Saturday, February 17, 2007

Will the Last Tory to Leave the BBC...

Robin Aitken worked for the BBC for twenty years. This week he's got a book coming out called CAN WE TRUST THE BBC? It's serialised in tomorrow's Mail on Sunday. If you want to find out what he felt like working at the BBC as a Tory click HERE.

Although I do think there is an institutional liberal bias at the BBC (as Andrew Marr admits) I am constantly surprised at the number of political journalists there that I know to be Tories. Perhaps the fact that they hide it well is to their credit. If only some of their left of centre counterparts did the same...

Watch an interview with Richard D North HERE on his new book SCRAP THE BBC. Hat-tip Spin Blog.

UPDATE SUN 10am: Well, I waited in vain for Andrew Marr to ask Tony Blair about the Cash for Peerages Inquiry. Not one question, not a single one. Astonishing.

27 comments:

wrinkled weasel said...

I completely agree that the BBC is institutionally leftist, but how does one prove it with anything objective? Sure, there is plenty of anecdotal but if it could be demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt? It should then call into question the entire edifice, including the now scandalous way that it is funded.

Adam said...
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Anonymous said...

The Beeb need's new owner's, private one's ,then we won't have to pay twice watch commercial system's garbage.

Anonymous said...

Change the script. I like the BBC, no make that I love the BBC. If you want to live in a commercial television paradise, go to America, and stop spoiling the world's best broadcaster for the rest of us. We know you Tories want to abolish it, the NHS, and anything else you haven't already privatised. Like the rail privatisation which you admitted you had ballsed up, it will not be easy to remedy the same mistakes again, so if it ain't broke stop trying to bloody fix it.

chatterbox said...

Don't know about the rest of the BBC, but Newsnight certainly allows its leftist leanings to get in the way of editorial balance. I have seen too many examples to name, but now I avoid the programme because it just makes we want to throw the controls at it.
I believe Jeremy Clarkson occasional used to throw a telegraph on the desk of a few people in the hope of a bit more political balance.
Believe that he thought they were all guardian readers, and as you know they do like to think they have the moral high ground on the rest of us. Polly Toynbee anyone?!!!
Did she really send her kids to private school while praising this crap governments education policy?

Anonymous said...

Hi Iain,

I moved to Singapore over the Christmas period and have been regulalry logging on to see what i am missing.

I have to say that the BBC World service Radio here is truly pathetic.It makes John Cravens Newsround of the seventies look like an intellectual heavyweight. Dumbed down is putting it as mildly as I can. I was in Asia in the eighties and the BBC world service was not bad but now it is just a complete waste of money and so anti American it makes me cringe when I listen and I am no fan of ther Yanks myself. BBC should be broken up asap.

Anonymous said...

At a recent lecture called Homo Britannicus, Scotophobia and all that at the George Orwell Lecture at Birkbeck College, a BBC representative said of the BBC "that they could not accept Englishness as a concept". (although they accept Scottishness and Welshness).
How about not not accepting the BBC as a concept and selling it off?

Paul said...

Is it a institutional liberal bias or libertarian bias?

Gary said...

After receiving it by advanced order from Amazon, I've just finished reading it this morning. It confirms the worst, I'm afraid, and begs the question "what do we do to remedy the situation".

Aitken is of the opinion that the BBC is a very valuable thing, but has such an incestuous, deep-rooted, progressive-left-wing consensus, that it will be very difficult to effect change.

Aitken was employed by the BBC's News and Current Affairs department and it is this department which is the exclusive subject of his criticism. However, I believe the problem of Leftist bias is entrenched throughout the whole of the BBC.

Some time ago, I was compelled - through a democratic vote - to endure watching "Judge John Deed" and what transpired to be the most glaring piece of far-left propagandizing I've ever witnessed on TV;

A basically good black boy is sent to prison because he has come off the
rails a wee bit. Whilst inside, the "racist" screws put him in a cell with a
"racist" monster. Now this man is no ordinary monster. And to make sure the sheeple that the programme-makers are targeting fully
understand how evil "racists" are, the evil white man murders the
basically-good black lad. But that is probably not evil enough though is it? So the programme-makers have the "racist" EATING the basically-good black lad.

