only half saves me the job as I'd already half transcribed it! But still, gratefully received.


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