Oborne…BBC Biased And With Falling Standards

 

 

Rather than representing the nation as a whole, the BBC has become a vital resource – and sometimes attack weapon – for a narrow, arrogant Left-Liberal elite.

 

Awkward…..Did the BBC and Guardian splash this on their front pages day after day in 2011?  I am guessing Peter Oborne wasn’t such a hero then.

 

From Peter Oborne in 2011:

 

Coming to the BBC, an everyday story of bias and falling standards

 

The corporation has fine values. It must act swiftly to stop their further erosion

There are very few institutions – maybe only the monarchy, the Armed Forces and Parliament – that express what it means to be British more than the BBC. The state broadcaster enjoys a very privileged place indeed at the heart of our national conversation. But this, in turn, means that there is an implicit deal between it and the British people.

On the one hand, the BBC is funded by public money and given a semi-monopoly of broadcast news coverage. On the other, the BBC is by charter expected to reflect the British values of fair-mindedness, decency and tolerance.

Sadly, it is only very rarely that the BBC keeps its side of the bargain, and this negligence is starting to become a scandal. Rather than representing the nation as a whole, it has become a vital resource – and sometimes attack weapon – for a narrow, arrogant Left-Liberal elite.

BBC chiefs used to deny this charge outright, but in recent years even they have been forced to acknowledge the weight of evidence. The organisation and its staff were institutionally opposed to Margaret Thatcher, whereas they took New Labour to their heart. They have swallowed every progressive orthodoxy, while viewing with naked contempt the concerns of ordinary people.

The BBC is doctrinally pro-European. During the 1975 referendum campaign, it was the propaganda wing of the pro-Brussels machine, and this attitude has not changed since. The ranking members of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten of Barnes and his deputy Diane Coyle, have never made any secret of their contempt for Eurosceptics, let alone the opinions of the very significant and growing minority of the British people who want us out of Europe altogether.

This ossified institutional attitude has become an urgent problem. Thanks to this week’s uprising on the Tory benches, and the financial catastrophe now facing the 17 eurozone countries, it now looks very likely indeed that a further euro-referendum can be expected in due course. Given the abysmal record of BBC partisanship, and the unashamed pro-European bias of the corporation’s board, there is no hope that the debate when it comes will be treated in an even-handed way.

This problem is made much worse by the fact that bias is not the only problem. A further difficulty is lack of standards. It is not simply the opinions of BBC producers and reporters that are suspect. So are the facts they put in front of the public.

One notorious recent case concerns the documentary produced by the flagship BBC current affairs programme, Panorama, about Primark. Screened in June 2008, it made a series of very serious and damaging claims, of which the most troubling was the assertion that the clothing company employed child labour in Bangalore.

There is ample evidence that Panorama’s “undercover” footage showing three boys in a Bangalore clothing workshop was actually an elaborately constructed fake – and this evidence became available almost at once. But the corporation was unbelievably slow to admit this. Only three years later, in June this year, did the BBC come up with a grudging apology. By comparison, when the columnist Johann Hari was caught out in a comparable (though not identical) act of fabrication, his newspaper suspended him within days.

Even before the discredited Primark documentary was screened, the BBC was caught out in another act of fabrication. This one, because it involved the Queen, gained massive publicity. The BBC showed the monarch, in full garter regalia, angrily leaving a photographic sitting after being asked to remove her tiara. It made compelling television, and at first was accepted as true. In fact, the scene was a fake, the result of misleading editing.

It cannot be stressed enough that the BBC makes a great deal of excellent television and radio, while employing many admirable journalists. But there is a pattern forming here. It now emerges that the corporation has fabricated yet another story, this one involving the Conservative backbencher Andrew Tyrie.

Three weeks ago, Mr Tyrie was the subject of a mocking BBC report at an otherwise dull Conservative Party conference. He was shown preparing to give a televised response to George Osborne’s party conference speech, then being led away by some Downing Street heavies, only to return full of praise for the Chancellor. The inference made was that Mr Tyrie had been nobbled.

Nothing of the sort had occurred, as the BBC reporter involved, James Landale, has since to his very great credit made clear (though unfortunately only in a little-read blog written some time afterwards). It was ingenious television editing which made it appear that Mr Tyrie had been got at by No 10’s heavy mob. The crucial point is that Mr Tyrie had already told the BBC exactly what he was going to say about the Osborne speech before he talked to Downing Street officials – and not one word had changed after.

The BBC has been trying to brush this affair off as a matter of no consequence, a cunning tactic. For Mr Tyrie is a man of few political friends, and none at the top of the Government, where his discomfort has been openly relished. I have followed his career for many years, and he is the very model of what a backbencher ought to be: independent and unbribable by office or money, dedicated only to a high-minded vision of public service.

