Is the BBC Incapable of Impartiality?

We’re not the only ones to have noticed the BBC’s problem with impartiality. Andrew Griffiths MP has written a piece about it in The Commentator. “Is the BBC incapable of impartiality?”
He is particularly concerned with the politically unbalanced panels on Question Time.
Andrew, where have you been all this time? Maybe you should start reading this blog.

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60 Responses to Is the BBC Incapable of Impartiality?

  1. George R says:

    Yes; and I would add that INBBC is so embedded with Islam that it (along with most of British political establishment) does not mention HIZT UT-TAHRIR, and the propagandising threat which is still allowed to operate inside Britain:

    “UK Muslim (Caliphate) Conference in UK July 9, 2011″ (two days after 7/7 remembrance).

    http://bunkerville.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/uk-muslim-caliphate-conference-in-uk-july-9-2011/

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  2. Craig says:

    Mr Griffiths is spot on. A speech to the Conservative Party Conference on the subject, broadcast live on the BBC, would be appreciated.

       0 likes

    • Backwoodsman says:

      The first thing to say, is please write to your MP, pointing out a particular example of bias and asking him what he intends to do about it ?
      As long as there was an ‘isn’t the bbc wonderful’ consensus, no MP would stick his head above the parapet.
      Now however, its starting to dawn on them, that after 30 years of hiring left wingers, the bbc ain’t about to give the Tories a break, no matter how touchy feely and wooly they are ! Some of the brighter sparks are starting to press for changes but need to be able to say their constituents are demanding an end to left wing bias.
      OT: the site software is seriously challenged at times !!

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  3. John Horne Tooke says:

    In the comments:

    Charles Martel Says:
    02 July 2011

    “Indeed.

    But this has been the case since the early 1990’s, how can anyone forget the reports of champaigne bottles strewn throughout BBC’s Broadcasting House on Labour’s 1997 victory (the blog ‘biased-bbc’ has a vast catalogue of examples).

    We can talk about it all day, only MP’s can do anything about it. We know what the problem is, but what are YOU planning to do about it?

    I await the tumble-weed and empty rhetoric.”

    I wonder if the MP will read the comments to his article?

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  4. Guido Fawkes says:

    I don’t think anyone can be impartial, it is a chimera. There are on so many issues only opinions, not objective truths.

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    • Henry Wood says:

      Well, I don’t expect YOU to be impartial, nor do I expect *anyone* to be impartial.

      However, we are not talking about “anyone”. We are talking about an organisation funded by a compulsory tax on every TV owner in the land, punishable by the courts for non-payment. If you had a compulsory fee for visitors to your web site I might well pay it. I doubt if the likes of John Hari would.

      When I am forced by law to contribute to the running of an organisation like the BBC I expect not impartiality but *balance*. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN. I am being robbed!

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Yes, Guido, but that’s no excuse for rigged panels or censoring information.

         0 likes

    • Prejudice and impartiality says:

      Agree. We all have pre-understandings or prejudices so in that sense there is no such thing as impartiality. The job of BBC news and current affairs is to explore the issues of the day, to look at each point of view or prejudice and set it against others, to challenge those who hold one view to see the other side of the argument and to engage those of us who watch and listen in the process. Loading the QT panel with people who share one point of view ensures that the issues of the day are aired only in part, ie the BBC is ensuring that the partial view prevails. Thus, it is not being impartial.

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      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        What happened to simply reporting the details?  Why the need for constant interpretation and hand-holding?

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        • Hugh says:

          If you accept the view that we live in an interpreted world, then there is no such thing as ‘ … simply reporting the details.’ What we report, is our version of events. The details as we see them. The point of QT is to explore, not to present a single version of events. Which is the very thing for which the BBC is being criticised.

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          • wild says:

            There is a distinction between news and views, even if the distinction is not a sharp one. A lot of the BBC news these days consists of the thoughts of journalists, and yes, those views are generally Leftist. So the BBC fails on BOTH counts. Its factual content is declining, both in quantity and quality, and its analysis is getting more and more politically one sided. For years now they have been little more than the broadcasting arm of the Labour Party.

            Why should everybody be forced to pay for that? Nobody forces Guardian readers to have to buy books by Edmund Burke. Leftists always expect you to pay their bills while they seek to give you the contents of their tiny minds. The BBC is an abuse of power.

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        • My Site (click to edit) says:

          Why the need for constant interpretation and hand-holding?’

