More ursus bogus – this time with fake snow on BBC’s “Frozen Planet”

Readers may recall using photoshopped images of polar bears on CGI ice floes. Here we go again.

Via the GWPF: Frozen Planet Fakery Row: Polar Bear Filmed In Zoo Using Fake Snow

Frozen Planet 5 Winter (pic: BBC)
Monday, 12 December 2011 17:48 Euan Stretch, Daily Mirror

Frozen Planet’s eight million devoted fans will not take kindly to being left out in the cold. It emerged yesterday a key scene from the hit BBC series showing a polar bear tending her newborn cubs was filmed in a zoo using fake snow.

Mixing real Arctic shots with zoo scenes, documentary makers fooled the audience into believing the footage was gathered by intrepid cameramen in the brutal sub-zero wilderness.

It was actually filmed from the comfort of a wildlife park enclosure using bears in a man-made wood den.

During the carefully worded Frozen Planet commentary, Sir David Attenborough’s script failed to explain how the moving scene was made.

The truth behind the trickery is only revealed in a hard-to-find video among dozens of clips on the BBC website.

Yesterday John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport committee, said it was “hugely disappointing” viewers were misled.

He said: “My view has always been that all broadcasters should not seek to give viewers a false impression and it is much better if they are entirely open.

“If this was not filmed in the wild it would have been much better to have made that clear in the commentary.

“It’s questionable how many people would visit the website and find the video clip which explained the circumstances of the filming.”

More than eight million viewers tuned into the fifth episode from the £16million seven-part series on November 23.

It began by showing genuine footage of a male polar bear scavenging for food during the harsh Arctic winter.

As howling blizzards filled the screen, Sir David explained: “He must live on his resources. This is a time to scrape by.” The camera then panned to a frozen hillside, before cutting to a close-up of a female polar bear hibernating with her newborn cubs.

Apparently referring to the same bear family, the naturalist said: “But on these side slopes beneath the snow new lives are beginning. The cubs are born blind and tiny. An early birth is easier on the mother.”

His commentary continued: “In two more months polar bear families will emerge on the snowy slopes all round the Arctic.” The camera then moves from the snowy tundra to the dark nest, watching the cubs nuzzle up to their mother, as he says: “But for now they lie protected within their icy cocoons.”

Viewers marvelled at the crew’s apparently daring exploits. One fan wrote online after the show: “The camera team would be in a whole heap of s*** if mummy had woken up.”

In reality, the den was made of plaster and wood beneath a German zoo’s polar bear enclosure. It was fitted with cameras shortly before the cubs’ birth.

read more at the Daily Mirror

 

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136 thoughts on “More ursus bogus – this time with fake snow on BBC’s “Frozen Planet”

  1. When it comes to tugging the heartstrings and purse strings in the name of agw, there is no trickery too debased to resort to.

  2. And there it is. – The methodology of the Man Made Global Warming Movement in one.

    Make something up, and pretend it is real, while putting the evidence that it was made up in an obscure location, just in case a CYA event occurs.

  3. A shocking number of my friends have no problem with this at all.

    I asked one of them, an Israeli friend, what he thought of the BBC’s coverage of Israel. “That’s different”, he said.

    Is it?

  4. From the Marlin Perkins wikipedia entry:
    “Because Walt Disney had fabricated footage of a mass suicide of lemmings in its film White Wilderness,[4] then CBC journalist Bob McKeown asked Marlin Perkins if he had done the same. Perkins, then in his seventies, “firmly asked for the camera to be turned off, then punched a shocked McKeown in the face.” [5]“

  5. This whole spiel is completely in line with all their other deceptive and exaggerated claims; we really shouldn’t be surprised at all!

  6. Do viewers really expect that all those close ups of e.g. krill and plankton are filmed in the wild and not a petri dish? How is this different? The web site said from the start where this filming took place, there was no subterfuge – it’s part of standard naturalist filming practices.

    You’re really scraping the barrel now – there is no great conspiracy.

  7. It was probably too cold in the Arctic to shoot this scene in the first place. But being the BBC, the Bogus Brainwashing Comrades, it’s their duty to manipulate and deceive the public 24/7 so they ended up with this kind of BS.

  8. How do these Polar Bears manage to survive and breed at a temperature well above freezing, without an ice flow and without seals to hunt? Yet in the Arctic a mere rise of 1 deg C per century is meant to threaten their very existence. To me they seem to have adapted rather quickly to the comfort of a zoo and without any help from Darwin.

  9. “DRE says:
    December 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Marlin Perkins is not amused.”

    If you think he wouldn’t be amused, think how Jim would feel. IIRC, he’s the guy who would be crawling into the den while Marlin did the commentary. “While Jim makes his way into the den, trying not to disturb the mother bear, I’ll keep you informed of his progress…”

  10. Funniest thing though is that Attenborough and the producers are completely unapologetic. Basically their argument is
    “Like Duh ! If we had put a camera into a real den the mother would have eaten the cameraman and/or her cubs.”
    To have fessed up during the programme that the footage was faked would have ruined the dramatic impact ( honestly ).

    Down the years the BBC Natural History Unit have had to do a lot of this sort of fakery and to their credit they actually make documentaries to explain how they did it, often as an extra add-on to the original or as a last episode of a series, a sort of “making of…” film.
    This sort of thing never happened with Johnny Morris !

  11. sarc on//Could it be that they couldn’t find any real snow up in the arctic and all the wild polar bears dead, all due to AGW? So they had to resort to ersatz shots?//sarc off

  12. Someone please correct me if I’m mistaken about this. My understanding is that many wildlife ‘documentaries’ filmed in the U.S. are also fake. There’s supposed to a commercial wildlife video ranch somewhere in Montana.

    Wanna shoot a documentary about an elusive momma cougar raising her young? No problemo. There’s supposed to be only one suitable cougar den on the whole ranch. Just go there, set up your video gear, and wait. Momma has already become habituated to the presence of humans.

    Tracking a wary female cougar in the wild is just too much work.

