Sunday, October 22, 2006

If Ever Anything Proved the Need for 18DoughtyStreet...

Simon Walters has a story in the Mail on Sunday which contains the writeup of the BBC summit on impartiality. I guess it's nothing we didn't suspect already, but when it's written up so starkly it comes as a bit of a shock. I think I might discuss this on my show tomorrow night!

It was the day that a host of BBC executives and star presenters admitted what critics have been telling them for years: the BBC is dominated by trendy, Left-leaning liberals who are biased against Christianity and in favour of multiculturalism. A leaked account of an 'impartiality summit' called by BBC chairman Michael Grade, is certain to lead to a new row about the BBC and its reporting on key issues, especially concerning Muslims and the war on terror.

It reveals that executives would let the Bible be thrown into a dustbin on a TV comedy show, but not the Koran, and that they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden if given the opportunity. Further, it discloses that the BBC's 'diversity tsar', wants Muslim women newsreaders to be allowed to wear veils when on air.

At the secret meeting in London last month, which was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals and people from ethnic minorities, deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians. One veteran BBC executive said: 'There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness.

'Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it.' In one of a series of discussions, executives were asked to rule on how they would react if the controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen) known for his offensive characters Ali G and Borat - was a guest on the programme Room 101.

On the show, celebrities are invited to throw their pet hates into a dustbin and it was imagined that Baron Cohen chose some kosher food, the Archbishop of Canterbury, a Bible and the Koran. Nearly everyone at the summit, including the show's actual producer and the BBC's head of drama, Alan Yentob, agreed they could all be thrown into the bin, except the Koran for fear of offending Muslims.

In a debate on whether the BBC should interview Osama Bin Laden if he approached them, it was decided the Al Qaeda leader would be given a platform to explain his views. And the BBC's 'diversity tsar', Mary Fitzpatrick, said women newsreaders should be able to wear whatever they wanted while on TV, including veils. Ms Fitzpatrick spoke out after criticism was raised at the summit of TV newsreader Fiona Bruce, who recently wore on air a necklace with a cross.

The full account of the meeting shows how senior BBC figures queued up to lambast their employer. Political pundit Andrew Marr said: 'The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.'

Washington correspondent Justin Webb said that the BBC is so biased against America that deputy director general Mark Byford had secretly agreed to help him to 'correct', it in his reports. Webb added that the BBC treated America with scorn and derision and gave it 'no moral weight'. Former BBC business editor Jeff Randall said he complained to a 'very senior news executive', about the BBC's pro-multicultural stance but was given the reply: 'The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it.'

Randall also told how he once wore Union Jack cufflinks to work but was rebuked with: 'You can't do that, that's like the National Front!'

Quoting a George Orwell observation, Randall said that the BBC was full of intellectuals who 'would rather steal from a poor box than stand to attention during God Save The King'. There was another heated debate when the summit discussed whether the BBC was too sensitive about criticising black families for failing to take responsibility for their children. Head of news Helen Boaden disclosed that a Radio 4 programme which blamed black youths at a young offenders', institution for bullying white inmates faced the axe until she stepped in.

But Ms Fitzpatrick, who has said that the BBC should not use white reporters in non-white countries, argued it had a duty to 'contextualise' why black youngsters behaved in such a way. Andrew Marr told The Mail on Sunday last night: 'The BBC must always try to reflect Britain, which is mostly a provincial, middle-of-the-road country. Britain is not a mirror image of the BBC or the people who work for it.'

Discuss.

67 comments:

newmania said...

Terry Wogan also having a go as have a number of others recently, so what you might say. The corporations sickness is not merely political and extends inot every area of its woeful output.

(.Note front page of DT ciovering NHS bias towards Nu Lab as covered here extensively recently)

(and by me)

Gareth Ellis said...

I want to cry..... For years i have also said this, i have argued the point over and over, especially about multiculturalism.

I think the BBC is an excellent and professional news gathering organisation, their website is still second to none for regular news, however, the deliberate persuit of 'multiculturalism' has gone to far.
If an alien from outer space was to come to an opinion about this country from watching the BBC,he would assume a very different place to what it is.
The BBC can be excellent, it needs to get out of the politics and present good shows.

bt said...

The only surprise is that the beeb even considered that it might be less than impartial.

Being of a cynical disposition, I suspect that the conference was set up as a whitewash (multi-wash?) to enable them to dismiss recent and growing critical mutterings and it backfired; some people hadn't read the script. Either that or the old well-established 'liberals' were afraid of being out-liberalled by the newer lot and want to re-establish their authority.

Shotgun said...

Probably the worst aspect of this is the thought and question; are we surprised? And what is there to discuss when we have said this and more for years? You want us to engage in mutual backslapping now that what we have and observed has been admitted?

Consider that a day or two ago we were discussing the BBC in another thread and there were at least a couple of mongs who came in to berate all and sundry that the BBC was not biased towards Labour or the left and we were paranoid...well here it is in black and white, or maybe black and pink, that the BBC is dominated by homosexuals and ethnics...like the obsessed Labour party.

I've said it repeatedly here and everywhere, the sooner the BBC licence fee is abolished the better, and Cameron should make this pledge ASAP to gain a million votes. He'll miss the boat if he doesn't soon as Labour are getting icreasingly desperate to find not only eye catching initiative, but initiatives that will work with the average chav and gain their vote.

Croydonian said...

*Gratuitous plug alert*

Last month I saw Robin Aitken of the BBC do a Q&A session for the New Culture Forum on the BBC's 'Institutional Leftism' and worked up my notes into a report. His reading of the BBC is very much like the one described in the Mail's article. If anyone's interested, here it is.

