Lord Monckton is rather upset with the producers of this show, so much that he filed a legal action for a right of reply according to Bishop Hill.
I was interviewed (captured really, they flagged me down in the conference hall foyer with no notice) by this production group at the Heartland conference last year in Chicago, giving well over an hour’s worth of an interview in which they asked the same question several times in different ways, hoping to get the answer they wanted. This is an old news interviewing trick to get that golden sound bite. I knew what they were doing, and kept giving the answers my way.
Then, they showed me the contract they wanted me to sign (no mention at the beginning before the interview) and I spent several minutes reading it, finally deciding that the contract basically amounted to me giving them all rights to my image, words, and opinion, with specific rights to edit them together in “any way they saw fit”. Yes, as I recall, that was exactly the way it was worded in the contract, and basically gave them a license to create their own alternate “Watts interview” reality as they desired. My years in television news have shown me how editing can be brutally unfair in the hands of somebody skilled, and I basically told them to “stuff it” and refused to sign the contract. They spent the next two weeks via email and phone trying to come up with contract variations to get me to sign and I still refused. The entire affair was rushed and unprofessional in my experience.
The “repeated questioning of the same topic” interview technique of these blokes was a tipoff for me that the interview was a setup. I wanted no part of it and refused to allow them legal rights over me by not signing the contract. After watching the trailer below, I’m glad I stood my ground.
Here’s the BBC video and intro text for the program (note: the BBC does not allow people outside of Britain to watch the video; some sort of cranial-rectal problem I’m told, a proxy server in the UK is needed to view it if you live elsewhere):
Filmmaker Rupert Murray takes us on a journey into the heart of climate scepticism to examine the key arguments against man-made global warming and to try to understand the people who are making them.
Do they have the evidence that we are heating up the atmosphere or are they taking a grave risk with our future by dabbling in highly complicated science they don’t fully understand? Where does the truth lie and how are we, the people, supposed to decide?
The film features Britain’s pre-eminent sceptic Lord Christopher Monckton as he tours the world broadcasting his message to the public and politicians alike. Can he convince them and Murray that there is nothing to worry about?
This is the trailer, which everyone can view:
h/t to Bishop Hill
UPDATE: James Delingpole of the Telegraph tells of his experience with this outfit:
Nine months ago, when I was at the Heartland conference in Chicago, I was approached by a louche, affable, dark-haired, public school charmer called Rupert Murray. With his friend Callum he was making a documentary about climate sceptics for the BBC and wondered if I’d like to take part.
“The BBC? Not bloody likely. You’ve come to stitch us up, haven’t you?” I said.
“Not at all,” said Murray. “Look, there’s something you need to realise. I’m an independent filmmaker, I have no big budget for this, so I’m dependent on my work being original and interesting. The very last thing the BBC wants to commission is another hatchet job on sceptics. How boring and predictable would that be?”
Very true, I thought. It really is about time the BBC examined the issue from the other side. They are a public service broadcaster, after all, not a green investment fund. (Ho ho).
Unfortunately, the ending Delingpole paints is worse that my own, be sure to read his take on it.