By Their Tweets Shall Ye Know Them: The Tweets

Following on my post explaining the situation, here are the tweets. Some will be screenshots or some other form of publishing because the actual tweets have been deleted after the BBC staff member responsible was caught. With one exception, there are no retweets here, as that’s a separate debate. A comprehensive research project if far beyond my means, but just scanning through so many of them tells me that for many BBC employees, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Note the trends on certain issues.

Because some people seem to keep missing the point, let me repeat: This is not meant to prove that all tweets are biased, nor is it meant to prove that all BBC staff are 100% of the Left. Many BBC employees are fairly responsible with Twitter, and do not tweet their political opinions at all. This is meant to prove that those who do freely tweet their personal political and ideological opinions are nearly all of the Left. Nearly every department of the BBC is represented here, both on air talent and editors and producers behind the scenes. This also demonstrates that in many cases the line between official and personal accounts has been blurred so much as to be essentially non-existent, contrary to BBC guidelines. The whole thing needs to be trashed and re-examined.

This is mostly all thanks to the keen eye of DB, without whose vigilance this would not have been possible. I just kept a list as the sheer volume of them began to reveal certain patterns, before starting to search the feeds myself. Other contributors are: Craig, Reed, Jeff W, Guest Who, Laban, Notasheep, BBC Waste, David Vance, ChrisH, and yours truly. (Apologies if I missed anyone.)

Kaye Adams, BBC Scotland radio presenter

KAYE Adams, the BBC broadcaster, has been accused of being unfit to present a top current affairs programmes after she tweeted that Boris Johnson “should p*** off back to boarding school”.

The former presenter of Loose Women, the ITV talk show, who presents a popular Radio Scotland show, was on holiday in Tuscany when she made a series of expletive-filled Tweets about London’s mayor. She has now apologised and deleted the comments from her Twitter site.

Paul Adams, BBC Washington correspondent

Also, when reporting from the Republican National Convention, Adams made 10 tweets, all negative, and for only one day, Aug. 30. From the Democrat’s convention, he made 30 tweets over three days, Sept. 4-6, all positive, including the #DNC2012 hashtag. The RNC hashtag was absent from all of his tweets.

Sarah Afshar, Senior producer for Newsnight

 

Anita Anand, BBC Radio and TV presenter

In case anyone isn’t sure who Anand is, a charming photo of her can be seen here. The other person in that photo is the star of his own R5 Live show, Richard Bacon.

Here’s a screenshot of Bacon telling his followers to check out a vicious anti-Palin article by her personal womb inspector, Andrew Sullivan.

Wendy Bailey, former BBC Radio broadcaster, producer Children in Need, and lots more.

 

 Ros Ball, BBC Parliament correspondent (with an activist statement photo on her Twitter page)

 

 


Bob Ballard, BBC Radio commentator on swimming and diving

 

 

 

Mark Barlex, BBC On Demand editor, tweeted from the BBC College of Journalism account(!)

The “gift” is the video hosted on the BBC website of that Iraqi reporter throwing a shoe at George Bush.

He’s talking about the Newsnight report on the inauguration speech which the BBC edited to make the President sound more Green-friendly.

Mark Blank-Settle, BBC College of Journalism social media maven

Claire Bolderson, BBC presenter

Peter Bowes, BBC correspondent in the US

Jane Bradley, BBC Midlands Current Affairs producer

 

 

Toby Brown, BBC News Channel producer

Am reading an essay on American capitalism and it’s effect on women. 50% jealous of academia. 50% glad to be out of it…

— Toby Brown (@browntoby) April 19, 2012

Mario Cacciottolo, BBC journalist

 

  Jenny Clarke, BBC Radio Manchester

Shut up going on about how great Manchester is George Osborne. We know it is and flattery will not buy our votes. Now kindly fuck off.

She soon got caught out, tweet and entire account deleted before we could get the embed code. Original tweet url was: http://twitter.com/#!/jenrclarke/status/120849989885902848. She then set up a new account @jennyfleur88. Tweets protected now.