  13. The polar bears were a lot better off in the 1950′s when hunters kept their numbers down. Now their numbers nearly exceed their resources. Their numbers will now be kept down by survival of the fittest and starvation.

  14. Canadas’ GURU of AGW crowd,David Suzuki, recently had a short AD on Canadian TV scaring kiddies, that Santas’ home, the North Pole was melting. He encouraged them to make donations to the David Suzuki Foundation, to save Santa. If I see him,I’ll kick his a$$ around the block for scaring grandkids. These people are REAL CREEPS! Suzuki,by the way called people Maggots, feeding off the planet. HE and the AGW crowd are the REAL maggots

  15. From the Mirrror article:-

    “Last night the BBC insisted: “The commentary accompanying the sequence is carefully worded so it doesn’t mislead the audience.” ”

    I suggest the commentary accompanying the sequence was carefully worded so it did mislead the audience.

  16. Imagine if one of the zoo penguins had crossed in front of the camera and got filmed together with Ursus Maritimus. I was going to add bogus to maritimus, but the polar bear is not bogus at all. It’s the sub-species of homo-sapiens filming the bears that are bogus.

  17. What I find amusing is that Mythbusters given the same situation would probably do exactly the same thing, throw in a quick set of shots of the den being built and the photographer’s setup, Voiceover — “Filming a polar bear birth in the Arctic presents problems and risks to both the cameramen and the bears that are frightening. Besides which the insurance company said ‘Absolutely NOT’. So here’s what we did. The bears are real. The ‘snow’ isn’t” And everyone would be fine with it.

  18. BBC’s excuse budget cuts?

    It costs a lot of $$$ dosh to film and go to the Arctic. Why not bring the Arctic nearer to you with fake snow and a few zoo polar bears It’s also easier to fake Arctic ice melting aswell. :-)

  19. For those of you baffled as to why this is a story. This kind of stuff is fine for entertainment. But this kind of stuff is not fine within the context of a concerted global effort to hoodwink millions of people, especially children, into thinking and believing that there is any truth to the eco-terrorrism being promulgated as either “fact” or “science” by the IPCC, the WWF, Greenpeace or any other political and agenda driven groups. Brainwashing the susceptible masses with blatant falsehoods is not “ok”.

  20. I can’t get too excited about this one. This type of thing has been commonplace in nature films for years. If you go to the archives, review an assortment of nature documentaries from the last 20yrs. select a hundred examples of similar sequences i. e. births in sequestered environs, and investigate how those sequences came to be, I’d suspect you would find that a majority of them, possibly a large majority, would have been artificially created, at least to some extent and often entirely. Sometimes this is commented on in the narration, but not that often.
    We live in the age of CGI. The old idea of I saw it with my own eyes no longer applies. At present it is entirely possible to create images of things that never existed or no longer exist which would require the skills of a well trained graphic technician to prove they aren’t real. Anyone who is viewing film or video created in the last decade and assuming that what they’re seeing is a depiction of an actual reality is living in a world of delusion. Unfortunately that group probably includes a vast majority of the world’s population

  21. Well, at least we know WUWT is written in space – we can tell that from the header picture which shows the view from the window of the room Anthony writes it in.

    What’s that you say? It isn’t written in space it’s just a picture? You mean WUWT doesn’t come from the ISS? What a deception! Why didn’t Anthony tell us that! Surely not because it should be obvious?

  22. Not surprised. I haven’t paid any attention to Attenborough since 1993 when all those dinosaurs down in Isla Nublar turned out to be CG.

  23. I don’t see why anyone should be surprised. Did anyone actually believe that the cameraman dug into a den containing a 1500 lb wild female Polar Bear and her young? And got away alive afterwards?

    By the way Attenborough is apparently utterly ignorant of Polar Bear biology:

    “He must live on his resources. This is a time to scrape by.”

    It is actually the other way around. Other bears hibernate in winter, Polar Bears don’t because winter is the good time for them, when seal-hunting is good and they can feed,enough to be able to scrape by during the lean summer season, As a matter of fact they go into a semi-torpid state described as “walking hibernation” during the summer to save energy.

  24. Larry Fields says:

    “many wildlife ‘documentaries’ filmed in the U.S. are also fake”

    Filming an animal in the wild that is not afraid of humans is hardly faking. Most (not all) animals are fairly unafraid of humans in places where they have not been hunted for a long time. This does not mean that they are tame as quite a few tourists in african national parks have found out with fatal results.

  25. Oh come on folks, it wasn’t supposed to be real, it was just an “illustration”.

    OHMIGOSH! I think I just channeled Al Gore!

  26. ThePowerofX says:
    December 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Further evidence Global Warming is false.
    =============================================
    Thanks for the laugh – very droll.

    I’m afraid I’m in the “so what?” camp. As far as I can tell, this isn’t news, it’s standard practice to do this kind of thing. Attenborough’s many and varied nature programs do this kind of thing all the time, and often show how it’s done either in a short segment at the end of the programme, or occasionally in a separate programme, “the making of”.

    Disclaimer: I didn’t see the episode. If the sequence was accompanied by a voiceover something like “The cubs do their best to stay as far apart as possible in the den because human CO2 emissions has made the den unbearably hot,” then there’s a problem. But otherwise it’s a non-issue, IMHO.

  27. Larry Fields says:
    December 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    “Someone please correct me if I’m mistaken about this. My understanding is that many wildlife ‘documentaries’ filmed in the U.S. are also fake. There’s supposed to a commercial wildlife video ranch somewhere in Montana.”

    Right you are Larry. If you look carefully you will discover how many photos of ‘wild’ cougars have the same background. Or wolverines or any truly wary species. Another tipoff is overweight animals. This ranch is very popular and profitable. And the tame bears and now wolves in Yellowstone aren’t much different. Just a larger zoo that charges less to get in.

    Back on this topic, it is a wonder that the BBC didn’t just use some activists in polar bear suits for this.

