Sunday, August 12, 2007

How the BBC Does Labour's Dirty Work

I don't know how this is being covered on other networks, but the BBC are starting all their news bulletins about John Redwood's Competitiveness Commission reports with the words...
The Labour Party has today criticised...
This has happened many times before. Instead of concentrating on the substance of a Tory policy announcement the BBC seem to revel in giving Labour Ministers the microphone to explain how whatever the policy happens to be is making the Tories more right wing than Michael Howard. It is a disgrace. This morning they wheeled out John Hutton to slag off Redwood's report, without even carrying any information about the report itself or indeed any comment from John Redwood or any other Tory.

A commenter called Tone Made Me Do it makes the point well.
The Conservatives today launched their new deregulation policy.How has the BBC
addressed this?By giving the microphone to the labour party who then denounce the Conservative party as being more "right wing" than they were under William Hague.No discussion about the policies of business and trade at all - just an "oh my god look how right wing the Tories are now (it will be the cattle trucks next)" cry from the Labour party and their friends at the BBC. This is precisely the sort of bias that the BBC is guilty of. Its a "when are you going to stop beating your wife" slur.
I'd love to see how this kind of news judgement is justified by a BBC news producer. BJ, where are you?!

Can I just conclude by saying that I would make the same point if they started their report about a Labour policy announcement with the words 'The Conservatives today criticised...' It's just that I have never heard them do this!

UPDATE: Helen Boaden has responded HERE. She rather makes my point for me by quoting the 5 Live bulletin which is the one I heard and which prompted the post. Normally on a Sunday the bulletins on Radios 5, 4 and 2 are all more or less identical. This, it seems, was not the case on Sunday this week. She admits they should not have shown the clip of John Redwood trying to sing the Welsh national anthem.

111 comments:

Norman said...

You only have to look at todays BBC News online

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk_politics/6942722.stm

to see how they spinning for Labour.

Hughes Views said...

Oh no! Anonymous commenters are back. Standby for the return of all those bonkers ex pats who are too scarred of being hunted down to reveal even a hint of their real identities!

Have you been put up to this by your survey results, your falling readership, a 'Mr Big' or none of the above?

chatterbox said...

Saw exactly the same thing happen in an article in the Mail on Sunday on line.
You have to ask about this kind of journalism when the author of the report gets a brief mention at the end of the Labour response to it, especially when the report has not even been published.
Sorry but I am becoming seriously concerned about the appalling unbalance in the media's reporting of politics.

Voter X said...

On this morning's early 6am BBC bulletins they were also showing clips of Redwood when he was Welsh Secretary failing abysmally to sing the Welsh Anthem which appears totally irrelevant and somewhat slanted.

David Boothroyd said...

This is nuts as a story about BBC bias against the Conservatives, because the BBC, and other news sources, do it just as often about government policies. Instead of reporting a new development, what it means and what other people think about it, they will lead off the report on the criticism. (Today's Sunday Express has a sort of example here where it is not Martin Salter's statement that makes the news, but the fact that Rob Wilson has criticised it)

It's one of the things John Lloyd mentions, IIRC.

bonkers expat said...

Your reputation for impartiality is unimproveable, so there can be no doubt you would have been most indignant had the BBC cast the Tories in a favourable light.

Redwood was interviewed at length by Peter Sissons; there is a link to this on the relevant BBC News website article, which does not start with the words "The Labour Party has today criticised...".

I just cannot understand how you missed it.

Iain Dale said...

Bonkers expat, a few point to open your blinkered eyes...

1. I don't pretend to be impartial
2. I don't receive a licence fee
3. I am talking about news bulletins not interviews
4. Redwood was followed by Hutton I believe.

Matt said...

It really is more than time for the Conservative leadership to stop trying to lick the BBC's collective posterior and to start making the unacceptable political bias of the BBC the issue instead of allowing the BBC to make the issue whatever anti Tory rubbish it is that the Labour party wants them to.

Bob Piper said...

Iain, perhaps we only hear what we want to hear. I can assure you that those of us on the left are equally irritated by bulletins about government proposals that start off with.... "Cameron/Osbourne/Fox/Davis etc today criticised the government for (insert things that have not even been announced as government policies).

It is the way journalists have worked to my knowledge since Wilson was Prime Minister, it is just more noticeable because of 24 hour news coverage.

sigh said...

Are the Tories stupid or dishonest?

