The emails are legitimate, and clearly of interest to the public.
Of course it's only the university's admission that the emails *appear* to be legitimate along with *some* of the authors acknowledging their emails and explaining what they meant that makes them legitimate.
[On a separate note, I highlight my qualifiers since *virtually* no one seems to remember them even when they explicitly appear in a quote used in their response, not that I expect it to do much good.]
The university itself has also commented on some of the emails, and offered their own explanation, so there is nothing to stop the BBC publishing the content of the email,
Again agreed. In fact, whether the university and some authors have explicitly commented on them or not, I think it would not be inappropriate for the BBC to publish the contents of the emails.
However, I would expect that if they were to publish the emails, it would be most in character for them to publish *all* of them without comment and let the reader make their own decision. I very much doubt that the BBC would cherry pick only those emails deemed salacious. As we all know any kind of selection of which emails to publish is in effect a comment in and of itself.
Therefore it’s most likely that it’s the shear volume of the emails that stops the BBC from publishing them.
and also the university's explanation alongside it.
I disagree here somewhat.
If the BBC were to publish the emails along with university or author comment then as a reputable news organization they would feel required to give equal time to the critics and that merely devolves into he said, she said which is another reason that I think the BBC (as well as ABC, NBC, CBS and even the CBC) is staying away from any direct commentary.
Actually as I’ve said there’s really *no* thing proven by any of these emails. I would expect again that *reputable* news sources would tend to stay away from direct comment until, and *if*, something other than speculation on the part of critics comes out of it.
On another separate note I do find the idea of "equal time" somewhat offensive. The result of this is that on any issue, no matter how one sided it is, as in this case where 99.9% of all scientific evidence is clearly on one side versus the side that is equally clearly pretty much limited to those vested corporate interests that financially benefit by being against it, is to give *equal* say to both sides in the news. This gives the appearance of legitimacy to even fringe crackpots like AGW deniers and teabaggers.