  28. DN:
    You are probably confusing David Attenborough (the naturalist and documentary maker) with his brother Richard (the actor who plays the naturalist in Jurassic Park).

    Or maybe you’re just making a joke which I have just ruined. Sorry either way, can’t help being a pedant…

  29. This sort of thing has been a pet peeve of mine for decades. I damn near went ballistic upon watching a few parts of “Blue Planet”.

    Anyone remember the cave lizard fish (homaloptera sp.), the one they were calling a cave angle fish ( a fake name the made up for the show name). The film crew had to be molesting the poor thing to get it to swim the way it was because, normally these guys stay against a surface. They hate to swim.

    “I KNOW its true, I just can’t prove it, so it is not really lying if I fake it.” … yay righ.

  30. Nature documentaries do this kind of thing all the time especially for close-up shots. This kind of deception is not new.

    Going by the howls about global warming the BBC should have used fake, tropical warm water with palm trees and crocodiles. ;O)

  31. Derek Sorensen;
    I’m afraid I’m in the “so what?” camp. As far as I can tell, this isn’t news, it’s standard practice to do this kind of thing. >>>

    You mean like “so what if Al Gore faked his on air experiment?”

    So what, like that?

    The moment we say “so what” to documentaries that are not explicit in terms of how they illustrate their subject matter, we’re expose ourselves to deception. I grew up firmly believing that lemmings migrate en masse to the edge of a cliff every year, and commit suicide by throwing themselves into the sea. It had to be real, because I saw it on Walt Disney. Turned out it was a massive fake with lemmings being pushed from behind over a cliff in Calgary and falling into the Bow River, where many of them drowned. The type of lemming in the film doesn’t even migrate at all!

    If the documentary is to be accepted as legit, it should have made the method with which they were able to film the bears clear in the documentary itself. In retrospect, it should seem obvious that a film crew didn’t find a way to tunnel into a polar bear den without disturbing the bears. But in retrospect, when I watch the Disney lemming film, it is obvious to me that the lemmings are being pushed from behind and are doing everything they can to NOT fall over the cliff.

    When a documentary fails to disclose how they did something, the first question the pops into my mind is…what are they hiding? fine print in the credits, an obscure link on a web site, or a companion “how it was made” piece just don’t cut it.

  32. Perhaps the whole of Frozen Planet was faked. How do we know? Perhaps there is actually no Sir David Attenborough. How do we know? How can we trust anybody again?

  33. My grandpa frequently reminded me to believe none of what I read in the press and only half of what I saw on TV. I have found it to be sound advice.

  34. While I do have an objection to the contamination of David Attenboroughs work with AGW bunk, I do not have a problem with this staged close up. A great deal of nature documentary close ups are filmed in the studio. Over the years David Attenborough has worked hard in many difficult locations to create the best nature documentary in the world. A few bits of footage filmed in controlled circumstances is not an issue for me. It’s not like the execrable rubbish presented as “reality” in the Catlin Arctic expedition.

  35. Oh come on. This is normal practice. They create the news this way, for instance. Just google “reuters beirut”.

  36. Louise says:
    December 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    “Do viewers really expect that all those close ups of e.g. krill and plankton are filmed in the wild and not a petri dish? How is this different? The web site said from the start where this filming took place, there was no subterfuge – it’s part of standard naturalist filming practices.

    You’re really scraping the barrel now – there is no great conspiracy.”
    - – - – -
    Good comment. I was also fooled by this scene, admiring the camarawork, but so what? A lot of documentaries are dramatized anyway. The scene points to something as it really happens in nature, that’s the main topic here, so with me it leaves no feeling of being misled. I’ll save my bullets for better targets.

  37. Lol – those pesky TV evangelists. On other real news – LIVE: Canada set to announce Kyoto pullout.

    Environment Minister Peter Kent is expected to announce Monday that Canada is formally
    withdrawing from the Kyoto accord.

    The decision to do so will save the government an estimated $7 billion in penalties. The Conservative government says it has no choice given the economic situation.

    Kent has scheduled a press conference in the foyer of the House of Commons at 5 p.m. ET.

  38. “Perhaps there is actually no Sir David Attenborough.”

    Sir David Attenborough is actually a character created by Sasha Baron Cohen.

  39. We did it! We’re officially OUT! What a great day to be a Canadian! Canada is formally withdrawing from the Kyoto accord, Environment Minister Peter Kent said Monday.

    The decision to do so will save the government an estimated $14 billion in penalties, Kent said.
    The Conservative government says it has no choice given the economic situation.

    Blaming an “incompetent Liberal government” who signed the accord and then took little action to make the necessary greenhouse gas emission cuts, Kent said he was formalizing what the Conservative government has been saying for weeks.

  40. davidmhoffer says:
    December 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    You mean like “so what if Al Gore faked his on air experiment?”

    So what, like that?

    The moment we say “so what” to documentaries that are not explicit in terms of how they illustrate their subject matter, we’re expose ourselves to deception. I grew up firmly believing that lemmings migrate en masse to the edge of a cliff every year, and commit suicide by throwing themselves into the sea. It had to be real, because I saw it on Walt Disney. Turned out it was a massive fake with lemmings being pushed from behind over a cliff in Calgary and falling into the Bow River, where many of them drowned. The type of lemming in the film doesn’t even migrate at all!

    No, not like that at all. I made clear the boundaries in my disclaimer: IF the sequence was accompanied by some narrative which pushed the AGW agenda, or even some other agenda, then it’s wrong, no question. Otherwise, it’s just television. Gore’s faked “experiment” was something else entirely, since it was intended to mislead.

    ThePowerofX says:
    December 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    What other possible explanation is there? Anthony is merely anchoring the word “bogus” and “fakery” to the BBC because he dislikes how they report AGW?

    It is natural for us to want to criticise the BBC because of the clear bias they have towards the AGW agenda, and their censorship of dissenting voices. I just think we ought to pick our battles more carefully. This is just “TV magic”. Some shots are impossible to get by “authentic” means, so they have to use camera trickery or even staged shots.

