Those who yearn for impartiality in BBC reporting can never close our minds to any side of a debate in our quest for fairness. For many years the bias has been pretty much one-way traffic – because it is inbred, it has become woven like fine silk through the cloth of reporting. So let us consider a contrary view.
Enter Stage Left Ben Bradshaw, the Culture Secretary and soon to be ex-MP. On Twitter this morning he described the Today program as “biased” and “feeble” in its questioning of George Osborne.
“Another wholly feeble and biased Today programme rounded off with a fawning interview with a Tory pundit!!”
Earlier in the week he said, again via Twitter, that an interview with Shadow Schools Secretary Michael Gove was “disgracefully feeble”. Obviously feeble is his new favourite word, but leaving aside my view that Twitter isn’t an appropriate medium for a senior member of HMG to be sounding off on any issues, let’s examine in depth the points raised by the ex-BBC chappie.
Except there aren’t any.
To start with Evan Davies was fair by all accounts, but even if that wasn’t true, if the Left are to begin throwing accusations of bias in the run-up to losing the election then bring your evidence to the table and we will all listen fairly. Unsubstantiated Twitterings don’t cut the mustard.
The Pope is in Jordan travelling with Jeremy Bowen. Or the other way around. Anyway they’re on a pilgrimage.
James Naughtie points out that there are Pitfalls For The Pope.
Not to mention pitfalls for Jeremy Bowen. He’s been smacked on the wrist for committing Bias.
“The Pope wants to build bridges” says Jeremy, “The Muslim Brotherhood want an apology for something or other that the Pope said once that made them angry.”
“Yes,” says Naughtie, “Too bad. And what will happen when he crosses the river and has to confront all those nasty Jews in Israel?”
“Click” says the radio.
“Oh dear,” says Naughtie” “That’s another fine mess technology has got us out of.”
An item on Today about the popularity of Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra gushed about the uplifting effect of such projects. I agree, but I couldn’t help thinking of the Palestinian string orchestra that was disbanded by the Palestinian Authority for performing to holocaust survivors. A mention would have been nice.
However, today’s Today was not its usual self. Chris Grayling was given a jolly good stab at both radical Imam Anwar al-Awlaki’s hate-broadcast and the email smeargate.
I was wondering if the BBC have sensed a change in the air, and fearing the the end is nigh for Nulab, like rats, they’ve decided now’s time to desert the sinking ship?
Sarah Montague surpassed herself the other day with her barely concealed contempt for Israel’s spokesman Mark Regev. This brought home the fact that it is now the norm to hate Israel, and that hatred has come to include Britain’s Jews. Melanie Phillips has an alarming article which has attracted some suitably alarming comments.
The ever-increasing acceptability of antisemitic slurs and insinuations by all and sundry is in stark contrast to the hypocritical BBC furore over perceived racism inherent in the word golliwog.
Over the years the BBC has whipped up the public into a frenzy of righteous indignation. They portrayed recent events in Gaza in the uniquely emotive way that always accompanies anything to do with Israel.
Honest reporting has this review. The BBC is not the only offender, but it is probably the most influential, and it is the one that want us to believe it’s impartial.
This is my first post, so please forgive any peculiarities.
My but wasn’t the Today programme in cracking form this morning? Did you catch the class warrior Martin Narey from poverty-industry giant Barnardos declaring that “investment” in Education has helped mostly the middle-classes whilst the “poor” have seen little benefit. Yes, right-on, Comrade and pass the sick-bucket. This then segued into a report featuring a Gazan doctor and the death of hundreds of babies at the hands of those evil Israelis. The question was asked of the not so good doctor where the greatest risk to babies in Gaza comes from, the answer, Hamas, was never even considered! Next, Prince Harry and that alleged “racist” comment three years ago. The oleaginous Keith Vaz was given time to slime on and give his opinion. The BBC loves nothing better than attacking a Royal and this non-story, spun by the circulation-deprived News of the World, is perfect for the BBC since it allows them to set the attack dogs on the Royal Family but using the veneer of “racism.”
