Open thread – for comments of general Biased BBC interest:

Please use this thread for BBC-related comments and analysis. Please keep comments on other threads to the topic at hand. N.B. this is not (and never has been) an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or use as a chat forum. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog. Please scroll down to find new topic-specific posts.

Biased BBC reader O’Neill comments:

BBC Radio 2 DJ Jeremy Vine has decided to mark the occasion of the British Army leaving Northern Ireland by playing the racist hate song “Go on home British soldiers”, which not only wallows in the slaughter of the last four decades, but also delivers up these delighful lines to all Unionists still left in Northern Ireland:

“Throughout our history We were born to be free

So get out British bastards leave us be”

Lovely stuff for a nice sunny Tuesday afternoon!

Lightweight, offensive and facile as ever Jeremy… such a shame you’ve got a meal-ticket for life on the BBC gravy train.

There’s more on O’Neills own blog, A Pint of Unionist Lite, in Operation Banner: Thanks for a job well done. While you’re there, scroll down to the next post, The BBC and Britishness, for another take on that dodgy BBC poll from the other day.

Dave T posted this comment from a Canadian commenter on ARRSE (The ARmy Rumour Service):

I was watching the BBC World Service this morning and was dismayed by their coverage marking the end of Op Banner which focused on the account of a Sinn Fein spokesman who essentially portrayed the British Army as cold blooded murderers. In the clip I saw there were no other representatives interviewed nor ordinary NI citizens asked for their opinions.

Keep ’em peeled for more BBC revisionist coverage of this milestone.

In the absence of time to finish off

a number of longer posts that are in the pipeline, you might very well enjoy the delicious Beeboid satire on offer at the Secret Blog of a TV Controller (aged 33 and 3/4) – it does for Shepherd’s Bush what The Thick of It (post the awful Chris Langham) does for Westminster – very funny, hits the mark and has an air of insider authority about it. For example:

The Trouble with Her Majesty

  1. No sense of humour


  2. Smells a bit


  3. Not in touch with Da Kids (unlike me)


  4. I can’t understand her when she speaks


  5. Wears too much green


  6. Does not like to polish off a bottle of Shiraz and do a couple of lines at Soho House on a friday night


  7. Way too posh to ‘connect’ with my viewers.

I’m not in the office today but watching with glee to see Fincham take it in the neck for his Queen cock-up. I was reliably informed via the GossipBerry that Fincham and Stephen Lambert were seen sitting outside Fifi’s office looking like two chastened schoolboys. Then later storming down the corridor (like Batman and Robin on the way to a crisis in Gotham) and very loudly verbally kicking three streaks of living piss out of the head of promos.

Lambert could be heard shouting things like “share price drop” and “not when I was at f***ing Modern Times we didn’t!” whilst Fincham just stood there scowling and clenching his fists.

Brilliant. Heads are going to f***ing roll on this one!

See, this is the danger with celebrity access docs these days. The subjects are so ‘twitchy’ about how we represent them. Rewind five years ago and you could f*** anyone over without a problem. Even the Queen.

Sounds just like the Beeboids we know and love. I wonder who’s going to commission it…

“This Amazing Gang”

The Today programme’s love affair with the counterculture continues. Sarah Montague interviews the widow of Neal Cassady (aka “Dean Moriarty”) on the 50th anniversary of Kerouac’s “On The Road“, the hippie handbook written in the Beat Age.

It must have been quite a life to be part of this amazing gang” she gushed.

Carolyn Cassady seemed less starry-eyed.

Well, it was hard for Neal to see Jack drinking himself to death, because his own (Cassady’s) father was a wino, and it was hard for Jack to see Neal killing himself with drugs.

Even Neal Cassady was more in touch with reality.

“Twenty years of fast living–there’s just not much left, and my kids are all screwed up. Don’t do what I have done.”

I’m not sure if the impeccably middle class Ms Montague would have found the gang quite so amazing at close quarters.

Next week on the Today programme : “Why are levels of drug abuse and sexually transmitted infections rising ?

On Saturday BBC Views Online published When suffering gets personal

, an article by John Simpson, as part of their ‘From our own correspondent’ series, reflecting on his feelings about the incidents he reports on in light of the recent birth of his son, Rafe. Simpson writes:

And to see the miracle of other people’s lives snuffed out wantonly on the streets of Baghdad or Kabul, or London for that matter, for some scarcely understood political or religious motive, seems to me nothing short of blasphemy.

I do not just loathe the stench of high explosive, I have come to loathe the attitudes of people who use high explosive for their own purposes: insurgents, terrorists, the intelligence services of a dozen countries, governments which target towns and cities and always have a ready apology when they kill the wrong people.

