Two contradictory stories describing the same adjudication: The Sunday Times

Ed Miliband’s adverts banned for overstating climate change

vs The Guardian

Climate change adverts draw mild rebuke from advertising watchdog

One way to determine which story is more accurate is to do what anarchist does and carefully read the adjudication. But the shortcut to the truth is to note that the first story was written by Jonathan Leake.

Further coverage of the Leakegate scandal is at John Quiggin’s.


  1. #1 Sou
    March 15, 2010

    I read the adjucation, and guess which article was closer to the mark? (No prizes for the winner!)

    And Tim – did you catch the emphatic statements by the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and Peter Coaldrake of Universities Australia?

    The evidence is irrefutable: climate change is real and the link with human activity is beyond doubt.

    From the ABC today.

  2. #2 barry
    March 15, 2010

    Meanwhile the ABC chair weighs in with his views on media balance.

    “Many of the people who have a different point of view on the climate science are respectable and credentialed scientists themselves.

    “So as I said, I’m not a scientist and I’m like anybody else in the public, I have to listen to all points of view and then make judgments when we’re asked to vote on particular policies.”

  3. #3 Dappledwater
    March 15, 2010

    “Climate change is at the moment an emotional issue.” – Maurice Newman

    Yeah, it’ll be a whole lot more emotional the warmer the climate gets. What a dope.

  4. #4 FJM
    March 15, 2010

    I actually believed this when I seen it. I thought he wouldn’t be daft enough to lie about this if his entire UK readership are going to see the advertisements anyway. I was wrong.

  5. #5 Lotharsson
    March 15, 2010

    Perhaps Leake is trying to become a reliably wrong bellwether (as some other media pundits seem to be)?

    It’s useful to have someone reliably wrong – if only to bet against 😉

  6. #6 Donald Oats
    March 15, 2010

    He’s a lot like a flawed compass with the part marked North always pointing in any direction but. Once you find out just how wrong it is, a lot of blue language follows.

  7. #7 Paul UK
    March 15, 2010

    Embargo watch update:

    But as one commenter put it:
    >Dredging up decade-old articles may be a clever way to skirt embargoes, but it’s a colossal distortion of what most people think of as “news.”

  8. #8 Philip Machanick
    March 15, 2010

    So when is the ABC going to extend its “balance” to having a Trotskyite rebuttal after the market report?

  9. #9 GGS
    March 15, 2010

    Leake in nutshell:

    >“When journalism becomes nothing more than digital hits, the more provocative you are – often, the more obnoxious you are – the higher the hit count,” says Richard Gruneau, a Simon Fraser University professor who studies popular culture and media.

    >“In that sense, the system pressures you to become a dick. Who cares if what you say is good, let alone whether there is any truth in it or not? When everything becomes opinion, the most opinionated, most strident and least compromising ‘journalists’ are the ones who rattle enough cages, or inspire enough like-minded devotees, to build the hit count.

    >“And if you can somehow get the people you piss off arguing with your devotees, then your hit count will really soar.”

    Source: [<>](

  10. #10 climateprogressive
    March 15, 2010

    Sad to say Leake’s piece has been parroted by some hack at the Telegraph too. Not that unpredictable, mind! Daily Telegraph=Taily Delingpole!

    Anyone checked the Maily Dail or the Daily Getsworse?

  11. #11 Dave Andrews
    March 15, 2010

    Several years ago I put in a complaint on behalf of CND Cymru (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Wales) to the ASA about various Ads that BNFL were running in the UK press (including the Guardian, ever keen to forego their ‘principles’ in return for advertising income, perhaps).

    Needless to say the ASA found in favour of the then government run BNFL – quelle surprise!

  12. #12 sod
    March 15, 2010

    John Quiggin has been the target of a pretty obvious attack post by Watts.

    Somebody needs to educate Quiggin on the CRU ftp security blunder that was “the mole”. He doesn’t get it, and then proceeds to use that as “evidence” against McIntyre. It’s comical. Here’s Professor Quiggin’s page at the University of Queensland: …

    also notice this post about a letter by scientists defending the IPCC:

    Anthony does obviously tolerate open hostility on his blog:

    David Archibald (14:52:21) : The signatories of this letter are a good list of who to fire come the revolution.

    scientists are becoming a target of open threats of violence. let them not pretend, that the denialist blogs have nothing to do with this!

  13. #14 el gordo
    March 15, 2010

    Come the revolution some scientists will fall on their swords, while others will retire gracefully.

    Academic hostility is nothing new, but the blogosphere places their squabbles front and centre, within the public domain. Words written cannot easily be erased, once they go viral, yet Quiggin’s doing his best in an awkward situation.

  14. #15 codex
    March 16, 2010

    Who gives a rats arse how different papers worded the judgement.

    > adverts were not supported by solid science

    It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you sit on, this should be the issue.

  15. #16 Oxford Kevin
    March 17, 2010

    Joe Romm is thinking that the flooding side of things is pretty much happening already. When does the projection become reality?

  16. #17 Brian D
    March 17, 2010

    @sod #12:

    I’m sure many of us have already seen it, but that’s the subject of the most recent Climate Denial Crock Of The Week video.

    At what point can threats like that be prosecuted? And under what jurisdiction would we be looking at?

  17. #18 Robin Levett
    March 18, 2010

    @codex #15:

    adverts were not supported by solid science

    It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you sit on, this should be the issue.

    Indeed. And, save that the reference to extreme weather events should have been phrased more tentatively, because the science doesn’t have the resolution required to confirm that there is a 90+% chance of the relevant extreme weather events occurring in the UK, rather than in Europe as a whole, the ruling is that the science does support the claims in the ads.

    What’s your view?

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