Shots of a mother polar bear and her cubs after birth were filmed in a zoo because they’re impossible to film in the wild as the mother would kill the cameraperson – and/or the cubs would die as the den would be abandoned.
The use of zoo footage only came to light because it is explained on the show’s website, and the BBC has said that the segment in the show using the footage is careful in how it doesn’t say it was filmed in the wild.
The initial story which picked up on the footage was in the tabloid newspaper the Daily Mirror and this was accompanied by an Editorial which said:
The national broadcaster’s quick on the draw when it comes to pointing fingers at others. Perhaps when it comes to their own editorial standards and ethics a little more action and a little less pontification would be handy.
The Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, thinks that the reason the press has jumped on the story is the BBC’s coverage of the current Leveson inquiry into the ethics of the newspaper industry, which follows the telephone hacking scandal and the closure of Rupert Murdoch’s News of The World. The Mirror has been a subject at the Inquiry, particularly what occurred under the former Editorship of Piers Morgan.
Thompson told MPs Tuesday at the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee:
I do rather wonder whether this is about polar bears or about Leveson and other matters.
BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten noted that they’d received only 32 complaints about the zoo footage use. Thompson said they’d asked the audience in the past about whether they wanted the use of such footage specifically mentioned or captioned — they did not.
The show has also been the subject of criticism for the final episode, in which veteran BBC broadcaster Sir David Attenborough examines the impact of climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic. That episode includes dramatic footage of the break-up of the Wilkins ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula but mostly describes what is happening and barely touches on its anthropogenic cause. It was reported that this episode would not be broadcast in the US because of supposed controversy over climate change, which turned out to be incorrect.
Climate-change deniers have been bashing the BBC for a long time, but especially since July, when the BBC Trust published a report by Professor Steve Jones on the corporation’s coverage of science. It noted, and not before time, that: “for at least three years, the climate-change deniers have been marginal to the scientific debate, but somehow they continued to find a place on the airwaves. Their ability so to do suggests that an over-diligent search for due impartiality — or for a controversy — continue to hinder the objective reporting of a scientific story.”
Since Jones shook it up, the BBC has become part of the grand conspiracy, in which scientists are dropped from black helicopters into smoke-filled rooms full of illuminati to plot a new world order controlled by totalitarian fascist communist green anarchists writing for the Guardian. Now we discover that the corporation has advanced its devious plans by brainwashing us about the location of a polar bear and her cubs. It’s all deeply sinister.
Watch: David Attenborough: ‘Wonderful World’:
Picture by sly06