For Clarity’s Sake

 

 

http://bbcwatchdot.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/pd-gpo1.png?w=593

 

Em…why hasn’t the BBC apologised to Israeli Government…after all the BBC is quick enough to condemn them when they feel the need?

For the sake of clarity we expect that the BBC gets the reporting right….and the photographs, images and words used do not misrepresent the situation in Gaza or Israel.

We don’t expect ‘lies’ from the BBC.  But we get them.  Not all misrepresentations can be so easily explained away as ‘mistakes’.

The consequences of such lies are serious.

Right now across Europe Jews are being driven not just from their homes but from their countries…Sweden, France, Holland, Germany and even in Britain Jews are under attack.

These attacks are incited, given ‘sanction’ and ‘authority’, by the lies spread by news organisations such as the BBC which deliberately demonise Israeli actions and presents Palestinians  as innocent victims suffering under a savage and illegal Israeli occupation.

BBC News kills jews?

I think more than an apology is required.

 

I’m certain Danahar would rapidly deny that any of the BBC’s output could endanger anyone, let alone Jews, around the world.  His colleague, the BBC’s Science Editor David Shukman, might say otherwise……he has an article in the BBC News website’s ‘Science and Environment’ section entitled “Inside the world’s most ‘impossible’ science project“….this is what he suggests…..

“Given the hostility felt towards Israel, for instance, would any Arabs or Iranians ever consent to being pictured in the same room as Israeli scientists? If we were seen talking to one, would others boycott us? And, worst of all, would our filming put anyone in danger back home? Not everyone in Iran or Israel or the Arab countries likes the idea of their people fraternising with the other side.”

So Shukman doesn’t want to film Arab or Iranian scientists working with Jews…because if the film is seen in Iran or in Arab countries those scientists might be in danger….very considerate of him…….unlikely the same reaction would occur in Israel.

It’s just a shame the BBC are not so concerned about the effect their coverage of Israeli actions will have to further incite the rapidly growing atmosphere of anti-Semitism around the world.

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By Their Tweets Shall Ye Know Them: The Tweets

Following on my post explaining the situation, here are the tweets. Some will be screenshots or some other form of publishing because the actual tweets have been deleted after the BBC staff member responsible was caught. With one exception, there are no retweets here, as that’s a separate debate. A comprehensive research project if far beyond my means, but just scanning through so many of them tells me that for many BBC employees, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Note the trends on certain issues.

Because some people seem to keep missing the point, let me repeat: This is not meant to prove that all tweets are biased, nor is it meant to prove that all BBC staff are 100% of the Left. Many BBC employees are fairly responsible with Twitter, and do not tweet their political opinions at all. This is meant to prove that those who do freely tweet their personal political and ideological opinions are nearly all of the Left. Nearly every department of the BBC is represented here, both on air talent and editors and producers behind the scenes. This also demonstrates that in many cases the line between official and personal accounts has been blurred so much as to be essentially non-existent, contrary to BBC guidelines. The whole thing needs to be trashed and re-examined.

This is mostly all thanks to the keen eye of DB, without whose vigilance this would not have been possible. I just kept a list as the sheer volume of them began to reveal certain patterns, before starting to search the feeds myself. Other contributors are: Craig, Reed, Jeff W, Guest Who, Laban, Notasheep, BBC Waste, David Vance, ChrisH, and yours truly. (Apologies if I missed anyone.)

Kaye Adams, BBC Scotland radio presenter

KAYE Adams, the BBC broadcaster, has been accused of being unfit to present a top current affairs programmes after she tweeted that Boris Johnson “should p*** off back to boarding school”.

The former presenter of Loose Women, the ITV talk show, who presents a popular Radio Scotland show, was on holiday in Tuscany when she made a series of expletive-filled Tweets about London’s mayor. She has now apologised and deleted the comments from her Twitter site.

Paul Adams, BBC Washington correspondent

Also, when reporting from the Republican National Convention, Adams made 10 tweets, all negative, and for only one day, Aug. 30. From the Democrat’s convention, he made 30 tweets over three days, Sept. 4-6, all positive, including the #DNC2012 hashtag. The RNC hashtag was absent from all of his tweets.

Sarah Afshar, Senior producer for Newsnight

 

Anita Anand, BBC Radio and TV presenter

In case anyone isn’t sure who Anand is, a charming photo of her can be seen here. The other person in that photo is the star of his own R5 Live show, Richard Bacon.

Here’s a screenshot of Bacon telling his followers to check out a vicious anti-Palin article by her personal womb inspector, Andrew Sullivan.

Wendy Bailey, former BBC Radio broadcaster, producer Children in Need, and lots more.

 

 Ros Ball, BBC Parliament correspondent (with an activist statement photo on her Twitter page)

 

 


Bob Ballard, BBC Radio commentator on swimming and diving

 

 

 

Mark Barlex, BBC On Demand editor, tweeted from the BBC College of Journalism account(!)

The “gift” is the video hosted on the BBC website of that Iraqi reporter throwing a shoe at George Bush.

He’s talking about the Newsnight report on the inauguration speech which the BBC edited to make the President sound more Green-friendly.

Mark Blank-Settle, BBC College of Journalism social media maven

Claire Bolderson, BBC presenter

Peter Bowes, BBC correspondent in the US

Jane Bradley, BBC Midlands Current Affairs producer

 

 

Toby Brown, BBC News Channel producer

Am reading an essay on American capitalism and it’s effect on women. 50% jealous of academia. 50% glad to be out of it…

— Toby Brown (@browntoby) April 19, 2012

Mario Cacciottolo, BBC journalist

 

  Jenny Clarke, BBC Radio Manchester

Shut up going on about how great Manchester is George Osborne. We know it is and flattery will not buy our votes. Now kindly fuck off.

She soon got caught out, tweet and entire account deleted before we could get the embed code. Original tweet url was: http://twitter.com/#!/jenrclarke/status/120849989885902848. She then set up a new account @jennyfleur88. Tweets protected now.