Now chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee, he has been unafraid to take on George Osborne – for instance, using investigative powers to find out the ugly truth about the state-owned RBS bank. For the past six years, he has waged another lonely battle to find out the truth about the controversial and unethical practice of extraordinary rendition (the dispatch of terrorist suspects to foreign countries, where they can be tortured). He is now involved in a challenge to the CIA in the American courts. Thanks to the inaccurate BBC story there is now a real danger that Mr Tyrie’s quest for the truth may be hampered. The American intelligence agency could claim that he is simply the easily exploited pawn of a foreign government.

The truth could not be more different. Mr Tyrie has no official friends. All he has is his integrity, a commodity the BBC was disgracefully ready to trash for the sake of an eye-catching television package. It is time he was given a generous public apology.

I am one of those who love the BBC. I wake up in the morning listening to Radio 4, and it is often the last thing I hear before I go to bed. I believe that it represents something civilised and inspiring which sets Britain apart from other countries.

But there are forces – led by Rupert Murdoch – that want to annihilate the BBC and destroy what remains such an essential and unifying part of our public domain. In recent years, its senior management seem to have bent over backwards to give legitimacy to enemies, abusing its unique public trust by pursuing a factional agenda and rubbishing its own magnificent values. The character assassination of Andrew Tyrie, at heart an act of empty nihilism, is just the latest example. It is time the BBC woke up.

Oh No!!!! £9 Billion in tax receipts. Tragedy!

 

 

The BBC are outraged, and not a little gutted…..in order to pay for their election campaign the government has plundered the incomes of some of the most vulnerable people in society who were callously, cruelly,  forced out of their jobs by the savage and brutal austerity imposed upon the economy and made to fend for themselves.  Stripped of their dignity and all the trappings of success in this human tragedy all that they were left with was their indomitable human spirit to forge a new life and to rebuild their dreams.  They were the very people who could put the economy back on the road to recovery with their daring, enterprise and ingenuity….these were the  self-employed who risked all as they were left to sink or swim by a cruel government in the perilous waters of the free market only for that predatory Coalition government to leech off them, filling their coffers with their ill-gotten gains wrenched from the calloused, work worn hands of those who earned it with the blood, sweat and toil of honest labour despite being abandoned,  left behind by this pitiless and merciless Coalition government whilst Osborne travels the country to crow about it.

I think Polly Toynbee must have hacked my computer…back to normal now…..

So tax receipts have amounted to a rather tidy £9 billion…though I’m slightly confused…the BBC radio news said this was less than experts had expected (or is that mre than the BBC hoped for?) and yet the web report tells us the opposite…’A better than expected rise in tax receipts’

However if you have been listening to BBC news or its commentary on the economy over the last few years as reports of employment continually rising came in you will have heard the BBC continually attempt to downplay the significance of that, claiming that they were mostly part time…they were in fact mostly full time, that women were suffering the most when last week we heard that women were in fact the better off, that they were zero hour contracts..always bad in BBC eyes or that the jobs were generally two bit jobs in the dismissive words of one BBC presenter,  jobs like window cleaners or painters and decorators and gardening jobs…..shows what the BBC thinks of anyone making an honest living however ‘humble’.

Seems that was all in the imagination of BBC presenters who always seemed to put the bleakest interpretation on any good news for this government.

A £9 billion surplus would indicate that the self-employed are doing very nicely and that the economy is also chuggig along quite well.  This of course has been backed up all along by small businessmen who rang in to BBC phone-ins and kept having to insist that, yes the economy may be sluggish for some, but they themselves were doing very well thanks….businessman after businessman rang in to many phone-ins…the BBC ignored them.

The BBC ignored all these people’s statements and continued down the road of claiming the economy was in dire straits, even claiming we were about to hit the dreaded ‘treble-dip’ recession when the truth was we hadn’t even had a double-dip recession…and yet you can still hear BBC presenters talking of it.

The BBC insisted that rising employment was a ‘puzzle’…and yet the simple solution would have been to hit the road and ask the businesses that were employing these people as to why they were doing so….or listen to the businesses ringing in to the phone-ins.

But the BBC never did…for years they kept up that mantra about rising employment being a ‘puzzle’…..because of course it either couldn’t be true or there must be some appalling downside that we couldn’t see.  The answer could never be that the economy was picking up.

Anyway here we are….tax receipts up, solid proof of an economy on the mend and wages, at least for the self-employed, going up.

Never mind Russia, the Middle East and Grexit fears….all going well the UK has been put back on a sound footing…..whatever happened to that ‘Plan B’ the BBC used to urge us to adopt?

 

 

 

BBC Watch?

