Do you remember hearing about a BBC documentary about Queen Elizabeth II this summer? During filming, Her Majesty walked out of the room in a huff when photographer Annie Leibovitz asked her to remove her crown for a photo. This is the stuff tabloid dreams are made of, and they had a field day with this tasty tidbit. But apparently it never happened: selective editing of the film footage in the trailer, which was shown to journalists, made it seem as though it did.
Back in July, when the controversy erupted, Peter Fincham, the controller for BBC One apologized for the "mistake," but said he wouldn't resign.
Conveniently, the American media is largely ignoring a significant statement from a UK High Court judge who said Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” promotes “partisan political views” and the schools should treat it as such.
As a result the British government was forced to rewrite their website and their “guidance” and will need to issue a warning before showing the film.
As NewsBusters reported, truck driver, part-time school official and father of two Stewart Dimmock brought a High Court action to ban the film from UK schools, claiming it is “unfit for schools” because it contains scientific inaccuracies, “sentimental mush” and is politically biased.
The movie was distributed to more than 3500 schools for children aged 11 to 14-year-olds in “Climate Change Packs.”
An August 22 article in the UK's Times Online gave some insight into the paper's behind-the-scenes views with this headline, “Paris vacates the moral highground to give Washington a helping hand” (h/t Fausta).
For the Times, France's “moral highground” was a four-year diplomatic lock-out with Iraq that began after the “US-led invasion” (and, interestingly, at the end of several Frenchmen profiting from the corrupt UN Oil For Food scam) that Sarkozy broke by sending his Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to Baghdad yesterday for a three-day fact-finding trip with the goal of helping the Iraqis, through the UN, rebuild and stabilize a country that could easily devolve into genocide without adequate attention.
London-based New York Times reporter Alan Cowell was no fan of Tony Blair's support for George Bush and the Iraq War -- he particularly enjoyed repeating left-wing anti-war mockery of Blair as "Bush's poodle."
"Before Gordon Brown took power as Britain's new prime minister, there was much talk about whether the electorate would warm to the dour, methodical and detail-driven Scot, particularly after so many years of soaring oratory from his predecessor, Tony Blair
According to the UK's Life Style Extra, a majority of 4,000 people surveyed believe global warming is a natural occurrence, as opposed to being caused by mankind, despite a scientific consensus claimed by the article:
ALMOST three quarters of people believe global warming is a 'natural occurrence' and not a result of carbon emissions, a survey claimed today.
This goes against the views of the vast majority of scientists who believe the rise in the earth's temperatures is due to pollution.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which represents most scientists, stated earlier that the increase in global temperatures is 'very likely due to the observed increase of man-made greenhouse gas concentrations'.
They define very likely as 'more than 90 percent certain'.
Al Roker was one of the villagers with torches who stormed the castle demanding that Don Imus be fired, but now the foot is in the other mouth. On the June 7 edition of the “Today” show, during a segment discussing London's truly horrible 2012 Olympic logo, which was said to have driven people into epileptic seizures upon viewing, Roker cracked a joke about the disorder. Without turning inflecting a politically correct tone or blowing the situation out of proportion, the New York Post reported his comments and next-day apology (hat tip: Insignificant Thoughts):
"Remember that controversial Olympic logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Some folks have complained that the campaign actually sent them into epileptic seizures," Roker said on Thursday's show.
"Well, we asked you to weigh in on our Web site in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in…"
I guess things have changed since Roker wrote in his blog that he was sick of the “ 'humor' at others expense” and “the cruelty that passes for funny” (bold mine throughout):
Maybe Michael Moore should listen to people who actually have socialized medicine—at least those who are allowed to disagree with their government’s policies. Singer Elton John’s partner David Furnish slammed Michael Moore and his latest docuganda “Sicko” for misrepresenting the quality of the US health care system. On June 02, Furnish stated, ”[America] was the only place to get good treatment”(emphasis mine):
The BBC wouldn’t run a dramatic TV movie about an Iraq war hero and also banned all message board entries linking to controversial anti-terror blog Little Green Footballs, but April 17, the network tops itself. The London Times reports that the Beeb will feature “Weddings and Beheadings,” a short story by an acclaimed Pakistani-British author, which is about an Iraqi camera man who “takes a blackly comic approach to the execution of hostages in Iraq” (emphasis mine throughout):
Weddings and Beheadings by Hanif Kureishi — writer of My Beautiful Laundrette and The Buddha of Suburbia — tells the story of a jobbing cameraman in Baghdad who films executions to earn a living and jokes about it as a way to cope.