A laudable observation of what most decent and humane people just know innately, without requiring a revelatory experience – although I suppose we must remember that people at the BBC these days do seem to have issues when it comes to telling right from wrong. Curiously though, Simpson lumps together all users of high explosives as if they are equally loathesome, without stopping to note that there is a big difference between terrorists and insurgents, who tend to seek to maximise civilian casualties to further their cause, and responsible governments who go to great lengths to minimise civilian casualties to further their cause – even if on some occasions some of their representatives could try harder and be less glib when apologies are sadly necessary.

I hope I never did think that attacks on civilians – any civilians – were justified but now I know for certain they are not.

Again, this isn’t a sentiment that most people would have any doubt about, ever. Perhaps Simpson’s lack of certainty reflects the offensive BBC-think that insists that ‘terrorists’ are ‘militants’, because terrorist as a word has negative connotations, without of course stopping to remember that the reason why the word terrorist has negative connotations is precisely because of what terrorists do!

The fact is, my time reporting on violence and bombings in places like Baghdad and Kabul has shown me one essential thing: that the lives of the poor, the stupid, the old, the ugly, are no less precious to them and to the people around them, than the life of my little son Rafe is precious to me.

Another statement so obvious that it is remarkable solely because Mr. Simpson thinks it needs to be said. Still, we can but hope that Simpson’s revelations might better inform the BBC when it comes to distinguishing between right and wrong,
between terrorist and militant, when reporting and recording events around the world.

Open thread – for comments of general Biased BBC interest:

Please use this thread for BBC-related comments and analysis. Please keep comments on other threads to the topic at hand. N.B. this is not (and never has been) an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or use as a chat forum. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog. Please scroll down to find new topic-specific posts.

Biased BBC reader Kate Smurthwaite

has written BBC Warning Service – Round-up for Pregnant Women on her blog, drawing attention to a laundry-list of BBC warnings (also known as scare stories) for pregnant women – the usual stuff: watch out for this, do this, don’t do that, etc. etc. Pregnant women aren’t the only people who need to beware of the incessant scaremongering and social engineering promulgated by the many idle hands at BBC Views Online – we all need to beware – stress is bad for you after all!

BBC2 this evening showed the first of a seven part series, British Film Forever

, with tonight’s episode, Guns, Gangsters, and Getaways: The Story of the British Crime Thriller, described in Radio Times as follows:

There are some tremendous thrillers here – Brighton Rock, Mona Lisa, Get Carter – but I hope you’ve seen them all, because if you haven’t, there’s little point in hiring the DVDs. Crucial plot details and endings are all given away. Even actual closing scenes (Get Carter) are fully aired, which will probably come as a disappointment to anyone whose taste for some British cinema classics is tweaked by otherwise great clips. Spoiled surprises aside, this is a handy compilation (part of BBC2’s Summer of British Film season), with some good contributors, not the usual bunch of who-on-earth-is-that? talking heads. (emphasis added)

Well, that’s not quite true. There were some interesting ‘talking heads’, but a lot of the usual vacuous ‘writer and broadcaster’ (i.e. haven’t got a real job) types so beloved of the BBC too. One of them was one Richard Bacon, well known for being fired from children’s programme Blue Peter for cocaine abuse.

Speaking about the well known London gangster film, The Long Good Friday, Bacon opined that the film was, among other things, a reflection of Thatcherism. Whilst a hired z-list BBC lackey might well malign Thatcher and Thatcherism in this way, it would be a lot more credible if the lackey in question at least had his facts right (even if his opinions based on the facts are hogwash).

Margaret Thatcher was elected in May 1979. The Long Good Friday was released in November 1980. Anyone who knows how long it takes to make and produce a film can see that The Long Good Friday can therefore not be a reflection of Thatcherism. Moreover, Richard Bacon was born in November 1975, so he was three years old when Thatcher came to power, four years old when the film was released and fifteen years old when Thatcher was deposed.

Clearly he doesn’t and can’t know what he’s talking about, yet the BBC sees fit to spend our tellytax paying this z-list celeb to peddle their usual revisionist tripe at us. I’ve often wondered how these talking heads style programmes are put together – do they watch the films in question and then come up with their own impressions (as is implied), or are their ‘impressions’ scripted in advance, with the talking heads merely delivering lines? I’ve always suspected the latter. Now I’m sure. Yet more fakery. The BBC, it’s what we do!

P.S. Have you noticed recently that, not content with stuffing the gaps between programmes with multiple lengthy trails to promote selected BBC programmes (i.e. advertising for the BBC, paid for by viewers, designed to benefit the BBC), they are now frequently talking across programme end-credits and displaying yet more BBC adverts while the credits roll minimised to one corner or side? I woudn’t mind the BBC doing so much advertising if it was paid advertising rather than just more expensive BBC propaganda – paid advertising would be much better value for tellytaxpayers and would be a lot less tedious and repetitive than the BBC’s own propaganda.