    To both: I am unforgivingly critical of the BBC’s censorship of the sceptical view of AGW. Polar Bears, for their sins, have become an icon for the AGW agenda (even though their status is badly misrepresented to support the Warming Cause) so it is understandable that there is a knee-jerk reaction to any programme which includes them. But in reality, not every use of them is warmist propaganda, and hence it doesn’t mean that using a captive animal/family of bears is necessarily part of a warmist plot.

    Should Attenborough have said “We faked this shot for TV?” Maybe. But that’s an editorial decision, not part of a “dirty commie watermelon warmist plot”, *unless* he also pushed the warming agenda, and used the shot as an illustration. I repeat, I didn’t see the programme, so it is possible the narration did do this, in which case I would withdraw my objection.

    Did you see the programme? Did he do this?

    Sorry this comment is so long.

  41. Attenborough’s doing his best, regardless of the usual studio tricks, but why not attempt to see this from the perspective of the convinced eco warrior? It would be helpful to try to understand what lies they’ve swallowed, what subtle aims they intend, what danger they represent. For there are many for whom the siren call is persuasive – the relentless outpourings of the BBC and most MSMs, all predicated on a shared acceptance of AGW and no longer interested in discussing any other world view, and they are having a disproportionate influence on the new generation.

    Let me say this clearly, “Whatever we should do to help reduce man-made climate damage, reducing CO2 is NOT the most urgent issue”.

    Off-topic:
    As an oldie, I find it shocking that some younger people know nothing about the 2nd World War, or the Falklands, or the break-up of Yugoslavia, or even the 1st Gulf war/Kuwait.

  42. “My party’s position on the Kyoto Protocol is clear and has been for a long time. We will oppose ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and its targets. We will work with the provinces and others to discourage the implementation of those targets. And we will rescind the targets when we have the opportunity to do so”
    “Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.”
    “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.”

    “As economic policy, the Kyoto Accord is a disaster. As environmental policy it is a fraud”

    Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

    A politician that stuck to his word against all the NGOs, the media and the consesus of the seven.

    (The NGOs Really hate the Canadian government :-)

  43. It’s ok to fake something like this when it raises awareness and generate public discussion /common sense…

  44. Terry says:
    December 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    As far as I recall, the Russian word for “truth” is “pravda”.
    It’s high time for the BBC to learn at least one foreign word (besides insulting German terms ca.1933-45, that is) and rename itself.

  45. If the late Steve Irwin was Steve Attenborough, he would have jumped on rubber crocodiles lol

    But seriously, I don’t have a problem with doctored shots so long as the scene doesn’t misrepresent reality a la’ the Disney lemmings.
    Not every naturalist is expected to be brave to the point of stupidity. It could result in the loss of ones life, (as Steve will tell you from up above. RIP)

  46. This is a sin by omission if you will. The programme could have explained how they got the shot without it interrupting the story of that segment.

    In recent years the BBC’s documentaries on wildlife have been spending the final 5 or 10 minutes of programmes showing how shots were got and the conditions the camera crews can be working in. It’s quite fascinating at times and iirc they have gone as far as showing how the shots of things like flying insects are achieved (in a studio with the insect stick to a pin with wax and then composited with background footage to make it look like it was filmed on the wing.).

    This would have been one such case where they could have demonstrated some behind the scenes techniques and explained that it was simply too dangerous to attempt in the wild – during the broadcast rather than on a website. The addition of fake snow would then have been unnecessary.

  47. Derek Sorensen;
    Gore’s faked “experiment” was something else entirely, since it was intended to mislead.>>>

    If you have no idea how the subject matter was faked in the first place, then you are left to assume that it is factual. It could be a fake meant in good faith, it could be a fake that is meant to mislead, and it could be a fake that’s just a mistake. If the documentary is not explicit about which parts were faked and why, then I’m supposed to guess, frame by frame, what is legit, what is misleading, and what is a mistake?

    You set your standards too low sir, as do those others who scoff and say “itz done all the time”. By that standard, slavery would still be legal, witches would be burned at the stake, virgins would be thrown into volcanoes to prevent their eruption, and climate science would be dependent upon a single tree in Siberia and a clever computer program from Michael Mann. See what happens when we accept substandard quality on the excuse that “itz done all the time”?

  48. “commieBob says:
    December 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm
    Just heard on the CBC that Canada has pulled out of the Kyoto Agreement.”

    I suspect a really good dose of recession will concentrate a lot of minds and save us from this nonsense as the stark financial realities finally dawn on the masses.

  49. Japan: Out!
    Canada: Out!

    Dear free world:

    You can join the free world, or you can become the 3rd world. Them’s the choices.

    Dear 3rd world:

    What’s left of the free world that is still in Kyoto is broke. They couldn’t send you a penny no matter how much they wanted to, so you are getting nothing. Wanna get some money? How about you do it the old fashioned way? Work for it. (PS – you’ll find that working for your money is a lot easier if you adopt a free market economy, give your people basic human rights, stamp out corruption, and govern like civilized human beings instead of medieval tyrannies)

  50. Andrew30 says:
    December 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

    A politician that stuck to his word against all the NGOs, the media and the consesus of the seven.

    Could we borrow him for the next election? There might be a small problem with the birth certificate, but obviously that can be worked around. Our current Clown College Collective of Convivial Candidates can’t muster the cajones to contradict the climate change consensus.
    We are always exhorted of the need to “Speak Truth to Power”, when what is really required are leaders who are willing to “Speak Truth to the People”. It would be nice if PM Harper’s example could convince a few of our local boys that that strategy is not a path to certain electoral defeat. Although in a country where Obummer’s “Hope you’ve got some Change left when it’s Over” can be a resounding success, finding an electoral majority that is willing to even consider the Truth is probably a big longshot.