Listening to the BBC “Today” this morning was quite the experience. It was a full-on left-wing fest with many of their shibboleths on full display disguised as “news”
It kicked off just after 7am with an item on the EU’s current attempts to broker “a deal” with the Eastern European nations on reducing carbon emissions. BBC “Analyst” and climate change cheer-leader Roger Harrabin was almost breathless in his excitement that Sarkzoy and the gang can pull together some worthless tokenism by the end of this week in order that the EU can continue to “lead” the way on this issue. At no point was there any discussion as to whether the EU acting unilaterally was the right thing to do – it is now an article of faith beyond debate in Beeb world.
And moving directly on from that, the BBC were pleased to welcome on-air a spokesman for the vandals from “Plane Stupid” – the group that has disrupted flights at Stansted airport this morning by cutting through the fence and blocking the runway. I believe that giving publicity to this kind of Student Grant vandalism is inappropriate and I do not care to hear what these idiots think, or demand. The BBC should be ashamed of itself for playing the PR game with these loons.
Moving on, we had the obligatory “Get me out of here, its a quagmire” item on Afghanistan. The pretentiously entitled and left-wing “International Council on Security and Development” have done “research” that shows the Taliban is bigger and stronger than ever before. And the BBC are keen to advance this spurious nonsense as part of their own anti-war agenda.
Next, there was the now also mandatory “Gordon Brown – Saviour of the Universe” item. This time, Prudence has invited Sarkozy and Barroso to Downing Street for talks on the economic crisis (which Brown helped engineer) but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has chosen not to attend and so this item was a bewildered BBC pondering why on earth the German’s don’t want to follow Gordon over the economic cliff.
There were two further items that my morning digestion did not facilitate. The first was the latest episode of government dumbing down our children’s education by teaching them about “emotional well-being and social skills” instead of traditional subjects. The second was that on “The Elders” (LOL) in the form of Jimmy Carter – America’s worst ever President – being “disappointed” in the leadership of Robert Mugabe.
All in all – listening to Today is the worst possible way to start the week – so I thought I would share my pain with you!
Some days the BBC excels itself by exhibiting bias beyond the call of even left-wing duty. This morning of BBC Radio 4 Today between 7.30 and 8.00am was such a case. My god but they went to town on their favourite memes with no pretence whatsoever of balance.
First up with we had Hazel Blears (I know..) who chirped that we were winning the theological battle with militant Islam. How? Well she is supporting Muslim community centres to help stop young Islamics turning Jihadist. As she points out, when people are young they are angry, frustrated about world poverty and UK foreign policy, and so naturally….. they want to slaughter us by the dozen. Happily Hazel is here to rescue us and she may even attend some of the seminars with young angry Muslims. I’m just hoping they don’t get mad with her.
Next, we had a discussion on the soaring costs of the London 2012 Olympics Aquatics Centre which will cost more than three times as much as originally estimated. They key theme the BBC were pushing here was that unless we want the London Olympics to be known as the “Accountants Olympics” we should not restrain the cost. Finance without limits, it’s the BBC’s daily prayer
Finally, we had an all out attack on the United States for having the temerity to find Bin Laden’s driver guilty of supporting terrorism. Lord Goldsmith was wheeled on to declare that the US lad lost the “high moral ground” of 9/11 and had it replaced with the Orange jump suits of Gitmo. Pathetic simpering stuff from the ridiculous Goldsmith.
Throughout this 30 minute whinge-fest, there was no attempt to offer alternative views. This was an extended sermon from the BBC and it was riddled with bias.
What better way to start the week than by tuning in to the “Today” programme on BBC Radio 4? (Well, I can think of plenty actually but let’s just go with this for a few minutes) Between 6.30am and 7am I steeled myself and listened to the “news” from the State Broadcaster.