Katie Connolly, ex-BBC US correspondent. From Newsweek to the BBC, now works at a Democrat strategy group, worked on the campaign to re-elect the President. Go figure. Lots of tweets, too much to post here, but Craig’s list and full analysis can be read here. Highlights:

this palin speech is more like a stand up routine, esp with the redneck jokes 1,273,863,138,000.00 via TweetDeck ouch. sarah palin calls us the lamestream media. #palin #nra RT @chucktodd: FOIA-requested Todd Palin related emails involving Palin’s time in office in Alaska now up on MSNBC.com. http://ping.fm/YGnCF 1,265,387,931,000.00 via TweetDeck My boss Jon Meacham responds to critics of our Sarah Palin cover photo http://bit.ly/G5iCz 1,258,492,120,000.00 via TweetDeck

She regularly corresponded with a number of JournoListas, and RTed their groupthink as often as possible.

Matt Danzico, BBC News reporter in the US, and former Obama campaigner. His Twitter page has both the disclaimer and the BBC logo wallpaper

 

(UPDATE: Forgot to mention this last one is from before Danzico worked for the BBC. This was from back when he was working for the 2008 campaign. Usually people go work for a political party or campaign after a stint at the BBC. I included this to demonstrate both his consistency and as an example of what is not an obstacle to being hired as an impartial journalist.)   Several more can be seen here. Tom Donkin, journalist for BBC News Online Magazine

 

  Gavin Esler, newsreader, presenter for Newsnight and Dateline

  Stephanie Flanders, BBC Economics editor

  Matt Frei, ex-BBC, now with C4, former anchor of BBC World News America

  Leah Gooding, newsreader for BBC Newsround (Screenshot because Jude Machin changed the avatar after complaints, relevant tweet deleted.) Leah Gooding approves of Jude Machin's Obama Avatar Jim Hawkins, BBC Radio Shropshire (One of many presenters who uses his “unofficial, personal” account as the official one for a BBC show)

 

 

Rhys Hughes, BBC Radio 1 producer

Here’s what his avatar was until DB posted it last week and somebody told Hughes to clean up his act.

Katty Kay, anchor, BBC World News America and pundit in official BBC capacity on MSNBC and other show

 

 

 Rachel Kennedy, BBC News editor Screenshot because Kennedy deleted the tweets after Guido Fawkes linked to DB’s post on them and it gained wider attention. Same goes for this one: Dominic Laurie, Business presenter for Radio 5 Live

 

 

  Brian Limond, “controversial” BBC Scotland comedian

“Would Prince William write to FIFA on behalf of the Scotland team wearing poppies? No. Cos he thinks ENGLAND won the war.” This message was quickly followed by; “I’d love to slide a samurai sword up Prince William’s arse to the hilt, then yank it towards me like a door that won’t [email protected]*king open.” This was eventually followed by another anti-Royal family message: “Absolutely [email protected]*k England and its royal wee family living it up while pensioners freeze to death.”

Tweets deleted after complaints. More here. Sue Llewellyn, BBC social media expert This is the only Retweet in this collection, included here as evidence of the groupthink regarding Sarah Palin, and particularly the blood libel so many BBC journalists and other staff tried to push. Even one of the BBC’s experts in social media felt free to retweet such a thing. Now for an original tweet:

Jude Machin, BBC journalist, formerly US-based, now in UK (See Leah Gooding above) Screenshots because it’s all been sent down the memory hold after she got caught, then got caught again, then got caught again.


Jude Machin Twitter Screenshot Obama avatar

Leah Gooding approves of Jude Machin's Obama Avatar

James Macintyre, former BBC Question Time producer, now political editor for Prospect magazine and Ed Miliband’s biographer

 

Chris Mason, BBC political correspondent
Screenshot because his Twitter feed archive wouldn’t go back far enough

Paul Mason Newsnight economics editor

 

 

 

John Mervin, BBC News New York business editor

 

Link goes to Time magazine article about how “Conservatives have lost touch with reality”

  Claudia Milne, editor BBC News Online US edition


Fallows was Jimmy Carter’s speechwriter and is a popular Left-wing pundit

Daniel Nasaw, US-based feature writer for BBC News Online Magazine

 

 

 

Matt Prodger, BBC Home Affairs correspondent

 

 

 

Mark Sandell, editor World Have Your Say, BBC World TV and World Radio

 

 

Joan Soley, BBC News Pentagon correspondent (note BBC News wallpaper despite “my views” disclaimer)

 

Regarding one of the Republican presidential candidate debates:

Brett Spencer, Radio 5 Live Interactive editor Screenshot because he deleted the tweets after being caught. Allegra Stratton, Newsnight political editor

 Jeremy Vine, Radio 2 host, Eggheads presenter, former Newsnight journalist (and another one who uses his “personal” account as the official one for his BBC show)

  Sarah Walton, journalist for BBC Look North

  Tim Weber, ex-BBC business & technology editor for BBC Interactive, now Director at Edelman

 

 

  Lucy Williamson, BBC Seoul correspondent


Screenshots because Twitter feed archive doesn’t go back far enough:


Plenty more here.

