The BBC has fought off a High Court challenge to block the broadcast of a documentary about climate change sceptics.
Lord Monckton had applied to Mr Justice Tugendhat for an injunction stopping the programme being shown until it included his right of reply.
He said that he felt he had been 'unreasonably treated and misled' and complained of breach of contract.
He told the judge in London that he wanted the programme, Meet The Climate Sceptics, to include his 500 words or three minutes which, he said, was proportionate in the context of a 60-minute film almost exclusively about him.
'What I'm not trying to do is extinguish the BBC's right to freedom of speech.
'I was for many years myself a journalist and it is not appropriate to say a programme should not be broadcast. I am merely asking for a right to reply to which I say I am entitled.'
He said it was the least remedy that would meet the case as the damage to his reputation would otherwise be "grave".
Desmond Browne QC, for the BBC, production company Fresh One Productions Ltd and film maker Rupert Murray, said that changes had been made to the film in the light of Lord Monckton's concerns about accuracy and bias.
He told the court that the October 2010 contract provided for absolute editorial control by Fresh One and the BBC, there had been advance publicity for tonight's broadcast and it would be problematic to show it at another time.
He said that an injunction should not be granted as, though 'dressed up' as a claim in contract, the real complaint was one of defamation.
The judge refused the application on the basis that the agreement on which Lord Monckton relied lacked the clarity which he submitted it had.
The 'balance of justice' also favoured its refusal, he added.
The programme filmed Lord Monckton over past year as he travelled across Australia and the US challenging the proposition that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes climate change and global warming.
BBC4′s “Meet the Skeptics”
- Anthony Watts WUWT
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.
Click above WUWT link for more