If the bloggers at the Telegraph and their followers are to be believed, the BBC is a rabidly left wing broadcaster, whose sole objective is to inject their filthy Marxism into innocent minds. The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. The BBC is the state broadcaster and as such it is a conservative institution. The BBC’s coverage of the recent riots being a case in point.
There are many examples of how the BBC turned the riots into a discourse about young black men and gangsta rap. Fiona Armstrong or Lady MacGregor of MacGregor, if you prefer, interviewed Darcus Howe on the BBC News Channel. In it, she appeared to suggest that Howe had participated in past riots and was condoning the looting. Howe was furious and so were many viewers.
Here’s the exchange between Lady MacGregor and Howe
The Voice expressed its outrage and called on the BBC to apologise. The Corporation has yet to do so.
Newsnight’s coverage of the riots was spectacularly bad. On the Monday, we were treated to the spectacle of a studio ‘debate’ between Michael Gove and Harriet Harman. Gove came across as petulant and bad tempered, while Harman was cool and measured. But Gavin Esler allowed Gove to shout and talk over Harman. Then Kelvin MacKenzie was invited to make a contribution and, surprise, surprise, he didn’t disappoint with his usual spiel about socialism and nanny states. Here is the studio ‘debate’ with Lyn Costello, the rapper Reveal (who was very good) and a student.
But Newsnight’s worst moment came on the Friday when Emily Maitlis allowed David Starkey to talk over the other studio guests after making the suggestion that ‘whites’ were turning ‘black’. Maitlis is a pretty lightweight anchor and should never have been given the job of hosting Newsnight.
Within days of the riots, the BBC aired a special edition of Crimewatch in which it asked the public to turn in rioters. The Telegraph complained that the rioters were being referred to by the BBC as “protesters”. In this article it cites “political correctness”. To be honest, I watched a great deal of the BBC’s awful coverage and I didn’t, at any point, notice the reporters or newsreaders referring to rioters as “protesters”. The BBC’s riot reportage was unequivocally conservative in its tone.
The BBC World Service, which is hated by the Tories, aired an edition of World Have Your Say in which it used the heading “Is there a problem with young black men”. It was forced to issue an apology.
There may be a few left-wingers working for the BBC but for every left-winger, there is a right-winger. The opponents of the BBC will claim that there is a “left-wing bias” when no such bias exists. Some will claim that the Question Time audience is made up of left-wingers but they suffer from selective blindness when the programme is recorded in the shire counties where the audiences are mainly composed of Tory voters.
There is a Guardian article here about the decline in standards on Newsnight.
John Simpson, in this article in the Telegraph said that BBC News has never been “left-wing”.
The Daily Mail recruited Peter Sissons to claim that the BBC is “left-wing”. The Mail has always been one of the loudest voices to call for the BBC to be abolished.
Here is a Telegraph-approved site called Biased BBC
I suspect the reason why so many right wingers complain about BBC bias is because they want the BBC to tug its collective forelock in deference to them. But they wilfully overlook examples of real bias in order to advance their thesis that the BBC should be abolished.
John Pilger has written of examples of blatant right-wing bias on the BBC particularly in relation to Israel-Palestine. Remember Mark Thompson’s refusal to allow the DEC to broadcast an appeal in the wake of Operation Cast Lead?
Some people have very short memories.