And there you have it. Come see the bias inherent in the system. I’ve actually lost count of how many tweets there are and how many Beeboids are represented. Someone else will have to do it now since my eyes are all bleary from laying this out.

For balance, here’s one which appears to be from the Right by James Landale, BBC News political correspondent (h/t Jim Dandy)

Oh, and apparently Andrew Neil is on the Right, and Nick Robinson used to be in his youth. Balanced or what?

By Their Tweets Shall Ye Know Them

As many people here will be aware, I’ve been collecting a list of biased Beeboid tweets, compiled largely from DB’s fantastic work on catching them, as well as contributions from several others. It’s now over 100, from around 50 different BBC employees from many departments, across the spectrum of BBC broadcasting. What follows is my attempt to explain what I see as the problem with BBC Twitter policy, and why all these biased tweets add up to a serious problem which needs to be addressed. This is ultimately intended to be read with and accompanying display of 100 tweets revealing bias from BBC staff. I have the list ready, but I want to get feedback on this first before making the full publication.

Once the content of this essay is finalized, I’m going to either make it a separate page on this blog with all the embedded tweets on full display, or make it some kind of epub for distribution. For now, please read this with the idea in mind that there are loads of examples to follow.

******************

The use of Twitter as a news tool has for many become ubiquitous. Media pros use it for both newsgathering and for pushing a story. Journalists use Twitter to track trending memes as well as to reach out to people to set up interviews and gather information on a story. Tim Weber from BBC News Interactive put it this way:

Audience engagement and interaction are equally important. Broadcasters know all about talk radio, and social media let us extend this expertise into the digital space. However, the size of our audience and the cost of curating their contributions – bearing in mind the UK’s stringent libel laws – present tough choices.

But arguably the most important use of social media, from a journalist’s perspective, is newsgathering.

Yes, we subscribe to text, picture and video feeds from news agencies, but selecting the right mix of sources for my Twitter stream provides me with a customised and curated news feed that complements, but does not replace, traditional sources.

Monitoring social media lets us gauge public mood, find case studies, and spot trends and breaking stories.

At times it can seem like Twitter is the first place people go to follow breaking news stories. Indeed, some have remarked that during the recent US presidential debates, they spent more time watching Twitter commentary than they did the actual broadcast. One might begin to suspect that many opinions people formed might have been more informed by what they read on Twitter than what they saw and heard themselves. Because users choose whom to follow, circles of like-minded people form naturally, self-selecting as with any social group. It’s quite easy to get caught up in an echo chamber. This raises the question of what opinions are expressed there.

The Twitter output of BBC staff reveals a significant contingent of Left-wingers. On their own, the tweets aren’t necessarily proof of biased reporting. However, there are enough examples of personal opinions that one can make a case that there is, in Andrew Marr’s words, a “cultural liberal bias”.

The official policy on employee use of Twitter is the part of the problem. Staff are encouraged / required to use Twitter as a way not only to promote BBC news stories, but to connect with their audience. They preach this at the BBC College of Journalism.

The courses offer guidance on how to use social media as a newsgathering tool. Services like Facebook and Twitter provide quick and convenient avenues of communication with both subjects of and sources for news stories. One often sees a BBC producer reaching out to someone on Twitter to discuss a story or arrange an interview.

This by definition turns their Twitter feeds into an extension of BBC broadcasting. The directive to then communicate directly with their audience enhances this. Which is, of course, the point. The BBC has specific guidelines on all of this, which can be read here (NB: pdf file). It’s for staff use of social media in general, including things like Facebook, although our focus here is on how it applies to Twitter. These guidelines break staff and their accounts and usage into three basic categories:

1. Your own personal activity, done for your friends and contacts,
but not under or in the name of BBC News
2. Activity for core news (eg breaking news), programmes or genres
carried out officially in the name of BBC News
3. Activity of editors, presenters, correspondents or reporters
carried out as part of official BBC News output.

