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.

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166 Responses to General BBC-related comment thread:

  1. Edward Morgan says:

    Private Military Contractors (aka mercenaries) are clearly not what the BBC likes.

    However, in the report (link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7128698.stm they go further by making unsubstantiated personal attacks.

    The item refers to those with “chequered pasts” and gives Tim Spicer as an example. However, the only information the report provides is that he supplied weapons and services to a sovereign government being attacked by a rebel group.

    So it slanders someone but provides no evidence of their alleged wrong doing. This is hardly an example of good journalism.

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  2. George R says:

    Good BBC reporting of an E.U. scandal, (which includes ‘Friends of the Earth Europe’ and W.W.F.):-

    ” The European Commission is giving millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to environmental campaigners to run lobbying operations in Brussels.”

    ( Simon Cox).

    “EU ‘wasting’ cash on lobby groups.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7127182.stm

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  3. witzend says:

    MPs call on BBC to open accounts

    “The recent Blue Peter phone-in scandal was cited in the report
    The BBC should fully open its accounts to the National Audit Office (NAO) to prove it is getting value for money from the licence fee, MPs have said.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7129611.stm

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  4. moonbat nibbler says:

    GeorgeR:
    “Good BBC reporting of an E.U. scandal”

    EUReferendum disagrees:
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2007/12/european-commission-is-giving-millions.html

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  5. BM says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7129955.stm

    “President Vladimir Putin’s macho image makes him popular among many Russian men, but how is the country’s most famous judo player rated by women, who are after all the majority of the population?”

    Nice little social piece about how Putin is viewed by (two) Russian women. But then, the question at the bottom asks “Does judo teach key leadership skills?”.

    At a time where Putin has been holding unfair elections and has shown himself to be power-hungry the BBC thinks the question we should be answering is “Does judo teach key leadership skills?”. Excuse me while I laugh.

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  6. George R says:

    moonbat nibbler

    1.) Yes, the excellent eureferendum site is way ahead of the game;

    2.) the BBC report: better late than never;

    3.) of course, the BBC report doesn’t connect with the profound criticism of the EU here:

    ‘The White Paper on European Governance’

    Click to access Democracy%20in%20crisis%20def.pdf

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  7. Tim says:

    Hi, Edward Morgan

    I guess I am what the BBC would call a “Mercenary”

    I have worked in Iraq for Tim Spicer’s company, Aegis and for the UN there, as an election monitor, also with other companies in that part of the world.

    Spicer’s company are doing a hell of a lot of good work with the US Dept of Defence in Iraq, on the reconstruction effort – but hey, I guess all that good work doesn’t fit with the Beebs latest hate gruop – Private Security Contractors.

    The job is very challeging and dangerous, but the attitude of the vast majority over there is totally proffesional.

    Also, most firms in Iraq, employ a high amount of Iraqis, in their security teams. My Aegis team were 50% Iraqi and last winter our 13 man team was; 2 Brits, 6 Sunnis, 4 Shias and 1 Iraqi christian.

    I often blogged from Baghdad, how my daily experiences living and working in the red zone, differed widely from the BBC’s ober negative line.

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  8. George R says:

    Littlejohn is not convinced that the BBC is even-handed in its treatment of different religions:

    “Thompson says all religions must be respected but none should have the right of veto.

    “So perhaps he can explain why, when it comes to the BBC, some faiths are more equal than others.”

    ‘Lyrical terrorist is no Joan of Arc’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/columnists/columnists.html?in_article_id=500183&in_page_id=1772&in_author_id=322&in_check=N

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  9. Tony says:

    I am surprised the mainstream media has not picked holes in the BBC’s reporting of the fall in Britain education ranking.

    A story of inaccurate BBC reporting.

    The question is, did the BBC simply fail to do its homework or was it being partial?

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  10. The Fat Contractor says:

    The next time Marcus ‘Frankenstien’ Brigstock appears on the TV spouting his lefty bile just remember one thing – his kids go to private schools. Nice to know that, like the rest of the BBC, the views are only skin deep.

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  11. J says:

    Hi Tim, thank you for all your hardwork in Iraq on our behalf, J.

       0 likes

  12. J says:

    That looked like an unhappy smile,it wasn’t! (:

       0 likes

  13. pounce says:

    The BBC, its love affair with Chavez and half a story.

