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« Me on the floods | Main | All Trussed up - Josh 355 »

The amazing Sarah Montague

Quite astonishingly bad journalism from Sarah Montague on the Today programme this morning, inviting the president of Kiribati to hold forth about how his country was about to disappear beneath the waves. Not even a hint of a challenge to anything he said, and certainly not a mention of the fact that Kiribati is growing.

The BBC's tsunami of disinformation shows no signs of abating.

Audio below.


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Reader Comments (69)

There is a total lack of scepticism on the BBC about what is happening in Paris, and the puffed-up Harrabin is revealing his self importance, talking about what WE are doing in Paris, setting a new world order, etc. One can only hope that the Planet Savers will think they've saved the planet, and business will be able to carry on as before.

Dec 10, 2015 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

The President of Kiribati is just joining the queue of rentseekers at Paris. Its not about Climate Change.

Dec 10, 2015 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterLiKW

The Today programme has a great bias against science. They'll talk for five minutes about avant garde plays and expect every listener to know every reference.

But when someone mentions a "molecule" or a "particle" or even "standard deviation" the presenter has an attack of the vapours.
Then they stop the interview, complaining that no-one can follow something so technical.
And the women are just as bad.

It's quite probable that the presenter hadn't even bothered to check if Kiribati was shrinking. Not because she is naïve and trusts politicians,.
But because she thinks she couldn't do the research.
Science is magic, according to the Today programme.

Dec 10, 2015 at 9:49 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

No surprise here. There's hardly a programme on the so-called BBC that doesn't mention climate change and the need to save the planet. Even the supposedly "science" programmes are full of bias.

Dec 10, 2015 at 9:55 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I'm looking to buy some land to retire to. Bulgaria and Romania are pretty attractive now, but I don't fancy the winters much.

How much for an acre of seafront property on Kiribati? You'd think they wouldn't be able to give it away.

Dec 10, 2015 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus

He wants people to 'come here' to see how bad it is. Without 'evil' planes, it will be a very long sea trip.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered Commentersamson

Well there's no excuse since it was actually reported on the BBC and is still on the web:

"In recent times, the inhabitants of many low-lying Pacific islands have come to fear their homelands being wiped off the map because of rising sea levels but this study of 27 islands over the last 60 years suggests that most have remained stable, while some have actually grown."

Major faux pas! But then ignorance is trendy.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

He is 'very disppointed' with the wealthy developed nations that some people are just not ready to let go of some of the comforts they enjoy. What? Like holidays on tropical atols? That, I can live without - but I'm not sure that Kiribati - one of the poorest nations - will be keen to discourage its comfort-seeking jet-setting tourists.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

Regular World Service listeners like myself are all on the edges of our seats.

Will the Conference determine that the planet's temperature will rise by one and a half degress, two degrees or, Heaven Forfend, a whole 3 degrees?

An otherwise uninformed listener to the BBC could really believe that this amount of fine tuning was available to the delegates at Paris.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Thank The Lord the Beeb has recruited this shining light in the firmament of broadcasting to inform the proletariat that their tax £s are to be given to the ever-open palms of Klimate Klaimants, justified by cynical UNEP Marxists and fake science.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Each time I hear the BBC World Service Nigerian staff (and when I get past their accents) ask folk to phone in. I wonder if they are checking to see if anybody is listening to their drivel.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

The BBC are doing almost irreparable damage to their reputation for impartiality in both climate 'science' and politics in general. I haven't paid a TV licence for ages (having happily done so without complaint for many years) precisely because of their pathetic partisanship. Withdrawing funding is my only viable protest.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

Montague is on par with the very best the BBC has. Deal with it.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterAila

journalistic integrity BBC , surely an oxymoron?

But to be fair to the President of Kiribati he has put a lot of work into decided what colour he wants his Lear Jet to be , and 'all' that is stopping him now is the paying for it , just how heartless can you get!

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

@Phillip Bratby: You missed out some words in your opening sentence. The once so-called impartial public information broadcaster funded by the licence fee payer! Come on, Cameron, just privatise the bloody monster & be done with it!

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Montague is awful. She was interviewing Farage a few days ago and her distaste for him was palpable - clearly a nasty little fascist/racist who shouldn't be admitted into polite company, was the message coming out of the 'impartial' BBC on that occasion.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Not climate but Naughtie was also remarkably quiet and didn't interrupt (most unusual as he normally won't shut up and even let an interviewee complete a sentence) when Lord Coe was allowed to preach about his righteousness from the BBC pulpit.

Dec 10, 2015 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

Carolyn Quinn tried to impose a politically correct 'and girls' on a couple of occasions yesterday on PM when two junior football team managers were being interviewed and talked about their 'boys' playing football.