“Personal activity” accounts seem to make up the bulk of the Twitter accounts. The guidelines for these accounts include the following:

a. You are not discouraged from doing any of this, but as a BBC member of staff – and especially as someone who works in News – there are particular considerations to bear in mind. They can all be summarised as: ‘Don’t do anything stupid’.
b. Remember that even though you are acting in your own personal capacity, you are on show to your friends and anyone else who sees what you write, as a representative of the BBC. If you are editorial staff, it doesn’t make much difference whether or not you identify yourself as someone who works for the BBC.
c. You are allowed to say that you work for the BBC, and you can discuss the BBC and your work publicly. But your name/title should not contain BBC in any form. And you should make clear that the views expressed are personal, and not those of the BBC.
d. You shouldn’t state your political preferences or say anything that compromises your impartiality. Don’t sound off about things in an openly partisan way. Don’t be seduced by the informality of social media into bringing the BBC into disrepute. Don’t criticise your colleagues. Don’t reveal confidential BBC information. Don’t surreptitiously sanitise Wikipedia pages about the BBC.

It couldn’t be more clear, really. As we’ll see, staff seem to have problems casually ignoring the instructions in Section “b”, and often violate “d”. This is very important, as former BBC radio head of future media and technology, James Cridland has said, “‘There are some people out to ‘get you’ on the web, so it’s important not to give them too much ammunition.’

Guilty as charged, I suppose, but it is a target-rich environment. It’s also important to examine staff output in order to hold them accountable for their actions, as the BBC doesn’t unless prompted by a complaint.

North America editor Mark Mardell admitted during an appearance at the BBC College of Journalism (@36:45 in) that he and staff in general believe that the BBC considers Twitter to be a free-for-all, and “doesn’t follow BBC guidelines”. This is clearly not true, but is illustrative of the attitude held by staff. It’s pretty obvious that the “personal” Twittter accounts are barely monitored at all, allowing staff to freely express personal political opinions until one of those people “out to get” them successfully registers a complaint. Morale and compliance is probably harmed by this hands-off approach, as staff do what they like for ages until getting a reprimand for something they thought they were allowed to do. The complaint must then seem petty, or just noise from haters. Lessons are most likely not learned in this atmosphere.

In fact, so easily and freely do BBC staff feel able to express personal opinion that the BBC recently had to issue a directive to stop them tweeting their grumbles about the Newsnight scandals and management problems.

This brings us to consider just how official or unofficial these Twitter accounts are. Officially, most of them aren’t.

Some BBC Twitter accounts are officially sanctioned, as understood in the above rules. The staff member gets approval to use the BBC logo, and it becomes an official outlet, required to abide by all the usual rules of professional integrity and impartiality. However, the majority of staff accounts do not have the logo and are not officially sanctioned. These accounts will necessarily have some form of disclaimer, generally some variation on “Views my own”. This makes it officially unofficial, a kind of “get-out-of-bias-free” card. However, as Section “c” shows, they are allowed to use these personal accounts to promote BBC reporting, which complicates matters.

The problem is, interacting with the audience and getting personal is built into the official policy.

The tweets by themselves aren’t necessarily proof of bias in the BBC’s output. Certainly the majority are the usual assortment of mundane personal activity, notices of their latest piece for the BBC, comments on sport or pop culture, brief conversations on a topic of interest, and casual exchanges with both friend and stranger alike. They are, however evidence of a shared worldview, an overwhelming tilt to the Left – at times further Left than others – among staff. It’s also evidence that the behavior is spread throughout the organization.

There doesn’t need to be an editorial directive sent from the top for there to be a form of institutional bias in the Corporation. There’s  no need for a conspiracy or a memo passed around or a secret cabal planning the day’s editorial slant. If they all think the same way, share the relevant perspective, the biased reporting happens naturally. Their tweets are evidence of this shared mindset.

This reflexive behavior can be reinforced when nearly all one’s colleagues approve, or one is rewarded for it. People feel quite free to express their personal political opinions without concern.

While the occasional expression of partisan opinion can be overlooked, when there are a lot of them over time, it adds up.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, sometimes the plural of anecdote really is “data”‘.

Some BBC staff are worse than others with the regularity of personal opinion or the enthusiasm with which it’s expressed. Others are more circumspect, only rarely letting their opinion on an issue slip through. The problem, however, is that nearly all those opinions are on the Left of the political spectrum, some much further Left than others.

It would be one thing, of course, if it was just a handful of people, say, regional pop music radio personnel, lightly passing on their liberal thoughts on an issue of the day every once in a while. Only it’s much more than that: BBC staff from many departments, both in Britain and internationally are tweeting Left-wing opinion.

