BBC spliced and joined separate parts of President Obama’s speech in order to make it appear to take a stronger line on global warming.

Steve T in comments pointed out this post by TonyN of “Harmless Sky”.

TonyN links to an audio clip of Obama apparently saying, “We will restore science to its rightful place, [and] roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.”

But, as TonyN writes:

I didn’t seem to remember him saying that at all.

When the program [i.e. Newsnight – NS] was over, I went back to the text and this is what I found.

It would seem that someone at the BBC had taken the trouble to splice the tape so that half a sentence from paragraph 16 of the inauguration speech was joined on to half a sentence from paragraph 22, and this apparently continuous sound bite was completed by returning to paragraph 16 again to lift another complete sentence.

Read the rest of his detailed analysis. Incidentally, I couldn’t hear an “and” at the first splice-point of the audio clip, just an unidentifiable noise.

(Added later.) To make one sentence out of two widely separated half-sentences would be shabby and manipulative enough for a broadcaster. To then interfere with the order in which things were said, so that the sentence fragment about “a warming planet” has been falsely interposed between other phrases to which it had no real link, is yet worse. The BBC has gone beyond “dowdification” into something else. “Beebification”, perhaps.

(Another update.) You can hear the spliced audio clip directly from the BBC in the “video essay” at the base of this blog post by Susan Watts, Newsnight‘s science editor. Quite apart from the splicing, the Susan Watts post itself would provide material enough for another B-BBC post (“Scientists have grown used to attempts to silence them”) – but I have to be gone.

UPDATE 24 JAN.: There is a further post discussing the response of the editor of Newsnight to complaints about this here.

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40 Responses to BBC spliced and joined separate parts of President Obama’s speech in order to make it appear to take a stronger line on global warming.

  1. Cassandra says:

    The BBC are expert in the dark arts of propaganda,manipulation and spin.
    What they wanted was a bite sized sentence about the presidents subservience to the AGW/MMCC agenda so they saw nothing wrong in cutting and pasting his speech, the BBC is dishonest and engages in lies and dishonesty on a regular basis, not surprising since the regulator was sabotaged by the government, they feel untouchable and beyond the normal rules of behaviour.


  2. Grimer says:

    After the scum at the BBC had the audacity to change the transcript of the Prime Minister’s speech to Parliament, after the 7/7 tube bombings, nothing surprises me.


  3. Grant says:

    This is criminal even by the BBC’s appalling standards.


  4. Martin says:

    This is nothing news is it. It has all the similarities of the incident with the Queen ‘not’ storming out of a photo session.


  5. Allan@Oslo says:

    “…..the spectre of a warming planet…” What will happen if the planet is found to be cooling? Would that not present more serious challenges?

    Nonetheless, shame on the BBC – but they will just be thinking “nice job, well done”.


  6. Tom says:

    I’m sure Obama’s line about restoring Science to its rightful place had nothing to do with AGW and everything to do with stem cell research.

    By dishonestly switching its context in this way, the BBC is doing something similar to the Queen-storming out edit which ended in the controller of BBC 1 being fired.

    So who will go this time?

    Weren’t they all supposed to get honesty training after the last fiasco?


  7. GCooper says:

    Surely this must be grounds for a major investigation by the Trust?

    Sorry, I forgot…


  8. Richie says:

    Global warmings just a scam to hurt international trade and replace it with protectionism. And its funny how everyone blames America for the CO2 gas when China is expected to become the biggest producer this year. I wonder if they will then become the black sheep.


  9. Michael Taylor says:

    Wow, that’s astonishing, even by BBC standards. Heads should roll.


  10. Bernard says:

    The BBC have forgotten that they are British and ought to espouse and project our values (including honesty, objectivity and integrity); they despise our nation, our history, culture and values; they have become an emasculated and parasitical bunch of chocoholics who cannot resist anyone or anything black or brown and suck up to it as though it is the teat of a new (post-global warming) mother nature. What a contemptible bunch of lemmings they are – but unfortunately they are taking us over the cliff as well as them, tied as we are by the Licence Fee. Cut it, now!


  11. glj says:

    You know what I see coming?

    As the weight of evidence that the world isn’t doomed due to AGW grows stronger and stronger the BBC (and others) will spin it into a “Obama saves the world” story.


  12. Richie says:

    Hear hear Bernard.

    The other British value I find lacking at the BBC is that of the stiff upper lip, the English gentleman. These qualities are renowned worldwide, and yet the BBC is full of loud mouth, chavs/slappers, and often dreadfully inarticulate losers.