 

Roy Greenslade in his support for Peter Oborne in the Telegraph uses ‘research’ by the Media Standards Trust to back up claims about the lack of reporting by the Telegraph on HSBC’s woes…

An analysis by the Media Standards Trust has found that the Telegraph published “far fewer articles” on the recent HSBC tax avoidance scandal than rival papers. This also requires explanation from TMG.

 

The BBC’s Robert Peston is a trustee of that ‘independent’ organisation which is about to launch this:

Election Unspun

 

Every Thursday, from 26 February until the election on 7 May, Election Unspun will presentstatistics of news coverage of the campaign from the previous week.

 

Party leaders in the news: a league table of leadership coverage

Prominent in the news: other political and non-political figures who appear in political news this week

Coverage of the parties: how often each of the main parties features in the news

Issues by news source: is The Telegraph focusing on cuts to benefits while The Mirror concentrates on the cost of living?

Election coverage day-by-day: how coverage played out over the week

What the media say: a statistical analysis of leader columns

 

 

I’m sure we will be treated to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…as they see it.

 

Who are they?  Well apart from Peston as Trustee we have on the Board of the Media Standards Trust  some of these worthies.….

 

Sir David Bell …chairman of the Media Standards Trust until he joined the Leveson Inquiry into media (er that’ll be just News International!) standards, and Common Purpose trustee….and chairman once again.

What is the relationship between Hacked Off and the MST (2012)?

The Media Standards Trust houses the Hacked Off campaign and provides administrative and strategic support. The campaign manager, and one of its founders, are employed by the Media Standards Trust. Many of the campaign’s activities and supporters have no direct connection with the Trust.

Who runs the Hacked Off campaign?

Martin Moore, the director of the Media Standards Trust, and Professor Brian Cathcart, from Kingston University, direct the Hacked Off campaign. It is managed by Thais Portilho-Shrimpton.

 

 

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC …lefty human rights lawyer and favourite of the BBC.

Julia Middleton founded ‘Common Purpose’, a member of the Media Standards Trust and founder of the left wing Demos think tank. A good friend of the BBC’s Robert Peston.

The Right Reverend Stephen Platten...a ‘turbulent’ political Bishop.

Sir Anthony Salz Executive Vice Chairman, NM Rothschild; member of the Scott Trust  and on the board of the Education and Employees Trust which supports Peston’s speakers charity, an Media Standard Trust trustee and used to be vice chairman of the BBC board of governors 2004-06….the Scott Trust being ‘The Guardian’

Anthony Smith   Broadcaster, author and academic….and ex-BBC producer

David Loyn   Developing world correspondent, BBC

 

 

Another of note is ex journalist Mary-Ellen Barker who now runs MEB Projects which tells us…

What we do

  • We offer financial services groups and media organisations advice and support to extract value from content.

.

Extract ‘value from content’.  Doesn’t that mean making money out of their content?

How we do it

By maximising the value of content and data. Our expertise is:

 

So one of the leading lights of the Media Standards Trust that is criticising the Telegraph from making money out of content is herself running a business that encourages the very same thing?

MEB Projects was approached to define a news content strategy for a major content provider, which wanted a competitive differentiator to help drive customer retention and revenue generation. The task was to define customer requirements across a range of end-users, commission customer research, and build a 3-year plan to plug content gaps.

 

So shaping a news content strategy to suit customers.

Shock horror.  No?

 

Can we trust an organisation so loaded with people with very defined agendas and close links to the Hacked Off campaign group and Leveson that the Telegraph has huge issues with?

Can we expect the Media Standards Trust to really hold the BBC to account in the same way it undoubtedly will right wing papers?

 

 

 

 

‘The BBC deals a blow to investigative journalism’

The BBC criticises the Telegraph for allegedly shaping its editorial to suit HSBC when HSBC were unhappy with the Telegraph’s reporting about it….similarly the BBC is unhappy about the Telegraph exposing the BBC’s own failings and bias in its journalism and rather than accept that criticism the BBC set out to attack the Telegraph using its own news platform as a weapon….are they any different in effect to HSBC in their reaction to criticism, or any different to the Telegraph in compromising their journalism to suit their own interests?

The Telegraph’s latest look at the BBC’s politically corrupt broadcasting…Anti-Labour bias at the BBC? What a fiction!

 

From the Telegraph in 2012:

The BBC deals a blow to investigative journalism

 

This newspaper cares passionately about maintaining the highest standards of journalism. We believe that journalism, when practised properly, protects the public from abuses of power by exposing those who are guilty of dishonesty, corruption or injustice. Journalism that harms the innocent – by telling lies or spreading falsehoods about them, or by unjustifiably invading their privacy – does the exact opposite of what good journalism aims to achieve.