Katie Connolly, ex-BBC US correspondent. From Newsweek to the BBC, now works at a Democrat strategy group, worked on the campaign to re-elect the President. Go figure. Lots of tweets, too much to post here, but Craig’s list and full analysis can be read here. Highlights:

this palin speech is more like a stand up routine, esp with the redneck jokes 1,273,863,138,000.00 via TweetDeck ouch. sarah palin calls us the lamestream media. #palin #nra RT @chucktodd: FOIA-requested Todd Palin related emails involving Palin’s time in office in Alaska now up on MSNBC.com. http://ping.fm/YGnCF 1,265,387,931,000.00 via TweetDeck My boss Jon Meacham responds to critics of our Sarah Palin cover photo http://bit.ly/G5iCz 1,258,492,120,000.00 via TweetDeck

She regularly corresponded with a number of JournoListas, and RTed their groupthink as often as possible.

Matt Danzico, BBC News reporter in the US, and former Obama campaigner. His Twitter page has both the disclaimer and the BBC logo wallpaper

 

(UPDATE: Forgot to mention this last one is from before Danzico worked for the BBC. This was from back when he was working for the 2008 campaign. Usually people go work for a political party or campaign after a stint at the BBC. I included this to demonstrate both his consistency and as an example of what is not an obstacle to being hired as an impartial journalist.)   Several more can be seen here. Tom Donkin, journalist for BBC News Online Magazine

 

  Gavin Esler, newsreader, presenter for Newsnight and Dateline

  Stephanie Flanders, BBC Economics editor

  Matt Frei, ex-BBC, now with C4, former anchor of BBC World News America

  Leah Gooding, newsreader for BBC Newsround (Screenshot because Jude Machin changed the avatar after complaints, relevant tweet deleted.) Leah Gooding approves of Jude Machin's Obama Avatar Jim Hawkins, BBC Radio Shropshire (One of many presenters who uses his “unofficial, personal” account as the official one for a BBC show)

 

 

Rhys Hughes, BBC Radio 1 producer

Here’s what his avatar was until DB posted it last week and somebody told Hughes to clean up his act.

Katty Kay, anchor, BBC World News America and pundit in official BBC capacity on MSNBC and other show

 

 

 Rachel Kennedy, BBC News editor Screenshot because Kennedy deleted the tweets after Guido Fawkes linked to DB’s post on them and it gained wider attention. Same goes for this one: Dominic Laurie, Business presenter for Radio 5 Live

 

 

  Brian Limond, “controversial” BBC Scotland comedian

“Would Prince William write to FIFA on behalf of the Scotland team wearing poppies? No. Cos he thinks ENGLAND won the war.” This message was quickly followed by; “I’d love to slide a samurai sword up Prince William’s arse to the hilt, then yank it towards me like a door that won’t f@*king open.” This was eventually followed by another anti-Royal family message: “Absolutely f@*k England and its royal wee family living it up while pensioners freeze to death.”

Tweets deleted after complaints. More here. Sue Llewellyn, BBC social media expert This is the only Retweet in this collection, included here as evidence of the groupthink regarding Sarah Palin, and particularly the blood libel so many BBC journalists and other staff tried to push. Even one of the BBC’s experts in social media felt free to retweet such a thing. Now for an original tweet:

Jude Machin, BBC journalist, formerly US-based, now in UK (See Leah Gooding above) Screenshots because it’s all been sent down the memory hold after she got caught, then got caught again, then got caught again.


Jude Machin Twitter Screenshot Obama avatar

Leah Gooding approves of Jude Machin's Obama Avatar

James Macintyre, former BBC Question Time producer, now political editor for Prospect magazine and Ed Miliband’s biographer

 

Chris Mason, BBC political correspondent
Screenshot because his Twitter feed archive wouldn’t go back far enough

Paul Mason Newsnight economics editor

 

 

 

John Mervin, BBC News New York business editor

 

Link goes to Time magazine article about how “Conservatives have lost touch with reality”

  Claudia Milne, editor BBC News Online US edition


Fallows was Jimmy Carter’s speechwriter and is a popular Left-wing pundit

Daniel Nasaw, US-based feature writer for BBC News Online Magazine

 

 

 

Matt Prodger, BBC Home Affairs correspondent

 

 

 

Mark Sandell, editor World Have Your Say, BBC World TV and World Radio

 

 

Joan Soley, BBC News Pentagon correspondent (note BBC News wallpaper despite “my views” disclaimer)

 

Regarding one of the Republican presidential candidate debates:

Brett Spencer, Radio 5 Live Interactive editor Screenshot because he deleted the tweets after being caught. Allegra Stratton, Newsnight political editor

 Jeremy Vine, Radio 2 host, Eggheads presenter, former Newsnight journalist (and another one who uses his “personal” account as the official one for his BBC show)

  Sarah Walton, journalist for BBC Look North

  Tim Weber, ex-BBC business & technology editor for BBC Interactive, now Director at Edelman

 

 

  Lucy Williamson, BBC Seoul correspondent


Screenshots because Twitter feed archive doesn’t go back far enough:


Plenty more here.

And there you have it. Come see the bias inherent in the system. I’ve actually lost count of how many tweets there are and how many Beeboids are represented. Someone else will have to do it now since my eyes are all bleary from laying this out.

For balance, here’s one which appears to be from the Right by James Landale, BBC News political correspondent (h/t Jim Dandy)

Oh, and apparently Andrew Neil is on the Right, and Nick Robinson used to be in his youth. Balanced or what?

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The Simpson-Bowles (C)Omission

Jonny Dymond has a piece out pretending to analyze the recent joint-statement from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. They’re understandably “gloomy” about Congress’s chances of making any kind of useful deal to avoid the US heading over the fiscal cliff after the ill-begotten debt agreement from last year expires. I say Dymond is pretending to analyze it because what he’s really doing is laying out a few White House talking points.