  13. Kegs says:

    This goes way beyond bias and is pretty damn serious. Even the BBC’s messiah Obama should be worried about this. The BBC which broadcasts this drivel all over the world is actually making up what he says to fit their own agenda.


  14. Andy says:

    This whole bogus hysteria surrounding Obama has to be one of the most depressing pieces of mass manipulation I’ve encountered. Really awful.

    However, like the BBCs initial love affair with Tony Blair, it will all end in disappointment.


  15. Peter says:


    I am not sure the BBC, and its market rate talented troops of emerging troof should be too proud of their contributions to all that are now falling under the blanket term ‘Beebification’.

    In addition to ‘Dowdification’, thanks to another poster (sorry, so much to cover, so little time period to find it again) recently we have what I tentatively suggested as ‘Synonyms of Omission’.

    I am sure there are many more, but all basically meaning ‘changing/making stuff up to suit an agenda as opposed to the facts, and ‘truth, well told”.

    Is this any way to run a trusted, objective news organisation, he asked, rhetorically?


  16. GCooper says:

    It should come as no surprise that la Watts has her fingerprints all over this story – her reporting on Newsnight has bordered on the absurd for a long while and who can forget her role in the Dr David Kelly affair, where she somehow managed to avoid the limelight in a way that Gilligan certainly didn’t.


  17. Tom says:

    According to my newspaper, not only has Peter Hain been rapped over the knuckles by Parliament’s watchdog for iffy campaign donation reporting, but none other than Justice minister Jack Straw has too.

    Strange to relate, I can find no trace of either story on the BBC’s news website (the one that’s updated every few seconds according to the ads).

    Could this be

    a. Because the sound track of the parliamentary committee fell on the cutting room floor and got tangled up with outtakes of Obama’s inauguration speech?

    b. Because the first day of official recession is a good time to bury bad news?


    c. Because Peter Hain’s campaign manager’s wife is in charge of political reporting at the BBC?

    Answers on a postcard to:

    Safeguarding Trust,
    BBC Broadcasting House
    London W1A 1AA


  18. NotaSheep says:

    When I blogged about this yesterday I ended by saying:
    “BBC News are no longer a news reporting organisation, they are a campaigning and news manipulating organisation. One of the first priorities for an incoming Conservative government, alongside identifying where the Labour government wasted the £billions of extra taxes they took from us and seeking reparations, should be to have a purge of the BBC; the sooner the BBC is cleansed of most of the right-on left-wing knaves and fools that infest its various headquarters, the better.”

    The trouble is, I don’t believe that David Cameron has the stomach for the job that he will face or the unpopularity that will adhere to him for taking the right decisions on the economy; tackling the BBC will only makes his job harder BUT it no less important because of that.


  19. Robert S. McNamara says:

    Goddamned splicers.


  20. Tom says:


    further to my last, I have discovered this story about Hain

    Yet it doesn’t register on googlenews like all the other BBC stories.

    How’s that I wonder.


  21. Richie says:

    So what punishment is Hain gonna face exactly? Surely if he’s been found to have broken the rules he should at very least be expelled as an MP? Criminal proceedings?

    No wonder no-one trusts MPs, even when they are found to have to broken rules they arent punished!


  22. mailman says:


    Maybe it takes 24 hours to filter through?



  23. Grant says:

    Richie 2:58

    Looks like Hain’s punishment will be to apologise to the House on Monday ,when it is empty and the Deputy Speaker is in the chair ! Now , if Hain had been a Tory MP…..


  24. Richie says:

    Next time I commit fraud or fail to declare earnings we’ll see if my punishment is to apologise….


  25. BBC lies says:…all began…click.. in… best placed…to weather the..downturn.

    They should rename the BBC digital channels “ON MESSAGE”, Gordon will be pleased.


  26. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Tom | 23.01.09 – 12:13 pm |

    Weren’t they all supposed to get honesty training after the last fiasco?

    No, that was just about faking phone-in competitions. This is an entirely different area, and the BBC management can’t possibly expect staff to apply that knowledge to other situations.

    I’ll remind you of the BBC rules on this:
    (to be read with a strong, fake Australian accent)

    Rule 1: No Conservatives!
    Rule 2: I don’t want to catch anyone not defending Labour
    Rule 3: No Conservatives!
    Rule 4: I don’t want anyone stealing money from children or lying to them during audience competitions in any way – if there’s anybody watching
    Rule 5: No Conservatives!
    Rule 6: There is NO….Rule 6
    Rule 7: No Conservatives!

    Hope that helps.