Good journalism is in peril in Britain today. The cloud of suspicion, condemnation and mistrust that is starting to engulf the BBC will increase the public’s growing distrust of what journalists do. Newsnight’s claim that a leading figure in the Conservative Party participated in the abuse of children at a care home in North Wales has been retracted, generating an appropriately grovelling apology. But it is too late for an apology to do much to diminish the damage done to the BBC’s reputation for accuracy.

Newsnight apparently lost faith in its own journalists, for it used a freelance organisation, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which is attached to London’s City University and funded by David Potter, a former Labour donor, to provide much of the story. Even then, Newsnight hedged its bets: it did not broadcast the name of the individual it wanted to “expose” as a paedophile, leaving it to users of social media sites such as Twitter to name him.

The BBC’s journalists broke the most elementary rules of journalism.

That fundamental failure to follow basic journalistic standards is what has led so many people to question whether the BBC can be trusted. Investigative journalism is a serious business. It can take months of work and cost a great deal of money. It requires adherence to the highest standards. Newsnight’s spectacular fall from grace raises the question: how can we be sure that standards are not compromised elsewhere within the BBC? Where does the rot stop? Has it been stopped? Can it be?

It would be terrible if, in a few years’ time, Britain has a regulatory environment that prevents a free press from investigating and publishing the truth about the abuse of power by our rulers, but allows innocent people to be smeared as paedophiles on social networking sites or, in effect, via the BBC. Unless we are very careful, that is where we are likely to end up.

 

Corrupting the democratic process

 

 

This is a screengrab of the Labour Party using a Telegraph report into the HSBC scandal from 2010 to back  up its attack on the Telegraph and the Tories…go figure!!!

 

labour hsbc telegraph

 

The Sunday Telegraph reports that HMRC is investigating more than 200 “extremely wealthy” British taxpayers suspected of tax evasion totalling “many millions of pounds”. It adds that they are “believed to have failed to declare huge sums of interest from private deposit accounts with HSBC’s bank in Switzerland.” A HMRC source said the inquiry would continue for “quite a few months” and could lead to criminal proceedings in the courts.

Sunday Telegraph, 26 September 2010

 

An old, old story…HSBC and tax evasion…and of course it is only HSBC that did that?…even the BBC’s Nick Robinson admits this is an old story…

”This tax bombshell has been ticking since 2007” 

 

So why the interest from the BBC and the Guardian just before an election?

 

John Humphrys on the Today programme (07:50)  brought us comment on the Telegraph’s editorial in which it declared its position on the Oborne’s mischief making.

The Telegraph noted the hypocrisy of news organisations like the BBC and the Guardian which have their own very dubious practices when it comes to what they will and will not report and no doubt this had something to do with the BBC’s interest in this editorial…their interest being in undermining and dismissing it as fast as possible.

It is curiously pious and very selective of organisations like the BBC and the Guardian to attack the Telegraph in this way for they themselves shape their news to a political agenda and only give the Public a view of the world filtered through their own ideological prisms.  So why all the fuss about a paper that perhaps shaped its editorial, and it denies doing so, to suit a company that pays for its existence?  The BBC undeniably shapes its news to favour the Labour Party….hypocrisy on a grand scale?

There are ‘right wing’ papers and ‘left wing’ papers….they all provide a view of the world to their own agendas, we know that.  We know that owners of these papers can direct how they cover news.  Murdoch for instance directed his stable of papers to support the Labour Party for over a decade.  No complaints from the Guardian?

This was the BBC’s take on Murdoch once the hacking saga took off…

RUPERT MURDOCH – A PORTRAIT OF SATAN

There was a growing sense that Murdoch was now manipulating British politicians for his own personal gain. So the BBC decided to investigate Murdoch’s business and personal background.

 

But now he’s a saint?

The BBC famously ‘spiked’ Winston Churchill’ when he warned of the dangers of a Nazi Germany…the BBC, as this site notes day in day out, has a long and dishonourable history of manipulating the news to fit an agenda, a lot of agendas in fact.

For example….Who was the expert, neutral and impartial commenter that they brought in today?  Roy Greenslade from the Guardian who wrote this in that august publication a few days ago…Peter Oborne may be a maverick but his Telegraph revelations are dynamite..and he’s gone on in a similar vein since then attacking the Telegraph.

So are we likely to get fair comment from him?   I don’t think so.

His initial thought was that the Telegraph’s editorial was all ‘bluster and obfuscation’….presumably he meant the bits about the Guardian being just as unprincipled as any other rag.

Humphrys tentatively suggested that perhaps other papers might also have similar practises….Greenslade was adamant that never, ever,  in the history of the Free Press had the integrity of that Press been so imperilled, and democracy undermined, by the likes of theTelegraph’s actions….well what he actually said was……

‘I have never seen (in all my long career in the Press)  such a blatant example before where advertising has influenced editorial.’

