31 Mar 2011

Hey Johnny Ball, how about an apology?

Hi Johnny, old friend.

You've been leading those poor gullible journalists a merry dance, haven't you, you old rogue?! Perhaps you never expected them to be so lazy that they wouldn't check what you claimed and learn for themselves that it was much ado about nothing? But what can we say, they're probably humanities graduates, can't be doing with all that old evidence nonsense eh!

How did you come to find my blog post anyway? A Google search of your name didn't link here in the 1st 4 pages and I gave up after that, you must have gone deep to get to that post! I admire your stamina. But somehow, you came upon my (as it was) retired blog. It would be obvious to anyone that it's hardy influential; presidents and popes don't hang on my every word. Well you dug deeper than any journalist and found it. But if your quotes to journalists or the content of your own blog on what it contained are anything to go by, you didn't read the post. If this was an English comprehension test, you'd have failed. See, on the post, a commentor wrote that you are "not a man who should go anywhere near children with [your] ideas. [You are] not a man of reason and evidence but a ranting old lunatic."

Now I don't fully agree with that, but a I tolerate a certain amount of dissenting opinion on my blog. The person who wrote it is entitled to think that if s/he wishes and it wasn't so extreme an opinion that I was unwilling to host it on my space. That person thinks your ideas on climate are so unscientific and extreme that you should not be given a platform to express them to children. I dislike the disablism of the "lunatic" slur. It's inaccurate and unfortunate but that's anonymous commentors for you.

No doubt it bugged you to be described as such. Perhaps you were offended at my characterisation of you as a "silly old duffer" and "cranky in [your] old age"? You've been in the public eye for decades, I'm sure you know celebrities and those in the public eye are subject to criticism. It's not all fawning admiration all the time.

But unlike me, you have the ear of the mass media and you jolly well milked it. On Feb9 2011 you wrote on your blog:
on a Northern Ireland Blog, The Family Voyage, which prides itself on winning some Blog Award, flagged JohnnyBall and featured the statement, “Johnny Ball should not be allowed near children.” Being near to children has been my career for over 50 years. As yet I cannot contact them, as their site is only open to known members?? (Their flagged Johnny Ball link has now miraculously disappeared)

Their beef is that I dared suggest in 2009 on NI Radio that Sammy Wilson as Energy Minister was right when he refused to air “Carbon Trust” TV commercials, one of which showed a very young child being told a story of a drowning world through climate change. Following complaints to the Advertising Authorities, these ads were found “guilty of exaggeration and alarmism over climate change” and were ordered to be dropped. So that would indicate that I was totally justified in condemning them?

Anyone who knows me and my career, must know that I have never done anything that in any way would harm a single child.

I defy anyone to find anything that I have done in my career that, were it publicly known, would harm my reputation.

You lied about the content on my blog and you lied saying the link had disappeared. You went on to lie to the newspapers; the TES, the Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Daily Express, the Daily Telegraph- all quoted you making similar slurs about the blogger who supposedly implied that you're a paedophile. You mislead these poor precious journalists into thinking it was part of a blogger campaign against you, carried out by some climate change lobby. You lied also when you implied that my post was removed after a police investigation. I was never contacted by the police and the post was never removed.

So Johnny, are you going to go public again and make this right? Or stick to the lies?

(I have emailed a copy of this post to Johnny Ball Productions. )

1 comment:

Bullet said...

To be fair, I hardly think the Daily Express needs any encouragement when it comes to stretching the truth or outright lies.
But you're right, it was rather petty of Jonny Ball. As for how he got wind of it, I would say that either he searched for his name, or someone pointed it to him, or a journalist got hold of the blog post and directed Jonny Ball to it.