          That narrative doesn’t get enhanced by itself, and if it isn’t, the audience may start making its own mind up on facts as opposed to being steered in the direction only a 24/7 £4Bpa media monopoly can manage

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      • John Horne Tooke says:

        The problem with news on the BBC is that they do not report it, they comment on it. There is a lot of difference between presenting facts and commentating on what someone thinks of it

        The BBC employ hundreds of commentators to tell us how to interpret events. They are not journalists.

        “I went home and wrote a note to myself: ‘What happened to the journalism? The BBC has ­completely lost it.’”
        Peter Scissons

           0 likes

        • Hugh says:

          @JHT. The problem with BBC news is not that they interpret those things on which they report, but that they interpret them from a single, leftist point of view.

             0 likes

  5. Craig says:

    The thread on ConservativeHome on this subject is well worth a read, for those of you who didn’t catch it on the open thread (and a big thank you for the hat tip to B-BBC from our old friend John M Ward in the comments).

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  6. John Horne Tooke says:

    BrianP Says:
    02 July 2011

    “I would avoid reference to biased BBC if I were you and if you want to be taken seriously. That site is a joke populated by seriously strange people.”
    “Commentator says: Only just came across the site today – do tell more? – Editors”

    Is this Dezs’ other name?

       0 likes

    • Henry Wood says:

      Yes, I saw that one. I’ve posted asking him which sites he would recommend for BBC comments.

         0 likes

    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      ‘That site is a joke populated by seriously strange people.’

      The blissful normality that exists with in the poster’s preferred ovine grazing grounds being, er, notable.

      If (how that is arrived at without knowing any is a mystery) ‘strange’ most here are, at least from the quality of their writing they are strange like foxes, as opposed to thick ad hom knee-jerkers usually incapable of assembling an argument beyond ‘You smell’.

      Another who rather adds to the case by thinking their input will persuade any beyond the rather small group they inhabit.

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  7. noggin says:

    i know from, years of experience from phone ins, (so called) debates.
    On tv offers of contact the programme, put your point
    it is a totally contrived charade…& to refer to georges post above
    on islam….or …israel
    sheesh! just don t get me started it can be very disconcerting, as those used to, for instance, muslim debating tactics, changing the subject/ shouts/or rants for prolonged periods
    etc etc..this as you can imagine is irritating enough,
    but when beeb “gremlins” turn it on, it makes it almost not worth the effort…
    impartial don t make me laugh

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    • Dez says:

      Noggin,

      “muslim debating tactics”. Don’t be so ridiculous. Would you also like to define christian or jewish “debating tactics”?

      Of course there are those who think they can, such as this intellectual behemoth:

      “It seems Jews have a peculiar debating style, and are willing to go at extreme lengths in order to perpetuate their deceit.”

      http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t8903/

      The same argument; different target.

      “changing the subject/ shouts/or rants for prolonged periods…”; Yeah, no one on this blog could ever be accused of such things ;)

         0 likes

      • Deborah says:

        Hmm….. Dez – linking to stormfront.org  Do you really think it is one of those middle of the road sites that anyone could identify with? 

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    • George R says:

      Yes. Noggin: this sort of thing-

      “Out Of Context,” Or, How To Argue With A Muslim

      by Ibn Warraq

      http://www.newenglishreview.org/Ibn_Warraq/%22Out_Of_Context,%22_Or,_How_To_Argue_With_A_Muslim/

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      • George R says:

        And what INBBC never discusses about Islam: ‘TAQIYYA’:

        “How Taqiyya Alters Islam’s Rules of War”

        http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/01/how-taqiyya-alters-islams-rules-of-war.html

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      • Dez says:

        George R,

        “Yes. Noggin: this sort of thing- ‘Out Of Context,” Or, How To Argue With A Muslim by Ibn Warraq’ ”

        Here’s another page for you George. Just replace “jew” with “muslim” and you’ll find yourself agreeing with every word.

        “Ten Anti-Semitic Arguments: Advice to propagandists in 1936″:

        http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/responses.htm

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        • George R says:

          Dez,

          Methinks you argue like an Islamic apologist, avoiding the substance of arguments on the repressiveness of Sharia and Jihad, and igoring the global supremacist imperatives of the tenets of Islam.