 

Yeah right.

Hilariously he uses the disgraced Robert Maxwell as an example of probity and propriety in the news industry.

Of course he has no proof for Oborne’s claims.  He relies on bluster and obfuscation to make his attack.  The Telegraph’s lack of journalistic integrity may have happened but as yet it’s just the word of a man who unquestionably supports Ed Miliband for PM when the Telegraph clearly doesn’t…and as the Telegraph’s editorial makes clear they believe Oborne’s, and the BBC’s and the Guardian’s, motives in seeking to make an issue of this are highly suspect.

 

Here is an instance of Greenslade’s sleight of hand…he sets out a list of concerns about the Telegraph, one of which is this..

The Telegraph, alone among UK newspapers, failed to hold the Chinese government to account over its reforms to the Hong Kong electoral system that led to last year’s street protests. Indeed, on 15 September, it published a commentary by the Chinese ambassador, Let’s not allow Hong Kong to come between us, that sought to justify the electoral reforms.

 

Any Google search will show that the Telegraph has had many reports on the Hong Kong protests….and a search of the BBC’s coverage will show that they too have a similar timeline in how they reported events in Hong Kong..here the BBC lays out the timeline showing that the protests only began in late September….

 

28 September – Occupy Central begins

Frustration had been mounting since Beijing’s ruling in August that voters would only be able to vote for their chief executive in 2017 from a list of pre-approved candidates.

Students, led by activist groups Scholarism and the Hong Kong Federation of Students, stage a week of class boycotts culminating in a protest outside government offices at Admiralty on 26 September.

 

 

The Telegraph didn’t hold back at all in reporting those protests…

Why are there protests in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong protests spread as 80,000 take to streets

 

And its reporting didn’t start just as the protests started…they were revealing the problems well before that…

From July 5:

Lord Patten attacks Beijing over interference in Hong Kong

From August 30:

China warns against foreign meddling in Hong Kong

From September 2:

China ‘has breached terms of Hong Kong handover’

 

and ironically..and not a word from Greenslade about the British government’s ‘kowtowing’…from September 5….revealed by the Telegraph…

Hong Kong activist attacks ‘deferential’ Britain

 

So quite clearly Greenslade is ‘mistaken’ in his attack on the Telegraph in this instance. Well he’s allowing his own agenda to colour his reporting on people allowing their agenda to colour their reporting.

Greenslade is conducting an ideological attack on a commercial and political rival…of course not a lack of integrity highlighted by Humphrys…..some might suggest that it is a rather dubious practice by the BBC to use such a  person who is clearly antagonistic towards the Telegraph as a commenter on their activities.

Once again the BBC makes no connection between the stories and the various motivatioins behind the claims by various people…..unusual for the BBC to hold back on the speculation about motives and the behind the scenes realities.  Of course to do so would shine a light on a rather disturbing and probably corrupt agenda by those involved….the BBC itself being major player in this.

Let’s have a look at the timeline…

On February 7 Ed Miliband launched his attack on tax havens…

Ed Miliband issues warning to UK-controlled ‘tax havens’

 

On February 9 the BBC and the Guardian both launched their long planned attack on HSBC and tax evasion…

HSBC bank ‘helped clients dodge millions in tax’

 

On February 11 we had PMQs where Miliband had the perfect platform to posture grandiously and to link the Tories into the scandal….

Miliband attacks ‘dodgy’ PM in HSBC donor row

 

Can it be mere coincidence that the Labour supporting BBC and Guardian launched their attacks at that precise moment in time?  It seems all too perfect doesn’t it?

The HSBC scandal is over 5 years old…why did the BBC and the Guardian wait until now, just before an election and in synch with Labour’s election campaign strategy, to disinter this story?…..the BBC’s own Nick Robinson admits this is an old story…

”This tax bombshell has been ticking since 2007” 

 

And yet the BBC and Guardian only decide to investigate it at this precise moment in time when all the information they have now has been available since at least 2010 and has been extensively reported on since?

 

13 October 2011: HMRC officially announces that it is investigating some 6,000 UK-based Swiss bank account-holders

 HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will shortly begin writing to UK residents and organisations holding Swiss bank accounts with the HSBC in Geneva who may not have reported all their income and gains to HMRC.

 

David Keighly at ‘Conservative Woman’ also thinks it just a bit too much of a coincidence that the BBC’s output is timed to fit in with an agenda that seems set to influence the election…‘The BBC are attacking {The Tories] with planned, unrestrained glee”….

We are condemned to a solid six months of posturing, tub-thumping and `soap box oratory.

For broadcasters this is proving a bonanza beyond their wildest dreams. Most of those who work in the media, and of course, especially the BBC, hate the Tories, and now – for the first time ever – they have been able to plan on multiple levels and on an industrial scale how to rubbish them.