    Chavez belittles opposition win

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has lashed out at his opponents and vowed to pursue plans for constitutional reform despite his referendum defeat. Speaking on state television, Mr Chavez used offensive language to heap scorn on the opposition’s surprise victory
    ……………………
    If the reforms had been passed, he would have been able to seek re-election indefinitely.
    The 69 proposed reforms also included:
    Central’s autonomy to be ended
    President to appoint local leaders under a redrawn political map
    Community councils to be established further, allowing residents to decide how to spend government money
    Social fund for informal workers to be set up
    Working day to be cut to six hours

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7130347.stm

    So the BBC gives the impression that the people voted against the above reforms. Which is strange as the vast majority of objectors actually stipulated one reason as the main cause for protesting against Chavez. One I should add the BBC doesn’t list.
    President for life anyone?

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  14. gfen says:

    Tim – nice to hear from you again. Your comments from the sharp end were much appreciated.

       0 likes

  15. Pete says:

    BBC news is leading on the case of a Hartlepool man suspected of some kind of insurance fraud.

    Inform, educate and entertain. Did the original John Reith mean BBC news to entertain us with petty stories like this one? Why do I need to be forced to pay for such a laughably down-market service?

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  16. Arthur Dent says:

    The estimable Phillip Stott on media (including the BBC) bias and science in a post-modern era.

    http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/iWeb/Global%20Warming%20Politics/A%20Hot%20Topic%20Blog/D6E30ABA-2A36-44CB-B8C2-EBCC6B722B39.html

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  17. Martin says:

    More crap from the BBC.

    Note when talking about Ireland the BBC happily uses the term “Immigrants”

    But in the UK this term is banned by the BBC (politically insensitive you know) when talking about immigration into the UK and we get the meaningless term “Migrants”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7130698.stm

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  18. James says:

    Local News: Humberside

    Peter Levy in his “Levy Letter” sent daily from [email protected]

    He writes:
    [quote]

    Speaking of emails, I received a couple about bits I had in the letter yesterday, Mike from Willerby commented on the story about the Greek monks avoiding cancer with an austere lifestyle, he said,

    “It doesn’t say at what age they die. Probably a young age, because they must die of boredom.”

    Well I think I have to agree with you on that one.

    [/quote]

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  19. noobie says:

    I am an asian immigrant here in the Netherlands. BBC News, BBC1, and BBC2 is an automatic subscription here, meaning anyone that has TV has BBC on whether we like it or not. Nevertheless, I find BBC news output often better than what Dutch tv produces in spite of the bias.

    Honestly I find the BBC’s patronising of the asian immigrant community offensive at best.

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  20. noobie says:

    I find BBC news output often better than what Dutch tv produces in spite of the bias.

    As an afterthought, if BBC News is the best we can have nowadays, broadcasting must be in a dismal state.

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  21. Lurker in a Burqua says:

    New Labour really is imploding………Good!

    “I don’t see any reason to send a kind of pseudo-minister and I think that it’s not right to send her because she’s black,” she told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One. “I don’t see any other reason for sending her.”

    http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/story/0,,2224003,00.html

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  22. Martin says:

    More crap from the BBC about “Climate Change”

    BBC 1PM news. Did you know that the storm today was caused by Climate Change? Well that was what the BBC were suggesting.

    So what about all those storms in centuries gone then?

    It was a total none story.

    The BBC for example claimed that the recent Tornados in Kent and London were because of Climate change. NO NO NO. We’ve always had Tornados. The REALITY is as we build more and more on our land, Tornados now cause more destruction. Can’t the thick plebs at the BBC work that one out?

    With a doubling of the population of the planet in the last 50 years any natural disaster will have a greater impact, not to mention the greater media obsession with disasters.

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  23. Terrible Tory Girl says:

    I thought I’d just point out that the Beeb are to air a Christmas Nativity with Joseph as an illegal immigrant threatened with deportation.

    Funny. I don’t recall remembering that in the bible.

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  24. Ryan says:

    The other day I caught the end of Watchdog, which reported on cleanliness in fast-food restaurants. Before they even started I knew they were going to stick the knife into MacDonalds. Not because I happen to believe that MacDonalds is particularly filthy but just because that is what Watchdog DOES. It was just so depressingly familiar. For a moment I thought to myself “Maybe, just maybe, they will surprise me by sticking it to Pret a Manger, which always had a reputation for grubbiness”. But no, the Beeb likes Pret. Of course they do. It doesn’t sell burgers and it has a French sounding name. No, they stitched up MacDonalds as usual. How did they do that? By stealing a cloth from an unnamed restaurant and having it analysed. Probably the whole process was about as honest as a Blue Peter phone-in. Surprise! The cloth that had been left lying around was covered in E.Coli (well, if it hadn’t been, then Watchdog would surely have made sure they weren’t wasting their time by dropping it in the lav – but perhaps that is what they did anyway).