  51. Sorry, I can’t get worked up about this particular instance.
    If the footage was depicting something which would have been different if shot in the wild (had it been possible) then I think it would be very wrong, but – correct me if I’m mistaken – this wasn’t the case.
    It isn’t like the Gore case where the footage was supposed to be a record of an experiment which wouldn’t work as depicted. As I understand it, the Attenborough programme wasn’t making any contentious point with this particular footage.
    I do think that it would cover documentary filmmakers if on their programme website there was a clear link to a “How we made X programme” which could list any potentially misleading shots.

    I also think that we need to choose our battles. Nitpicking at any, generally accepted, filmmaking techniques which aren’t misrepresenting how the world works just makes the uncommitted observer think less of our real substantial objections to any misleading film.

  52. On this particular count: “Meh”
    I’m sure there’s plenty of other aspects of that alarmist series that one could pull to pieces. This looks like a storm in a teacup.

  53. Artwest, the BBC is currently under intense scrutiny for bias and propaganda. This is very important – not only are they not objective, they resort to lies.

  54. For those posters who are saying “ho-hum, goes on all the time” – speak to a colleage of mine who came from communist Eastern Europe. It’s amazing how perceptive a constant dose of state propaganda makes one towards …well … er … lies. The BBC is caught out in one of Aunty’s lies – with her knickers down.

  55. So, essentially, the polar bears of the icy north will turn into über bears and migrate to the coal riddled landscape of cold dark Germany or else they’ll suffer the new warmth of the north?

  56. mrsean2k says:
    December 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm
    “Genuinely baffled as to why people think this is a story.”

    The BBC, aka “the government,” is caught lying again. Sir David Attenborough, the BBC’s spokesman for nature was caught in the lie.

    If you are going to make a TV series about nature but you simulate it in a studio then you have a duty to inform viewers that the series is actually about simulated nature.

  57. Katabasis
    What are you on abaout?BBC coverage of Israel?Are you actually saying that the BBC favours Israel?
    mrsean2k Is puzzled as to why this is wrong,after all the media have been doing it for years.Faked war scenes,faked street protests,faked disaster coverage.It’s all about fooling the viewer which isn’t hard.Saw it on TV,must be true,read it in the paper,must be true.

  58. Dave N says:
    December 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm
    On this particular count: “Meh”
    “I’m sure there’s plenty of other aspects of that alarmist series that one could pull to pieces. This looks like a storm in a teacup.”

    Sir David Attenborough, the BBC’s face for nature, is a liar. How is that a storm in a teacup?

  59. Robert of Ottawa says:
    December 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm
    “Artwest, the BBC is currently under intense scrutiny for bias and propaganda. This is very important – not only are they not objective, they resort to lies.”

    And they earned it. We are not giving them a break. They will find each misstep fully exposed.

  60. Derek Sorensen
    December 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    A lie is a lie, and a lie is always wrong. If you had any idea the damage this sort of idiocy has already done, you would not be so forgiving, or at least I hope you wouldn’t.

  61. Robert of Ottawa says:
    Artwest, the BBC is currently under intense scrutiny for bias and propaganda. This is very important – not only are they not objective, they resort to lies.

    ———————————
    Any filmmaking is a construction. Even in documentary: as soon as you chose a camera angle, as soon as you light, as soon as you select a frame rate, as soon as you edit, as soon as you add music, commentary or sound effects, as soon as you commit light to film or a sensor you are warping “reality”.

    Shots of animals/birds/fish etc in their nests/burrows and other near-impossible conditions have been filmed in somewhat artificial conditions since the year dot. As long as such footage doesn’t misrepresent the behaviour of the creatures in question this has always been seen as unexceptional.

    As I understand it the shots in the Attenborough programme were no different to how they would have been if the bears were in the wild and no contentious claim was made on the basis of those shots.

    I know of no other broadcaster in the world who would have a problem with those shots. Maybe some particularly anal broadcaster somewhere might have insisted that they be particularly flagged but I doubt it. It would be seen as being somewhat like having to have a “slow motion” caption on screen every time a lion brought down a gazelle in case some people thought that lions moved that slowly.

    My concern is that by concentration on issues where the average person thinks we are making a mountain out of a molehill we look petty.
    It is also a distraction – look how much focus has been pulled onto this easily brushed-off issue in the media when the real story should be the BBCs general bias on CAGW.

    The warmists must be loving this distraction.

  62. For those who say, “So what, all documentaries have make believe in them.”…. Well the same thing could be said for people cynical about Communist politics, “So what, all public statements are vetted for political content.”

    The fact is, fabrications are not facts and fabrications end up perpetuating myths or supporting lies…. A few examples of each would be the Lemming mass suicide myth created in a film documentary and now an accepted fact, Lysenkoism in Soviet and Communist Chinese politics which was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions and Anthropogenic Global Warming’s fabricated science and exaggerated catastrophic effects as an example in the modern era….

    If a naturalist program wants to be relevant in the modern era, it needs to be truthful and transparent about its science, its methodology and cinematography. If they need to emulate a natural situation, then they should say so and explain what they have done.

    …. Don’t forget. The Lemming myth was created to show that population increases cause madness and mayhem….. and was actually an Anthropomorphisation…. They were using lemmings, but meaning Humans….. 1960′s politics and the population bomb hysteria that passed as science back then….. Now it’s AGW and polar bears, huddled with their cubs in fake snow dens or drowning in CGI seas on melting CGI ice floes………. Same ol’ same ol’. Sigh…….

  63. I knew there was a twist when the BBC made a program called “Frozen planet”.
    Apparently our planet is “Frozen” despite thirty years of anthropogenic global warming climate change hysteria.

  64. artwest
    December 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Shots of animals/birds/fish etc in their nests/burrows and other near-impossible conditions have been filmed in somewhat artificial conditions since the year dot. As long as such footage doesn’t misrepresent the behaviour of the creatures in question this has always been seen as unexceptional.
    ####

    Misrepresent the behaviour according to who’s understanding of the animals normal behavior. The greeny propagandist?

  65. artwest says:
    December 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    The warmists must be loving this distraction.

    Because their Warming Model “experiments” simulations use the same methods?