Anonymous said...

What broadcaster wouldn't show an interview with Osama Bin Laden? It would be the scoop of the century.

Cranmer said...

His Grace accords with these findings. The BBC has derided Christianity for decades, and treats Islam with such reverence it has become the de facto state religion.

It is responsibly for perverting the minds of millions with its relative truths, multi-cultural mumblings, and vehement anti-American pontificating. It might also be added that whenever Christianity is paid respect, it is the Roman variety; the Church of England is ridiculed, and its leaders are portrayed as insiginificant compared to the doctrinal purity of the Pope.

And the most maddening dimension is that His Grace is obliged to render unto Caesar, and continue funding this abomination.

UK Daily Pundit said...

We would be quite within our rights if a few thousand of us marched on the place and took it over for a day. Not that I'm advocating civil disobedience. But I wouldn't say no to giving Nicky Campbell and Andrew Marr a piece of my mind.

Slim Jim said...

This is only what we already knew - but how does the BBC, post-Hutton, 'fix' itself? It is yet another example of the politicisation of the public sector (where diversity is more important than ability to do the job), and like other organisations, the BBC is now coming under scrutiny.

I would suggest that the young Cameron and his chums would do well to propose major changes at the Beeb, and ensure its impartiality. Just like he's said he will let the NHS be run by professionals in the health sector, rather than 'professional' politicians. There's lots of votes in these proposals.

Or is this just another uber-cynical NuLabia ploy to make us think that they've 'seen the light' and will mend their ways?

Anonymous said...

Not surprised. All the more reason to oppose the increase in the licence fee the BBC is lobbying for and to get a movement going to redefine what public service broadcasting should really mean.

antifrank said...

Iain, Andrew Marr's book My Trade has an excellent and very subtle analysis of bias at the BBC. I recommend it to anyone who is concerned about this issue.

captain morgan said...

nothing that a lot of people weren't aware of.the new departure is that even they know how biased they are.

for many of us on the right,who have watched years of andrew marr and co sucking up to the govt,it is the ultimate irony.But will they care?I suspect not.their handsome salaries,taxi bills and license fee funded pensions will be safe when the rest of us are living in penury.

I can't wait for the day they get privatised and have to work for shareholders.I'll buy in if only to scream for job cuts.

bastards!!!

PS question,how can so many lefties support the most regressive and unfair tax in the country?

a.self interest before truth and decency

jhmcrs said...

I think you should mentiom what Jeff Randalsaid he would do with the cuff-links!!!

Owen said...

Ian,

I like 18DoughtyStreet, but how do shortcomings at the BBC prove the need for it?

Would problems at West Ham, say, prove the need for ... Spurs?

Gracchi said...

Iain what you say is true though lots of what the BBC does is not reliant upon opinion- its coverage of foreign affairs especially on radio, linkage between the academic and populist worlds (see in our time on Radio 4) and other things show that it is more than just a liberal opinion show. You ought to reflect those kind of things when condemning it- if the BBC were entirely replaced wtih various Fox networks we might not miss its bias but we would miss lots of other things.

Jeb Bushell said...

The fact that Auntie has a serious internal debate on the subject is encouraging. It's hard to imagine a comparable debate inside News Corp or The Mail Group. On anti-Americanism, I personally do not know anyone who thinks entirely well of America these days but then I'm urban, like so many other upper quartile taxpayers. My argument with the Beeb is that I have to pay for them and they are allowed to threaten me with criminal proceedings if I choose not to. That is absurd and has to change. Imagine how it might be if they were able to extend that privilege to PCs that access the web!

RedEye said...

With pleasure - we know from what Rod Liddle has said that one high-up in the BBC sneered at Lord Pearson of Rannoch as 'quite mad' just because Lord Pearson argues for withdrawal from the EU (I wouldn't go that far, but I'd never dismiss those who argue for such a policy as mentally ill). I also remember watching two News 24 presenters opine that the Single Currency was good because it meant not having to change money on holidays (never mind all the people who couldn't afford a holiday, when they'd lost their jobs - and quite often their houses - as a result of ERM membership).

It's the sort of liberal left PC view of the world in which it's fashionable to point out how many people in prison are illiterate, but never wonder if the lack of synthetic phonics in large parts of the state education sector are responsible for that illiteracy.

It's the sort of bias where, apart from dismissing those with a different worldview as being 'mad', quite often doesn't recognise that a different worldview, or perspective, exists. It's the sort of bias which makes me, a centre-left Eurosceptic, think that explicit, open bias is possibly less dangerous than the implicit bias seen in the BBC.

Which leads me to Fox News - instead of making fools of themselves by pretending to be 'fair and balanced' (and, ridiculously, claiming to have the phrase under copyright) why don't they just say 'Yes, we're biased, but at least we're open about it'?

Johnny Norfolk said...

Iain thats why we need your show to put the rights point of view. There is no chance on the BBC. The trouble is that so many journalists have been BBC trained or influenced that it pervades all the media now.

You must strike out.

Buster George said...

Not something that comes as much of a supprise.

For a long time now I have tended to avoid the news coverage due to it's bias nature.

The point made about them allowing the Bible to be thrown in the bin does not supprise me either. They know that as civilised people we woould probably write in to complain, not picket outside Broadcasting House demanding Grades Head.

Little Black Sambo said...

And why is the BBC so evangelical about promoting metric measurements? E.g. in History Today: "just a kilometre from where we are standing ..." Etc etc. Have they been given instructions from the government? What is their MOTIVE?

Anonymous said...