Fiscal cliff: Simpson and Bowles gloomy on deal chances

Dymond explains that everyone is really worried about what might happen if the intransigent Republicans don’t cooperate. Okay, he doesn’t say it exactly like that, but that’s the main point of his article. The worst problem with this piece is where he mentions that these guys were the head of the President’s Simpson-Bowles Commission in 2010, which came up with a plan (actually more like one with a set of options) to reduce the deficit and avoid having to go to the wall on the debt ceiling, as it were.

It wasn’t a bad plan, plenty of good things in there but, as Dymond says, it was never adopted. Except he doesn’t say why not. If it was so great that everyone is now hanging on their every word, why wasn’t it adopted? All you really learn from the Beeboid is that “disagreement” is bad, m’kay. So long as Congress (read: nasty Republicans, even though the Democrats controlled both houses for two years and the Senate for all four) doesn’t come to some agreement, we know whom to blame. In case anyone misses the point, Dymond closes with a quote from Bowles (Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff):

But from Mr Bowles comes a cold dose of Washington realism, and what seems to be the prime driver of his pessimism.

“There’s been no punishment,” he says, “for intransigence in this town.”

If I had a nickel for every time I saw that word used in this context…..

So why was this plan never passed? Because the President blew them off for purely ideological reasons. Dymond either doesn’t know that, or doesn’t think it’s important enough to mention. This is very curious as it’s the entire reason the two men made the press conference, and the entire reason Dymond was sent to do the report. But because mentioning that would make The Obamessiah look bad, or even remotely responsible for any problem, Dymond doesn’t mention it.

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Leveson, BBC and All That

 

Leveson avoided the task of examining the culture, practices and ethics of the BBC as it was outside his remit….If Cameron had any sense he would have changed that remit….and should now set up another ‘Leveson’ to look at the publicly funded BBC in particular.

‘This Inquiry  has covered the “culture, practices and ethics of the press” which obviously includes newspapers whether printed or online: it does not include broadcasters (ultimately regulated by Ofcom). Thus, although the Director General of the BBC, then Mark Thompson, gave evidence, he did so only to provide a comparison between the approach adopted internally by the BBC Trust along with the oversight from Ofcom. In those circumstances, although there have been many calls during the Inquiry for me to expand the terms of reference to investigate other organisations (most recently the BBC in the wake of the allegations against Sir Jimmy Savile), it is simply outside the Terms of Reference within which I am working.’

 

The BBC are outraged by the report…a ‘damning report’….. and know who to blame:

‘For editors, publishers and – not least – newspaper proprietors, this is a damning report.’

Never mind the politicians who ‘bought’ favourable coverage by whatever sordid little backroom deals they arranged…never mind the police officers or others who sold sensitive information…….there’s only one main target for the BBC…the man at the head of News International.

Some interesting points from Leveson:

Report rejects wrongdoing by the government around the BSKyB bid, with “no credible evidence of bias”. Must learn lessons around quasi-judicial processes. “We were right to stand by him.” [Says Cameron]

 

No evidence of a “deal” between David Cameron and News International to trade policy favours for positive news coverage

 

So two major BBC news stories….one generated from the dark recesses of the inventive mind of  Labour’s Peter Mandelson and which was accepted as ‘true’ by the BBC, the other a story that the BBC itself played a part in concocting about BSkyB….both stories wrong and unfounded.

Impartiality in its DNA?  I don’t think so.

 

The funny thing about Leveson was that New Labour and its extraordinary, incestuous, closeness to the Murdochs and their media empire goes almost unmentioned…Gordon Brown managing to evade any serious questions at all during the inquiry….it is Cameron who gets rapped over the knuckles for his closeness to ‘Murdoch’…though in fact to Rebekah Brooks…who happens to be the wife of his old school friend Charlie Brooks.

It was the very same Labour Party which had Murdoch Journalist and now Labour’s communications spinner (Senior Advisor (Communications and Strategy)), Tom Baldwin, plant stories in the Times on behalf of the Labour government:

Beware of The Times’ Tom Baldwin

Tom Baldwin is back in London, writing political stories for The Times. Before a stint as a reporter for the same newspaper in America he became notorious for writing stories that bore Downing Street’s imprint. His close connections to Alastair Campbell are still evident in the number of stories he has helped write in recent weeks about Blair’s chances of becoming EU President.

 

This is what the BBC has to say about that…..
New Labour is also criticised for introducing a culture of ‘spin’ in Government

Dynamite.

 

Guido Fawkes is less enamoured by Leveson and his plans for Press regulation:
‘The Leveson Report suggests Ofcom could soon wield considerable power over the press. It is recommended that the new regulatory body will be ‘validated’ by Ofcom, the government is to consider allowing Ofcom to regulate newspapers that refuse to join or even becoming the regulatory body itself if the new system fails. So who is the man in charge of Ofcom?
Ed Richards is a former adviser Gordon Brown, who worked in a small office with just the former PM and his PA. He was also a senior policy adviser to Tony Blair. The Guardian describe him as having a background “rooted in New Labour”. Now he could well be the guardian of the guardians. Do we really want Gordon Brown’s henchman in charge of regulating the press?’

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Not Many People Know That

 

 

Facts prove……

Interesting fact of the day…The BBC’s Question Time is biased towards the Right.

 

Is there bias on BBC Question Time?

Phil Burton-Cartledge has crunched the numbers on the political persuasions of the guests on the BBC’s flagship politics programme….. just shy of four years worth of data. Please note I have excluded Question Time’s annual forays to Northern Ireland from the figures.

As of 22 November, 362 individuals have occupied 704 panel slots. For those interested in gender and political participation, only 98 guests have been women. These between them have occupied 235 slots.

 

Actually I’m not sure what he says he has proved….apart from being an enormous waste of his time…I always assume QT is in the main ‘balanced’…audience aside….so to crunch the numbers on this over a four year period is sheer folly.

The main conclusion seems to be that Nigel Farrage gets on far too many times and that Union Barons hardly at all….and that’s so unfair because Union Barons are the true representatives of millins of hard working people…aren’t they?

Seems just another New Statesman effort, however slight, to ‘defend’ the BBC from charges of being a Lefty bunker.