Dec 10, 2015 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Even to a distant observer (of the BBC), the Radio 4/ Sarah Montague name keeps popping up repeatedly in instances of bad research and bias. I believe one of the excuses trotted out in defense of their program was that they hadn't had 'enough time'.

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:06 AM | Registered Commentershub

I do love Aila's totally unconscious (I assume) ability to insert his foot halfway down his throat every time he puts finger to keyboard. Something to do with not having English as your first, spoken, language probably so better not to mock!

But you are right, Aila old bean: Montague is indeed on a par with the very best the BBC has. Yes indeed. Unfortunately none of us on here is in a position to "deal with it", much as we would like to.

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:10 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Ld Beaverbrook Yes I heard that bit, unfortunately for her the two oiks she was interviewing weren't listening to what the little lady had to say, thats what happens when you find yourself talking to people who aren't 'people like us' (which the BBC fondly imagines is almost everyone but is actually hardly anyone)

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Cardinal Harrabin's self-deluding rhetoric was off the scale this morning.

"Negotiators here are in effect discussing the shape of a new world order".

"Delegates have 36 hours to start re-shaping the way the world sees itself"

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:12 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

She didn't have 'enough time' to search the BBC's own website? Too bloody lazy more like.

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG


I understand that Harrabin has also repeated his slip earlier this year. On the Today prog he has apparently said '“What we’re trying to achieve in Paris” before correcting it to “What the delegates are trying to acheive…”.

This echos his slip last summer -

Reporting on the latest round of UN climate talks in Bonn this week, Harrabin said:
“We’re trying to change the entire global economy….”

Then swiftly he corrected himself:
“…or at least the UN’s trying to change the entire global economy.”

OMG it's OWG (One World Governance) !

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

I think we should recognise Sarah Montague's brave attempt to get a BBC funded holiday, travelling around tropical islands at the personal invitation of the local politicians, staying in Presidential palaces etc.

There ought to be some lucrative TV programmes and book deals in it for her, plus she will need to drag along some BBC production assistants. The self-discredited Alan Yentob may have some extra free time now, to spend more time interfering in things he doesn't know anything about, if the incentive is left of right.

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

ps to above

Did anyone else catch Richard Black (exBBC now Director at Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit) do a report on a "deal" in Paris on Today R4.

BBC aren't bringing him back are they ?

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

Even ‘thought for the day’ has included a reference to so-called climate change every day this week. Still, I suppose it is a slot for religion.

Montague’s lack of enquiry was breathtaking. It never occurs to her to ask a warmist for evidence or even a rough idea of what has been happening to date, while politicians are closely grilled on their performance and frequently reminded of past failures. I hope COP21 ends in a food fight.

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:46 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp


A food fight in a restaurant where nobody wants to pay the bill ;-)

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

It often feels like the BBC front-people like Naughtie, Montague, etc etc come from a different planet, but really they are merely broadcasting from, and presumably living within, a pretty opaque bubble that prevents them seeing or hearing anything that might give them pause in an unfiltered way. They see their baddies in the haze outside - UKIP, Trump, US Republicans generally, Christians, Jews, Tories, business people, questioners of climate dogma, the general British public - presumably as looming threats with horrible stereotypes to be dealt with firmly and brusquely. Their good guys they see more clearly because of their fond stereotypes for them, and because some are in the same bubble - Labourites, lefties in general, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists - any other faith really, EU types, UN types, mass migration enthusiasts, multiculturalists, poor people, criminals, rioters, environmentalists, climate dogmatists - a rich enough mix to keep them amused indefinitely. All at our expense in more ways than one.

Dec 10, 2015 at 11:54 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Jazznick, yes, just before the Kiribati piece is Harrabin's intro

"What we are trying to do in Paris .. is to codify the shape of a changing world".

Dec 10, 2015 at 12:05 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Sort of on topic, locals say the Glenridding flood is because the EA did not dredge the Beck. Local contractors are digging it out to 10 feet deep, free of charge, to stop further flooding. The EA was assuming 4 feet depth was adequate.

There are other instances of similar EA failures in Cumbria, another Somerset Levels disaster by green, wet behind the ear graduate with no common sense. This Beeb commentator is another robot indoctrinated with poor science.

Dec 10, 2015 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Our Australian ABC reported during the first week that leaders of Pacific Island nations were complaining that they were being ignored and "left high and dry". I am not sure if some sceptic reported had slipped this in.

Dec 10, 2015 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

OK Andrew, you have a valid point. What are you going to do about it?

I doubt Sarah Montague reads this blog.

Dec 10, 2015 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndais

John Shade's post reminded of this Reggie Perrin skit:

Dec 10, 2015 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Roger had a good post on Kiribati a few weeks ago:

Kiribati, sea level rise, and poverty

Dec 10, 2015 at 12:47 PM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns


What can we do? The BBC is a law unto itself.