A reader of staff Twitter feeds often sees a preponderance of Left-leaning voices. A person’s Follow list can also be revealing. While nearly all the News & Current Affairs people will be following political figures and media outlets on both sides of the political spectrum – as they should, in order to do their jobs properly – there are also plenty of things which betray personal opinion.

Tweets about favorite bands or football clubs, or outbursts about an X factor result are all about sharing personal opinion. It’s not a stretch at all to read tweets about politics or public figures the same way.

When one tweets only Left-wing opinions, it’s equally as telling as  tweeting about rock concerts one has just seen. Patterns emerge. Just as musical taste can be gleaned from the latter, political opinion can be from the former.

With this in mind, the public figures outside of politics – that is to say, aside from politicians, party officials, and the like – the commentators, pundits, and special interest advocates on a Follow list and in a Twitter feed can be can be telling. For example, BBC staff are more likely to be following Left-wing pundits and writers than voices from the Right.

Similarly, they’re more likely to be following something from Occupy Wall St than from any Tea Party group, and are far more likely to retweet something from a Left-wing perspective in a complimentary fashion than one from the Right. A number of BBC staff openly mocked even the most minor of slip-up of Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, but not a single one of them has ever laughed at or even lightly mentioned any error made by Barack Obama, either as candidate or President.

The Twitter activity of BBC staff is very revealing of their personal political and ideological leanings. When viewed as a whole, over a period of time, it’s clear evidence of a shared mindset, a kind of groupthink. There’s certainly a lack of intellectual diversity. If it was just a few of them, or was a more or less isolated phenomenon among light-entertainment on-air talent, it wouldn’t be an issue. But clearly it’s a problem in many areas of the BBC, across the spectrum of broadcasting as well as on the website.

BBC to Twitter: Ban the IDF and Hamas

From Breitbart:

The BBC took to Twitter to let the world know that it thinks that there is no difference between terrorists and victims.
If you are unaware of what is going on in Israel lately, Hamas and the Palestinians have been launching rockets into the Jewish State killing women and children in a renewed and sustained attack. Today, the Israeli government and her Defense Force (IDF) have at last had enough. The IDF even took to Twitter to warn the Palestinians that retaliation is immanent.

The BBC’s tweet:


In other words, the BBC is so obsessed with seeing Israel as a warmongering rogue State, they cannot distinguish between the purpose of the IDF’s tweets and those of Hamas. And they’re trying influence Twitter in the process. Yes, the IDF tweets real-time updates of their war efforts to inform the population and news outlets, but also warns people to get out of harm’s way. Because Israel is the superior force and is tweeting results and warnings to Hamas leaders, and all Hamas can do is reply with threats, the BBC naturally sees only David vs Goliath. But the BBC is not supposed to try to influence other media outlets are they? Is this a violation of their Charter?

Your license fee hard at work.

Katty Kay Tweets Political Endorsement

The latest tweet from Katty Kay, BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of what’s left of BBC World News America, and the highest-profile Beeboid in the US:

First of all, Bloomberg is no longer a Republican, hasn’t been for years. He quit that Party and has been calling himself an independent since 2007 – which Katty knows for a fact – so the whole “bi-partisan” thing is false right away. Not only that, but as Katty also well knows, Bloomberg is a life-long Democrat who switched to Republican only so he could run for New York City mayor without having to bribe the Democrat machine in certain outer boroughs because he felt he’d stand out better among the Republican candidates. Quite frankly, Katty Kay is being dishonest when she calls this a bi-partisan ticket.

_______________

UPDATE: Katty’s partisan ticket isn’t even an original thought. She’s merely regurgitating partisan opinion from her friends within the Beltway Bubble:

 

 

 

That’s the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker, btw.

_______________

Just another biased display from perhaps the most hyper-partisan Beeboid in the US. Here’s Katty displaying her advocacy for Climate Change legislation with Mayor Bloomberg himself. And here she is just the other day on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” (where she’s a regular panelist in her official BBC capacity) expressing her frustration with the lackluster message coming out of the President’s campaign. Why trust this woman on anything anymore? A complaint has been sent to the BBC, and since she does work in the US and report on US issues, they can’t give me the brush-off right away.

Note that this is an officially sanctioned BBC twitter account. The logo is featured prominently and there is no “views my own” get-out-of-bias-free disclaimer.

Over to you, professional journalists and media experts who defend the indefensible.