Crisis-prone BBC needs management clear-out writes Jeff Randall

, former BBC Business Editor in today’s Daily Telegraph. Here are some highlights, first, Randall on the culture of the BBC:

In a commercial organisation, these undesirables would be driven out by market forces. The yardstick of success and failure provided by profit and loss is a visible reminder of whether you are winning or losing. When results are poor, or mistakes are made, heads roll. A line is drawn and the business moves on.

This rarely happens at the BBC. Instead of the boil being lanced, the poison stays in the system. And so a drama is turned into a crisis, made worse by an unusual capacity for self-flagellation.

A reporter, feeling sorry for himself, once told me, “the trouble with the BBC is that it’s run by fear”. As you have no doubt guessed, he had never worked anywhere else.

The BBC’s real problem is a lack of fear. It’s almost impossible to sack anyone. Indeed, any manager brave enough to give an errant colleague a rollicking runs the risk of being reprimanded for “bullying”.

Next, Randall on the tellytax and value for our dragooned money:

Every January, come rain or shine, a large truck with £3 billion of licence-fee money turns up at Television Centre. Too much of it is spent on administration, too little on output. A senior BBC executive, someone with real affection for the place, admitted to me: “Yes, the management’s too soft. It’s just how we are.”

And finally, Randall on the lack of rolling heads following recent scandalous BBC revelations, in contrast with commercial broadcasters:

Meanwhile, at the BBC, where flagrant breaches of editorial standards occurred at six of its best-known shows, including Comic Relief and Children in Need, who has gone? Nobody.

So far, a handful of executives have been suspended on full pay, pending an internal investigation – a bit of summer gardening leave. Nice work if you can get it.

Randall also mentions the death of Sky News reporter James Furlong, 44, who was driven to suicide after it was revealed that a report of his from on board a Royal Navy submarine firing missiles during the Iraq invasion was actually a test firing demonstration, presented as the real thing. And who was it that revealed and revelled in the embarrassment of Sky News and James Furlong? Why yes, it was good old feather-bedded unaccountable BBC News.

Do read the rest.

Thank you to commenter It’s all too much for the link.

Stupid, and rather evil…

This BBC article: “Obesity ‘contagious’, experts say”

Imagine what the kids in the playground might make of it, if they knew (and some certainly would) the meaning of the word “contagious”? Looking at this definition, only meanings one, two and three could be relevant in a medical context. The BBC’s report about fatties and whether they have the lurgy is totally irresponsible.

Bonus points for anyone who can find the word contagious in the scientific article to which the BBC refer.

Following up on the grotesque Simon Fanshawe/BBC

conflict of interest from yesterday, Biased BBC reader ‘Al the Hat’ coments:

A few weeks ago, Radio 5 Live had an extensive discussion on who should replace Michael Vaughan as captain of the England one day cricket team.

Guest and former England cricketer Alec Stewart made a long and considered argument in favour of Paul Collingwood, without feeling the need to tell us that he is, in fact, Collingwood’s agent.

If this is so, I wonder if this is something the BBC was aware of at the time of the interview? If so, someone at the BBC needs to be re-educated, again, about the apparently confusing difference between right and wrong. If not, then the contributor in question should be blacklisted from appearing anywhere on the BBC for a lengthy period to discourage such abuses.

There seems to be a good deal of plugging of one product or another across the BBC, most noticeably on programmes like Breakfast, ever desperate to fill up those vacuous hours, with plugs for books, plays, shows, gadgets (Apple products especially!), etc. I doubt that many of these are sought out by programme researchers.

I wonder just how often this sort of product placement happens for friends of BBC staff or with the help of former BBC staff turned PR flaks – probably a lot more often than we’d like to think would happen with an honest and impartial broadcaster. But then we are talking about the media luvvies who ‘own’ the BBC.

Don’t forget the slogan from a year or two back: It’s not your BBC, it’s their BBC! At least I think that’s how it went.

On Saturday Anonanon commented

On Saturday Anonanon commented:

On this morning’s Breakfast “writer and broadcaster” Simon Fanshawe used his post-7am newspaper review to make overtly pro-Labour, anti-SNP and anti-Tory comments. When Iain Dale does the papers for the BBC his Tory party affiliation is mentioned without fail, but Fanshawe’s Labour activism is ignored. In fact, when it comes to declaring his interests Fanshawe seems to have been granted immunity by his long-time employer [the BBC]. Recently he presented an episode of the BBC’s Building Britain in which he praised a controversial new skyscraper development in Brighton; the fact that his PR firm represents the developers was not brought to the attention of viewers.

