from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
Since I suspect that more readers, not only F Knoll, who commented on It ain’t necessarily so, feel that I am unduly harsh on those hard working journalists who mean so well, I publish here excerpts from the recent Daily Mail article. I doubt it was mentioned on the ABC:
“The BBC has admitted faking key scenes in a hit nature documentary about grizzly bears. Programme makers were forced to apologise after it emerged hit BBC1 show Great Bear Stakeout deliberately misled viewers by carefully editing footage. A dramatic episode appeared to show one of its expert guides watching and commentating as a mother bear took her cubs into the ocean, before one of them drowned.
In fact, he was never present at the touching scene. Filmed separately, the shots of him standing by the seaside were later spliced in with the original footage to make it seem he was just yards from the dangerous animals. The truth was only revealed yesterday – more than seven months after it was shown on TV – after an investigation by the BBC’s governing body found the public were ‘misled’ and trust in the BBC could be damaged.
It is the latest in a series of fakery rows to engulf the BBC’s respected natural history unit, and comes just two years after it was revealed Sir David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet series had filmed supposedly wild footage of a polar bear and her cubs in a zoo.
Last night, Tory MP John Whittingdale, who chairs the Commons culture, media and sport committee, said it was ‘completely unacceptable’ to fake footage, adding: ‘It is wrong to mislead viewers, and as has been the case in the past, if you have to edit footage so things are not exactly as they were, you should explain to viewers why that has happened.
‘Otherwise, the danger is people stop believing in the truth of these programmes and viewers’ confidence in the BBC’s output will be undermined.’
Too late, I think.
‘I welcome the fact the BBC Trust have recognised that this was misleading and wrong.’
In its damning report yesterday, the corporation’s governing body admitted the latest scandal could further damage the public’s faith in its output. It said: ‘Viewers were on a journey with the guide and this was a crucial event which was interpreted through the eyes of the guide.b‘The Trustees agreed that it was not acceptable to portray him as if he was present when he was not present. The public had been misled.’
Saying the BBC’s natural history programming is ‘one of the jewels in the crown of British broadcasting’, the BBC Trust report continued: ‘Enactments of this nature could undermine the trust of the public in the BBC’s natural history programmes and even risked casting doubt on the accuracy of the natural history depicted in the BBC’s programmes. ‘This would be an extremely unfortunate outcome which could damage a world class brand.’
Filmed in Alaska, Great Bear Stakeout drew plaudits when it was screened in April and captivated almost four million viewers. The fake scene – contained in the first of four episodes – showed a mother bear, Parsnip, taking her two cubs Pushki and Wren into the ocean. Wren was washed away by the waves and presumed drowned.
The BBC Trust said producers gave repeated reassurances the shot was accurate. They did not reveal the true sequence of events because they felt it was ‘acceptable’ and ‘did not alter the editorial truth of the scene’.
There is the truth and the editorial truth. Dr Goebells could not say it better.
The report added: ‘It was only when a planned radio interview proposed to feature the cub-drowning sequence that the bear guide flagged up the fact that he had not actually been present at the time.’
In the wake of the revelations, the BBC required all natural history staff to carry out new training into editorial standards.
Thus BBC requires training in honesty.
Following the Frozen Planet scandal in 2011, Sir David Attenborough – who narrated the series – defended the footage by saying he was ‘making movies’.
And money. And warmists’ propaganda.
Last year, an episode of Planet Earth Live – starring Richard Hammond and Julia Bradbury – was slammed by viewers after it emerged most of the first episode was in fact pre-recorded.
If they feel free to do this with nature programmes, what do they do with less tangible subjects? Trust TV science? Sure can’t.