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        • ltwf1964 says:

          is that tramp at it again?

          the utter stupidity of him and this grossly offensive staement were pointed out on this board before

          you dez,are a cretin of the most imbecilic variety,and should be banned forthwith

          and if I had any say,you and your fellow traveller Scott would be kicked out on your arses forthwith

          uteer utter scum

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    • noggin says:

      @ Dez
      oh! now i get it dez……
      its the tired “muslims are the new jews routine”
      sorry to inform you they are not.
      truly “world turned upside down” scenario

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    • noggin says:

      i think you may have wandered on to the wrong site
      maybe “islamophobiawatch” is more your bag
      something like “stormfront” tsk tsk…..who would trawl
      that anus horribillis,(unless, they were equally extremist
      like the UAF).
      To cut to the chase, are you are saying, the bbc does NOT
      show bias in favour of islam,(& to break up your inference)
      then by jove, would they not show bias IN favour of Israel too?
      as they are both…erm  the persecuted,(maybe not the right words) in your eyes.
      just trying to stay to the impartiality?  theme of the thread

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      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        This is Dez’s new tactic.  He’s done it on another thread as well.  If you make a complaint about Muslims, he’ll prove your racism by pointing out that others have made superficially similar complaints about Jews.  As if the fact that one group made bigoted accusations about another group means that any accusations you make about an entirely different group altogether are false as well.  
         
        It’s a slick way to avoid debating the actual issues, a new twist on Alinsky tactics.

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        • noggin says:

          thank you david, i am afraid you have me at a disadvantage
          as i an unaware, of this previous thread, so dez
          do you want to answer, my post?

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        • Dez says:

          David,

          “…he’ll prove your racism by pointing out that others have made superficially similar complaints about Jews.”

          http://www.heretical.comwww.vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=77418

          http://thephora.net/forum/showthread.php?t=28956&page=7

          http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message441249/pg3

          “Hilter even wrote in his book about JEWish debating tactics.”

          “Kamandi has a very Jewish argumentation style”

          “Here is a list of jewish debating tactics…”

          “standard Jewish debating technique”

          Noggin: “it can be very disconcerting, as those used to, for instance, muslim debating tactics…”

          – These aren’t “superficially similar” they are completely identical.

             0 likes

          • Dez says:

            Further to that,

            Perhaps you’d like to explain why accusations  of “Jewish debating tactics” are bigoted.

            Then, perhaps you’d like to explain why accusations  of “Muslim debating tactics” aren’t bigoted?

            Go on, I could do with a laugh ;p

               0 likes

          • ltwf1964 says:

            “Hilter even wrote in his book about JEWish debating tactics.”  

            well,that takes the biscuit

            that well known unbiased commentator on judaism Adolf Hitler

            I’ve heard it all now

               0 likes

          • ltwf1964 says:

            here’s another lovely selection of comments from http://www.heretical.comwww.vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=77418  

            kaiser-I have been called many times anti-semite and Racist,and you know what? Proud of it!.

            odin-Convincing a kike that you are a fellow kike would be like trying to convince a nigger that you are a fellow nigger. Or, a jap or a mexican. They can tell their own a mile away.

            and on another thread there-
            I can dig it. That should happen more often, and I think it will as niggers carry on with their “wilding” and disrespect for Whites and White businesses. 

            And jews should end up at the end of a White fist as well. I had to stand in line at the pharma store much longer than usual because an old kike needed to kvetch about every last period in his perscription to the point that the whole line was ready to hang his hebe ass.

            and another-

            Jews hurt children. Killing a jew is a moral act. 

            you’re a fucking nazi frequenting fucking nazi message boards

               0 likes

            • Dez says:

              ltwf1964,

              “you’re a fucking nazi frequenting fucking nazi message boards”

              Yeah, right… Or perhaps I just know how to type “Jewish debating tactics” on the Google home page. Idiot.

              But I notice neither you nor anybody else has said whether they agree that there is such a thing as “Muslim debating tactics”.

              Do you agree ltwf? Or are you just going to blow off another few gallons of hot air as usual?

                 0 likes

              • ltwf1964 says:

                you are a nazi shit stirring prick  
                 
                cunt  
                 
                and by the way air is measured in volume,not gallons you imbecilic asshole  
                 
                muslim debating tactic?  
                 
                yes-just blow up your opponents  
                 
                you’re a bbc bastard of the highest order

                   0 likes

  8. BBCwaste says:

    I think Question Time needs to be evaluated on 5 criteria —

    1. The location. Question Time locations are overwhelmingly Labour constituencies.
    2. The panelists, almost aways a left wing bias
    3. The audience, unrepresentative (see point 1) and strangely some people get more than one question during the programme.
    4. The questions, almost always phrased in an anti-government way.
    5. The host. Partisan.

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    • Span Ows says:

      People often claim that the audience is a cross section but this is complete rubbish, I haven’t watched for a few years but always used to, under both Conservative and Labour governments there is ALWAYS applause for stupid lefty comments and a Conservative could be Christ reborn and be speaking the most sensible thing ever but will NEVER get more than a quiet smattering (maybe two or three peopel that must have lied to get in)

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      • John Horne Tooke says:

        It has been argued that the “left leaning” shout louder than the “silent majority”. It also takes a brave person to dare speak from a different viewpoint and recieve the customary boos from people who do not debate but bully.

