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Talkback listeners were in for a rare occurance this morning as Newstalk ZB host Leighton Smith introduced fellow climate change sceptic Christopher Monckton onto his show for a ninety minute discussion on climate change.

Leighton Smith & Christopher Monckton

Leighton Smith & Christopher Monckton

When you take out the incessant commercials and advertorials, which Smith has to voice himself, and the news breaks, it was more like a 45 minute discussion. It didn’t really cover any new ground and was only remarkable for two things – Smith’s extraordinary rant about the media which kicked off proceedings, and Monckton’s insulting and patronising comments towards Balinese women (and climate scientists in general – but the gibes at the latter was to be expected).

First, Leighton Smith’s rant about the media:

Smith: The cowardice of the media in this country is appalling, it is a disgrace. You should all go and hang your heads in shame, hang up your shingle, give up on the media you so, I presume, proudly represent or think you do, because you are not, you are incompetent. You are useless and I make no bones about this. That applies to producers, to reporters, to people I’d have to describe as living in Fantasia, to borrow the phrase and are just plain ignorant.

What was he on about? Well, stories like this and this, which catalogue Monckton’s failures on this trip to New Zealand to use the media to grandstand about his beliefs on climate change. Smith called the Herald story a “hit job” on Monckton. So the media is “living in Fantasia” because it won’t roll out the red carpet for Monckton, who has no climate science credentials whatsoever, and give him swathes of air time like Smith did.

Moving on to the Balinese women and climate scientists. After a bit, Smith opened up the lines for questions, resulting in a a question from talkback listener Tony, who said he believed what Monckton was saying and wanted to know why climate scientists were deceiving the world.

Tony: What is actually driving these guys to actually, um, push this climate change. What…

Monckton: Yep, okay, got you. Money, power, glory. Those three, just as it always is. These people are making fortunes. Al Gore has made, certainly, several hundred million on it, the scientists are getting status, they’re getting trips all round the world to places like Bali to interface in a meaningful way with the ladies in grass skirts. They all have a lovely time doing this…

“Interface in a meaningful way with the ladies in grass skirts”? Monckton’s reputation for being mad as a snake clearly remains intact.

As for jetsetting scientists, I’m sure Monckton was thinking of them as he descended on the ivy-clad Northern Club for lunch with a room full of business people who had paid to see him and those supporters who had shelled out good money to fly him across the world only to be denied the glory he anticipated and the power he expected to wield. Money, power and glory indeed…

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