Is this the same BBC whose chief political correspondent is an out and out Tory?

hatfield girl said...

The BBC is not particularly left -wing; many on the left find it very right-wing. It is so offensive to any wing because it is deeply culturally authoritarian; it answers to an urban, age-delineated, gender-responsive multiculturalism (which in no way matches the cultural beliefs, indeed imperatives of the culures it pretends to represent) that is equally widely present in government, both local and central, and is so irritatingly funded from our taxes. This cultural authoritarianism, unresponsive to democratic pressure and narrowly but determinedly held by dominant, exclusive power groups, is known as fascism.

The Druid said...

A case of stating the bleedin obvious. I dread to think how much public money was spent on this exercise in navel gazing.

No need to advertise it, but when the next conservative govt is elected the BBC should be broken up and sold off bit by bit. Death by a thousand privatisations. When it has been asset stripped then a decision will need to be taken as it whether the rump should be allowed to continue albeit with a statutory charter that entrenches impartiality properly.

Malcolmius said...

For years and years the BBC has recruited staff largely through the advertisement pages of The Guardian, with predictable results. Perhaps for the next ten years they should recruit only through the advertisement pages of the Daily Telegraph; in the interests of balance.

Schoolboy-Error said...

'I don't expect you to talk (Mr Bond).I expect you to die.'

Paul Burgin said...

Well Iain, as we all know, the Mail On Sunday is not renowned for it's neutrality, and the fact that Paul Dacre's brother has been involved with ITN is a complete coincidence of course! That's not to say the BBC have been pains in the neck over these issues, a la Fiona Bruce and her cross, but I will take this with a pinch of salt. That said, the corporation does need to wise-up a little more!
As for 18 Doughty Street, we do need it (after all I would hardly get involved myself), but I think in comparison to the BBC, it's similar but different! 18 Doughty Street is internet based and more time spent on politics and current affairs.

Media Stoat said...

This story was on Media Guardian a week or so ago. I'm with RedEye in that I really couldn't give two hoots about bias, as long as the broadcaster concerned is open about it. What gets me is the balanced and fair approach which, when you look at it, isn't.

The BBC is very good at many things in comparison to similar public service broadcast organisations across the world (mind you, so it should be, the amount of tax we pay to it). But I've heard it oft said that the BBC is more civil service than the civil service, i.e. a forest of paperwork, department not speaking to department, overplayed multiculturalism, new-ways-of-working managerial rubbish and fairness gone mad.

Anyway, I remember being taught many moons ago that there's no such thing as an unbiased journalist. And if a journalist says they are, then their editor certainly isn't...

Neil Craig said...

My particular criticisms of them have been that they are overwhelmingly biased on the Green/anti-technology/anti-nuclear/global warming & other catatrophism side also pro-EU & anti-Serb (more, I think, because Germany was anti-Serb than because Moslems were). All of these are things that tend to increase state power, regulation & bureaucracy which, the BBC being a state bureaucracy is unsurprising.

That none of these appear to have been mentioned in their private self criticism session may be taken as evidence that I am wrong or as evidence of how deeply this institutional bias is ingrained.

Recently, on this site, somebody posted about the BBC essentially fabricating Kosovo atrocity stories which suggests i am not wrong.

David Boothroyd said...

You can argue that this shows the BBC is demonstrably biased, if you like, and indeed there is good evidence for it. However, the argument that the fact of the BBC being biased proves the need for another TV station which is just as biased but in a different direction, is an argument for joining battle while conceding the war, don't you think?

scroblene said...

And the winners are: -

Jeb Bushell and Captain Morgan

All to the point, and correct too!

Terry Hamblin said...

This is no news for bloggers, who have other sources of news, but milions of our fellow citizens are being duped by the BBC. The question is, "How can we change it?"

There is no point in trying to "Have your say", any sugestion that the BBC is biased is censored by the moderator. For those who are not up to speed on this isue I recommend that you read http://www.biased-bbc.blogspot.com/ every day.

shergar said...

Redeye, I don't understand your point about Fox News. They can maintain the moon is made of edam cheese if they want to, the point being they exist or don't exist according to the freemarket.
Fox says they're "balanced". I think their objectivity is nuanced, but who cares what I think? They pay their own way and its American viewers can choose not to subscribe. Not so with Aunty. If I disagree with their biased worldview, and I do, but I want to watch ITV or C4, I still need to pay the BBC's disgraceful poll tax, or face jail.
The debate needs to move on to alternative funding models. I think part-privatisation is the way. People who want commercial-free TV and radio, plus the left-wing bias that comes with it, can bloody well pay for it.

Anonymous said...

I guess we are already living in a republic after the lack of infomation about the Queen, even when she has been in the Balkens all week.
all Subjects should stick together. rather than be a citizen of the EUssr.

Campbell Stephen said...

As an avowedly liberal person I am always p****d off with the things attributed to my creed - by you and others. The intolerance and prescriptiveness described in this piece are not liberal.

The BBC does have a "received wisdom" as it used to use only received pronunciation. My own "favourite" was Simon McCoy's recent comment after a viewer's email criticised the imbalances between England and Scotland, "Well, we don't believe that do we". Well actually I did.

But I put up with the BBC because the rest of the media - notably the press - is so anti-progressive. Any Labour hack from the 80's still bears the scars.It is why I think Alastair C and Peter M are wonderful. Because they beat the Tory press, who still set the agenda, which even the BBC still has to follow.

When Jack Straw opened the great veil debate the screaming headline in the Daily Express next day was thinly veiled racism. It was all that Straw must have feared.