    Now I wonder just how much control MacDonalds has over cleanliness in its franchises. I wonder also why the Beeb never gave the name of this filthy place that surely most BBC viewers would be well advised to avoid. Well, we were never told such things.

    MacDonalds pointed out that people are served their burgers in paper wrappers – thus implying that eating your burger from a dirty cloth found in one of their toilets might be ill-advised. Quite a sardonic come-back if you were aware of what was likely to be happening here.

    MacDonalds – you are American, you are capitalist, you are culturally imperialist. Naturally Watchdog and the BBC hate you.

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  25. Arthur Dent says:

    I thought I’d just point out that the Beeb are to air a Christmas Nativity with Joseph as an illegal immigrant threatened with deportation

    I’d like to point out that as a Christian I am deeply offended at having my belief system mocked by the trendy liberal minded blasphemous trollops that would do this.

    I also realise that this will have absolutely no impact on the BBC unless I follow it up with the threat of possibly coming down to BBC HQ and threatening to cut off a few heads.

    It goes without saying doesn’t it that a similar attempt at ridiculing Islam would never, ever under any circumstances even be considered by the BBC.

    So Mr Reith, Ben, Mr Gregory tell me why this isn’t bias.

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  26. Terrible Tory Girl says:

    RE Arthur

    As a Christian of some sort myself, I was horrified to hear that they were sexing up one of most important dates on the Christian character to try to appease other faiths and the faithless.

    It’s derogatory, disrespectful and paints Joseph in a poor light.

    Mary is not much better either.

    While us British Christians usually take the odd joke at our expense in good faith, this is going just a stroke too far.

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  27. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    Ryan
    I interviewed someone from MacDonalds recently. I asked him about plans by the company to pay it’s British pork and beef suppliers a bit more to help them out because of the hike in grain prices.
    Blimey, good news from MacDonalds on BBC shocker.

    Arthur: I believe the Liverpool Nativity is following on from the really rather good (did you see it?) Manchester Passion. If it’s as good as that you will be pleasantly surprised. I’m also looking forward to the Easter story done by the people who made Bleak House.

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  28. The Fat Contractor says:

    Terrible Tory Girl | Homepage | 07.12.07 – 6:15 pm |
    All depressingly familiar really isn’t it. Not only do they have to PC-up the story they can’t even tell it correctly. Jospeh & Mary were, IIRC, emigres returning home for a census.

    So the story should be about an ex-pat not a new non-pat IYSWIM.

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  29. Grimly Squeamish says:

    With Christmas so close, it’s good to hear the BBC in a celebratory mood.

    On thursday’s Jeremy Vine show they were discussing – or rather talking up – the forthcoming economic “slump” and asking listeners to phone in with suggestions for “the first businesses likely to go under in a recession”

    The sheer glee expressed by the possiblity of people losing their livelyhoods seemed difficult for the show to contain.

    But then, in Beeb speak, capitalism = bad and all those hard working businessmen and women deserve to lose the lot.

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  30. dave t says:

    I frequented that well known Scottish restaurant with the kids when they were young – at least in McDonalds you knew that what you were getting was the same as what you got in Hong Kong or London or Inverness! If only the gorgeous banana milk shakes weren’t 600 calories a pop I’d still be going there!

    Good point about the BBC and their snobby attitudes….of course THEY wouldn’t be seen dead in a McDonalds….well if we have our way they’ll all be working there in future and then your chickens WILL come home to roost dear Beeboids! 😎

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  31. random says:

    Ryan

    Don’t McDonalds own Pret a Manger?

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  32. Steve Edwards says:

    If the BBC really are going to do Mary and Joseph as modern immigrants, they really don’t understand the difference between refugees fleeing across borders and benefit tourism.

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  33. John Reith spins in his grave says:

    I just saw a breathtaking item on the 10 o’clock news.

    The backdrop graphic was a cartoon of Gordon Brown and David Cameron standing in sacks of money.

    The headline (from memory) “It’s been a week when both political parties have been up to their necks in acccusations of sleaze”.

    No it hasn’t!

    It’s been a week when several senior members of one one political party have been investigated by police following their leader’s admission of criminal behaviour.

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  34. Jack Hughes says:

    the international community – part 836
    This time the international community – yes all 6 billion of us – are critical of Japan.

    Tough justice
    Japan’s treatment of death row prisoners
    concerns rights groups

    Guess what… no, it can’t be true… oh my god – they’re not going to … kkkkkkill them ?