In the formal campaign period in April and May, they will still have to abide by the strict electoral law that requires public service broadcasters to achieve political balance – but not in the months of canvassing before that.

And so, this week we have had the debut of the first – and longest-ever – Labour Party election broadcast conceived, shot and put in prime time by the BBC. It’s a drama called The Casual Vacancy, it has cost £5m to make, and the first one-hour episode went out this Sunday.

 

Now we have the Ed Miliband supporting Peter Oborne jumping ship from the right wing Torygraph and laying into them for their coverage of the HSBC scandal which Labour is desperate to link to the Tories.

Just coincidence?  Just a coincidence that the news outlets making so much of this are the BBC and the Guardian?

That stinks of a grand political stitch up and an interference of a most serious kind in the democratic process…the Guardian of course is free to do as it likes, as is the Telegraph, but the BBC is legally obliged to be impartial and balanced.

Clearly it has not been so.

It is an irony I suppose that we have the two news organisations here that tried to shut down the Free Press now demanding that the Telegraph publish what they deem news….when they don’t like what you publish they try to close you down, when you don’t publish what their own agenda dictates they try to force you to publish it.

The BBC is corrupt as they come…it tried to destroy News International and now seeks to malign and damage yet another rival news organisation….having already crushed ‘local news’.

About time the Conservatives grew some balls and took on the BBC.

 

 

Ed’s Media Stooge

 

Back in 2010 the Mail ran this report about the man who is still Miliband’s head spin doctor, Tom Baldwin.  Baldwin originally worked for the Times where he was in essence a Labour Party stooge placing stories damaging to the Tories and beneficial to Labour.

Considering Baldwin’s vital role in Labour’s election campaign and Miliband’s pious statements about the Telegraph and compromised journalism should the BBC be asking questions about this?…especially as he was the man who tried to stitch up John Humphrys and get him sacked or as the Mail puts it was ‘ central to a dirty tricks plot to smear Humphrys as anti-New Labour and so not fit to be a BBC interviewer.’

 

The day Alastair Campbell appeared to give ­evidence to the Hutton inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly, he was given a good-luck hug by his friend Tom Baldwin.

Baldwin was the Times journalist who named the weapons expert as the secret source behind the BBC’s claim that the Blair government had ‘sexed up’ a dossier about Iraq’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’ to justify going to war against Saddam Hussein.

Campbell was known to liaise with Baldwin in endless attempts to ­discredit the Labour government’s enemies, the results of which regularly ended up prominently in The Times — a paper once admired for its thundering independence.

‘Tom was a ruthless operator and obsessed by the power his friend Alastair wielded in Downing Street,’ says a ­colleague. ‘I think he envied him.’

Even so, who could have imagined, when the appalling era of mendacity that marked Campbell’s tenure in Downing Street finally ended, that a new one would start a few years later?

For now, enter Alastair Campbell Mark II — yes, his friend and collaborator Tom Baldwin, who this week was appointed by the faltering Labour leader Ed Miliband as his new director of strategy.

Like Campbell, Baldwin, 44, has a ferocious, emotional hatred of Tories.

No one doubted his abilities as a journalist, with ruthless energy when pursuing a story.

But as one  fellow political journalist puts it: ‘The common view in the Westminster Lobby was that he was a brilliant hack who let everyone down by allowing himself to be turned into a blatant propagandist.

‘His judgment was completely blinded by his hatred for the Tories and his fixation with Alastair Campbell, who used Tom as a stool pigeon to find out what other journalists were up to and as a cipher for stories he wanted to place.’

 

 

Yet another tale of a newspaper acting as a Labour government propagandist, the last being the Guardian…a lot more important than the Telegraph downplaying a commercial company’s activities.

Not important enough for the BBC to investigate Labour’s head spinner though….they are too busy concentrating solely on the Telegraph.

 

 

The Telegraph Responds

The Daily Telegraph, founded in 1855

 

 

 

Abridged from the Daily Telegraph:

 

This newspaper makes no apology for the way in which it has covered the HSBC group and the allegations of wrongdoing by its Swiss subsidiary, allegations that have been so enthusiastically promoted by the BBC, the Guardian and their ideological soulmates in the Labour Party. We have covered this matter as we do all others, according to our editorial judgment and informed by our values. Foremost among those values is a belief in free enterprise and free markets.

We are proud to be the champion of British business and enterprise. In an age of cheap populism and corrosive cynicism about wealth-creating businesses, we have defended British industries including the financial services industry that accounts for almost a tenth of the UK economy, sustains two million jobs and provides around one in every eight pounds the Exchequer raises in tax.