 

Here’s an interesting comment on the article from the writer’s own blog:

‘The issue with journalists going on Question Time and spouting off completely destroys the laughable notion that still gets trotted about hacks being “neutral” – all news and editorial judgments are inherently subjective.

But rather than bleating about this, and imaging that Lord Leveson is going to deliver a fairer media through some sort of state-backed regulation, the the left would do better to develop more TV friendly independent minded journalists who are able to articulate the very many popular left positions clearly.

Anyway, great piece and should be spread far and wide every Thursday the minute a right-winger opens their cake hole to bleat about the Marxists controlling the BBC.’

 

I should of course add a  correction to that…..when they say ‘all news and editorial judgements are inherently subjective’.…they don’t mean the nice BBC.  Clear?

Here’s the thing…why did the author, ‘Phil the sociologist’, put this piece together?

Phil said…(in reference to the comment about right wingers bleating about the Marxist BBC)
Re: your final comment, I wrote it specifically for those annoying Question Time moments ;) 

So essentially it was written as a political piece designed purely to attempt to spike right wing claims of BBC bias…..all it really does is confirm what we always knew about sociologists…they’re a complete waste of time and money…..they come up with ‘research’ that you can hear in any pub any night of the week….as he says in his banner….‘Sociology with a socialist spin’

The rather shy ‘Phil’ is Phil Burton-Cartledge....Ex-ex-blogger, Stoke Labour Party vice chair, constituency secretary & bag carrier, co-founder of Democratic Futures. ….Phil received his PhD from Keele University in 2010. His thesis concerned the life history of revolutionary socialist activists. Phil is interested in political sociology and the sociology of social movements, and in social theory more generally’

Apparently this is Phil on Twitter:

https://twimg0-a.akamaihd.net/profile_images/2817866150/498e9732a891fc5d2a69b68e64d49de2_reasonably_small.jpeg

 

This is him (bottom) in real life along with co-founder Gavin Bailey: Gavin completed his PhD at Keele University in 2011 and his doctoral research looked at the community activities of radical Islamist and far right activists:

http://democraticfutures.org.uk/images/sites/1196/generated/dfBanner_3139fc53c790b9fa9aa4b03bdf33acfa.png

The photo of ‘Phil’ raises questions about the truthfulness of this Tweet of his:

Phil BC@philbc3

@The_Iron_Lad People like me were actively fighting the Nazis on the streets. Right wingers like you were trying to cut deals with them

 

Obviously takes a good photo.

 

Oh yes….can’t have you miss this from the comments, which I’m sure is totally untrue and the mere ramblings of a disgruntled ex-employee…..

‘Lest we forget, the great neutral arbiter Dimblebot himself has form as a nasty, penny pinching businessman. He and his brother owned a series of newspapers in south London until the late 90s where reporters had to buy their own notebooks and were reputedly paid less than the minimum wage based on their long working hours. These journalists only received a substantial payrise and celebrated wildly when the Dimbleboys sold it to the US multinational Newsquest – itself a hated firm not known for their high pay!

 

 

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Under The Microscope…Those Evil Multi-National, Non-Tax Paying Corporations

http://politicalbetting.s3.amazonaws.com/BBC+tax.jpg

The BBC is enthusiastic about exposing the supposed sins of corporations that minimise their tax obligations….all quite legally….but sooooo immoral!

We know that for some people the BBC is prepared to look the other way….one such person being Labour’s Margaret Hodge who has a near 10% share holding in a company that pays barely any tax at all in this country…..

Labour’s millionairess Margaret Hodge’s family business pays very little tax:
The Labour MP has been one of the fiercest critics of tax avoidance by companies such as Starbucks, Google and Amazon. However, she is likely to face questions over the limited tax paid by Stemcor, the steel trading company in which she owns shares and which was founded by her father and is run by her brother.Analysis of Stemcor’s latest accounts show that the business paid tax of just £163,000 on revenues of more than £2.1bn in 2011. However it is not known whether the company – which made profits of £65m – used similar controversial tax avoidance measures criticised in the past by Mrs Hodge. Stemcor’s tax bill to the exchequer equates to just 0.01pc of the revenues it booked through its UK-based business.

This from Guido:

Priti Patel Demands Hodge Calls Stemcor to PAC

Priti Patel has written a strongly worded letter to Margaret Hodge demanding that she calls Stemcor in front of the Public Accounts Committee for a grilling –  as Chair of the PAC she would have to stand aside when Stem or gave evidence to avoid a conflict of interest because of her position as a shareholder with millions tied up in Stemcor. Her family firm has a multi-billion pound turnover yet paid a mere £157,000 in tax.

 

…and engages in ‘Transfer pricing’  which is relevant to what follows.

 

The BBC are running what amounts to a campaign against such companies…part of which is this programme….which is a very one sided and cynical look at mining corporation Glencore…..and note the slightly sinister admission that the BBC has joined up with over 70 other broadcasters to ‘push’ what amounts to propaganda, around the world……the BBC accuse the company of using ‘transfer pricing’, especially, to avoid tax…..

Why Poverty? – 3. Stealing Africa

Christoffer Guldbrandsen investigates the dark heart of the tax system employed by multi-nationals and asks how much profit is fair.

A BBC Storyville film, produced in partnership with the Open University, Stealing Africa screens as part of Why Poverty? – when the BBC, in conjunction with more than 70 broadcasters around the world, hosts a debate about contemporary poverty. The global cross-media event sees the same eight films screened in 180 countries to explore why, in the 21st Century, a billion people still live in poverty.

 

 

 

After all that it might just be a little embarrassing for the BBC, which rakes in at least £1.5 billion from its own commercial activities, to be revealed as a corporation that hides behind that tired old phrase ‘for the purposes of journalism, art or literature‘ in order to stop people seeing how much tax it does, or doesn’t pay.