  27. moonbat nibbler says:

    A debunking of the left-wing/BBC lie about Bush muzzling Hanson:

    “Susie” as her friends in the marxist/greenie New Economics Foundation call her has plenty of form:

    NEF is often featured on Newsnight and is frankly full of crackpots, seriously, they’ve issued research that parrots the Monster Raving Loony Party! Here’s a nice collection of dimwitted nonsense they’ve spouted:


  28. Martin says:

    You can bet if Caroline Spelman is cleared that the BBC will try to claim “no smoke without fire” yet Hain is given a pass by the BBC.


  29. Peter says:

    Is the BBC’s action with regard to the ‘tape modifciation’ legal?


  30. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Peter | 23.01.09 – 6:26 pm |

    Probably not, strictly speaking, because there was no libel or anything like that. It is, of course, a violation of their Charter. But that’s nothing new.

    In these cases, the BBC is like the military: they operate outside of civilian rules, and any infractions are handled internally. I would bet that the BBC News bosses think there was a perfectly valid reason for doing what they did, but they see now that it wasn’t a good idea. Another 26 year-old producer will get smacked around for it, the end.


  31. Grant says:

    David Preisler 4:48

    Don’t you mean “No pooftahs” ? Sorry , we couldn’t have that rule in the BBC. Cue Martin !


  32. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Come on defenders of the indefensible: tell us that we wouldn’t be complaining if the BBC edited somebody else’s speech to make it appear to take a stronger line on something we like.


  33. InterestedParty says:

    Interesting this, I avoided all TV coverage for fear of being overwhelmed by nausea, so I read the transcript. I expected that Obama would make a pretty clear statement on AGW, and so I was surprised it turned out so muted. I guess it must have surprised the Beeboid ‘science’ department too, hence this resorting to Minitru history correction.


  34. Patrick Harris says:

    David Preiser.
    You nailed it buddy, on the other hand I have been brought up with the BBC and up until the phone-ingates they could do no wrong (in my eyes).
    I have changed my mind completely and now find that, along with all other MSM, they would have trouble finding the truth let alone print/report it.
    Ditto – the Telegraph.
    Ditto – Local bus and train timetables.
    Ditto – Blogs/forums.
    Ditto – Anyone under 65.
    The MSM minions are so lazy that research is done via google and investigation is non existant, I believe it’s called cut and paste journalism.
    Bollux to em.


  35. George R says:

    Following the BBC’s propaganda for a ‘mixed race’ British society, given its apparent belief in superiority of the Obama variety, the corollary is, of course, to campaign for an increase in, and speeding up of predominantly non-white mass immigration to Britain and America.

    Lawrence Auster:


    “Why are these millions celebrating Obama and his family? Because he’s nonwhite, and they see him as a reflection of their nonwhite selves. This of course is an axiom of multiculturalism, that nonwhites must have a national culture, a national history, cultural role models, political leaders, and teachers that they can see as a reflections of themselves, i.e., they must have a culture and leaders that are nonwhite. Since nonwhites cannot relate to a historically white culture, the country must re-write its historic identity to adjust to nonwhiteness. Since they cannot feel patriotic toward a country and a government led by whites, the country must have nonwhite leaders who are celebrated because they are nonwhite,”

    from article:
    “Horowitz’s total sell-out to the principle of mutlculturalism”


  36. Ironside says:

    Sorry folks,

    I don’t know where my most recent post has gone but I think I might have mis-placed it.

    Sorry if it shows up elswhere.

    PS: Could there be a contact us button here?

    Apologies again if I’ve mis-placed stuff, 6 pints tend to have that effect on me these days…


  37. DH says:

    George R | 23.01.09 – 10:28 pm

    George , you should know better than to peddle the racialist twaddle of Laurence Auster on this site.

    Auster has been sacked from FrontPageMagazine for alleging a nationwide conspiracy among African Americans to repe the daughters of White folks.

    He also appears to model his personal appearance on that of the late Nazi Fuhrer.

    Perhaps they are related?




  38. Ryan says:

    I sent a note to the Editor of MediaWatch on RealClearPolitics ( about this:

    Subject: RE: Spinning Obama’s Inaugural
    Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 01:45:38 -0500

    Ryan: Thanks for the kind words. And indeed, the BBC stuff is really amusing if it isn’t so pathetically sad.



    Samuel Chi
    Editor, RealClearWorld
    Author, RealClearPolitics: Media Watch


  39. Anonymous says:

    I wondered what George R’s comment was doing there anyway. Not relevant.


  40. moonbat nibbler says:


    Haloscan is throwing one of its periodic fits. The technical gremlins will work themselves out eventually but until then expect posts to disappear or not get posted for hours.