  66. Louise says:
    December 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm
    Do viewers really expect that all those close ups of e.g. krill and plankton are filmed in the wild and not a petri dish? How is this different? The web site said from the start where this filming took place, there was no subterfuge – it’s part of standard naturalist filming practices.
    ==================================================================

    Thank you Louise, you have just confirmed the bankruptcy of the “naturalist filming practises”. What else have they deceived the ‘sheeple’ with?

    The web site is not the primary medium conveying the subterfuge of the producers … these actions need to be openly disclosed at the time of viewing, not requiring one to research hidden information. This is the same as those unreadable fine print disclaimers on products hidden behind affixed labels. I’d love to know your thoughts on ‘truth in advertising’.

  67. Speaking of faked nature shows, anyone remember Marty Stouffer? (I can’t remember the exact name of his show.)

    I watched him at work at what was known as the Okanagan Game Farm near Penticton in southern BC (Canada) back about 1970. He did a lot of fake stuff there. To do a scene of a coyote, first he trained it to go to a food source by using a a remote activated beeper at the food. Then he located a bunch of those beepers (out of camera sight of course) where he wanted the coyote to go for his story. Then he sequentially activated those beepers to get the coyote to follow the script.

    This didn’t exactly misrepresent coyote behavior but it forever changed how I saw that show, and many others. Not to mention still photos.

  68. It was not a German Zoo, it was a zoo in Rhenen, The Netherlands. Even here the information seems to be wrong.

  69. Can’t help but think of the small row over CBS faking Boston fireworks shots last year during their live New Years Eve show. http://tinyurl.com/3oowmpf Once discovered, they tried to pass this deception off as perfectly acceptable because the supposedly live coverage was ‘entertainment’ not ‘news.’ Of course, how many people would actually tune in to watch if right up front they were told it was created with CGI/mixed images? Or at least if they did, they would know that’s what they were getting and have accepted it up front. People believe – and certainly should be able to believe – that live coverage means just that – accurate, real, and live. For those reading who aren’t in the USA, CBS is one of the 3 conventional national networks here.

    The same with documentaries. Lord knows it would be easy enough to insert a few words in the dialog, or a sentence or two, right in the documentary as they shift to the non-wild scene to let folks know that it’s too dangerous or difficult or whatever to get the actual shots, so these are from a zoo (or ranch or xyz…). Or at the very least, to have that stated by the narrator in the opening part of the documentary – not buried in filming credits at the end or a later “how it was made” piece that likely won’t be seen by the vast majority of those who watch the actual documentary.

    Frankly I recall seeing that segment, or one just like it and at the time wonder how the heck they managed to get the shot. I wound up thinking, well, ok, maybe they pushed optical fiber thru the snow into the den… then of course, the question becomes, how did they manage to find the den? Did they REALLY keep a feed like that active for the weeks or months necessary to catch the babes being born and then coming into sight? I finally just dismissed it as an unknown. But assumed that must be what the inside of a polar bear den looks like. Well, foolish me. Personally, I’d have like to have known.

    How many kids watching documentaries assume that we’re so omnipotent that we’re able to actually do all these things? For that matter, how many adults? “Gee, scientists are so smart they can manage this, so they must be right when they say….” Is that REALLY what we want for our society? What does it do to education, and to people’s abilities to trust and to discern real from unreal, right from wrong, when these sorts of things happen. Even worse, rather than getting upset when instances are discovered, so many people respond with a cavalier “they can fake anything, anyone believing anything seen is real is just a fool?” This is right along the same lines as those who excuse politicians for telling obviously lies, because hey, they’re politicians and they all lie, so what’s the big deal? Well, it is a big deal, and it’s not acceptable. This sort of attitude is what contributes to little exaggerations turning into big exaggerations turning into outright lies.

    Meanwhile, clearly problems of this nature with media will only get worse as technology continues developing – and to the extent that once such problems are discovered, people are willing to accept fakes, disinformation, misdirection without much more than a shrug. I haven’t finished reading most of the comments yet (I got down to the well said comment by davidmhoffer December 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm) but am a bit appalled some who seem to be implying that Anthony (for bringing this to our attention), or other commentators (who think it’s a serious issue) are somehow in the wrong. That we ought to just accept this sort of thing as to be expected and no big deal. Certainly there are other issues that are bigger, but that doesn’t make this sort of thing trivial or something to be taken without a qualm. Not unless we’re happy to never know if what the media is presenting is accurate or not, and are willing to just lap up any propaganda that someone in control or power cares to feed us.

  70. I was initially fooled by the number of people here who do not mind being fooled. But then the old adage readily came to mind. “We are never fooled, we fool ourselves”.

  71. If so many people can infer that because thoe clip about polar bears was not filmed in the Arctic, it follows that global warming is a hoax, then they must have no ammunition of substance. It shows how lacking in real arguments these people are.

  72. Louise says:
    December 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    The program is where it should have been explained, not buried away on a website. The general viewer does not go running off to the BBC site! Imagine! You will be saying Black and Harrabin have posted the honest truth about the goings on in Durban next, rather than the bent, biased stuff they produce every day!

  73. When you present documentary as drama, which wildlife programs often do, this is fine.
    When you present documentary as news or current affairs or, as Attenborough does in Frozen Planet, as propaganda to support an environmental/political point of view, it is questionable.

    ‘Truth’ is subjective.

  74. For the record.
    I learned last night thru the dutch television news that the shots were made in Ouwehands Dierenpark in Rhenen the Netherlands.

  75. Much as I deplore David Attenborough’s global warming propaganda, this is a non-story. It is not deception to show a genuine polar bear birth in a zoo and splice it into footage in the wild.

    As for the global warming nonsense, Attenborough reminds me of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who in his dotage became convinced that faked photos of fairies at the bottom of the garden were authentic. In both cases it’s a good illustration of why we shouldn’t accept uncritically the opinions of authority figures, however eminent.

