Apr 6, 2011

The 7PM Project and a dose of climate misinfotainment

The 7PM Project’s producers went looking for conflict and argument and in so doing, failed its audience, writes journalist Graham Readfearn.

On Monday evening between 7-7.30, about 755,000 everyday Australian television viewers were told by two people that emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels wasn’t worth worrying about.


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85 thoughts on “The 7PM Project and a dose of climate misinfotainment

  1. Jim Reiher

    I have been thinking of writing to channel 10 and telling them that I will not watch that show again until they stop using Andrew Bolt (sometimes in interview mode, sometimes sitting on the desk with the presenters).

    It is so distressing to watch as the show that appeals so well to our young adults, is so hijacked by interests happy to generate confusion on topics like climate change.

    It is also distressing to watch good competent comedians and “well loved young presenters” being used by channel ten to help create ongoing confusion in the community about climate change. Do those young people on the panel ever wonder if they just might have sold out to the system? Or are their pay packets cushioning the blow for them, and stopping them from seriously thinking about that?

  2. Michael James

    God help us, we can’t possibly have dissenting views.

    On one hand we have Crikey defending Bolt’s right to say what he thinks, no matter how unpleasant, on race as a freedom of speech issue.

    On the other we have climate change advocates bemoaning Bolt’s stand on a similarly polarising issue.

    Freedom of speech isn’t an “only when its things we agree with” issue, as Crikey has quite courageously stated in several articles in recent days.

    You may not like the fact that many people doubt the climate change story to a greater or lesser degree, but that doesn’t mean that climate change advocates have the right to shut down the debate.

  3. Rico

    “Al Gore-trained climate presenter”

    Is this serious or is it a piss take?

  4. Grinder

    Gina Rinehart seems to be turning into Australia’s version of the Koch brothers. Very worrying.

  5. Mort

    I wish the panel guests had a bit more diversity. Australia isn’t all white middle class anglos for gods sake.
    There seems to be a token spot every night for whinging the old white guy demographic. Like viewers can’t get that at home.

  6. JamesH

    Michael James, can you seriously not see the difference between “We’re not going to give Bolt a TV platform to peddle misinformation about a topic he knows nothing about” and “We’re going to prosecute Bolt for racial discrimination”? Bolt may have a right to free speech, that doesn’t mean a right to free publicity.

  7. Farxical

    “I think that is a great failing of the media. I consistently see people being interviewed whose credentials are not appropriate for the questions they are being asked.”

    There seriously needs to be “Opinion” disclaimers for situations like this. People that peddle nonsense and try and masquerade it as fact should be exposed. Just have a banner stream at the bottom of the screen whenever Bolt is talking which says:

    “Mr. Bolt, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone watching is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

    But jokes aside, it is dangerous and disgusting that current “commentators” are permitted to get away with it and an Opinion disclaimer is just one way of reminding (and warning) the audience that what they are hearing is not necessarily a fact or the truth.

    Oh, and thank you Jim Reiher for reminding me to lodge a formal complaint with the ABC for continuing to put Bolt on Insiders. His latest appearance was disgraceful and the disrespect he showed both the host, Barry Cassidy, and panelist Lenore Taylor simply crossed the line.

  8. RamaStar

    For arguments sake, 9 out of 10 scientists agree that there is global warming and it’s caused by man.
    We want to present the arguments in a fair and balanced way. Wouldn’t that mean having 9 for and 1 against in segments such as this, rather than 50/50. It unfairly over-represents the climate sceptic side of the debate.

  9. klewso

    Not just here, check out Insight last night “Cock-Fighting for Ratings” – so many self-professed “lay-people” stuck in their prejudice, some “understanding the concept” yet unable to articulate what they knew – and some of those “sources”?
    Then Brockie asking Garnaut to explain “the ETS in 27 seconds or less” before cutting him off?
    How are we ever going to get informed community debate on this if the media sees it as something to play for ratings – because it’s “funny” – when they’re the medium best suited to disseminate facts?
    How are “experts” going to “persuade” people with no interest in having their preconceptions challenged, insisting they be persuaded?
    The more light you shine on an owl, the less they see.

  10. Bill

    The science is also largely miss reported and divided, also atmospheric and climate change is very complex. For example, Google many of these concepts, on global warming, temperature increase related to CO2, further, use Google to look into academia (using Google scholar) and you will find a whole range of inconsistent results and conclusions across a range of peer reviewed, scientific papers. Really with the complexity and diverse range and inconsistency of conclusions, and even Tim Flannery himself has conceded that if the whole world shuts down all emissions tomorrow, we may not see any reduction in average global temperature for 1000 years, then how can Joe average draw a reasonable conclusion about climate change, the need for a Carbon Tax and/or ETS? The science is inconsistently published, so called “experts” like Tim Flannery don’t provide compelling stories and then of course everything is poorly represented in the media, so really what do you expect and how can you blame people for this, when no one has the story consistently right? You couls even ask that given the complexity and variables involved in climate science, is there any consistent story or facts?

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