Your License Fee Hard At Work: Twitter IS The News

After increasing their spending on the US division of the BBC website, and making all those new hires, the BBC has now decided what the best use of those resources is: reporting Twitter.

News tweets: Zombies attack ‘Amercia’

For the week of 27 May, here is the news – condensed into 10 topical tweets, some more serious than others.

The highest possible quality journalism, worthy of the legacy of trust and respect spanning generations, no? It’s especially silly considering the recent error over that Syria photo, which they rushed to publish simply because it was trending on Twitter. This is basically how they do newsgathering now. If they make this a regular feature, will there be any reason to consider the BBC as a serious news source for US news anymore? Lightweight, human interest stuff, with an increasingly small amount of hard news. Alastair Cooke is probably rolling in his grave.

WTF?

BBC News Pentagon producer Joan Soley responds to the sad news about Andrew Breitbart’s death:

I guess those of us who are deeply saddened by the death of “the Weiner guy” just don’t care about the fate of NATO troops. If only we could see the bigger picture, like a BBC journalist.

Are BBC hacks playing this game elsewhere? “Davey Jones? Big deal. What about the troops? #spotthedifference.” Hmm, I can’t recall reading anything like that.

Of course, it’s not really NATO deaths that concern Ms Soley – she just wants to score a political point against Breitbart and his followers, and if that means using dead troops to back her argument, so be it.

I see she’s not shy about declaring her views on Newt Gingrich, either:

BBC World News America – motto: “If you don’t hate conservatives, find a job elsewhere.”

WHAT DID JANE DM OWEN?

Aw, look who DM’d Owen Jones after his Question Time appearance last night:

What do you suppose she said?

“You were awesome. We love you in the newsroom.”

“Agreed that left ideas don’t get enough hearing on BBC. Aiming for 95% left – 5% right. Fancy a fuck?”

“BBC looking for co-presenter for new Giles Fraser series. Interested?”

Further suggestions welcome.

One Year On From The BBC Using Mass Murder To Push An Agenda

It’s been one year since an unhinged Arizonan killed several people in cold blood while attempting to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The BBC is silent on that matter today, which is slightly curious considering the big deal it was at the time, and what larger meaning they and their fellow travelers in the Left-wing US media tried to force onto it. They tried to blame Sarah Palin for inciting this act of mass murder. She had previously published a map with a cross-hairs on it, calling for supporters to “target” various Democrat opponents. Ignoring all common sense and the fact that this was a common rhetorical gesture, nothing to do with a call for violence, the BBC pushed the idea that Palin was to blame. But now…silence.

(UPDATE: See the bottom of this post.)

The easy “journalistic” defense is that the BBC has only such much time and only so much room to do stories, and the Republican race, the economy, and foreign policy developments take up the bulk of their time. The rest of the 55 Beeboids employed to cover the US are dedicated to producing more lightweight, magazine-style pieces and celebrity gossip, so hard news is outside their bailiwick.

Call it a straw man if you will, but then please give me an alternative reason for the BBC’s silence. My bet is that the agenda the BBC tried to push at the time has proved to be false, so they’ve ignored the story since there’s no special issue mileage to be gained. Also, if they bring it up again, they have to be careful not to remind you of their behavior at the time.

Let’s recall how the BBC, following the lead of their like-thinking brethren in the US media, tried to tell you that this act of mass murder was partially Sarah Palin’s fault. Let’s also recall how they pimped the President’s ill-advised attempt to use this tragedy to push His anti-gun agenda.

DB busted several Beeboids for their disgusting behavior at the time. BBC tv news editor Rachel Kennedy blamed Palin when tweeting:

The tweet has since been deleted. Down the memory hole, like so many other unfortunate tweets by BBC employees after they’re caught out.

As DB noted at the time, Katie Connolly (who later left the BBC to work for a Democrat strategy group) tried to smear the Tea Party movement with this by tweeting that the entire movement was Giffords’ enemy. Gavin Esler and a stalwart of the BBC College of Journalism were just two of the other BBC employees who joined in the fun.

The BBC’s top man in the US, Mark Mardell, also tried to smear Palin and the “rhetoric” of the Right for this tragedy. Sure, he opened with the “we don’t know the motives” disclaimer, but his entire post is dedicated to pointing the finger of blame. As I said in a post following the incident, this was drastically different from his behavior when Maj. Nadal murdered several people in the name of Islamic jihad.