 

Remember this is the organisation that went after Student Loans company boss, Ed Lester who was found to be using a tax scheme that meant he didn’t pay tax at source…

Revelations by Newsnight that the chief executive of the Student Loans Company was avoiding paying tens of thousands of pounds in tax in an arrangement signed off by senior ministers has led to a dramatic rethink by the government’

 

However when the BBC was caught out for doing exactly the same thing it has insisted that it was not a tax dodging scheme…

‘The BBC is to review the way hundreds of TV and radio freelance presenters are paid, after suggestions it is aiding tax avoidance schemes.

A commons committee heard claims that one long-term presenter was urged to receive payment off the books “or face a substantial pay cut”.

The BBC insisted the arrangements are not in place to avoid paying tax.’

 

Here is a freedom of Information request that was made earlier this year asking about some of the tax liablities of the BBC in America…the BBC refuses to disclose this figure…..

 

The BBC reply:

Ken Tindell
Via email to - [FOI #114766 email]

23 May 2012

Dear Dr Tindall,

Freedom of Information request – RFI20120464 

Thank you for your request to the BBC of 25 April 2012, seeking the following information under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000:

1. The total amount of revenue generated from advertising on the BBC news web site (or a wider
collection of BBC web sites if no specifics for the BBC news web site are available). 


2. What proportion of non-UK traffic of the web site / sites in (1) are from the USA.

3. How much US corporation tax is paid by the BBC on the advertising revenue in (1).

The information you have requested is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes
of ‘journalism, art or literature.’  The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to
you and will not be doing so on this occasion.  Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA provides that
information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is only covered by the Act
if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”.  The BBC is not
required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output or information
that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities.1

You may not be aware that one of the main policy drivers behind the limited application of the Act
to public service broadcasters was to protect freedom of expression and the rights of the media
under Article 10 European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”).  The BBC, as a media
organisation, is under a duty to impart information and ideas on all matters of public interest and
the importance of this function has been recognised by the European Court of Human Rights.

1 For more information about how the Act applies to the BBC please see the enclosure which follows this letter.
Please note that this guidance is not intended to be a comprehensive legal interpretation of how the Act applies to the
BBC.

Maintaining our editorial independence is a crucial factor in enabling the media to fulfil this function.

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Dear Jon….

 

 

The BBC’s Jon Donnison has some explaining to do (Via BBC Watch):

BBC’s Jon Donnison summoned to Government Press Office hearing

‘The BBC’s Jon Donnison, together with the head of the BBC Jerusalem Bureau and head of the Foreign Press Association, Paul Danahar, has been summoned by the Government Press Office in Israel to a hearing this coming Wednesday (November 28th) on the subject of Donnison’s Tweet of a picture of a child casualty from Syria as though it were from Gaza – as first publicised by BBC Watch on November 19th 2012.

 

Then he might also want to explain the rest of his work….such as minimising Israeli casualties and the threat to them, and using the BBC to highlight the death of a Palestinian colleague’s son to elicit sympathy for the Palestinians.

 

Perhaps he should be even more worried than just about losing his press credentials:

 

BBC sacks two workers for misusing Twitter

The BBC has fired two members of staff for misusing social media sites, including Twitter, it has emerged.

‘A further two workers have been disciplined following inappropriate behaviour on sites like Twitter and Facebook, the broadcaster has disclosed under a Freedom of Information request.

The “unusual” move comes as the broadcaster imposed an informal ban on its staff for tweeting about the BBC’s “problems”.’

 

 

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WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD

 

 

Paul Mason tells us that there is a ‘parallel world of ideas out there where millions are denied a voice.’

As activists come to the defence of a blogger in China who made the mistake of making a joke about the Communist Party Congress, Newsnight’s Paul Mason talks to three Chinese writers about what it is like working in a climate of censorship and repression.’

An alternate view comes from Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph where he notes the BBC’s hankering for censorship of unwelcome voices and opinions:

‘Dig around on YouTube and you will find a spoof of the Hollywood weepie It’s a Wonderful Life made in 1995 by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie for their BBC sketch show A Bit of Fry and Laurie. In It’s a Soaraway Life!, angel second class Clarence Cosy – Fry – shows Rupert Murdoch, played by Laurie, what Britain would have been like if he had never been born. He finds polite cabbies, ethnic minorities in pubs, no page 3 girls, and – to his horror – no satellite dishes dotting the façades of terrace houses. “Without your newspapers debasing people’s views of the world with every sentence they produce, people turned out to be interested in all kinds of other things,” Clarence tells him. “Newspapers haven’t taught people to sneer at others because they are Left-wing.” ‘

It has taken the Left years, but finally the press is at its mercy….[but maybe]the Left has overreached itself, and has been too naked in playing Leveson for political advantage.’

 

Ironically Mason uses China as an example when of course his  own organisation is a classic case of the suppression of ideas, values and beliefs that are troublesome to its own ideology….millions of Britains are denied a real voice by the BBC’s very narrow definition of what is acceptable……it is all the more ironic because of the BBC’s championing of ‘multi-culturalism’ and the ‘celebration of diversity’ that goes along with it…the only people who don’t get a say are the native Brits….unless you’re ‘approved’…or indeed those immigrants who ‘integrate’ and see that the things they came to this country to benefit from will be destroyed by the Left’s ‘open door’ immigration policy.

Maybe the BBC are waking up to this….it is 70 years since the Beveridge Report and the wholesale implementation of ‘Welfarism’….the BBC asks can it survive the ever increasing costs and ‘globalisation’?

 

You might think that yes it is the growing demands on the system that will destroy it…but what does ‘destroy’ mean…after all when the welfrae system was introduced it was not designed to cope with the massive demands we have now…such as imposed by a population, ever growing, but also living far longer…..what if the provision was just cut back to the original range of services and subsidy?  Is that destruction?

The BBC’s use of the word ‘globalisation’ is interesting.  What do they mean by that?  It seems, from the below, that they merely mean that competition from abroad lowers wages here…..‘wages at the bottom have been driven down by globalisation, requiring top ups from tax credits’.

In fact the real problem is the open door immigration policy….and one that is made very much worse by the EU which tells us to pay benefits to anyone who steps off a plane or train from Europe from day one.