    Lets see um there are 2 possible angles on this story.
    (a) Japan’s judicial system – including the death penalty – has
    kept crime in Japan at almost non-existent levels.

    or

    (b) Those beastly Japanese do horrible things like executing murderers.

    I guess the editor flipped a coin and selected the anti-capital punishment slant.

    This story is a classic beeber sandwich”. Start with some facts,
    effortlessly segue into opinions and editorialising – then end with
    some facts.

    We have ‘condemned by the international community’ and
    ‘arguably no more cruel than…’. Finally we get to who is
    doing the condemning and opposing and criticising. Its Amnesty International.

    Then its more unnamed critics and opponents – who he?

    It seems that 94% of Japanese people are fully behind their legal system on this – but again the unnamed campaigners ‘say this is because few people know much about the conditions in … death row’.

    Then we end with more anonymous critics and opponents. So I guess its not quite a sandwich – more of an open club sandwich – several layers of fact and opinion ending with opinion.

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  35. George R says:

    The BBC and its misleading headlines:

    “UK Guantanamo four to be released”.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7133760.stm

    No, BBC, they are NOT UK citizens, they have only lived in the UK before they were eventually arrested.

    The four men, for clarification are:

    1.) a Libyan; 2.) a Jordanian; 3.) an Algerian; 4.) a Saudi Arabian (who’s going back to Saudi Arabia).

    Beyond its misleading headline, the BBC report does refer to the US misgivings about the release of these men:

    “The Americans accuse Mr.el-Banna” (the Jordanian) ” of being a prominent al-Qaeda rercruiter and financier, Libyan Mr. Deghayes of associating with al-Qaeda, and Algerian Mr. Sameur of receiving combat training in Afghanistan.”

    No doubt the liberal/Left will celebrate the release of these men.

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  36. David says:

    John Reith spins in his grave, I got in too late to catch the news, but that just sounds to horrible to be true. How are they allowed to get away with such lies and manipulation? I trust a complaint was filed?

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  37. John Gentle says:

    Note the collapse of the shameful Kieren Fallon case. The Panorama programme had a pivotal role in pushing for this absurd prosecution, thrown out by the judge today. Another £6 million of public money down the swannee.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/racing/article3019158.ece

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  38. Reg Hammer says:

    random:

    Don’t McDonalds own Pret a Manger?

    McDees owns a one third stake in Pratt A Manger.

    I’m sure such a fact wouldn’t dissuade even the most die hard anti-american anti-capitalist Beeboid from lunching in there. Such is the extent of their hypocrisy.

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  39. Lurker in a Burqua says:

    Charles Moore in The Telegraph

    Hell will freeze before a BBC Mohammed film

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/12/08/do0805.xml

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  40. Reg Hammer says:

    Proof that contempt for racists only goes one way with the BBC.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/boxing/7133862.stm

    Incidentally, do BBC hacks get paid by the apostrophe?

    “Hopkins taunts ‘white’ Calzaghe”

    I don’t think I’ve yet found a BBC news report where at least one word doesn’t have apostrophes around it.

    The purpose of them in this report eludes me. Can anyone enlighten me?

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  41. Lurker in a Burqua says:

    Simon Heffer (pbuh) in The Telegraph

    Journalists are not notably touchy creatures – it’s all part of our general dehumanisation training – but one would have needed a skin of iron to be a BBC hack this week, and to hear the fabulously untalented Jonathan Ross claim that he was worth 1,000 of one of you.

    Mr Ross, as you may be aware, is a man famous for having a speech impediment and who seems to have wandered on to television from his job as a floor-walker in a down-at-heel suburban department store.

    For this, some berk at the BBC determined he was worth £6 million a year, something that has caused distress to many far more able and hard-working people on the corporation’s payroll. I must admit I have, for fear of the onset of immediate mental illness, rarely watched Mr Ross for more than three minutes at a time, though that is sufficient to get the measure of a man of his depths.

    He does, though, serve one important purpose, for which I hope he is preserved: as a one-man indictment of the principle of a licence fee.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/12/08/do0803.xml&page=3

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  42. amimissingsomething says:

    Arthur Dent | 07.12.07 – 5:54 pm |

    Terrible Tory Girl | Homepage | 07.12.07 – 6:15 pm |

    and don’t forget that world service play of the week a few christmas eves ago was ‘ali baba and the 40…’, in english, yet with the word ‘allah’ kept untranslated, and heard ad nauseam (until i quit listening after 10 mins or so).

    yes, a good story, but why scheduled for christmas eve? and why allah and not god?