Dec 10, 2015 at 12:52 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Re: Mike Jackson

Aila is either a very foolish commentator who just happens to make short comments that can always be interpreted in 2 ways or a very clever one.

Dec 10, 2015 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

"What can we do?"

Well blogging doesn't seem to be working :-( The BBC and The Guardian are only a small part of the problem. The real problem lies with the UN and academia. Academics need to be exposed for the scam they have created and are perpetuating.

I once enquired about a job at the University of Greenburgh and was told there was little research mileage in proposing and supporting Torness B and Hunterstone C. I think that sums it up.

Dec 10, 2015 at 1:08 PM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

Andais, Bish

FWIW, I have emailed a link to with a covering remark. I also mentioned Horrorbin's little slip as I expect that will embarrass them more.

Dec 10, 2015 at 1:10 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

She didn't ask him about drug money laundering or off shore tax haven avoidance

Bishop rather than complain about BBC bias on here put up the link for the BBC Trust so we can complain about it to them.

Dec 10, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid


"Roger had a good post on Kiribati a few weeks ago"

Don't do that - I though you meant Horrorbin for a moment!

Interesting that it goes up to 13m above sea level - Ms Montague said it was 2m this morning.

Dec 10, 2015 at 1:23 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Bishop, jamesp, the BBC got back to Louise Mensch and others on their Tim Hunt segment and admitted they goofed up. Small consolation.

Dec 10, 2015 at 1:24 PM | Registered Commentershub

My twisted mind is at it again.....

Sung to the delegates at Paris: 'When Will I See You Again..?'


Wait for it.......

The THREE Degrees....

Dec 10, 2015 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

@Andais "I doubt Sarah Montague reads this blog"
It's more than you think ..there are many secret lurkers ..The Greenpeace office turned last night.
..It would not surprise me that she has a son or relative who sits all day in the Greenpeace or windcorp sales office reading this blog.

The respected Uncle Harrabin stalks the BBC corridors now just like the respected Uncle J Saville used to in earlier decades.

: Montague treating the President of Kiribati and Farage differently..probably due to bbc EQUALITY training

BTW one got 4 million votes the other got 14,315 votes (42% though)

Dec 10, 2015 at 1:27 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I used to be (5+ years ago) a continual listener to BBC/Radio4 but the increasing frequency of my desire to throw a heavy object at the radio required me to give it up, permanently. I'm saving a fortune from not buying dyspepsia tablets.
It didn't matter what the subject of any programme was, some "socially responsible" theme or similar was introduced through the weakest of excuses - which brings us back to the tenacious Tony Newbery and his heroic effort known as 28-gate - a paper on which was published by the Bish under his real name and entitled "The Propaganda Bureau".

Dec 10, 2015 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Spilligan

"I wonder if they are checking to see if anybody is listening to their drivel."

Here in Ontario, Canada we have a TV station that at the time was owned by the provincial government, (i.e., a smaller version of the BBC, and the CBC in Canada).

As this is Canada, of course, there had to be a French sister station (a language spoken by less than 5% of the population in Ontario as a "mother tongue").

One day the French channel's transmission tower went down. It took two weeks for anyone to even notice...

Dec 10, 2015 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaligula Jones

'Quite astonishingly bad journalism ... on the Today programme"

How does one tell given all the rest served up?

Dec 10, 2015 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJunkkMale

Aila always chooses her (or his) words very carefully.
It can't be a coincidence that everything has the tone of a troll but the meaning of a satirist.

Very clever.

Dec 10, 2015 at 2:32 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Mike Spilligan, you need to appreciate BBC Radio 4 as producing a new type of tragic comedy. Then, rather than get angry, you can laugh and cry about the sad legacy of impartiality, that will prove self-extinguishing.

Dec 10, 2015 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Objectivity, is for the birds?

I am quite sure, not 100% mind, but that, Sarah is a very nice lady.

On matters pertaining to climate science, her [Sarah's] 'knowledge' will be heavily influenced by reading, imbibing the outpourings of such luminaries as; Leo Hickman, Suzanne Goldenburg, Damian Carrington, Fiona Harvey and a lonely wandering and now lost Moonbat fluttering in and out of his green bat cave.......

Clueless, advocates, dissemblers, liars, charlatans and the revolving door between al Beeb and the graun - what a little hothouse of climate flowers it all is!

I would bet that, like many al beeb employees, nary a one of them has ever delved into properly reading around whatever subject they are discombobulating on or, character they assassinate - and therein: being subjective makes this so.

Prejudice, it's what al beeb does so very professionally - politically speaking, natch.

Dec 10, 2015 at 2:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

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