I am on his side but the tone of the debate has largly been driven by the only partially obscured racism of the right wing press

griswold said...

What is there to discuss. Stating the bleeding obvi You could add attitude to Europe. BBC pro Euro, anti so called EuroSceptics whom they regard as lesser beings than rabid dogs. And we are taxed to pay for this biased organisation. Time to stop paying the tax.

Anonymous said...

The BBC, a pro-Arab, pro-Federalist dinosaur that should have been put down long ago!

The Future?

Indigo said...

Before anyone else mentions Hutton as a basis for anything - we now know, don't we, that Andrew Gilligan was right (give or take a couple of words), and that Hutton was a diversion to prevent anyone finding out who murdered Dr Kelly.

I would remind Little Black Sambo that BBC does still give both Centigrade and Fahrenheit in the weather forecasts.

I don't want the BBC privatised - I think that shareholders would destroy the BBC's hard-won reputation for accuracy - but it does need strong leadership to prevent vested interests having too much influence over policy.

Anonymous said...

The nation stopped listening to the BBC when it reported the Falklands War in an 'impartial' manner. It's since become a total farce. The only people who take the BBC seriously are the BBC themselves. The fastest growing political party in Britain is never even mentioned by the BBC.

Once the voice of freedom for millions, it's now a propaganda machine promoting ideas, left behind by history twenty years ago. Democracy no longer functions in Britain, principally because a cult of self-righteous university educated inadequates have blocked out the truth and any discussion. Thankfully no one listens any more or we'd all go mad.

Peter from Putney said...

The Beeb's obsession with being PC at all times is typified by "Breakfast", which I used to enjoy in the good old days when it was presented by Jeremy "the tieless wonder" Bowen and the ultra fragrant Sophie Raworth.
Nowadays all you get are nanny-style health warnings - you must do this, you musn't eat, drink, smoke that - makes you feel like staying in bed all day.

Anonymous said...

The threat of jail for not paying the licence fee is nothing to do with the BBC. It's the responsibility of successive governments who have supported the sanction in legislation and the courts who enact it.

jaq said...

Eek! I'd heard that a couple of homosexual producers on progs were disinclined to book known Christian pundits because of their assumed stance on homosexuality but I didn't realise the PC bias was this widespread. There is concern about childrens progs too and as ITV has cancelled their production and must buy stuff in then the only home-grown stuff fed to children will be the CBB's variety. So what's the answer? Stop the licence? The good progs/R4 would go and we'd just get more bad.

Rog said...

What a bunch of lying bloody hypocrites!

For years they've been denying any bias , and ignoring/ridiculing all such criticism.

"We get from time to time people saying you're biased in favour of the Labour Party. Every time I ask people - show me a case of that bias, explain to me where we got it wrong and why what we said was so unfair - they seem to be unable to do so", Andrew Marr, May 11th 2001.

Check this out.

Personally, I find the BBC news and current affairs stuff practically unwatchable these days.

Can someone also tell me why the Beeb is launching a worldwide Arabic TV station (and closing down 10 foreign language radio stations), and what in the way of VFM does this bring the poor telly tax payer?

Iain, less of "discuss", more of "disband".

BJ said...

Rog: the worldwide Arabic TV network (and all of BBC World's output) is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, not the licence payer.

Little Black Sambo (!): I am a producer for BBC radio news. If a correspondent's piece includes metric measurements (kilometres are preferred to miles on the World Service, just as cost comparisons in dollars are preferred to those in pounds) then we ask him/her to re-file in imperial, or use both.

What Her Majesty's famously neutral, not all all connected to our chief rival, ITN, by dint of Paul Dacre being the brother of Nigel Dacre Mail on Sunday said was that lots of gay and "ethnic" people worked for us and that it was "openly pro-multiculturalism". For Jesus'/Moses'/Mohammed's/Rama's and Sita's/Guru Nanak's/Buddah's sake*: is "gay people work in creative industry" really bloody news? Iain, I'm not gay -- I'd be interested to know your views on that bit.

As arguably the most important cultural institution in the UK, should we regard all cultures or just the ones who make up the majority?

Iain, I really like this blog: you're one of the sanest commentators going. (Oh, and Sunday Service was really good). But your attitude towards the Beeb really winds me up. If it annoys you so, why don't you give up your probably very lucrative appearances on News 24 and other outlets?

garypowell said...

18 DS is neaded because a center right or REAL liberal view of the world is not represented on the broadcast media at all and has not been since the second world war. As George Orwell observed a long time ago.

The fact that people who describe themselves as liberal, so obviously dont have the slightest idear what a liberal is, just shows me what a "great" job the BBC has done in distorting British political debate for generations.

The BBC is not liberal now and never has been it is an authoratarian socialist organisation. This should not suprise anyone as The BBC compleatly relies on the state for its very exsistance. And therefore the livelyhoods of all that ride on its gold plated gravy train.

If you were a young university educated socialist who would you want to get a job with. A semi-free free market capitalist organisation like one of Rupert Murdocks or a socialist state sanctioned non commercial propergander machine like the BBC?

Quote
Socialism is the creed of envy and the refuge of the ignorent, its only inherent vertue is its equal sharing of misery.
(Winston Churchill)

If we want to avoid socialisms misery we must end the BBCs 60 years old hold over our sociaty ASAP. We got rid of the British state steel coal and telephone industries, so why not the states broadcast propagander industry as well?

Or just get used to, ever increasing poverty traps, state contolls and interference in every aspect of human exsistance. This resulting in violent racial and class inspired inserection. This will continue to happen untill the Marxists prediction of the fall of free market American/zionist/Jewish capitalism is acheived.

