18 Doughty Street, the online TV station that bills itself as 'politics for adults', will be shortly be celebrating its first birthday. Although Doughty Street calls itself a TV and news station it does not operate under the Ofcom broadcasting code which requires 'due impartiality'. On the upside this makes for riveting debates, just check out the Independent's Johann Hari talking with Peter Tatchell about the dangers of Multiculturalism, or Julie Bindel on the legacy of the Suffragettes. The downside, of course, is that as more and more people get their news from bloggers, vloggers and sites like Doughty, opinion becomes indistinguishable from fact. Doughty Street has a distinct liberal left bias; however its founders have gone on to establish two similar sites, Centre Right and Britain and America, both of which espouse highly conservative positions. Do not believe for one second that these sites are some noble attempt to redress the balance. They exist because Doughty Street leftist polemic has proven to be both popular and profitable, so if it works for the left then why not for the right? I get the slightly scary feeling that someday soon all news may look this way.
Where do I start?! Let's look at his last point. 18DS has never pretended to be a news station. We're there to provide opinionated discussion programmes, generally. We don't have a news programme as such. Maybe that may come in time but at the moment all we are interested in providing is the TV equivalent of Talk Radio. Ben Marshall has clearly only watched the more 'liberal's side of our programming. Perhaps we'd better let Donal Blaney loose on him...
Factual correction: Centre Right and Britain & America are offshoots of ConservativeHome, not 18 Doughty Street.
UPDATE: Do read the comments on Ben Marshall's piece. Click HERE and scroll down. Haven't laughed so much in years.