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  43. Reg Hammer says:

    BBC just can’t resist passing comment off as news can they?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7133933.stm

    All goes well in the report until the last 2 paragraphs:

    “The incident is the latest in a series of mass shootings in the US, which have reignited the debate in the US about gun ownership.

    The Supreme Court will consider Americans’ right to bear arms early next year for the first time in nearly 70 years”

    The only debate this incident has ignited in the USA is that of mall security. But trust the Beeboids to use this tragedy to opine their own contempt for firearms. And I’m sure the only reigniting of debate is coming from the BBCs very own soapbox.

    Incidentally, the Supreme Court considering Americans rights to bear arms has absolutely nothing to do with the supposed ‘series’ of mass shootings in the USA recently. If anything it’s just the USA reinforcing it’s right to bear arms by levering in more pro-gun legislation.

    Trust Al Beeb to be able to expertly twist the facts to fit their story. God knows their hacks possess bugger all else talent.

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  44. james says:

    it would be good if next years nativity play could be about mary and joseph being persecuted by al beeb for not paying their license fee.

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  45. Cassandra says:

    The BBC are pushing a report on guantanamo terrorists that are coming to Britain, we are told that these terrorists are no threat and they are innocent victims of the evil Americans?
    You might say that getting back our subjects from Gitmo is a good thing? Well the strange thing is, they are NOT even British subjects! They are Jordanian/Algerian.
    So what the hell are we doing trying to bring foreign terrorists to Britain? and why the hell is the BBC trying to tell us they are British and that they are NO threat?
    Dont they(BBC)realise that by pushing for these foriegners/terrorists to come here they will bring their evil beliefs with them AND the first thing they will do is hook up with extremists that are already in the UK?
    I despair at the behaviour of the BBC in its support for Islamist extremists!

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  46. Matthew (UK) says:

    The Telegraph is beginning to get it: let’s hope the rest of the mainstream media take up the cause. The fresh examples above about the BBC’s double standards when it comes to racism, their absurd classing of Islamist Arab nationals as British, and their profligate waste of public funds on celebrities, merely reinforce the impression of bias and incompetence which has become all too obvious.

    The time is long overdue for the BBC to be spit up and privatised so that no more public funds are wasted on this damaging organisation.

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  47. George R says:

    Lurker in a Burqa 1:31 am

    Matthew(UK) 8:29 am.

    Yes, Charles Moore has correctly appraised the BBC’s differential treatment of Islam and Christianity:

    “This week the BBC quickly apologised on air after a presenter joked that Gillian Gibbons, the teacher with the Sudanese teddy bear called Mohammed, also had a dog of that name. It has never apologised for Jesus in his nappy.”

    ‘Hell will freeze before a BBC Mohammed film’ (Charles Moore).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;jsessionid=2FRWQT1ZU253BQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/opinion/2007/12/08/do0805.xml

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  48. blankfrank says:

    Interesting but not suprising that Al-Beeb are not running a HYS on their ‘Gitmo hostage release’ story. I rather think that they are only too aware how the general public opinion would differ from their own cherished liberal/lefty chattering class view.

    Mind you, I’ll give it to the Beeb. In the same Gitmo story they refer to “the Conservatives” rather than the “the Tories”. A quantum leap indeed.

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  49. meggoman says:

    blankfrank:
    Interesting but not suprising that Al-Beeb are not running a HYS on their ‘Gitmo hostage release’ story. I rather think that they are only too aware how the general public opinion would differ from their own cherished liberal/lefty chattering class view.

    Mind you, I’ll give it to the Beeb. In the same Gitmo story they refer to “the Conservatives” rather than the “the Tories”. A quantum leap indeed.
    blankfrank | 08.12.07 – 10:36 am | #

    Indeed blankfrank. (OK David Gregory I do read the website) Read the BBC ‘profiles of these people. The BBC should be posing the question, ‘Why are these people, being allowed back here?’

    One left becasue he ‘…found it hard to live as a good Muslim in Britain.’ So why is he coming back if life was so hard?

    Another ‘…..travelled to Afghanistan, where he married and fathered a son.’ Where are the wife and son? Coming here? Why not go back to Afghanistan to be with them

    Another was captured ‘…..in Gambia in November 2002.’ What was he doing there while his 5 children were here in the UK? And why is he not going back to Gambia?

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  50. George R says:

    ‘The Times’ is aware, but apparently the BBC isn’t:

    “Some of Britain’s closest allies in the fight against terrorism have accused the Government of allowing banned terrorist organisations to operate in this country.”

    “Close allies protest at ‘failure to outlaw banned groups'”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3019230.ece

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