For openers we had an item on how the Conservatives were “exploiting” the financial woes that afflict poor Labour. Interesting choice of word that, “exploiting”. “Highlighting” might have been another less judgemental word that could have used I suppose? This item went on to discuss Gordon Brown’s disastrous personal ratings in opinion polls over the weekend but caveated these with the insistence that these polls may not be accurate. (The BBC, of course, regularly uses other opinion polls which are treated as Holy Writ when it suits them but hey, let’s not upset Labour too much)
Next up we had someone from the Howard League for Penal Reform (aka the abolition of prisons) on to whine about the amount of self-harm prisoners carried out on themselves. This. she pointed out, was not really connected to overcrowding in prison (A favoured BBC theme mind you) but to the fact that they were in jail in the first place. At no point was it suggested to this advocate for the abolition of justice that had they not committed crime these alleged self-harmersy would NOT have been in prison in the first place. Also is it not better they harm themselves than their victims? This was a public platform afforded to the Howard League of extreme leftists without ANY counter balance, disgraceful.
Then we had the topic of the meeting of those Southern African States concerning Zimbabwe. The line taken here was that whilst the “Crisis? What Crisis?” line had been put out by this august body of wise elders perhaps secretly they had been discussing a plan to establish a government of national unity? Sure. The BBC seems very reluctant to say anything bad about the catastrophic failure of Mbeke to stand up against Mugabe.
Then we moved on to, yip, climate change. Seems that it is getting warmer in Northern UK climes and this is causing all kinds of shifts of the animal population. Just one more little bit of green advocacy afforded to those geo-climate experts at…erm….The National Trust.
The triumph of the Maoists in Nepal received the BBC seal of approval, though the BBC reporter did seem a little surprised to see that the Maoist leader had images of Stalin and Mao on his wall. Nostalgia?
There were a few other items but after 30 minutes of this, I tuned out!
Yes, if you want to get a good dose of BBC bias in full-on mode, just tune in to the morning Radio 4 flagship “Today” programme. I have to admit I rarely listen to it these days since it only spoils the start to the day for anyone who is not a foaming at the mouth lefty. But in the interests of this blog, I did bite my tongue and tune in this morning from the “Thought for the Day” section at 7.45am all the way through to main post 8am headlines political interview. My worst expectation were immediately exceeded when I realised that the “Thought for the Day” contribution was a sterling defence of the Imam of Canterbury by a Muslim contributor. Amazingly, he claimed that Rowan Williams had been “misunderstood” and that “most people” were now coming around to sharing this view. This was a pure PR piece engineered to offer support to the not so good Dr William. Following straight on from this was another item on Druid Williams, and the fact that he faces a meeting of the General Synod later this week. Again calls from within the Church for him to resign were downplayed and instead the claim was made by the BBC reporter that Williams was a much loved and respected figure who was holding the Anglican Church together and that it was inconceivable that he would resign. Do you think Lambeth Palace writes the scripts for the BBC?
After the News headlines at 8am, the lead story was “Is Afghanistan a failed State?”, a favoured BBC theme. One might more accurately ask “Is the BBC a failed broadcaster?” We had the usual “It’s a quagmire, get us out of there” defeatist mindset in full flow, with the BBC presenter seemingly oblivious of the fact that Al Qqueda have used Afghanistan as a base from which to bring terror to the West. The hapless David Milliband (Aged 13 and 3/4) tried to explain why we need to defend our interests by staying the course here and fighting and killing the “insurgents” in the southern part of Afghanistan but the BBC interviewer seemed much more sympathetic to the French and German view that whilst armed forces could go to Afghanistan, they mustn’t go to where the danger is! A pacifist army that travels the world is probably the BBC’s fantasy – a crack legion of aromatherapists is something they MIGHT just tolerate! And so it ended, and so did my interest in listening to this drivel. You know it’s when you actually reflect on how interviews are constructed, on how interviewees are chosen and allocated time, and on how running orders are established, that the anti-Britishness of the BBC comes through in all its glory. Do you ever listen to the “Today” programme and if so, can you share how you do this for more than 15 minutes without feeling nausea?