Now it's time for the heroes to redress the balance in court. When the
monster appears in the dock and just in case there are some cabbages out there who STILL haven't got the message, the director has Make Up put a crude swastika on the monster's cheek. And so there's no doubt in anyone's mind what we are trying to put over here, just below, on the monster's neck is an equally crude Union Jack. What could they be telling us?

I have been a firm believer in selling off the BBC for years now. It is
outrageous that one cannot own a television without having to pay a
state-owned broadcaster to produce media you may not wish to
consume. This regardless of what they produce.

Aitken himself is guilty of romancing about the "diamond in White City" insofar that he thinks it can be salvaged and restored to its prior status. It can't be - it's beyond help.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps the fact that they hide it well is to their credit."

Or perhaps they just want to avoid any career trouble.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I am glad you know some Tories that work for the BBC, Its a pity there is no sign of them in its output. Did you notice that the first question on Question Time was about DC and drugs, a story that was about a week old and was a non starter. Just what you would expect.
On the News last night all about what Blair is going to do about gun crime instead investigating how his talk ammounts to nothing.
Labour sets the news agenda for the BBC far to often.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

If you want to sample the patronising arrogance of the BBC, tune in to a programme on Radio 4 called "Feedback" (Fridays 13.30, repeated Sundays 20.00).

Listeners write in with serious but well-reasoned and level-headed criticisms of programmes they have heard. It's shocking how often the producers of those programmes "cannot find time" [These are real quotes, I am not making this up] to give an interview answering the criticisms.

Invariably, when they do give an interview it is only to explain, in quiet, patient, reasonable tones, how "we got it right" and their critics are wrong.

bt said...

This week? I read it last week - still, no matter.

He mostly makes his points regarding bias and the corporate mentality quite well - interesting that most of the internal critics quoted wished to remain anonymous. That says a lot about the pressures to 'conform', and the dangers of a publicly funded, supposedly neutral body having an unspoken agenda on many issues.

Pity he didn't remind readers that an unhappy time working at the beeb inspired Orwell to write '1984' - it was the basis for The Ministry of Truth, which told nothing but lies.

One of the most startling examples mentioned in the book was Peter Shore - respected, no moonbat, formerly Labour frontbench spokesman on Europe, yet never asked by the beeb for his opinions - because he was anti-EU. Part of a deliberate playing down of the disagreements within Labour over Europe (antis also included Denis Healy and David Owen, one-time Labour Foreign Secretary) while emphasising the split within the Tory Party.

Best thing to do with the beeb - make it a subscription service, like PBS in the US.

Realpolitik said...

It is odd that the BBC has a left wing bias when, like current politics, most of the major characters in it were educated at Oxford or Cambridge, not exactly hotbeds of radical left wing opinion surely? Never mind the Gay Mafia, what about the Oxbridge Mafia? Presumably this middle class intelligentsia feels that it is doing us plebs a favour by promoting a liberal lefty agenda. I can't bear to listen to Radio 4 because of the terrible Home Counties accents.

Even Nick Griffin is a Cambridge law graduate, so I understand.

Anonymous said...

In a BCC news broadcast last night I heard the Greenpeace activity in the pacific described as a ‘protest’. From everything I understand, Sea Shepherd and Greepeace were trying to actively disrupt a scientific whaling exercise, in a way that could have put human lives at risk. Whilst this may not amount to 'terrorism', as the Japanese have described it, it sure isn’t ‘protest’ as most people would understand it. Why wasn’t the BBC more accurate in its reporting? Here’s a Guardian story about it
http://www.guardian.co.uk/conservation/story/0,13369,1676507,00.html

Secondly, this from the BBC news online; an animal rights organisation – PeTA - whose core belief is that animals are the moral equivalent of human beings, whose mantra is ‘total animal liberation’, is described in a BBC News Online story headline as an ‘animal charity’ (sic. Animal Charity Educates Children). Again, why not refer to PeTA as an animal rights organisation, and let people use their understanding of what groups with this kind of agenda stand for and are capable of?

Its not just party politics where bias is evident

Londontory said...

Well, I waited in vain for Andrew Marr to ask Tony Blair about the Cash for Peerages Inquiry. Not one question, not a single one. Astonishing.