Open door immigration, with anyone allowed to claim benefits, housing, access to free NHS service, use of the roads, demands on the police and overburdening schools is the biggest threat to the existence of the welfare system…..and the BBC refuses to recognise that…..once more denying the millions in this country who oppose such a policy their voice and say in the matter.

 

The BBC is examining the welfare system extensively on R4 today (27th) at 1000 am, The State of Welfare, but  if you look at this BBC magazine report which sets out to eulogise Welfare you might get an idea of the direction they will take:

‘Jose Harris, author of Beveridge: A Biography, says that even during the Hungry Thirties public suspicion of the scrounger existed.

But the war banished that with its sense of common purpose and social solidarity. High emergency taxes and rationing imposed a redistributive, egalitarian economic model. Above all there was work for everyone.

“There were no scroungers,” says Harris. “You were put to work in the Army, the pioneer corps or the factories.” ‘

 

Ironic that…‘put to work‘…imagine the BBC cries of ‘slavery’

Look at this highly misleading part:

‘The country was deeply indebted at the end of World War II to the US, bread was rationed and life austere. But there was less of a sense of division between those who worked and those who claimed benefits. Nearly everyone – or rather, nearly every working-age man – had a job. Full employment lasted for the following two decades.’

Why was there full employment?  There was National Service.…and full employment for two decades?  Because that was when National service ended, the last conscript demobbing  in 1963….it was a vastly expensive business.

The whole article has a narrative aimed at defending those on welfare…they are not ‘scroungers’ or ‘lazy’….and immigrants are workaholic wonders to be cherished.

Here the BBC tries to have its cake and eat it….quoting the Sun’s Kelvin Mackenzie saying Brits are scroungers but immigrants are great…then it quotes someone from a poverty charity who says it is rubbish to suggest people choose a life on the dole, they are not scroungers…..so we have ‘immigrants are great’ and then a negation of that  ‘myth’ of the ‘lazy scrounger’.  Tick two BBC boxes….in fact a third one as well…the BBC here raises the question of immigration destroying the welfare system…but then uses Mackenzie to demolish it…..with him saying it is the lazy scrounger that is milking the system and forcing businesses to import immigrants who want to work.  They hope you won’t notice the failed logic of the following repudiation of that by the charity.  It is a very muddled piece that wants to present immigration as a boon, the welfare system as an underfunded agent of redistribution and social equality and welfare claimants as angelic victims.

‘Immigration – rare in Beveridge’s day – may have played a role in the change of attitudes towards benefit claimants. David Goodhart, director of think tank Demos, has posited that as society becomes ever more diverse, the sense of shared values needed to sustain a redistributive welfare system is weakened.

Beveridge’s idea that welfare should reward individuals and families who have paid in to the system is undermined by the practice of giving council housing and benefits to newly arrived immigrants, critics like former minister Margaret Hodge have argued.

Mackenzie offers a different spin on migration. Many indigenous British people could work if they wanted to but are content to stay on benefits, he and others argue, whereas eastern Europeans arrive with little but are soon working.

“I love these people. They can travel thousands of miles from Budapest, get here with no money, can’t speak English but they have ambition. And they find work.”

The idea that people choose a life on benefits is false, says Imran Hussain, head of policy at the Child Poverty Action Group.’

 

 

The State of Welfare is a three hour programme……listen if you dare…Polly Toynbee is naturally on the side of those wanting to deport the scroungers to a rocky, barren island far far away….might have got that wrong.

 

First quote from the programme from a claimant….regarding the reform of the welfare system….

‘It’s scary, very scary’……

‘and it could get scarier‘ adds Julian Worricker.

 

Hmmm…need you really listen to the three hours?

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Mason Carving A Rocky Future For Us









 

All sponsors of

Up The Anti: Reclaim the Future

‘Up the Anti is a one day conference to think about and discuss  how we lay claim to the future that we want and deserve.’

 

BBC’s Paul Mason was expected apparently to give a talk:

Simon Hardy@Simon_Hardy1

@paulmasonnews are you still coming to speak on journalism in the 21st century this weekend, Paul?

 

@Simon_Hardy1 not clear

8:48 AM – 26 Nov 12 · Details

@paulmasonnews the Up the Anti conference at Queen Mary’s university, http://uptheanti.org.uk

 

 

Mason has his own take on the Banks and who caused the financial crash:

 

Paul Mason@paulmasonnews

Dear Mark Carney – here is a visual signifier of our regulatory culture here in the UK: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kampupot/3820563952/ … – welcome

 

It’s the posh boys fault then….nothing to do with this bloke…..

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/05/09/article-1179911-04DB8FF6000005DC-492_468x454.jpg

 

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BBC’s Mishal Husain Smirks As She Praises Hamas And Suggests Not Enough Israelis Have Died To Raise Concerns

http://tvnewsroom.co.uk/images/news-staff/mishal-husain/mishal-husain-Image-022.jpg

 

 

 “In war, truth is the first casualty.” Aeschylus

 

Via The Commentator:

 

BBC News Anchor Mishal Husain lambasts Jerusalem Post correspondent in pro-Hamas rant
by Media Hawk
“You could argue couldn’t you, that Hamas was also stopping worse happening all of this period, because although there was rockets being fired – they weren’t the.. the big rockets that have caused damage in recent days, they were mostly home-made contraptions.”
WAIT. WHAT?
By Mishal Husain’s logic, Hamas’s terrorist activity in firing rockets into Israel, they were ‘stopping worse happening’.
Watch this deplorable defence unfold as Husain interviews Gil Hoffmann, Chief Political Correspondent for the Jerusalem Post.
Husain argues, live on air, that the rockets being fired into Israel are irrelevant due to the fact that they have killed only ’20 people since 2005′. Even though the real figure is likely more than double that, Husain ignores the fact that these terrorist attacks are not specifically just designed to kill, but also to maim, destroy property, and generally bring insecurity and terror to the lives of the people of Israel.

