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…

     

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.

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.

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.

On Saturday BBC Views Online’s News Ticker trumpeted:

 


BBC: “Labour peers visit UK teacher Gillian Gibbons in custody in Sudan” – Doh!

As you can see, the two peers (and there were only two) on the diplomatic mission seeking Gillian Gibbons release from Sudanese ‘justice’, are the Labour peer Lord Ahmed and the Conservative peer, Baroness Warsi, yet for some reason, our Beeboid friends natural assumption is that both are Labour peers. Why is that?

This lazy assumption on the part of the Beeboids responsible smacks of the patronising leftie presumption that Muslim must equal Labour – there can be no other explanation for cocking up such a basic and easily checkable fact – but did the Beeboids bother? (And would anyone who is interested in current affairs, let alone a supposedly professional BBC journalist, really not know that Baroness Warsi is a Conservative?). No, they got straight on with bigging up the supposedly Labour credentials of the two peers in the delegation.

This stupidity wasn’t limited to BBC Views Online – according to Biased BBC readers it also featured in reports on Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live on Saturday afternoon… surely someone at the BBC should have noticed this huge smacking error before such nonsense made it on air?

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.

Following up on the discussion here at Biased BBC

about Adam Mynott’s shoddy report and two-way on the BBC Six O’Clock News, here’s a transcript of what was said, and video of the start of the Six, complete with textual annotations:

 


Adam Mynott: “Gillian Gibbons insensitivity… a good natured

protest… smiling faces… almost theatrical…” – Yeah, right.

Sian: Good evening, and welcome to the Six O’Clock News. The British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, imprisoned in Sudan for letting her children call a teddy bear Mohammed, has been moved to another jail for her own safety, that’s according to her lawyer. Around a thousand protestors have been demonstrating against her fifteen-day sentence, calling it too lenient. Some have even said she should be executed.

Ben: Tonight there is a glimmer of hope for Gillian Gibbons, the Labour peer, Lord Ahmed, is on his way to Sudan to try to press for her early release. He’s leading a private delegation, which is expected to meet the Sudanese president. Our correspondent Adam Mynott, is in Khartoum for us tonight, Adam…

Adam: Ben, yes, Gillian Gibbons first day serving her sentence for insulting islam by allowing her school children to name a teddy bear islam, eh, to name a teddy bear Mohammed, I beg your pardon, er, has been, er, a day of, er, silence from the Sudanese authorities here and the British, but a day of noise and anger on the streets of Khartoum.

Fluffed lines Adam? That’s the trouble with ‘going live! We then cut to Adam’s filmed report:

Adam: Insults to islam in Sudan cannot go unpunished and unprotested, and hundreds poured out of Friday prayers in Khartoum to vent their anger on the streets.

Apoplectic man: We cannot accept it from anybody. If they can do it in Europe, they cannot do it here in Sudan.

Adam: But this was, for the most part, a good natured protest.

Good natured? What was all that angry ranting and waving of machetes and swords we saw about then?

Banners were waved and sticks shaken, but the smiling faces showed this was not a furious outpouring of anger.

Emphasis from the original. Smiling faces? Not Angry? What about those swords and machetes Adam? What about the angry shouting and mob tension we saw? You were there, weren’t you?

However, there’s no question that some had been offended by Gillian Gibbons insensitivity

Gillian Gibbons insensitivity? How about ‘perceived insensitivity’? Or, more accurately, ‘islamic hyper sensitivity’?

Angry youth: Our prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, we love him very much, and we have a big, uh, great red line in talking about him…

Red lines? An interesting choice of idiom. I wonder where he picked that up.

Adam: And she crossed the red line?

Ah, could’ve been from Adam…

Angry youth: Yes, yes.

Adam: Most people in Khartoum were not up in arms. The court case has not received much media coverage, many had heard little of it, and some Sudanese even felt the prosecution of the 54-year old school teacher had been an over reaction.

Considerable diplomatic pressure is still being applied by Britain on the Sudanese government here in Khartoum, and I understand that the British authorities feel that there is still room for a compromise where Gillian Gibbons can be released ahead of serving her full fifteen day sentence.

The street protest lasted a full two hours, and it dissolved as quickly as it had started. It had the look of an orchestrated, almost theatrical event, as the streets echoed to the sounds of public demonstration [Audio of angry ranting inset]

A theatrical event, ‘almost’ – with that ‘almost’ covering a multitude of spins.

Adam: Gillian Gibbons began her term in an overcrowded women’s jail in the capital, but it’s understood she’s now been moved to another location.

We then cut back to Adam, live:

Adam: And we understand, according to sources here, that she was moved for her own safety, and we’ve also heard tonight that diplomatic pressure has been ratcheted up a notch with the news that Lord Ahmed is leading a parliamentary delegation to Britain, which has set off. Back to you Ben in London.

Ben: Okay Adam, many thanks.

Curiously, the BBC Ten O’Clock News report of the same past events took a quite different line. Mynott’s report was thoroughly remixed, complete with previously unseen footage and audio and the lame Mynott two-way was dispensed with, in favour of a more rigourous analysis from Frank Gardner in the studio, revealing along the way that Lord Ahmed’s group also includes Baroness Warsi, the Conservative peer – an interesting fact entirely omitted from the Six. Here’s a clip of the relevant part of the Ten O’Clock News:

 


Remixed: an improved report of the same events. Most curious.

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.

Dumber BBC! On Thursday, BBC Newsnight reported

that the “Dow Jones was substantially down amidst more credit crunch fears”, with a market fall of 210 points – all nonsense of course: the financial markets in the US were closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving Day, with the figure reported being Wednesday’s close.

On Friday afternoon, Peter Barron, Editor of Newsnight, wrote a rather contrite apology on the BBC Editors Blog, concluding:

I’m sorry and I’m determined this won’t happen again.

A couple of years ago we thought one way of avoiding problems with the markets was to abolish the spot altogether, but the outrage then means we won’t try that again. Instead, we have inserted a note in the markets page which will read for ever more:

MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE AMERICAN MARKETS ARE NOT ON A HOLIDAY

Fast forward to Friday night’s programme, presented by Emily Weightless, sorry, Maitlis, and here, complete and unabridged, was Newsnight’s markets report for Friday:

Take you to a quick look at the markets, at the end of the week, the FTSE 100 share index closed up, sadly we can’t show the exact figures, um, holiday season as you know in the US, so the Dow Jones remains unchanged. Against the Euro, the currencies here, the pound up, against the dollar the pound was down. You’ll just have to take my word for it. We’ll get you some figures by Monday.

Evidently Peter’s determination wasn’t sufficient to keep Mr. (or Ms.) Cockup from making a second appearance! Leaving aside the generally slapdash and indifferent nature of the summary (“You’ll just have to take my word for it. We’ll get you some figures by Monday.”), Wall Street was trading on Friday, following the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. Doh!

Still, at least Peter has had the courtesy to apologise to tellytaxpayers for the first of these visits from Mr. Cockup, which is more than can be said for BBC Radio News, guilty of the same mistake on Thursday night.

Update (2.50pm): Peter Barron has spoken again on the BBC Editors Blog:

I despair! We are having a complete revision of the way we collect and check the markets information.

Much mirth being had by Guido and co. too!

Thank you to Biased BBC reader David S. and others for the tip.