  76. These shots aim to make polar bears into cuddly creatures and get us all to go ‘Aah!’. Well it failed on me.

  77. It’s not like there’s been this long-going argument about the best settings for a Carter carburetor, and this clip is our proof that the BBC lies and so they obviously lied when they agreed with you about the settings.

    This has been a world-wide, economy-busting public debate in which the proponents of a scientific theory have a long and consistent history of fudging the science whenever the science can be fudged, who have taken shortcuts that obviate their essays, who have used their positions to bully any talk not conforming to their own, and who confirmed all of this themselves, when (oops) a bunch of their e-mailed plans to do these things got “released” somehow.

    In other words, stop pretending as if this wasn’t the exact perfect use of this film for the purpose it was intended. I mean, my god, even after all of the hits they’ve self-inflicted and deserved, they still can’t make an honest presentation of . . . anything? They’re still faking polar beat shots?

  78. boudumoon@hotmail.com says:
    December 13, 2011 at 12:06 am
    “When you present documentary as drama, which wildlife programs often do, this is fine.
    When you present documentary as news or current affairs or, as Attenborough does in Frozen Planet, as propaganda to support an environmental/political point of view, it is questionable.

    ‘Truth’ is subjective.”

    For adherents of the Frankfurt School and of Ravetz’ Post Normal Science, definitely so. You forgot to add “The ends justify the means”.

  79. “My view has always been that all broadcasters should not seek to give viewers a false impression and it is much better if they are entirely open.”

    Naive moron. The BBC is not legally required to tell the truth. If I recall, there was a law suit bought against them by the creator of a documentary: this was the outcome.

    To still reflect this kind of mindless ‘hey man, the world is, like, full of cool and honest dudes; let’s all get along and trust each other to speak the truth’, is patiently, and indefensibly, stupid.

    Grow up, you little child.

  80. In the print version of the UK Daily Telegraph David Attenborough is quoted as saying they were ‘making movies’, which perfectly explain the choice of images used in the final episode to illustrate climate change.

  81. “It was not a German Zoo, it was a zoo in Rhenen, The Netherlands.”

    Oh, hell. So these bears can’t even speak the right language! These people are beyond belief!

  82. “Like Duh ! If we had put a camera into a real den the mother would have eaten the cameraman and/or her cubs.”

    …This is wrong. Years ago the BBC made a series called “The Kingdom of the Ice Bear” in which the mother was filmed in her den without that consequence.

    The BBC has a long history of lying about “global warming”. Last week, for instance, they had a background picture to one of their reports about Durban in which a cluster of chimneys belching snowy white steam had a filthy black plume of smoke “Photshopped” onto it. After all, it’s hard to manufacture public anxiety from showing the production of the same stuff that makes up those nice fluffy white clouds.

  83. Louise [December 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm] says:

    “Do viewers really expect that all those close ups of e.g. krill and plankton are filmed in the wild and not a petri dish? How is this different? The web site said from the start where this filming took place, there was no subterfuge – it’s part of standard naturalist filming practices.

    You’re really scraping the barrel now – there is no great conspiracy.”

    Clearly there is nothing and no-one from the AGW cult that you won’t bend over for. We have a word for that, but I’ll only think it and not type it here in Anthony’s house. I wouldn’t use the term ‘scraping the barrel‘, because it is more like a ‘target rich environment‘. The bumbling fools that populate the AGW Church of Climatology are nothing if not verbose in demonstrating their immorality, dishonesty, and lack of integrity whether it is their pseudo-science or media productions for little children.

    Why don’t you entertain the troops here with your opinion of the 10:10 No Pressure campaign.

    artwest [December 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm] says:

    “Any filmmaking is a construction. Even in documentary: as soon as you chose a camera angle, as soon as you light, as soon as you … I know of no other broadcaster in the world who would have a problem with those shots. … My concern is that by concentration on issues where the average person thinks we are making a mountain out of a molehill we look petty. … The warmists must be loving this distraction.”

    You’re rationalizing. There is no excuse in this day and age of drop-in effects and fonts (not to mention production diaries and every other high-tech advancement) for producers to be lazy. This practice is to documentary film-making as AGW Climatology is to hard Science. At best it is amateurish, but far more likely it is Goebbels-esque propaganda. This happens all the time these days, in all fields. The print media and online media is awash in haphazard presentations where one cannot tell who said what quote, references and attributions are missing. It is sloppy to say the least.

    We see it with Washington Compost and NY Slimes reporters, who usually get fired with Pulitzers revoked. We even see it all the time on the Discovery and History Channels where dramatizations are interspersed with historical footage. I mean all the time, for example a cut from newsreel footage of Hitler to re-enacted bunker footage complete with grayscale and aged film effects. It wouldn’t kill them to put Dramatization in text on those frames. And it will continue unabated until everyone steps up, and stops rationalizing and justifying bad behavior. If you were the professor and your student submitted this as a project I would hope you would take him to the woodshed.

    Perhaps the ‘oh so what?‘ chorus of enablers should remember that given the opportunity against you, the green eco-nazis would ram it down your throat without blinking an eye, regardless of how insignificant the error. Knives and gunfights.

    Political Junkie [December 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm] says:

    “David Suzuki’s fund raising ad aimed at kids:

    SEND ME YOUR MONEY, OR SANTA GETS IT!

    Bingo! Nail.Meet.Head.

  84. Here’s a quote from today’s printed Daily Telegraph:
    “Yesterday Sir David Attenborough insisted he had done nothing wrong on Frozen Planet, because the producers were “making movies” and telling the truth would “ruin the atmosphere”
    .
    I love that bit about “telling the truth”. Sadly, when it comes to climate change and the BBC, telling the truth seems to be a low priority. Remember the senior NASA climate scientist earlier this year who told an outragious and demonstrable lie in front of the BBC cameras?
    Of course, this matter of the polar bear cubs is a relatively small thing and certainly does not disprove climate change. But if you are routinely economical with the truth, even in small matters, then you are – shall we say – on a very slippery slope.
    Chris

  85. Martin Hanson says:
    December 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    If so many people can infer that because thoe clip about polar bears was not filmed in the Arctic, it follows that global warming is a hoax, then they must have no ammunition of substance. It shows how lacking in real arguments these people are.