Mardell further pushed his Narrative that Republicans engage in dangerous behavior in a later post, in which he promoted a speech by the President. The President also ran with the sick Narrative that Right-wing political rhetoric was to blame for the incident, and did a “we must all work together” speech.

It became apparent almost immediately to those who looked somewhere other than the BBC and the Huffington Post for their news on US issues that the mass murderer was mentally ill, and that partisan politics had precious little to do with his actions. The BBC took days to admit this, and not a single Beeboid apologized for their biased, inaccurate, slanderous statements.

Today, the BBC is silent. If they do whip up a news brief about it for tomorrow morning, they won’t be reminding you of their disgusting behavior at the time, won’t be reminding you of how their fellow travelers got it horribly wrong, won’t want you to recall how this tragic act was used to advance a political agenda.

UPDATE: The news brief is up. As predicted, no mention at all of the media hysteria, hoping you won’t remember the BBC’s disgusting behavior. One would have thought this would be a good moment to think about the dangers of divisive rhetoric, but then it’s only the Left doing it on this issue, so the BBC won’t touch it.

Twitter Me This

Ranting about biased Beeboid tweets has become something of a favorite past time around here recently, and deservedly so.  DB’s trap shooting in particular has provided some real gems, and several other people have brought biased tweets to our attention. The problem, though, is that, with one exception, ultimately the BBC employees revealing their bias remain unaccountable, unaffected by any controversy, and the biased behavior continues unabated.  They have no problem openly laughing at us.

We know that the official BBC guidelines abjure openly biased utterances on social media.  The catch phrase is “Don’t do anything stupid”.  They make a distinction between “official” Twitter accounts and personal ones.  Only the “official” ones (NB: pdf file), which require the approval of management and are allegedly monitored by a senior editor, are required to follow BBC guidelines of impartiality.  If we take a broad constructionist interpretation, this means that anything which is not strictly prohibited in the text would be permitted.  Thus, all those personal accounts can use the “opinions my own” disclaimer as a get-out-of-bias-free card, even though they openly state their positions at the BBC.  It’s pretty obvious that there’s a massive grey area here, and I seriously doubt that BBC management has spent much time trying to draw a line between them.

I have my doubts because we know from Mark Mardell’s appearance at the BBC College of Journalism that they accept that their use of Twitter “doesn’t follow BBC guidelines” (@36:45).   I don’t know how much more proof we need.

The reason I bring this up is because there’s been a highly relevant incident recently at the Washington Post.

Jennifer Rubin, the lone non-Left voice at the paper (she’s a blogger and not even a reporter or editor), recently retweeted a blog post by “Bad Rachel” about the release of Gilad Shalit, which was full of rather unfortunate anti-Palestinian vitriol.  There was naturally a backlash, and Patrick Pexton, the WaPo ombudsman, chose to publicly chastise Rubin for it.  He admits that he always gets a load of complaints that the paper even allows a conservative voice in its pages, which is pretty funny.  But what he said was instructive. Remember, this is about a mere retweet, and not somebody telling George Osborne to [email protected]#$ off or calling for support for Occupy Wall Street:

But how responsible is Rubin for it? She didn’t write it. It did not appear anywhere in The Washington Post — online or in print. It appeared on Abrams’s independent “Bad Rachel” blog, and then Abrams broadcast it on Twitter.


Some readers suggested that because an employee retweeted this link, The Post somehow condones genocide against Palestinians. That’s nonsense. The Post’s journalism and its editorials show a deep commitment to human rights around the globe, from Russia to China, to North Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and beyond.


It’s also worth noting that the rules of objectivity that apply to editors, reporters and bloggers in The Post newsroom do not apply to Post opinion bloggers and columnists. Post opinion writers are given greater leeway to say what they want. That’s how it should be. If the opinion section were too politically correct, it’d be dull.

So we see here a distinction between columnists and opinion bloggers.  But is the BBC’s distinction between “official” Twitter accounts and the rest of them equally valid?  I would say not, as people like Matt Danzico and Mark Sandell and Jane Bradley are not opinion bloggers or op-ed writers for the BBC.  Yet they reveal their bias and, in the case of Bradley, seem to be proud of it.

The Washington Post ombudsman then lays out the official guidelines:

Social-media accounts maintained by Washington Post journalists — whether on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or elsewhere — reflect upon the reputation and credibility of The Washington Post’s newsroom. Even as we express ourselves in more personal and informal ways to forge better connections with our readers, we must be ever mindful of preserving the reputation of The Washington Post for journalistic excellence, fairness and independence.