We will take no lectures about journalism from the likes of the BBC, the Guardian or the Times. Those media outlets that are this week sniping about our coverage of HSBC were similarly dismissive in 2009 when we began to reveal details of MPs’ expenses claims, a fact that speaks volumes about their judgment and partiality.

They have seized with almost indecent glee on the latest allegations – even though many of those allegations are almost a decade old and in many instances have been reported and explored before. We believe we are not alone in our suspicion that those outlets have given this issue such prominence partly because of their deep-seated hostility to business and partly with the intention of doing political harm to the current government and the Conservative Party in particular.

As we have reported extensively, Ed Miliband has missed no opportunity to use this case as a weapon against the Conservatives and their supporters, an attack that he has broadened to take in anyone who takes perfectly legitimate and legal measures to reduce their tax bills.

For the avoidance of any doubt, we have no regard for the opinions of rival media organisations. None is the paragon of moral or journalistic virtue that their criticisms this week might suggest. All have their own self-serving agendas, both political and commercial.

Unlike the BBC, we receive no support from taxpayers. Unlike the Guardian, we are not cushioned from commercial reality by a generously-endowed charitable trust. Unlike the Times, we receive no subsidy from tabloid stablemates. Unlike all three of those, we must generate a profit in order to remain in business and provide our readers with the world-class journalism they expect and deserve. Despite the ever-growing pressures on the media industry, we do produce that profit and, as a direct result, that journalism.

We are proud to do that which our critics cannot or will not do: to combine journalistic excellence with commercial success. We do so for you, our readers. We will continue to do so.

 

Frankie ‘Heineken’ Boyle

 

 

Frankie Boyle isn’t impressed with the Guardian’s commercial interests  (H/T  Guess Who)….of course the personalised adverts within the text are shaped

Sponsored by the Morris Dancers Collective.

 

to your own activities on the web….block the advertisers with ‘Ghostery’ and they don’t come up…The Guardian has a vast number of commercial ‘trackers’ that watch your every move…so much for its war on the ‘spy’s’…..commercial interests trump such principles…..looks like Boyle likes Heineken…

 

boyle hsbc 2

 

And travel…

boyle  hsbc

 

Heavens knows where the BBC’s ‘self awareness’ is on Frankie’s scale….maybe it depends on whether he needs a gig with them or not!

Still, good of the BBC just to concentrate on the Torygraph.

Wonder why.

 

 

 

 

 

Never Mind The Principles Give Me The Cash

 

“As independent as resources permit”

 

 

The BBC is going all out on the Telegraph/Oborne story and remarkably shows no interest at all in widening its investigation to explore the likelihood of similar practises at other news organisations.

A familiar pattern of behaviour from the BBC which you may remember from the time of the phone hacking saga when the sole target was Murdoch and the BBC was seen to be acting in a way that was far from being neutral taking an active part in trying to close down a commercial and political rival.

The Telegraph, a Tory supporting paper, looks  set to be the BBC’s next target.

There must be many at the BBC who are laughing loudly at the damage they have inflicted upon their ideological rivals, the Tory Party and their media supporters, by the reinvention of a story that is over 5 years old.

Which, when you think about it, is an irony.  Here they are targeting the Telegraph for alleged practises that compromised their journalism and yet the BBC has been involved in one of the most blatant attempts to jerrymander an election, an attempt to undermine the democratic process, by manipulating the news.

Here the BBC gives Peter Oborne a platform to further castigate the Telegraph and demand an investigation into its practises…

Daily Telegraph’s Peter Oborne urges HSBC coverage review

“The Telegraph must now call an independent review.

“It can’t be done by the chief executive, he has been running the show, we need an independent outsider to come in and do a full assessment of the relationship between advertising and editorial.

“A fraud is being perpetrated on Telegraph readers who buy the paper expecting to get the news and instead get something that gives the impression it is vetted by the advertising department.”

 

 

The BBC then goes further and reports on its Newsnight ‘investigation’ saying…

More Telegraph writers voice concern

 

So that’ll be just the Telegraph that may or may not be involved in such practises then…the BBC has no interest in investigating just how widespread this is?

Hardly journalism on their own part is it?….they are doing exactly what they accuse the Telegraph of doing…limiting the scope of their journalism to reporting things that are in the interest of the BBC to highlight.

 

The Guardian has no such qualms, and in fact has allowed Simon Jenkins to criticise itself in a much more balanced and wide ranging look at the problem of advertising and its effects on the integrity of the Media’s journalism…

 

Yes, Peter Oborne, ads hurt press freedom. But the alternative is worse

Newspapers are institutionalised hypocrisy. They excoriate yet they cringe. They speak truth to power and then sup at its table. They stick their moral noses in the air while their bottoms rest on festering heaps of deals, perks, bribes and ads, without which they would not exist. The most amazing thing is that this murky edifice has delivered Britain a remarkably robust and free-spirited press.