Business regulation comes from the EU (well, 88% of it does, according to the British Chamber Of Commerce). The Tories can no more repeal it than they can promise to limit immigration, something they said they would do if elected in the run-up to the 2005 election - before Mr Barroso of the EU Commission publicly reminded Mr Howard that parliaments can do no such thing, for immigration is an EU "competence". Ditto - with knobs on, because of the single market - business regulations.

It's sweet to see domestic politicians pretend they are still in control of their own country.

BBC for Labour said...

About time Iain.

Andy Coulson needs to call the BBC. Their recent bias has been incredible. There is indeed no point in soft soaping them as they could not be any more pro-Labour than they are. We should announce that we will review the license fee.

Anonymous said...

Well said Iain.

The BBC is getting worse and worse!

Geezer said...

What did anyone expect from a bunch of socialist scum like the BBC. They are hand-in-glove with the Labour spin machine. But they have done this for the last 10 years. Labour have been screwing the country up for 10 years, and they still think it is their duty to let Labour trash anything the Conservatives are saying and give minimal, if any, airtime to the failings of their Labour friends in government. They want to do the same assasination job on Cameron as they did to Howard, IDS and Hague.

The problem is, that anti-Conservative propaganda has become so woven into the fabric of the BBC news department, over decades, that the general viewing public have become immune to it. To the casual viewer/floating voter, it's just more negative publicity around the Conservative Party. These viewers do not question why the BBC is doing this, they just absorb more anti-Conservative propaganda.

Geezer said...

bulletins about government proposals that start off with.... "Cameron/Osbourne/Fox/Davis etc today criticised the government for (insert things that have not even been announced as government policies).

WHEN????

Not the sodding BBC News bulletins, that's for sure.

Utter nonsense Piper!

Perhaps in cloud-cuckoo land, where socialists live it's been happening, but not in the real world!

Gordon said...

I agree with the general tenor of your argument, Iain. But rather than complaining in this half-hearted way, it's time that the Tories learnt to play the media game with as much energy as the Labour lot. For what it's worth, Redwood presented his case on Sisson's programme rather well - none of the mad-eyed nonsense we all remember from times past. He, at least, appears to be learning.

strapworld said...

Iain,

At least the BBC had Redwood on the 9am programme and he came across very well. B U T you should also be complaining about SKY NEWS. They had that former Labour rumour monger, a physco analyst or something!, now married to the GMTV bimbo! Derek Draper who was allowed to say that the Redwood report will mean no Health and Safety at Care Homes!! This ona newspaper report which does not say such a thing and which redwood was specific that it would not.

I have complained to Sky but then consider...An opinion Poll by pollsters that have consistantly got it wront! in a Murdoch paper and pushed along by a Murdoch tv channel. Why doesn't Cameron take the Aussie/American on and declare that a future Conservative Party will ensure that all news channels MUST be even handed in how they present everything! NOW that would be different.

fanny craddock said...

gordon, you do not understand. The fact that Redwood had almost 8 minutes to present his case does not count.

The BBC are biased. Can you not understand that?

Thomas Dankeith said...

C'mon Iain - you may never have heard it but is was a daily occurence in the late eighties / early nineties...

Anonymous said...

Check out the Telegraph it quotes Redwoods comments on the TV Licence Fee 'Poll Tax' and regulation to stop some of the BBC's funding activities. The intent is clear and the Beeb don't like it.

Don't expect the BBC to say anything nice about the Conservative Party anytime soon!

It will be interesting to see how the Murdoch Empire react though

Newmania said...

Iain , thank god for you , I have been watching the coverage with growing horror . As I and anyone with half a brain repeatedly says you cannot have a situation where the national debate is warped by an organisation squarely behind one side of it .The left talk up there attitude but disingenuous hardly covers it...
"can assure you that those of us on the left are equally irritated by bulletins about government proposals that start off with.... "

Piper you are a liar , you alternate between saying the BBC are impartial and claiming they are required to balance the rest of the media .Get your story straight its easier to remember if you aren`t lying in the first place (a trick the police often use )

canvas said...

Not everything being proposed will be adopted as official party policy. However, I will wait to hear Cameron's announcements in the autumn before I make up my mind. I hope these reports are untrue.

If the Tories plan to cut public services to fund tax breaks then they won't have my vote.

I find it difficult to believe that David Cameron has lost the plot. These news reports could just be 'hype'.