    Well, “global warming” is in fact a pseudo-scientific hoax as judged solely on the basis of its own lack of scientific merit. So what do you infer from that about the continuing propaganda in support of “global warming” and its now having involved even your own strange reverie above?

  86. The original Ursus bogus made it to the textbook, by the way. Audesirk et al., Biology, 9th ed. p. xvi.

  87. So what are you lot saying? That polar bears don’t give birth in holes in the snow?

    The filming of the young cubs might not have been filmed underground, in the depths of an Arctic winter: but wasn’t it a truthful representation of what actually happens in the wild?

  88. A bit of this programme that I did not like :- “Frozen Planet” showed pictures taken from the production teams helicopter of a herd of Bison being hunted by Wolves in the North Of Canada.

    The commentary from the beloved David, ran some thing like ” something panicked/spooked the Herd” and we were shown the Wolves gaining a fortunate kill in the ensuing panic.

    In my opinion it appears obvious the Bison herd was panicked by the camera team in their helicopter, either accidently or deliberately, either way it was a kill effected by the Frozen Planet cameras.

  89. I was fortunate enough to watch the first six episodes in full HD glory on my big LCD TV, and did indeed enjoy it. Don’t let the faff about two little bears in a Dutch zoo spoil the show for you. To anybody that can count, it was obvious that a different group of bears emerged from the snow, for three little cubs followed their mummy down the slope, and sad to say, next day there were only two little cubs trailing behind their mummy. Was it another male polar bear, were it wolves, we don’t know?

    What I learned from the programme. One third of the planet is covered in snow. Hence the name Frozen Planet. The green lungs of the planet are not in the Amazons, but are actually in the vast forests of Canada and Russia. (bits of Scandinavia as well.) Places that are cold and covered with snow is not nice places to live in. If anything, the series shows the benefits of a warmer climate.

    There are some spectacular shots of wildlife, and the high-speed photography is used to full effect. Wolves, killer whales, etc. kill. And some penguins are pebble thieves!

  90. UK John;
    Regardless of who spooked who, predation keeps grazers from devastating their own environment. They’ll eat themselves out of house and home and cause all manner of collateral damage and death to other species unless kept a) moving, b) skittishe, and c) culled.
    Hooray for wolves!

  91. “As the Frozen Planet row highlights, the BBC is becoming an obsession among climate-change deniers ”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/14/frozen-planet-polar-bear-bbc

    ————————————————

    Congratulations.
    The real problems with BBC coverage of CAGW will all be forgotten. All that will be remembered is that a bunch of “deniers” who can’t control their hatred of the BBC nitpicked and ended up looking monumentally stupid by going ballistic over a few shots which made NO %@&$ing difference to the BBC’s bias over CAGW.

    It’s as if some people can’t understand the concept of choosing your battles or not shooting yourself in the foot – despite being reminded of the concept several times in this thread alone.

    Well, the struggle to make CAGW reporting less biased in the BBC has been damaged, possibly fatally, so I hope you enjoyed your little bit of putting the boot in.

    Some people have to ask themselves whether it is more important to them to indulge their pet hates at every opportunity, however counter-productively, or whether they want to end the CAGW scam asap.
    Sometimes the two are incompatible.

  92. If they have said “elsewhere, a momma bear snuggles with her newborn cubs”, that would be neutral, and I wouldn’t have objected. However, they said “beneath the same slopes” and highly implied that this was less than a mile from the filming of the papa bear. Not only is it a lie, but it’s a pointless one.

  93. Posted at George’s:

    You miss the point, George. A documentary that conveys information with staged footage which is not identified as such is instantly worthless. If it lies in small things, why not in large? When it is promoting a POV with major scientific and political ramifications, it is very dangerous.

    The Feeb has a very privileged position in the world(s) of broadcasting and public information, virtually as an official outlet for policy and background information. It is routinely abusing it. Here’s why:
    Confessions of a BBC Liberal .

  94. Anthony, you’ve worked in TV, so shame on you for this post. This is absolutely nothing new and such technoques have been a mainstay of natural history programming since the 1960s with the innovations of companies like Oxford Scientific Films.

    What’s up WattsUpWithThat? Need to promote a manufactroversy in preparation for episode 7 of the series? Has Attenborough got you worried? Don’t worry, Discovery’s dropped the episode already. But at least 8 million viewers in the UK will get to see it, and probably more now that it’s had even more publicity..

  95. Now I see where all you guys congregate. If you are using this to rubbish climate change and attack the BBC then you really are clutching at straws. Desperate doesn’t even get near to describing it.

  96. Additionally, i hope you guys are going to attack Sky for their forthcoming Attenborourgh penguin programme where they use numerous penguins to show the journey of one penguin? Guess what people, the Tooth Fairy does not exist! Either does Santa or the Easter Bunny! TV has always played tricks of the mind. I would be more upset if they had intruded on an endangered species in the wild at close quarters.

  97. adundeemonkey says:

    “Now I see where all you guys congregate. If you are using this to rubbish climate change and attack the BBC then you really are clutching at straws. Desperate doesn’t even get near to describing it.”

    Appropriate screen name there, Mr Monkey.

  98. >>
    Adundeemonkey says:
    December 15, 2011 at 8:30 am
    <<

    You forgot to add “Bah! Humbug!” to your post.

    Jim

  99. Marty Stouffer’s TV show was “Wild America”. 1982-1994

    Marlin Perkins’ TV show was “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”. Honest and up-front that Mutual of Omaha was paying the bills by putting their name in the title of the show. It ran 1963-1988, got a reboot in 2002. Perkins retired in 1985 and died of cancer in 1986. He’d quit going into the field some time earlier, leaving the grunt work up to Jim Fowler.

  100. Sets created for the purposes of getting intimate shots of animals are often cruel environments for animals, as you can see in this video about a National Geographic photographer forcing endangered species to pose for pictures:

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