Newspapers tend to downplay the scoops of others, as many did the Guardian’s WikiLeaks and Snowden revelations of 2011 and 2013. But a big story trumps such rivalry, as the Telegraph found to its advantage with its MPs’ expenses exposé in 2009.

 

Jenkins makes a remarkable claim about the Guardian’s own venality and lack of integrity…

Even the Guardian cannot be regarded as immune from such pressures.

In March 2007 Labour’s short-lived Pathfinder scheme, involving dire housing demolitions in the north, was inexplicably eulogised in a Guardian supplement in return for an undisclosed payment from the government.

Today its “branded content partner zone” is occupied by Unilever, “whose sources of revenue allow us to explore, in more depth than editorial budgets would otherwise allow, topics that we hope are of interest”.

 

The Guardian took money from the Labour government to promote one of its policies!

How much more damaging to the Media and a ‘Free Press’  than the Telegraph’s alleged actions is it when a news outlet dances to a government tune?

The BBC always prides itself on its supposed independence from government so where is the outraged shock that the Guardian, of all papers, has taken government money in return for favourable coverage?

 

Jenkins continues his wide ranging look at who compromises what for expediency’s sake in a harsh market….

Most serious publications have for half a century depended on subsidy, which leaves them at the mercy of their boards and benefactors. The Independent struggles under the generosity of an oligarch. The Times depends on some rich man craving its ownership. The Telegraph survives through staff cuts and deals with advertisers. The Guardian’s security has been bought at the expense of years of closures and job losses at its media subsidiaries.

Newspapers and broadcasters still have the resources and skills to digest, process and transmit masses of information in such a way as to hold the faith of readers. That is a vital democratic construct.

There is no question that the private sector is an insecure way of financing a free press that does not make money. But all other ways are worse. There are still as many daily newspapers published in Britain (nine) as there were 50 years ago, a continuous diversity available to no other western country. Online has not wiped out print. It has enhanced the penetration and prominence of both.

 

 

Evan Davis on Newsnight suggested that the Telegraph may have ‘prostituted itself for cash’ in a phrase that is purely perjorative and designed to be as unpleasant as possible…but then you have to ask what is the BBC’s own excuse for its compromised journalism?

The Telegraph may have altered its editorial to please its advertisers but then it is a commercial enterprise and the paper only exists because of its ability to make money from that advertising.  The BBC on the other hand has no such problems.  It has a licence to print money.

It’s coverage of the news and the way it allows its own bias and values to colour that news is far more damaging to democracy than the Telegraph’s actions.  The BBC has a vast audience that takes it on trust that the BBC is worthy of that trust and provides them with authentic, unadulterated news that helps to inform their decisions about politics and world events and therefore what the BBC tells them is more likely to be taken on trust than anything from a newspaper.

The BBC, as this blog exists to identify, abuses that trust and, as its HSBC story illustrates, seeks to change the political landscape and shape it to its own liking…preferrably with a Labour government ensconced at the next election…never mind the Middle East and climate change issues that the BBC interferes in rather than limiting itself to its job of reporting, not making, the news.

 

 

And on that subject, thanks to Guest Who in the comments, there is this…

 

bbc-greenpeace-med

 

Stephen Woolfe MEP: We must look at what a £22m bung from the EU has done at the BBC

“BBC bias in favour of the EU ‘project’ has been obvious for years. However, figures on the Financial Transparency website of the European Commission now indicate just how deeply the BBC benefits from the goodwill of the EU elite. Between 2007 and 2013 the BBC was paid more than £22m by the European Union.”

“These funds are not identified as EU money in the BBC’s annual report.”

“This is not the only fraud in BBC news coverage. Current affairs programmes often interview allegedly independent ‘experts’ on EU issues without mentioning the ‘experts’ receive funding from EU institutions.”

The BBC received from the EU, by year:
2007  €1,943,146
2008  €6,336,295
2009  €3,498,043
2010  €6,034,385
2011  €354,954
2012   €5,269,083
2013 €6,744,151

Total: €30,180,057 (£22,382,997 at exchange rate Feb 18, 2015)

 

Not forgetting that £15,000 Roger Harrabin received from a climate change propaganda centre..

A senior BBC journalist, acting on behalf of the BBC accepted £15,000 to fund seminars from an organisation including the university at the heart of the ‘Climategate’ scandal – and later went on to cover the story without declaring an interest to viewers..

 

MPs say BBC must reveal details of journalists’ commercial deals

MPs have demanded that the BBC reveals details of all commercial deals its journalists have with other organisations, amid fears of an increasing number of conflicts of interest affecting their work.