 

 

Note than Husain is using the recent Economist casualty figures that Donnison used to mislead us in regard to casualty figures on either side….comparing Israeli casualties caused by rockets against Palestinian ones caused by Israeli military action….which misses out all those Israelis  killed by other means by Palestinians….over 1200 Israelis killed and 8000 injured in a decade….somewhat more than ’20’ that Husain peddles in order to mislead the viewer.

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HAVE I NOT GOT NEWS FOR YOU

Three days ago a Palestinian was shot in an exclusion zone near the security fence between Gaza and Israel.

The BBC made a lot of noise about that ‘breach of the ceasefire’ as they put it…and it is still, three days later, on the website.

Gaza crisis: Palestinian ‘shot dead near border’

A Palestinian man has been shot dead by Israeli soldiers close to the Gaza border, Palestinian officials say.
It is the first reported killing since the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel came into force on Wednesday evening.

 

What isn’t on the site is this story which tells you why the Israelis might not be so keen for Palestinians to be anywhere near the fence…and the BBC know the event happened..as Jon Donnison has Tweeted it, interesting use of ‘targeted’ though:
Jon Donnison ?@JonDonnison
MT @AvitalLeibovich Today, a Pal man infiltrated from #Gaza, broke into a house & stabbed a woman there. Targeted by #IDF soldiers at scene

Here is a report from Israel National News

Soldiers killed a suspected Gaza terrorist early Monday after he broke into a Jewish home and stabbed a girl before fleeing.
The IDF discovered a hole in the nearby Gaza security fence, and footprints from the area matched the shoes of the intruder, who had escaped to the Moshav Sde Avraham’s greenhouses after he tried to kill the girl.
Soldiers caught up with him and tried to arrest him, and then shot and killed him when he tried to escape.
The wounded girl is in fair condition. She was stabbed in her family’s home in Moshav Sde Avraham, originally named Yesodot HaDarom.

 

Never mind the Jews, the BBC though are still keen for you to know how the Gazans have suffered:

Aleem Maqbool reports:

Egyptian mediators have begun separate talks with Hamas and Israel to work out details of a ceasefire agreed last week that ended eight days of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

But it has come at a heavy price for other Gazans. People are still dying of the injuries sustained during the war.

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By Their Tweets Shall Ye Know Them

As many people here will be aware, I’ve been collecting a list of biased Beeboid tweets, compiled largely from DB’s fantastic work on catching them, as well as contributions from several others. It’s now over 100, from around 50 different BBC employees from many departments, across the spectrum of BBC broadcasting. What follows is my attempt to explain what I see as the problem with BBC Twitter policy, and why all these biased tweets add up to a serious problem which needs to be addressed. This is ultimately intended to be read with and accompanying display of 100 tweets revealing bias from BBC staff. I have the list ready, but I want to get feedback on this first before making the full publication.

Once the content of this essay is finalized, I’m going to either make it a separate page on this blog with all the embedded tweets on full display, or make it some kind of epub for distribution. For now, please read this with the idea in mind that there are loads of examples to follow.

******************

The use of Twitter as a news tool has for many become ubiquitous. Media pros use it for both newsgathering and for pushing a story. Journalists use Twitter to track trending memes as well as to reach out to people to set up interviews and gather information on a story. Tim Weber from BBC News Interactive put it this way:

Audience engagement and interaction are equally important. Broadcasters know all about talk radio, and social media let us extend this expertise into the digital space. However, the size of our audience and the cost of curating their contributions – bearing in mind the UK’s stringent libel laws – present tough choices.

But arguably the most important use of social media, from a journalist’s perspective, is newsgathering.

Yes, we subscribe to text, picture and video feeds from news agencies, but selecting the right mix of sources for my Twitter stream provides me with a customised and curated news feed that complements, but does not replace, traditional sources.

Monitoring social media lets us gauge public mood, find case studies, and spot trends and breaking stories.

At times it can seem like Twitter is the first place people go to follow breaking news stories. Indeed, some have remarked that during the recent US presidential debates, they spent more time watching Twitter commentary than they did the actual broadcast. One might begin to suspect that many opinions people formed might have been more informed by what they read on Twitter than what they saw and heard themselves. Because users choose whom to follow, circles of like-minded people form naturally, self-selecting as with any social group. It’s quite easy to get caught up in an echo chamber. This raises the question of what opinions are expressed there.

The Twitter output of BBC staff reveals a significant contingent of Left-wingers. On their own, the tweets aren’t necessarily proof of biased reporting. However, there are enough examples of personal opinions that one can make a case that there is, in Andrew Marr’s words, a “cultural liberal bias”.

The official policy on employee use of Twitter is the part of the problem. Staff are encouraged / required to use Twitter as a way not only to promote BBC news stories, but to connect with their audience. They preach this at the BBC College of Journalism.

The courses offer guidance on how to use social media as a newsgathering tool. Services like Facebook and Twitter provide quick and convenient avenues of communication with both subjects of and sources for news stories. One often sees a BBC producer reaching out to someone on Twitter to discuss a story or arrange an interview.

This by definition turns their Twitter feeds into an extension of BBC broadcasting. The directive to then communicate directly with their audience enhances this. Which is, of course, the point. The BBC has specific guidelines on all of this, which can be read here (NB: pdf file). It’s for staff use of social media in general, including things like Facebook, although our focus here is on how it applies to Twitter. These guidelines break staff and their accounts and usage into three basic categories:

1. Your own personal activity, done for your friends and contacts,
but not under or in the name of BBC News
2. Activity for core news (eg breaking news), programmes or genres
carried out officially in the name of BBC News
3. Activity of editors, presenters, correspondents or reporters
carried out as part of official BBC News output.