…which reminded me of this report in Private Eye, 06JUL2007:

Simon Fanshawe, who presented the opening programme of BBC1’s new Building Britainseries two weeks ago, was lavish in his praise for three new skyscrapers that will be erected in Brighton.

One of them was the controversial 40-storey tower that will be the centrepiece of the new marina development. His gushing praise was only matched by his derision for fuddy-duddy conservationists who wnat to preserve the views from all those outdated Regency terraces.

The programme was a public relations coup for Brunswick Developments, the company behind the new marina development. And Brunswick’s PR firm, Midnight Communications will be equally pleased. As indeed will the man who chairs Midnight Communications… Simon Fanshawe!

Why neither he nor the BBC saw fit to mention this vested interest is something the corporation’s trustees might wish to pursue.

If this allegation is true then both Fanshawe and the BBC owe the residents of Brighton and every other tellytaxpayer an explanation for such a monstrous abuse of our supposedly ‘impartial’ tellytaxpayer funded state broadcaster.

And yet it seems from Anonanon’s comment that self-publicist Fanshawe remains welcome across the BBC’s threshold as a paid talking-head. How can this be? Have these people never heard of ethics or morality, let alone impartiality and honesty?

Biased BBC commenter Tom Atkins commented

this afternoon about a BBC News Twenty-Bore reporter asking:

“What have you got to say about reports that people are selling bottled water AT A PROFIT from the side of the road?”

Which is of course shocking – shocking that the Beeboids should make such an assumption – how are they to know what the costs are of providing bottled-water at the side of the road? Perhaps those selling bottled water at the side of the road are merely covering their own costs without making a profit.

And even if they were, are they any worse than Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda etc. who have the cheek to charge for bottled water too? Or does the BBC expect people who manufacture and distribute bottled water (even at handy road-side locations!) to do so free of charge?

If so, as Tom points out, why are all those Beeboids being paid (and in many cases being paid handsome overtime) to cover the flood story? Is that not profit on their part? Or are they providing their services for free?

It’s time that the BBC realised just how much damage they have done to the UK over very many years, decades even, with their natural, knee-jerk presumption and presentation of words such as ‘profit’, ‘private’ and ‘privatisation’ as if they were swear words.

P.S. What’s the difference between a flooding catastrophe and a flooding nightmare? They’re the same, but in the nightmare you have crabbit-faced Caroline Hawley & co. sticking their noses into your misery, and pocketing a decent wedge of tellytax cash for doing so!

What more could they get wrong?

(this post in large part thanks to commenter “cheesed off”)

In a short article about a woman called Zoobia Hussein, the BBC get just about everything wrong that could be got wrong. What were they trying to do with this report?

For a start, Zoobia Hussein is described appearing in court in her niqab (or “full veil” as the BBC report it). In fact she finally submitted to showing her face to the judge she was facing, behind a screen to protect her from the rest of the court. The judge in this case was a woman. Point one of misrepresentation.

Point two, Zoobia Hussein and her five children were not “thrown out” of their accommodation, but subject to eviction according to due process. At least one of the local tabloids managed to represent this clearly, unlike the BBC.

Third, in her latest appearance in court Ms Hussein was found guilty as charged of causing £1,500 worth of criminal damage. The BBC say only that “Ms Hussain denies the charge and her case was adjourned until 24 July.”. In fact she will return to court for sentencing.

Fourth… well, enough- how much more can they get wrong? It’s difficult not to suspect that this misreporting was intended to foment wrong impressions and bias in the minds of readers. The focus of the BBC report is the “aggrieved” woman; the person under scrutiny the man who took charge of her original trial. It is not news but selective interpretative trendsetting.

Update: the BBC have corrected their erroneous report on the point of the conviction. Maybe John Reith alerted them.

Nb- John Reith. I do not accept your argument. The PA is a organisation not without its own bias and political persuasion- see here, for example, an analysis. Its report was rambling and in no way adequate to sustain an effective news update on the Z. Hussein case. The BBC reporter found it quite adequate, however, with its ignorance of the actual case in question and its focus on the man who originally handled the trial where the refusal to show her face became a cause of controversy. Still, the distillation would have taken some time. The BBC’s simplification enhanced rather than decreased the bias in the AP report. The local journalists did far better, and were a couple of clicks away at most- really, probably staring at the operative in question from a newsfeed. I never suggested that the BBC sat in some darkened room shaping a biased article, merely that the misreporting was not without reason. I stand by that.

I would add that I know that BBC journalists are not idiots who go out on a limb to lie to the public. Most of the time, anyway.

Open thread – for comments of general Biased BBC interest:

Please use this thread for BBC-related comments and analysis. Please keep comments on other threads to the topic at hand. N.B. this is not (and never has been) an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or use as a chat forum. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog. Please scroll down to find new topic-specific posts.