The April 10 London Daily Mail dares to say what others have not. Instead of a trendy story about green celebs, reporter Richard Simpson revealed an Inconvenient Truth; many of the musicians participating in Al Gore’s upcoming Live Earth concerts are major eco-offenders themselves:
The stars of a major Live 8-style concert to raise awareness of climate change have been condemned as hypocrites for failing to lead environmentally friendly lives themselves.
The likes of Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform at Live Earth at Wembley Stadium on July 7, yet campaigners say they are among the least "green" individuals on the planet.
With a packet of claims that are almost certain to defy conventional
wisdom, a television documentary to be aired in Britain this week
condemns man-made global warming as a myth that has become "the biggest
scam of modern times."
The program titled "The Great Global Warming Scandal" and set
for screening by TV Channel 4 on Thursday dismisses claims that high
levels of greenhouse gases generated by human activity causes climate
change. Instead, the program suggests that the sun itself is the real
In his program, Mr. Durkin rejects the concept of man-made
climate change, calling it "a lie ... the biggest scam of modern
The truth, he says, is that global warming "is a
multibillion-dollar worldwide industry, created by fanatically
anti-industrial environmentalists, supported by scientists peddling
scare stories to chase funding, and propped up by compliant politicians
and the media."
Among political consultants, the general rule of thumb is that a disapproval rating of 40% spells a candidate's near-certain defeat. After all, virtually no one who disapproves of a candidate will vote for him, while approving of someone is no guarantee of a vote.
Hillary Clinton's disapproval rating of 44% in a recent Time magazine poll thus bodes very ill for her presidential prospects. Yet the Sunday Times of London has managed to put a rosy gloss on what would have most politicians looking for another line of work. Pollyannas the Times of the poll results:
"Only 44% viewed her negatively, figures that President George W Bush can only dream of at the moment."
Journalists, the self-described writers of the first draft of history, often have a very tough time remembering it. I've lost count how many times I've heard the phrase "most ever," "biggest in history," "worst X ever" and so on.
The BBC provided the latest example of this historical short-sightedness in a not-exactly condemnatory (the Beeb never once calls him a dictator) profile of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, which as the WSJ's James Taranto noted yesterday, contained a major error:
Last Monday the BBC published a puff piece on Cuba's dictator titled "Fidel:
The World Icon." Here's how it starts:
Cuba's President Fidel Castro--the world's longest-serving leader--turns
80 on 13 August. This week, we will be assessing his political life and his
impact on the Caribbean island.
Two eye-raising events in the world of religion have been reported in London's leftish Guardian newspaper. In the U.K., the Guardian reports, Christian girls are banned from wearing chastity rings in school at a top state school -- even as Muslim and Sikh girls wear head garb that's not part of official school uniforms. Says the mother of one: "Here you have 12 girls who want to live an alternative lifestyle: we are not asking the school to subscribe to it, just respect it." The Guardian also ran a report from AP religion writer Richard Ostling on the latest decisions from the progressive faction of the Presbyterians -- although he never described them as liberal or progressive, even as their opponents were repeatedly described as conservative:
The divine Trinity - "Father, Son and Holy Spirit'' - could also be known as "Mother, Child and Womb'' or "Rock, Redeemer, Friend'' at some Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) services under an action Monday by the church's national assembly.
Delegates to the meeting voted to "receive'' a policy paper on gender-inclusive language for the Trinity, a step short of approving it. That means church officials can propose experimental liturgies with alternative phrasings for the Trinity, but congregations won't be required to use them...The assembly narrowly defeated a conservative bid to refer the paper back for further study.
After successfully putting the kibosh on a "South Park" episode that made fun of scientology and himself, actor Tom Cruise has expanded his censorship efforts overseas where he's succeeded in getting the same episode pulled in the U.K.:
The South Park episode "Trapped In the Closet," which
mocks actor Tom Cruise's rumored homosexuality as well as his belief in
the controversial religion Scientology, has finally been seen by the
English. The episode had been banned from UK broadcaster Channel 4
after Cruise had complained.
According to the World Entertainment News Network, London's National Film Theater screened the episode on Monday, May 15. After the showing, South Park
creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker spoke about the necessity of free
speech. The event concluded with free copies of the episode being
handed out to attendees.
In regards to possible action by the litigious Cruise, a spokesman for
the Theater said, "If we were charging [for tickets] there may have
been legal problems, but it was a free event, so it should be fine."