What then? who knows. On things for sure REAL Socialists dont care.

Perpetual revolution is the aim. This done by destroying every assumption and value that the ordinary citizen holds dear. Not by making this world a better place for anyone. That is except the fascist corporate dictators along with their propergander organisations, that survive its deadly consequences.

If this all sounds paranoid, over the top or just a little bit mad, remember this.

The ordinary people of the Soviet Union had no idear what Stalin was up to while he was destroying the lives of over 15 million of his own people. In fact they thought he was their best friend. Such is the POWER of prolonged authoratarian socialist state controll over imformation and education. What makes us so sure this could not happen to us? or that the BBC or our state liecenced media would be allowed to tell us if it was?

Iain Dale said...

BJ, Let me respond to your last para. Obviously I am glad you like the blog! With regard to my attitude to the BBC, all I have consistently said is that I see an inbuilt Liberal bias to news broadcasting. Peter Barron from Newsnight admitted on my programme that it was there, and so it seems did the Impartiality seminar.

I am not a persistent BBC basher. It does many many good things and I hope I say so from time to time. But I think in some areas it has a case to answer and needs to do so. I am glad that at last people like Peter Barron are willing to come out into the open and talk these issues through. It's a healthy development and should be encouraged.

As to your last point - I see absolutely no conflict in appearing non the BBC as well as criticising it from time to time. As you well know, appearance fees are not exactly exhorbitant, so I can assure you it's not for the money.

The bit about multiculturalism and gay people is a bit more oblique. I don;t believe it is the BBC's job to "promote" multiculturalism, any more than it is the BBC's job to promote any religion. It should reflect what is going on in society.

And just because a dispropotionate number of gay people work in the media does not mean it should promote a gay agenda. But it doesn't do so , as far as I can see anyway.

BJ said...

Oh, and furthermore, anti-countryside? Don't make me laugh. The Today programme does a story about wter voles or the crisis facing rural things at least twice a week!

carol42 said...

Fox news may lean right but they let anyone on to argue their point of view from extreme right to extreme left and everything in between. I love it and just wish we had something similar here. I would gladly subscribe to such a programme but I deeply resent having to pay for the BBC which I rarely watch as it's political views are all the same; anti- American; anti anything that contradicts their liberal bias. Not for nothing is Fox the most watched cable programme in America.

g eagle esq said...

'
Dear 18 Doughty Street

Keep up the Good Work

I think you should give more of Iain's animal supporters an opportunity to broadcast to a wider audience - like that wonderful horse Shergar

GE

Cinnamon said...

Don't like the BBC?

Dump your TV and stop paying their licence fee.

I did that 10 years ago, I gained time and money, and if I need 'TV' time, I can use the internet, which is much more fun anyway.

As for the BBC news website -- the stories lack intellectual depth, and often are predictable. The BBC is the last place where I look for news!
(But I check it for today's sheeple fayre ;)

Pablo said...

I love this from BJ...

"Rog: the worldwide Arabic TV network (and all of BBC World's output) is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, not the licence payer."

So that's alright then. Its only the money from my taxes that's being wasted, not the money from the extortionate licence fee that I am forced to pay so that the BBC can pay Jonathan Ross christ knows how many millions.

As for BBC Breakfast news, i can barely remember the last time they had a news story that wasn't a plug for some new BBC program

Shotgun said...

Iain won't, but I'll have a bash at answering your whole post in as quick and succinct, maybe ascerbic, fashion as I can.

BJ said...

Rog: the worldwide Arabic TV network (and all of BBC World's output) is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, not the licence payer.


Listen you knob...the licence payer is the tax payer, and the tax payer funds the FCO, so we pay for Arabic TV network. Same difference and you're not very bright really are you?

Little Black Sambo (!): I am a producer for BBC radio news. If a correspondent's piece includes metric measurements (kilometres are preferred to miles on the World Service, just as cost comparisons in dollars are preferred to those in pounds) then we ask him/her to re-file in imperial, or use both.

Ask or insist? Would a report be shelved if they refused your request?

What Her Majesty's famously neutral, not all all connected to our chief rival, ITN,

Why do you consider ITN a rival when they are free to the taxpayer? The BBC should not have any rivals, and it is a real Freudian slip that you should mention the word.

by dint of Paul Dacre being the brother of Nigel Dacre Mail on Sunday said was that lots of gay and "ethnic" people worked for us and that it was "openly pro-multiculturalism".

And that is tyhe point that lefty liberal knobs from the BBC miss...the BBC should NOT be pro anything, let alone openly so.

I'll give you an example of the lefty liberal openly pro shite that has seen the BBC made a laughing stock with certain groups, not the least the onlibe community. There was a large and active debating forum on the BBC called the Great Debate which existed for years, and yes it was openly biased, but it was popular. The whole thing was closed down about three years ago because of lack of funds at the same time that the Asian Network, an online community from the BBC very similar to the Great Debate, was expanded.

In any other organisation that would be called bias and racism.

For Jesus'/Moses'/Mohammed's/Rama's and Sita's/Guru Nanak's/Buddah's sake*: is "gay people work in creative industry" really bloody news? Iain, I'm not gay -- I'd be interested to know your views on that bit.

No it isn't news, but the BBC being so pro-active in making gays prominent is. It is not the BBC's job to social engineer to make certain things acceptable, like homosexuality, whether that Graham Norton who is famous becausehe is a knob jockey, or Archie from Balamory who is the attempt to make queers acceptable to young children. There are loads of other examples of how the BBC works tirelessly to make certain things acceptable, not the least of which is George Michael, who's penchant for sucking the cocks of strangers in public toilets is now classed by some as perfectly acceptable and his carreer is none the worst for it.