I had so much faith in David Cameron. Is he calling the shots -- or isn't he? It would take a miracle to convince people to vote 'Tory' - and Cameron started off so well. Cameron managed to 'decontaminate the brand'. DC must not allow himself to be 'bullied' by the right wing old guard.

Alarm bells are ringing.

Josh said...

The presenter was sneering horribly with her mate about the report just a few minutes ago. That was followed by an interview with a big whig at the TUC.

They keep on saying that Redwood is proposing scrapping all H&S legislation. I highly doubt that is the case, merely a case of NuLab scaremongering. They always insist on labelling him a right winger at every turn.

I'm sure the BBC slanted coverage over the past two months has to account for point or two of the Labour lead. It's only a small part, true, but it is there.

more vulgar than a vulcans vulva said...

Iain, tell me something I don't know.

Pop quiz:

To what degree does BBC bias in reporting on the Conservative Party affect the standing of the Conservative Party in the opinion polls?

My take?

Prob around 50% of all households watch BBC news at least once a week. A much larger portion of affluent floating voters will watch it, maybe 70%?

Headlines like "more right-wing than Genghis Khan" stops floating voters listening to what the Tory party is saying, period. Labour are going to say this anyway, even if Tony Benn was Tory leader and advocating flying the red flag from schools and nationalising Wetherspoons.

But as the BBC start every Conservative news article with this message, it reinforces existing perceptions and stops almost all floating voters listening. It Condemns Conservatives to 31-33% of the vote, even if the ideas are the best since sliced bread and universally popular in any other scenario.

I'd say the BBC are responsible for up to 10% of voters (the ones the Conservatives need) either not voting, or voting Lib Dem or Labour.

THE BBC ALONE DOESNT EXCUSE POOR CONSERVATIVE PERFORMANCE BUT IT STOPS ANY CONSERVATIVE MESSAGE REACHING VOTERS

Be interesting if one could 'hypothetically' remove the BBC from the national picture for 12 months - keeping everything exactly the same - to see it we could confirm the effect it has.

Ethelred the Unhinged said...

Hello Useless Tories,

Don't you think you should be more concerned about the Murdoch press?

As Neil Kinnock found out, he really can influence the way people vote.

Sceptical Steve said...

I watched both Redwood's BBC interview and Hutton's rebuttal. Redwood's line was essentially that
1. The benefits of economic growth would be shared between increased Government spending and tax cuts. There would be no spending cuts. (As I understand it, this has consistently been the party's line for some time, so no controversy there.)
2. Deregulation has been promised on numerous occasions by Nulab (and GB in particular), but never delivered. Redwood was proposing some specific areas for simplification (H&S and Financial Services), and Hutton was forced to squirm when Peter Sissons raised the concrete example in the form of the increasing complexity of GB's Tax Laws over the past 10 years.

The use of the misleading headlines by the BBC and other news sources is an obvious spoiler technique and suggests the influence of Labour's infamous "Instant Rebuttal Unit".

I would like to see the BBC justify the use of the film of Redwood "singing" the Welsh N.A. at the Welsh Party conference in 1993. It added nothing to the argument on deregulation and would appear to to be a prima facie attempt to ridicule him. I shan't hold my breath.)

One last note. Is it only me or do other people think that John Hutton has a particularly creepy glare?

chatterbox said...

I agree you should be paying more attention to the political coverage on Sky news, it is at times beyond parody.
One question Iain, we have had the leaks, the usual Labour response with knobs on and John Redwood being interviewed. Any chance that one or two interesting parts of the report have been held back to allow the initial expected furore from Labour to lose steam or be wrong footed?
I live in hope that the Conservatives have learnt some media tricks.

Ralph said...

Why do the Tories let the BBC get away with it? That's the real question.

The Hitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Hitch said...

What is "right wing" ?
As far as I know it's usualy the caring socialists that tend to put people into cattle waggons and then ship them off to death camps.

Barnacle Bill said...

I don't think it is a case of the BBC doing ZaNuLabor's dirty work.
I have not seen nor heard of anything from DC that would make me want to vote for him. Even if I am crying out for a party other than ZaNuLabor to give me something I want to vote for.
So instead of whinging about BBC bias, which we all know about, come on DC come up with something that will make the electorate vote for you!

tapestry said...

This is why the Michael Ashcroft approach is so important. By communicating directly through leaflets to voters in the Constituencies, he ensures our message does get through, despite the BBC.