        I don’t know it this is true. It would be useful to have a camera pointing at the whole audience throughout the “show” to see how people react to different answers.

        This is what the BBC says

        “It is, however, notoriously impossible to make a judgement about the overall views of an audience based on the noise they make or the levels of applause.”

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ifs/hi/newsid_4200000/newsid_4202800/4202877.stm

        Yet they do not seem to monitor the audience reactions to test if their selection process is indeed getting a “wide range of views”.

           0 likes

  9. Guido Fawkes says:

    Seems to me that the problem with the BBC is the method of funding, involuntary taxation. It is never going to be impartial nor is any other media organisation.

       0 likes

    • Henry Wood says:

      Sorry Guido, but you’re wrong again.
      In my younger days (a very long time ago) the BBC was renowned for impartiality. I worked overseas for much of my working life and all over the world the BBC was the authorative voice so far as news was concerned. This has changed. Taking away all comments concerning impartiality on such programmes as “Question Time”, “Any Questions”, etc., and taking a long, hard, cold look at BBC News, it can no longer be presented as the impartial voice of authority. Reporters such as Orla Guerin and Jeremy Bowen have been proven time and again to be biased in their Middle East reports. THEY ARE NEVER PRESENTED AS “COMMENTATORS” ON THE NEWS PROGRAMMES BUT AS REPORTERS: Reporters report. These people do not. They slant the news.

      And don’t get me started on Justin Webb and Mark Mardell with regards to the US.

      The whole organisation is tainted from the very top. The stables need cleaning.

         0 likes

      • Biodegradable says:

        Here here, me too.

        I’ve also spent more than half of my life “outwith” the UK and I too depended on the BBC for what I saw as fairly impartial reporting.

        I used to hold it up as an example when discussing media coverage in those other countries where I found myself. I even supported a campaign to save the World Service when Thatcher threatened to axe it.

        We used to say of the BBC, “it doesn’t always tell you all the truth, but everything it does tell you is true”. Not the case any longer I fear.

        I don’t know what happened or exactly when but things ain’t what they used to be.

           0 likes

        • John Horne Tooke says:

          Yes – there used to be the BBC World Service or Radio Moscow. I used to listen to Radio Moscow on shortwave it gave me endless laughs at all the good news coming from the USSR.

          Reading Mark Easten on Labours crime statistics or immigration non-problems or Mark Mardels almost Godly worship for Obama reminds me of those days listening to Radio Moscow.

          Radio Moscow never had anyone on who disagreed with the communists but if they had it would have been like a Tory on a QT panel.

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    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      And there’s the official state broadcaster thing, with a special connection to the public spanning generations.  No other media organization can touch that.

         0 likes

  10. wild says:

    The Left is incapable of impartiality because they know they are wrong (they hate the world and therefore seek to create an alternative reality) and so feel the urgent need to convince other people (and therefore themselves) all the time.

    You will always get more heat than light from a Leftist audience; they are more interested in getting off on their emotions than connecting with reality.

    Reality is a subversive concept for Leftists. For example they will constantly interrupt and change the topic of the discussion because they know that too much daylight on their arguments turns them to dust.

    The problem with the BBC is that a powerful State media organisation will always attract Leftists. This is inevitable, because Leftists turn everything into a pulpit. Seeking to inculcate ways of looking at the world with which they approve are all the Left amounts to in the end. It is inevitable that such people will have a hard time just reporting facts. A Leftist is essentially a sanctimonious narcissist.

    When you add in the fact that Leftists have a considerable financial interest in having a big State (their sense of entitlement is one of the reasons they are so driven by envy) the chances of a Leftist not producing propaganda is remote.

    It is tempting to say there are no facts just opinions, but this is untrue. What is true is that reality is complicated, and so a plurality of opinions plus free debate helps truth seeking. This is anathema to the Left who will always try to close down any debate. It makes me laugh when Lefty State funded universities lecture about liberty and plurality – there is no more rigorously enforced monoculture than a Leftist University. Because they are narcissists the Left is (and always will be) totalitarian in outlook.

    If the BBC is run by and for Leftists it does not deserve tax payer funding. Leftists know this, and this is why they will always claim that the BBC is impartial. The moment they admit that the BBC is the broadcasting arm of Middle Class Labour supporters the game is up. So like in all Leftist societies it is a case of let us pretend. It is a magic kingdom in which lying elites are lauded, and the poor ignored.