So no, the BBC social engoneering is not acceptable.

As arguably the most important cultural institution in the UK,

Says who?

should we regard all cultures or just the ones who make up the majority?

The culture that makes the majority should take prominence, seeing as that majority pays your wages sonny and without the patronage of the majority you wouldn't exist.

Knobs like you seem to forget you are a PUBLIC SERVICE not a service for minorities.

Iain, I really like this blog: you're one of the sanest commentators going. (Oh, and Sunday Service was really good). But your attitude towards the Beeb really winds me up.

Well boohoooo. The BBC is owned by the likes of me and Iain, and who the fuck do you think you are to whine when we moan about it?

If it annoys you so, why don't you give up your probably very lucrative appearances on News 24 and other outlets?

11:42 PM


Probably for the same reason you found time to write your utter shite here while it winds you up so much.

People need to make a living and can't just indulge in what they feel they should do and navel gaze...like the BBC does.

The sooner mongs like you have to work for a living and justify yourself in order to keep your jobs the better, and the sooner I can choose whether to pay for your whining and snivelling social engineering the better.

If you are so confident on the rightness of the BBC's actions and the way they are openly pro whatever, why don't you campaign for the abolition of the licence fee? Or don't you think the majority you seem to hold in such contempt would subscibe, and you would be out on your fucking arse and out of a job because of lack of funds?

Shotgun said...

Cinnamon said...

Don't like the BBC?

Dump your TV and stop paying their licence fee.

I did that 10 years ago, I gained time and money, and if I need 'TV' time, I can use the internet, which is much more fun anyway.

As for the BBC news website -- the stories lack intellectual depth, and often are predictable. The BBC is the last place where I look for news!
(But I check it for today's sheeple fayre ;)


Your PC has receiving equipment and is subject to a licence fee. This is why they changed the name from a TV licence to a licence fee, dumping the word TV.

Praguetory said...

bj - the worldwide Arabic TV network (and all of BBC World's output) is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, not the licence payer.

PT - True, but this is still taxpayer's money.

bj - I really like this blog: you're one of the sanest commentators going.

PT - Further evidence that the BBC think that people they are ready to call people they disagree with mad

You are looking through a distorted prism, like the rest of the bbc

Man in a shed said...

Wow !

I notice a lesser, but similar admission from you Newsnight editor guest of 18 Doughty street - but it wasn't followed up.

I wonder what has made them look into this ?

I'd like to believe its because of the fact their bias is now daily documented in the Blosphere. But I suspect it is because they are finally waking up to the disaster` that Multiculturalism is bring to our country.

(Thanks for posting on this Iain - I'd have missed it otherwise.)

Man in a shed said...

The Editors Blog (BBC) links to the Mail on Sunday article and is therefore fair game for leaving 'helpful' comments on to help the BBC understand how unbiased many of us think they are.

jafo said...

For the BBC producer whining that us proles who pay their salaries just aren't appreciative enough of their efforts..................

Example: when James Naughtie of "Today", when interviewing a Labour politician just before the last Election said "When WE are elected" and "WE in the Labour Party" - and was never rebuked for it, and never retracted it - that was demonstrating how unbiased they are, was it?

If they stopped recruiting entirely from The Guardian and spread their adverts across other newspapers which - shock horror gasp - the majority of the population read, they might get a better mix of staff.

I don't bother with BBC TV news, because it is so biased towards the Labour Party it drives me mad - I want the news, not propaganda.

Buenaventura Durruti said...

So to be 'impartial" (as you imply Andrew Marr sees it) the BBC should reflect 'provincial' prejudices.
And were is the 'middle of the road' over Iraq - conveniently where Blair wants it to be: let's now argue about the past (ie why he lied to get our support) but concentrate on supporting the Iraqi government.
And the comment on newsreaders wearing veils seems to have been made in support of Fiona being allowed to wear a cross.
Impartiality is a nonsense. As Andrew Marr seems to say it's not about impartiality but whose viewpoint you reflect.
It seems to me that the BBC is still in a state of post-Hutton apologetics. It should:
1) tell its critics to get their tanks the-f***-off-our lawn
2) it should publish its journalistic values and stick by them

newmania said...

Some good points but also some paranoid lunacy . The BBC has an institutional bias that reflects the bias of the Universities from which their high echelons are recruited . It is far less an articulated political point of view than is implied by many here and perhaps more irritating for it .
The fact that the bias is implicit and a default mode of a residual establishment is what gives their slant that infuriating assumtion of rightness.

If I could demonstrate . The spittle flecked shotgun tirade will only convince them that they have the balance right . A major part of this conviction would be the class from which they would assume such views emanate .

The first conclusion will be concious the second vastly more sinister one will be unconcious.

All of this has to be put in the context of an embattled organisation whose raison d`etre is obviously seeping away into the thousands of channells available and new medias like this one.

It is interesting though that in the discussion of the House of Lords there is a readiness to admit that the imperfect illogical system was better than the alternatives. I very much suspect we will find the same with the demise of the BBC. While news can survive alone the arts output of the BBC is invaluable and a positive agenda for cohering Society from its national Broadcaster still goes on . I think that we can safely assume that very few of those here so desparate to preserve our "culture " either know about it or have any wish to participate in it.

DURRUTI`s point is the best way forward and I am trying to amplify the reaons why the BBC finds it hard to admit they actually have a"point of view"

Tut tut that SHOT GUN is so rude . Bad language and homophobia all in a stew .I do wonder how it can be that I seem to be consistently the most censored poster here . If he had been forced to practice the piano instead of going out and playing ruffianly games , I think he would like the BBC more.

newmania said...