Why do you think Blair only gives interviews to the BBC?

Londontory said...

Change the script. I like the BBC, no make that I love the BBC. If you want to live in a commercial television paradise, go to America, and stop spoiling the world's best broadcaster for the rest of us.

If you love it you won't mind being given a choice over whether to pay for it or not. If TV in this country is so superior to that in the US, why do we import so much American TV?

bt said...
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i am not peter hitchens said...

Andrew Marx also didnt pin the prime minister down how come gun crime has gone UP since New Labour banned hand guns?

Secondly, Blair's proposal for 5 year jail terms for 18 year olds caught with a gun, will only result in even younger gangsters running around shooting each other.

Again, Marx didnt pin him down on that. Absolutely pathetic.

archduke said...

wrinkled weasel @ 12:00am:"I completely agree that the BBC is institutionally leftist, but how does one prove it with anything objective?"

Go onto the Biased BBC blog. The evidence is there in spades. And its overwhelming. In my opinion there is nothing we can do to "save" the BBC - the only option remaining is full privatisation. A more deregulated media market is also neccessary. (18 Doughty Street,for example, wouldnt be allowed to be aired on TV under current Ofcom "non-biased" rules)

Anonymous said...
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Voyager said...

most of the major characters in it were educated at Oxford or Cambridge, not exactly hotbeds of radical left wing opinion surely?

ERROR.......it is simply not true. Many went to Sussex, Essex, Durham, Southampton, Keele....I think the Oxford and Cambridge contingent might have been the case 40 years ago - together with the non-graduates - but today its standards are far lower

Voyager said...
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forthurst said...

Surely in ten years time only morons will get their news and entertainment from the BBC and the trees. Life is too short and the internet provides the ability to distil and categorise in a way with which conventional media cannot compete. For how long do you have to watch Newsnight before you see a fly-fisherman trying to coax a Transylvanian to bear his fangs before midnight, for goodness sake?
The number of journalists who are insightful and knowledgable is minute: such names as Simon Jenkins, Andrew Rawnsley, Robert Fisk easily spring to mind, but I wouldn't buy a copy of the Guardian or Independent for them or watch eons of boring biased tripe on the TV for a moment of enlightenment or entertainment.
We are now in the Post-Industrial Age (whatever that means) and are now fast moving into the Post-Establishment Media Age. The sight of brainless, useless, boring hacks and tedious Guardian-reading 'entertainment' executives congregating round their braziers will commonly become a pitiful if not downright hilarious sight.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...
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Bring back Robert Dougall said...
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David Lindsay said...

If anyone reallyw ants to do anything about it, I am currently in search of investors in three related projects.

First, and above all, a weekly magazine based in which paleoconservative writers and those who might be called "paleo-Labour" (defined, on one of several blogs hostile to me, as "Old Labour means to High Tory ends", and resolutely opposed to neoconservatism and all its works) would be paired with each other. In each alternate week, half of the former and half of the latter would contribute thousand-word articles, with facing-page responses of the same length by their respective pairs. In the weeks in between, the arrangement would be reversed. Initially (say, for the first 12 weeks), there might very well be a distribution deal with one or more newspapers.

Secondly, in the same vein, a weekly one-hour radio discussion programme, to be syndicated throughout as much as possible of the commercial radio network in an attempt to balance the BBC, and featuring four panellists per week: a British conservative, a British paleo-Labour commentator, someone from the United States or the Old Commonwealth (by no means necessarily in the same room as the presenter and the British panellists), and someone from the Continent (likewise). The contributors to the above magazine would seem to be the obvious body of potential panellists.

And thirdly, a weekly hustings-style television programme, touring the country in association with the regional and local newspaper sector (ideally on a rota taking in the area of every such participating newspaper within a cycle), and with the panel always featuring one columnist from the host-newspaper and one well-known local politician, in addition to a national paleoconservative and a national paleo-Labour figure; of course, one or other of these political descriptions also fits most well-known local journalists or politicians outside London.

In principle, and obviously without committing to anything at this stage, might anyone be interested in investing? The first project is the key to the other two, and we need to be able to pay the going rate for the right calibre of contributor. Do please spread the word!

davidaslindsay@hotmail.com