Andrew Neil on Ed Davey climate change interview critics

BBC -

The Sunday Politics interview with Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey on July 14 provoked widespread reaction in the twittersphere and elsewhere, which was only to be expected given the interview was about the latest developments in global warming and the implications for government policy.

The Sunday Politics remit and interview duration means we are able to carry out proper forensic interviews on such matters.

It is becoming a hallmark of our programme, whether it’s challenging the global warming assumptions of the climate change secretary, the NUT’s historic resistance to school reforms by Tory and Labour governments, or the activities of the leader of the English Defence League.

Many of the criticisms of the Davey interview seem to misunderstand the purpose of a Sunday Politics interview.

This was neatly summed up in a Guardian blog by Dana Nuccitelli, who works for a multi-billion dollar US environmental business (Tetra Tech) and writes prodigiously about global warming and related matters from a very distinct perspective.

“Start Quote

It is for viewers to decide how well the interviewee’s position holds up under scrutiny and the strength of the contrary evidence or points put to him or her. ”

End Quote Andrew Neil Presenter, Daily and Sunday Politics

He finished by saying: “[Andrew] Neil focussed only on the bits of evidence that seemed to support his position”.

This is partly right. We did come at Mr Davey with a particular set of evidence, which was well-sourced from mainstream climate science. But it was nothing to do with advocating a “position”.

First, the Sunday Politics does not have a position on any of the subjects on which it interrogates people.

Second, it is the job of the interviewer to assemble evidence from authoritative sources which best challenge the position of the interviewee.

There is hardly any purpose in presenting evidence which supports the interviewee’s position - that is his or her job.

It is for viewers to decide how well the interviewee’s position holds up under
scrutiny and the strength of the contrary evidence or points put to him or her.

 

Read More: bbc.co.uk

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