To illustrate my point that a lot of what is going on here is in fact the last bastion of the old Establishment unable to see they are on a a level with everyone else I have looked up a bit of DH Lawrence.Bourgeois is wrong but the insufferable decaying class superiority of the BBC might be attacked with justice in the same terms.




How beastly the bourgeois is
especially the male of the species--

Nicely groomed, like a mushroom
standing there so sleek and erect and eyeable--
and like a fungus, living on the remains of a bygone life
sucking his life out of the dead leaves of greater life
than his own.

And even so, he's stale, he's been there too long.
Touch him, and you'll find he's all gone inside
just like an old mushroom, all wormy inside, and hollow
under a smooth skin and an upright appearance.

Full of seething, wormy, hollow feelings
rather nasty--
How beastly the bourgeois is!

Standing in their thousands, these appearances, in damp
England
what a pity they can't all be kicked over
like sickening toadstools, and left to melt back, swiftly
into the soil of England.


Which is all that is left for the BBC now

BJ said...

Shotgun, if you feel the need to respond to me by calling me a knob and a mong, and by segueing your response into a discussion about how unpleasant you find cottaging, then I'm not going to dignify what you said with much of a response.

However: my point about the FCO funding remains -- because Rog talked about a "telly tax". My point was that the World Service is not funded by the regressive tax that is the licence fee.

If it came to it, yes we would insist that a correspondent use miles instead of kilometres etc. But I don't think we would have to. People at the BBC are reasonable, unlike you.

A couple of further thoughts: Yes, there are quite a few BBC jobs advertised in the Guardian, but that's because it's got the best-read media section of the daily newspapers. I didn't get any of my jobs from adverts in its pages. In fact, I think too many BBC jobs go to people who already work for the BBC.

And why is there a perceived left-wing bias? Maybe because people who choose a career at the Beeb do so because they are motivated by a belief in public service broadcasting. It's certainly one of the reasons I do (I'm in my twenties). People young people more oriented towards the market are, nderstandably, more motivated by money... and they choose to go and make a lot more of it somewhere else.

Is the answer to increase the salaries of BBC journalists then?

No, I thought not.

stelios the big easy guy said...

This war on terrorism is bogus
The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure its global domination

Michael Meacher
Saturday September 6, 2003
The Guardian

Massive attention has now been given - and rightly so - to the reasons why Britain went to war against Iraq. But far too little attention has focused on why the US went to war, and that throws light on British motives too. The conventional explanation is that after the Twin Towers were hit, retaliation against al-Qaida bases in Afghanistan was a natural first step in launching a global war against terrorism. Then, because Saddam Hussein was alleged by the US and UK governments to retain weapons of mass destruction, the war could be extended to Iraq as well. However this theory does not fit all the facts. The truth may be a great deal murkier.

We now know that a blueprint for the creation of a global Pax Americana was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice-president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), Jeb Bush (George Bush's younger brother) and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences, was written in September 2000 by the neoconservative think tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says "while the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document attributed to Wolfowitz and Libby which said the US must "discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role". It refers to key allies such as the UK as "the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership". It describes peacekeeping missions as "demanding American political leadership rather than that of the UN". It says "even should Saddam pass from the scene", US bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain permanently... as "Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has". It spotlights China for "regime change", saying "it is time to increase the presence of American forces in SE Asia".

The document also calls for the creation of "US space forces" to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent "enemies" using the internet against the US. It also hints that the US may consider developing biological weapons "that can target specific genotypes [and] may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool".

Finally - written a year before 9/11 - it pinpoints North Korea, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes, and says their existence justifies the creation of a "worldwide command and control system". This is a blueprint for US world domination. But before it is dismissed as an agenda for rightwing fantasists, it is clear it provides a much better explanation of what actually happened before, during and after 9/11 than the global war on terrorism thesis. This can be seen in several ways.

First, it is clear the US authorities did little or nothing to pre-empt the events of 9/11. It is known that at least 11 countries provided advance warning to the US of the 9/11 attacks. Two senior Mossad experts were sent to Washington in August 2001 to alert the CIA and FBI to a cell of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big operation (Daily Telegraph, September 16 2001). The list they provided included the names of four of the 9/11 hijackers, none of whom was arrested.

It had been known as early as 1996 that there were plans to hit Washington targets with aeroplanes. Then in 1999 a US national intelligence council report noted that "al-Qaida suicide bombers could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the CIA, or the White House".

Fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers obtained their visas in Saudi Arabia. Michael Springman, the former head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah, has stated that since 1987 the CIA had been illicitly issuing visas to unqualified applicants from the Middle East and bringing them to the US for training in terrorism for the Afghan war in collaboration with Bin Laden (BBC, November 6 2001). It seems this operation continued after the Afghan war for other purposes. It is also reported that five of the hijackers received training at secure US military installations in the 1990s (Newsweek, September 15 2001).

Instructive leads prior to 9/11 were not followed up. French Moroccan flight student Zacarias Moussaoui (now thought to be the 20th hijacker) was arrested in August 2001 after an instructor reported he showed a suspicious interest in learning how to steer large airliners.

Shotgun said...

BJ said...

Shotgun, if you feel the need to respond to me by calling me a knob and a mong, and by segueing your response into a discussion about how unpleasant you find cottaging, then I'm not going to dignify what you said with much of a response.


Unfortunately you are a mong and a knob, and I pay your wages....