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    • dave s says:

      A good description of the modern British liberal. I would add that this type feels secure in a society which they think, erroneously, will never be under a real existential threat from outside or inside.
      A secure hive which will always be there to protect and nurture.
      Of all delusions this is the most dangerous.

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      • wild says:

        I suppose if you are opposed to reality this makes you feel weak (and lonely) and so this leads to a corresponding craving for the collective, in which everybody is forced to parrot the same fictions.

        The appeal for Guardian readers is that they think they should run the hive, and to get power they promise the workers that everybody can have free healthcare, everybody can retire at 50, and nobody need worry about looking after their parents went they get old – as the slogan in the care home in The Simpsons put it “We care so you do not have too”.

        Socialism appeals to all that is worst in human nature; envy, laziness, arrogance, but above all hatred. If you look at a Conservative Party Conference audience you see lots of smug faces. If you look at a Labour Party Conference audience however it is a sea of ugly bitter expressions. They Left has never been about love.

        It is a selfishness gone bad. They not simply obsessed with themselves, they hate other people, especially the ones they envy.

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  11. cjhartnett says:

    Just realised how duped we can all be!
    It took me twenty four hours before I realised that…no, it was not a dream!
    Billy Bragg was INDEED giving the Dragons Den woman a lecture in economics and business on the Dimbleby Dreadzone that is Any Questions.
    Nobody laughed at this drug induced hallucination.
    The poor woman obviously knew very little on wealth creation, so Billy was able to help her along…some Labour/ex-Tory with his butler was also able to tell us all about socialism like Billy had just done, Some Liberal in transit also opined on stuff! Bad trips all round maan!

    The BBC is one long Headshop on a Friday night now eh?
    Bring back Wogan-at least I knew he was being surreal!

       0 likes

  12. Henry Wood says:

    I’ve just tried to watch last Thursday’s “Question Time” using the repeat service offered by the BBC.
    Well before ten minutes passed it had me reaching for the whisky bottle. However, I did persevere even though I was rapidly getting fed up, especially with one lady who had her notes all ready and read them as an explanation of how Armegeddon was about to descend upon us and the Coalition was the Antichrist.
    Then at about 13 minutes after listening to a lot of left-wing claptrap from the audience, Dimbleby claimed he now wanted to hear from *anyone* in the audience who had something to say about private pensions compared to public sector. The second member of the audience to speak on this subject immmediately went in to his facts and figures (on his notepad) about how Germany’s pensions are better than ours, blah… blah… blah… “Academics retire on 80% of wages in Germany … blah … the fact that teachers etc have a reasonable pension is a good thing … blah … two wrongs do not make a right.”
    CLAP!!!! CLAP!!!!!CLAP!!!!!! AND CLAP AGAIN!!!!!! from an audience selected from a cross section of I do not know what.

    Why was this member of the audience not cut off by Dimbleby as soon as he got into his typical left-wing rant?

    Guido posted earlier that impartiality seemed to be impossible. Yes, maybe, but a decent referee on programmes like this should always be prepared to blow the whistle on chancers who do not play by the rules.

       0 likes

  13. cjhartnett says:

    Also remember Dimbleby Major telling the guests to make their points quicker, so more questions could be asked.
    Next minute he is ranting at the Tory and trying to get the liberal to say that he had a differnce with the Tory…he does this ” your leader says this-now what you`re saying is…” crap every time!
    In short-his interruptions prevented the questions he said he wanted to hear from being asked. All because he wants gossip and intrigue from the Cabinet table to divide in his tittle tattle-what a creep!

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  14. My Site (click to edit) says:

    Beyond the poor grasp of impartiality, there are the vast multiples of standards.

    It is hard to reconcile an often justified campaign against overt and unfair nepotism (though I cannot see a mate helping mates out with known quantity favours as a priority ending any time soon if it is in their power to do so) with…

    Attenboroughs x 3

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/may/03/tom-ravenscroft-john-peel-6-music

    etc

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  15. My Site (click to edit) says:

    I found this interesting (not least because of the source):

    http://ethicalcorp.blogspot.com/2011/07/responsible-business-is-bbc-up-to.html?essHack+%28%22Reflections+on+Ethical+Business%22%29

    No doubt the editors believe the audience on Radio 4 and the World Service won’t understand the programmes unless they are dumbed right down. ‘

    That is a possible reason, to be sure, but no excuse for the results.

    Bar politically-motivated social engineers, I am struggling to think of anyone from any corner of true environmentalism who sees much credibilit in the BBC’s eco output.

    Hence, if they are found wanting on simple competence much less agenda, why are we obliged to pay for it?

       0 likes