“Personal activity” accounts seem to make up the bulk of the Twitter accounts. The guidelines for these accounts include the following:

a. You are not discouraged from doing any of this, but as a BBC member of staff – and especially as someone who works in News – there are particular considerations to bear in mind. They can all be summarised as: ‘Don’t do anything stupid’.
b. Remember that even though you are acting in your own personal capacity, you are on show to your friends and anyone else who sees what you write, as a representative of the BBC. If you are editorial staff, it doesn’t make much difference whether or not you identify yourself as someone who works for the BBC.
c. You are allowed to say that you work for the BBC, and you can discuss the BBC and your work publicly. But your name/title should not contain BBC in any form. And you should make clear that the views expressed are personal, and not those of the BBC.
d. You shouldn’t state your political preferences or say anything that compromises your impartiality. Don’t sound off about things in an openly partisan way. Don’t be seduced by the informality of social media into bringing the BBC into disrepute. Don’t criticise your colleagues. Don’t reveal confidential BBC information. Don’t surreptitiously sanitise Wikipedia pages about the BBC.

It couldn’t be more clear, really. As we’ll see, staff seem to have problems casually ignoring the instructions in Section “b”, and often violate “d”. This is very important, as former BBC radio head of future media and technology, James Cridland has said, “‘There are some people out to ‘get you’ on the web, so it’s important not to give them too much ammunition.’

Guilty as charged, I suppose, but it is a target-rich environment. It’s also important to examine staff output in order to hold them accountable for their actions, as the BBC doesn’t unless prompted by a complaint.

North America editor Mark Mardell admitted during an appearance at the BBC College of Journalism (@36:45 in) that he and staff in general believe that the BBC considers Twitter to be a free-for-all, and “doesn’t follow BBC guidelines”. This is clearly not true, but is illustrative of the attitude held by staff. It’s pretty obvious that the “personal” Twittter accounts are barely monitored at all, allowing staff to freely express personal political opinions until one of those people “out to get” them successfully registers a complaint. Morale and compliance is probably harmed by this hands-off approach, as staff do what they like for ages until getting a reprimand for something they thought they were allowed to do. The complaint must then seem petty, or just noise from haters. Lessons are most likely not learned in this atmosphere.

In fact, so easily and freely do BBC staff feel able to express personal opinion that the BBC recently had to issue a directive to stop them tweeting their grumbles about the Newsnight scandals and management problems.

This brings us to consider just how official or unofficial these Twitter accounts are. Officially, most of them aren’t.

Some BBC Twitter accounts are officially sanctioned, as understood in the above rules. The staff member gets approval to use the BBC logo, and it becomes an official outlet, required to abide by all the usual rules of professional integrity and impartiality. However, the majority of staff accounts do not have the logo and are not officially sanctioned. These accounts will necessarily have some form of disclaimer, generally some variation on “Views my own”. This makes it officially unofficial, a kind of “get-out-of-bias-free” card. However, as Section “c” shows, they are allowed to use these personal accounts to promote BBC reporting, which complicates matters.

The problem is, interacting with the audience and getting personal is built into the official policy.

The tweets by themselves aren’t necessarily proof of bias in the BBC’s output. Certainly the majority are the usual assortment of mundane personal activity, notices of their latest piece for the BBC, comments on sport or pop culture, brief conversations on a topic of interest, and casual exchanges with both friend and stranger alike. They are, however evidence of a shared worldview, an overwhelming tilt to the Left – at times further Left than others – among staff. It’s also evidence that the behavior is spread throughout the organization.

There doesn’t need to be an editorial directive sent from the top for there to be a form of institutional bias in the Corporation. There’s  no need for a conspiracy or a memo passed around or a secret cabal planning the day’s editorial slant. If they all think the same way, share the relevant perspective, the biased reporting happens naturally. Their tweets are evidence of this shared mindset.

This reflexive behavior can be reinforced when nearly all one’s colleagues approve, or one is rewarded for it. People feel quite free to express their personal political opinions without concern.

While the occasional expression of partisan opinion can be overlooked, when there are a lot of them over time, it adds up.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, sometimes the plural of anecdote really is “data”‘.

Some BBC staff are worse than others with the regularity of personal opinion or the enthusiasm with which it’s expressed. Others are more circumspect, only rarely letting their opinion on an issue slip through. The problem, however, is that nearly all those opinions are on the Left of the political spectrum, some much further Left than others.

It would be one thing, of course, if it was just a handful of people, say, regional pop music radio personnel, lightly passing on their liberal thoughts on an issue of the day every once in a while. Only it’s much more than that: BBC staff from many departments, both in Britain and internationally are tweeting Left-wing opinion.

A reader of staff Twitter feeds often sees a preponderance of Left-leaning voices. A person’s Follow list can also be revealing. While nearly all the News & Current Affairs people will be following political figures and media outlets on both sides of the political spectrum – as they should, in order to do their jobs properly – there are also plenty of things which betray personal opinion.

Tweets about favorite bands or football clubs, or outbursts about an X factor result are all about sharing personal opinion. It’s not a stretch at all to read tweets about politics or public figures the same way.

When one tweets only Left-wing opinions, it’s equally as telling as  tweeting about rock concerts one has just seen. Patterns emerge. Just as musical taste can be gleaned from the latter, political opinion can be from the former.

With this in mind, the public figures outside of politics – that is to say, aside from politicians, party officials, and the like – the commentators, pundits, and special interest advocates on a Follow list and in a Twitter feed can be can be telling. For example, BBC staff are more likely to be following Left-wing pundits and writers than voices from the Right.

Similarly, they’re more likely to be following something from Occupy Wall St than from any Tea Party group, and are far more likely to retweet something from a Left-wing perspective in a complimentary fashion than one from the Right. A number of BBC staff openly mocked even the most minor of slip-up of Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, but not a single one of them has ever laughed at or even lightly mentioned any error made by Barack Obama, either as candidate or President.

The Twitter activity of BBC staff is very revealing of their personal political and ideological leanings. When viewed as a whole, over a period of time, it’s clear evidence of a shared mindset, a kind of groupthink. There’s certainly a lack of intellectual diversity. If it was just a few of them, or was a more or less isolated phenomenon among light-entertainment on-air talent, it wouldn’t be an issue. But clearly it’s a problem in many areas of the BBC, across the spectrum of broadcasting as well as on the website.

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