In fact people are surprised to find how good are policies are when they finally get a chance to know what they are.

Other parties that have abandoned the media completely are making strong progress in a similar way.

The days of BBC domination are numbered, but they are too stupid to realise the anger and hatred they generate.

Any presenters like John Humphreys who start trying to tell too much of the real truth soon disappear from view. He spoke up about how Labour commit election fraud, and look what happened to him.

Geezer said...

Ralph said...
Why do the Tories let the BBC get away with it? That's the real question.
August 12, 2007 2:52 PM


What the hell are they supposed to do? The BBC aren't going to give them any airtime to slag off the BBC, are they!

BJ said...

Where am I, Iain? I've been cycling in the countryside. But for your delectation, here are a sample of BBC cues from today's news.

Radio 4 0800
The Conservative leader, David Cameron, is considering radical plans to cut 14 billion pounds in red tape and regulation -- put forward by a senior figure on the right of his party, John Redwood. Labour says it's evidence the right has regained control of the Tory agenda.

Radio 2 1100
The Conservative leader, David Cameron, is considering plans to cut fourteen billion pounds in red tape and regulation, put forward by the senior right-winger, John Redwood. Labour says it's evidence those on the right are back in control of the Tory agenda. Mr Redwood wouldn't be drawn on specific details of his proposals.

Five Live, 1100

Labour has condemned the latest review of policy carried out by the Conservatives as a lurch back to the right wing of politics. The review -- led by John Redwood -- identifies ways of deregulating business. The secretary of state for business, John Hutton, said the Tories were now more right wing than they had been under William Hague and Michael Howard.

News 24 1200
The Conservative leader, David Cameron, is considering radical plans which the party claims could save businesses 14 billion pounds a year. The proposals would cut red tape and regulation, including data protection laws, and health and safety legislation.

BBC1 Lunchtime news

Good afternoon. The Conservative leader, David Cameron, is considering radical plans which would cut fourteen billion pounds in red tape and regulations for businesses in the UK. They've been put forward by the former Cabinet minister, John Redwood. Labour claim that the right wing is taking control of the Tory party.


You decide.

BJ said...

Oh -- and I think we start cues with "the Conservatives have criticised" with plenty of stories. A quick search finds we've used that exact phrase dozens of times about the Home Office alone.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

Can you please found out if anyone in CCHQ is fighting back at the BBC. Their attempts at destabilising the Conservative Party these last few weeks have been blatant even by their standards and we can't keep letting them hit us without comeback.

Alastair Campbell would never have stood for this treatment.

BJ said...

Alastair Campbell would never have stood for this treatment.

Shock horror -- BBC journalism sometimes uncomfortable for Labour as well as Tories.

Yak40 said...

al Beeb is overdue for privatisation.

Funded by a compulsory tax, unaccountable to no one for all practical purposes, recruiting solely from the Grauniad it's laughable to pretend they're impartial.

Ralph said...

'What the hell are they supposed to do? The BBC aren't going to give them any airtime to slag off the BBC, are they!'

There are a number of possible methods, refuse to deal with reporters who file biased rubbish but say that you're happy to talk to anyone else, have a Shadow minister always on tap to counter things so there is never 'no one available', get people like our host to post examples of bias on YouTube etc, report examples of bias, but more importantly get more aggressive, call bias bias, lies lies, and smears smears.

robin said...

Ever wanted to live in a one party state in all but name, together with fawning media? Look no further than today's UK.

Norman said...

Article in todys Times by Antony (Yes Minister) Jay.


......But we were not just anti-Macmillan; we were anti-industry, anti-capitalism, anti-advertising, anti-selling, anti-profit, anti-patriotism, anti-monarchy, anti-empire, anti-police, anti-armed forces, anti-bomb, anti-authority. Almost anything that made the world a freer, safer and more prosperous place – you name it, we were anti it.

We belonged instead to a dispersed “metropolitan media arts graduate” tribe. We met over coffee, lunch, drinks and dinner to reinforce our views on the evils of apartheid, nuclear deterrence, capital punishment, the British Empire, big business, advertising, public relations, the royal family, the defence budget – it’s a wonder we ever got home.

The second factor that shaped our media liberal attitudes was a sense of exclusion. We saw ourselves as part of the intellectual elite, full of ideas about how the country should be run. Being naive in the way institutions actually work, we were convinced that Britain’s problems were the result of the stupidity of the people in charge of the country.