I wouldn't call it cottaging which implies a certain pleasant outlook, however, you obviously don't consider it unpleasant, which should come as no surprise I suppose.

However: my point about the FCO funding remains -- because Rog talked about a "telly tax". My point was that the World Service is not funded by the regressive tax that is the licence fee.

So we were absolutely right but in a slightly different context eh? I see.

If it came to it, yes we would insist that a correspondent use miles instead of kilometres etc. But I don't think we would have to. People at the BBC are reasonable, unlike you.

Reasonable in the sense that you will force your standards, which should be the standards of the majority that pays your wages? No, I think I will stick with my definition of reasonable.

A couple of further thoughts: Yes, there are quite a few BBC jobs advertised in the Guardian, but that's because it's got the best-read media section of the daily newspapers. I didn't get any of my jobs from adverts in its pages. In fact, I think too many BBC jobs go to people who already work for the BBC.

Your point being.....

And why is there a perceived left-wing bias?

Perceieved? There you go again by telling the people who make up the majority how they are wrong. Don't you understand you fucking mong that this impartiality report was from the BBC itself? Have they got the wrong perception?

Maybe because people who choose a career at the Beeb do so because they are motivated by a belief in public service broadcasting.

Then you will campaign against the licence fee? Big words not backed up by big action.

It's certainly one of the reasons I do (I'm in my twenties). People young people more oriented towards the market are, nderstandably, more motivated by money... and they choose to go and make a lot more of it somewhere else.

You aren't old enough to remember anything pre-Thatcher, but feel well enough versed to comment on the world and call others young? What you actually mean is they are not mature enough, but you are?

Mong.

Is the answer to increase the salaries of BBC journalists then?

No, I thought not.

12:06 AM


No, the answer is to abolish the licence fee and see if BBC journalists can survive the market...if they are as good and right as you claim they are.

I would give a better and more detailed response to your musing and shite, but you have chosen to pick one issue from my post and use that as a vehicle to avoid discussing all other issues, most of which you are incapable of discussing either rationally or with any hope of winning.

Sad little mong who's carreer is to be curtailed as the licence fee is abolished, which seems increasingly likely, and good thing too.

Anonymous said...

Mong - does that mean mongrel dog or is it perhaps mongoloid. I wonder which of these bj is supposed to repreesent.

Maybe it refers to mong kok or chong mong chu or maybe mong fu shek. Nah these are much too multicultural. Couldn't be any of those.

But its illuminated the debate!

Schoolboy Error said...

I believe the BBC indulges in social engineering (see introduction of term ‘lone parent’ to replace the term in common everyday usage ’single parent’). .I first heard ‘Tory’ used on a BBC radio news broadcast in (mid)1996.It then transferred to BBC television news broadcasts with increasing frequency up to the 1997 election.The ongoing problem is that Labour/New (improved) Labour are used differently to suit the context of the report:Labour when discussing ‘traditional socialist values’ and New (improved) Labour when reporting items containig ‘the party’s vision for the future’.With the introduction of 'news sniffer'perhaps these types of abuses could be flagged up??Many BBC broadcasts are now seemingly saved to text,so there's a record that software can search through (as long as it's a true record).Alternatively BBC broadcasts could be taped and transcribed to text via speech recognition software (There is a small(ish) group of top newscasters so the software could be 'trained' on tapes of their voices and be corrected manually at little cost?.-then the software could go to work.It would be handy to have something like this as soon as possible before the next election.

Schoolboy-Error said...

A nice illustration of how the BBCs 'impartiality' allows the government to get away with whatever it wants:I watched 'Suez' last night and it made me smile.A war scheme cooked up by Eden,Ben Gurion and the French to re-occupy the Suez canal.If the British representative hadn't been cajoled into signing a piece of paper,there would have been NO RECORD.

When the Conservatives called Blair a liar over Iraq before the last election,the BBC was up in arms(!) about it.'You can't accuse the Prime Minister of lying without absolute proof!' --The well known Suez precedent tells us these operations are conducted by word of mouth.THERE WON'T BE ANY PROOF!!The people outraged over the obvious cobbled together falseness of the Government's 'intelligence' were denied an outlet by which to mock its absurdity.This cloak that deflects criticism of the Government also allows their frequent relaunches.The man in the street can see the Emperor has no clothes but the lack of evidence stops BBC comment and denies the common sense man in the street an outlet to air his mockery.NOW the BBC hold an 'impartiality summit'.It's not their consciences that are talking but real fear of losing their pay cheques after having disenfranchised too many people.

Anything but the Tories said...

Seeing the venomous unpleasant anti democratic ranting in this string reminds me that beneath the veneer of civilisation provided by Cameron/Gove et al, the average Conservative is an unpleasant thug only out for himself. In government you would come to the fore, just like last time. Long may you remain in opposition.

Cinnamon said...

Shotgun, you'd need to have a TV card in your PC AND it needs to be set up for receiving to be liable for the licence fee -- just like you can use a TV for other purposes (games, video, surveillance) without being liable. Otherwise, every company would have to pay the BBC licence fees on every computer they have, a 'brilliant idea' which is currently being tied on in Germany by the GEZ, and being fiercly contested in the supreme court of Germany -- the GEZ is attempting to charge mobile phones and PCs TV&Radio licence fees from 2007 onwards, and it is compehensivly unpopular. See: http://www.vrgz.org/

What I can't work out is how anyone has the time and patience to sit through a TV program or a film, reading is way faster and not so noisy -- 18Doughty street is OK, but to be honest, the message it has can be conveyed in a fraction of the time when it is written as a transcript.