He again points out that writers hired specifically for their personal opinions are not included in the “journalistic excellence and fairness” bit, but that their public behavior reflects on the credibility of the WaPo nevertheless.

With this example in mind, one has to ask if the BBC should similarly be concerned about how the constant stream of biased tweets from Beeboids from a number of different departments and job levels reflects on their credibility.  Does the “opinions my own” disclaimer really excuse all of it?  Does the Washington Post – a paper so biased that the previous ombudsman apologized for their pro-Obamessiah bias during the 2008 election, and the publisher had to apologize for trying to organize dinner parties at her own home to provide personal access to Administration officials – have more integrity than the BBC?  Unless they rein in this partisan behavior, I would have to say yes.

If nothing else, the sheer volume of biased utterances from the Left and the fact that there has yet to be a single example of a Beeboid tweet from the Right shows that the BBC is full of Leftoids, and the groupthink is endemic. Intellectual diversity at the BBC seems to be practically non-existent, and their public behavior with social media proves it.

NICE TWEET

Here’s another little nugget from Twitter just to keep the blog ticking over on a quiet day. This tweet comes from Mark Sandell, editor of the BBC’s World Have Your Say discussion show (and also Mr Victoria Derbyshire):

He couldn’t resist – he just had to put a #nice tag in there. He’s also concerned that not enough musicians are lending their support to the Occupy Wall Street demos. (Right-on Jane Bradley was on hand to offer one example via the Huffington Post.)

UPDATE 19:00. Within the past hour:

Do you think Sandell is trying to send us a message that he’s one of the BBC’s Untouchables?

THAT TRAFALGAR SQUARE RALLY AGAIN

A little update to yesterday’s post. Here’s BBC Newcastle reporter Sarah Walton’s reply to BBC London News producer Jane Bradley on Saturday:


The love of lefty protest is no great shock, but I am a little surprised to discover that BBC journalists still hold Assange in such high regard. I guess it’s all part of displaying one’s radical cred.

BBC NEWS PRODUCER REGRETS MISSING LEFTY RALLY

Jane Bradley, producer at BBC London TV News, tweeting yesterday:

She’s your typical Guardian-reading BBC lefty, but don’t just take my word for it:


I notice that she groups the BBC journalists in with all the other lefties.

Also, check out Ros Ball from BBC Parliament. Gender politics is her thing. Likes – female Marxist historians on the BBC and mooncups. Dislikes – Tories and, er, Doris Day.


Whip crack-away!

TAX THE RICH!

More revealing tweets from a BBC journalist, this time BBC Home Affairs correspondent Matt Prodger:

The Tobin tax is a good idea because of those who oppose it:


An appearance by the Taxpayers’ Alliance on Radio 4 drew this response:


He doesn’t dislike all lobby groups, though:


Taxing the rich is a recurring theme in Prodger’s tweets:


(The above one links to lefty “tax justice” campaigner Richard Murphy. See Guido for more on him.)

He seems to have a bit of an agenda, wouldn’t you say?

BBC Ignores Cruel And Crass Tweets From Left Wing Writer

Nothing at all at the BBC website about Guardian contributor Kia Abdullah’s crass and heartless twitter comments on the tragic death of three British students in a road accident in Thailand.

‘Is it really awful that I don’t feel any sympathy for anyone killed on a gap year?’
‘I actually smiled when I saw that they had double-barrelled surnames. Sociopath?’

All across the twitterverse and blogosphere within hours and hitting the dead tree press by Sunday even the Guardian had to do a nifty piece of sidestepping.

But the BBC obviously felt the story wasn’t worth covering.

I wonder why?

"I LOVE HIM!"

Hat-tip to John Horne Tooke in the comments for pointing us to the Twitter account of BBC journalist Jude Machin:

“Obamama”? Urrgh *shiver*.

OK, so she’s assigned to the 2012 Olympics and isn’t covering US politics (and quite clearly can’t be allowed to do so – right, Ms Boaden?) However, isn’t it interesting that every time a BBC hack expresses a political opinion on Twitter it always seems to come from one direction? Imagine a BBC journalist declaring his or her support for a Republican candidate on Twitter. It would mark them out as a freak. Career suicide. But announcing one’s love for Obama? Hey, no big deal, everyone at work’s cool with that.

The same sort of thing didn’t do Anita Anand’s career any harm, did it?