General BBC-related comment thread:

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. this is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may be moderated.

Biased BBC reader Martin points out

the latest in a string of Newsnight gaffes:


Britons indeed! The BBC has been straining all day to imply that these non-Britons (with a penchant for ‘action holidays’, ‘study’ and ‘training’ in far-off lands) are British, but it’s taken Newsnight to put it down in black and white.

On the same subject, David Preiser suggests a spot of comparing and contrasting between The Times profile of these non-Britons and the BBC’s profile of them – the differences being as obvious we’ve come to expect.

BBC Views Online, On This Day, December 16th, 1969: MPs vote to abolish hanging

BBC Views Online, On This Day, December 16th, 1969: MPs vote to abolish hanging: Much is made of the reasons why hanging was abolished, including then Home Secretary James Callaghan’s argument in favour of abolition that “figures show that the murder rate is not soaring as a result of the abolition of capital punishment but remains remarkably stable”. Sadly, the In Context panel, whilst finding room to explore varous subsequent issues, omits to explore the increase in murderous violence in the years since abolition.

Like so many other issues where the BBC is out of step with the will of the British people, capital punishment is almost completely off the radar as far as the BBC is concerned, even though survey after survey has established that the public are in favour of the principle of capital punishment by a large majority – the only catch being the state’s well demonstrated propensity to hang the wrong person from time to time – though that is surely an argument for life in prison to mean life (rather than 12-14 years of sheltered accommodation with all mod cons, as it were), another issue off the agenda at the BBC.

While we’re on the subject, the picture caption looks like yet another case of BBC sloppiness – it reads:

Angry exchanges outside the Commons as abolitionist Lord Soper tackles a retentionist clergyman

– but the clergyman on the left in the picture looks remarkably like Lord Soper, the well known Methodist minister, socialist and pacifist, whereas the young chap with the Deer Stalker hat on the right doesn’t appear to be a man of the cloth at all. Correct me if I’m wrong, but could it be that the BBC have assumed that the chap with the Deer Stalker is a lord (by dint of his garb) arguing with an unknown clergyman (by dint of his garb), rather than the truth, that the clergyman is Lord Soper? Doh!

Still on the subject of On This Day, on the same day, Queen opens ‘tube’ link to Heathrow, from 1977, is happily illustrated with a picture of a modern Tube train – what appears to this non-trainspotter, to be a Central or Northern Line train from the last ten years or so, rather than a Piccadilly Line train from 30 years ago. I suppose it would have been too much effort to use a screen grab from the corresponding footage of Her Majesty in 1977.

Spaniards tip too much – minister

In Spaniards tip too much – minister, we learn that:

Spain’s inflation is higher than other eurozone states – at 4.1% last month.

4.1% in a month is certainly well on the high side. Perhaps the BBC meant that last month it was reported to be 4.1% per annum. Doh!

In typical BBC bash-the-Tories style

In typical BBC bash-the-Tories style, David Cameron’s suggestion that:

“…political parties, even though they may have serious disagreements over many aspects of policy, should work together in areas where they agree. I hope that in 2008 the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party will join us in putting pressure on the government to decentralise power, and that together we can create a new progressive alliance to decentralise British politics”

…was reported on the front page of BBC Views Online as Kennedy rejects Tory pact offer, which is all very well, except that Kennedy is very much not the leader of the LibDems, so surely is of secondary import to what Cameron said and to what the (then) prospective leaders of the LibDems might think.

Yet more slapdash BBC misinformation, BBC Editorial Complaints Unit debags the Panorama WiFi scare

, is undone, but with much less prominence, long after the damage has been done. Perhaps Panorama could do an investigation into how such unfounded nonsense got on the air in the first place. BBC Views Online do their usual anodyne write up of BBC related matters, Panorama wi-fi complaints upheld, complete with the usual blatantly obvious typos (blatantly obvious, that is, to anyone who bothers to re-read what they’ve written).

Apologies for my absence – life goes on away from blogging

– as does the bias and sloppiness that permeates our tax-funded state broadcaster. The posts above, and the round-up of tidbits below, are just a few of the things that I’ve seen and meant to blog about recently:

  • El Reg asks Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster? – the BBC is, as you might expect, betting big and betting wrong…


  • Just what we don’t need: After the blessed relief of the disappearance of Neighbours from the BBC, BBC commissions new Aussie soap. I suspect Australia’s indigneous broadcasters won’t be too keen on the tax-funded BBC muscling in on their patch to produce their own anti-competitive Australian TV soap either.


  • Nought out of ten for the News at Ten according to the Spectator, when it “devoted only 10 seconds — and a mere voiceover at that — to the latest development in the shambles that is Peter Hain’s funding arrangements (aka Labour’s dodgy donations — the sideshow). I’m inclined to believe this was cock up rather than the usual BBC leftie bias, though it would be interesting to know on what basis they downgraded the story to near oblivion”.


  • And lastly, blink and you’ll miss it: Tommy Sheridan’s famous libel victory against the News of the World was trumpeted throughout the UK by the BBC in August 2006. News that Sheridan charged in perjury probe (rapidly replaced with Sheridan vows to prove innocence) has been reported with much less prominence, not even making the TV news in England, at least as far as I noticed. Probably because he’s not ‘a Tory’, eh, Beeboids…


Modus operandi

Occasionally one gets a glimpse into the mindset of the BBC- Charles Moore (as doubtless some will have noticed) has given an excellent insight into the BBC’s workings relating to a centre-right think tank with which he is involved. You might think that a patriotic approach identifying threats to society might be at least accorded neutral treatment. In a sane media it would be welcomed. The BBC though chose merely to try and undermine the research into Islamic extremism, cavilling at methods.

It’s fascinating to see the way the wheels turn, and against whom.

This from the institution who went the extra mile, going undercover to try and incriminate a leader of a british national party.

General BBC-related comment thread:

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. this is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may be moderated.

A mini-classic

Israellycool doesn’t so much rip apart a recent BBC report on Israel’s actions over the Gazan border with Egypt as drive a truckload of explosive and unreported facts into it.

Complete with folksy BBC title “Pilgrims’ progress upsets Israel”, the report is a masterclass in omission, as Israellycool demonstrates ably, and with links for support.

I’ll paste the points he makes (edit: or rather, his co-blogger Elder of Ziyon makes) for your information here:

* Israel is not only “concerned” that terrorists are crossing the border; they identified up to two dozen of them.

* While Egypt might not have allowed Gazans to leave before today, they did allow some 85 terrorists to re-enter Gaza in late September and 30 more in October. This is pretty relevant to the story rather than just saying that Israel is “concerned.”

* By Egypt allowing Rafah to be opened, they are breaking existing agreements with Israel.

* Israel and the PA had created a mechanism for pilgrims to go to Hajj through Israel; the BBC implies that the Hajj pilgrims had no choice but to go through Rafah for their religious duties.

* Egypt’s opening of Rafah legitimizes Hamas as the leader of Gaza Palestinians; they ignored the wishes of Abbas and the PA, let alone Israel.

* Rafah is only supposed to be opened by the PA in the presence of EU observers who have all but abdicated their responsibilities – and the EU Rafah observers include some from Britain.

That the BBC is the only network credibly to offer the illusion of comprehensive coverage is among its most dangerous qualities. That it fails to cover comprehensively owing to its hubris and politicisation is painfully obvious.