This ignorance of the realities of government and management enabled us to occupy the moral high ground. We saw ourselves as clever people in a stupid world, upright people in a corrupt world, compassionate people in a brutal world, libertarian people in an authoritarian world.

We were not Marxists but accepted a lot of Marxist social analysis. We also had an almost complete ignorance of market economics. That ignorance is still there. Say “Tesco” to a media liberal and the patellar reflex says, “Exploiting African farmers and driving out small shopkeepers.” The achievement of providing the range of goods, the competitive prices, the food quality, the speed of service and the ease of parking that attract millions of shoppers does not register on their radar.

The third factor arises from the nature of mass media. The Tonight programme had a nightly audience of about 8m. It was much easier to keep their attention by telling them they were being deceived or exploited by big institutions than by saying what a good job the government and the banks and the oil companies were doing....


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2240427.ece

Chris Goodman said...

The Conservatives Party should refuse to give interviews to the BBC, on the grounds that it is little more than a propaganda unit for the Left. It will at least call their bluff on the fiction (they seem to believe that 100,000 repetitions will make a moral truth) that the BBC is politically impartial.

The BBC has always been biased to the Left (at least as long as I have been aware of it) but rarely has its output been so craven in its support of the Labour Party.

You would think that Brown was a noble reformer taking Britain into the Twenty-First Century, not a duplicitous, tax raising, incompetent, in the dog end years of a failed government, whose charmless rise to power has been driven by nothing more than his conviction that he knows best how everybody should live - a belief (if the history of the Left is anything to go by) motivated by little more than boundless vanity and poisonous resentments.

How contemptible it is that the British people so passively acquiesce in funding such a morally corrupt, intellectually bankrupt, bloated leftist parasite.

Andy said...

I would have thought the best way to deal with it is to find one big stick ('message') and beat the BBC over the head with it until they have to over-compensate to prove the opposite.

Labour were forced to adopt (more or less) free market economic policies after years of being portrayed as hopeless wasters of money (some might say they're back to the old ways, but they're sneakier this time).

The Tories were forced to embrace pseudo-socialist policies on health care and more left-wing economic policy after years of being portrayed as swivel-eyed right-wing privatisers and heartless profiteers by New Labour.

So Coulson could start pedalling the line that journalists are LAZY. They don't work hard enough at establishing the facts. They don't think hard enough about how to present the story accurately and fairly to the public. And they focus on the 'easy' (LAZY) angles - personalities, conflicts, the endless soap opera of politics.

I have a feeling that after a few months of being called LAZY every day, and during every interview and every story, the journalists might just start to over-compensate for their perceived shortcomings by making more effort to have "more thread, less wool" in their presentation.

Then we might actually see a general raising of standards all round, and perhaps even an improvement in how both journalists and politicians are seen by the public.

Or is that just too much wishful thinking?

english democrat said...

Dear Iain,

Unless the Tories fight back hard and report EVERY incedent to lawyers who would then issue legal writs, then this bullying WILL carry on!
The Tories have the resourses to employ "watchers" if they had the will and balls to do it!
The net is now a major news medium so why not use it and bypass the BBC? On every news interview the spokesman should just say that due to extreme political bias ALL our comments will be made via the web!
The Tories have been spineless and cowardly so far in their dealings with the BBC and its high time they showed some guts and took them on face to face and toe to toe!
PS thanks for putting the open forum back on!
PPS voters dont like cowards Iain! now that may not be fair or right but the way Dave whines and whinges about rubbish while he cringes before the leftist bullys just puts voters off! Fight back HARD and you will win votes I promise!

Laurence Boyce said...

I take your point in general but, you know, when it’s John Redwood . . .

Grassroots said...

I agree. The Tories should stop talking to the BBC. And the Guardian. And the Telegraph. And the Sun and the Times. And the Daily Mail.

Who needs the media anyway? Let's just hand out a few leaflets.

strapworld said...

Iain,

You should, on a point of principle, refuse to do the newspaper slot on any BBC and SKY programme.

english democrat said...

Dear Iain,

IF the Tories wanted to fight back they have the cash to employ the latest speech recognition software to monitor every word the BBC utters. This new software can tell by tonal changes whether a person is sympathetic or hostile, angry or servile, truthfull or dishonest and even happy or sad! Then gather the evidence and take it to the BBC and demand answers! Even I can tell by the change in the interviewers tone that they are hostile to any non socialist! Sarah Montague's voice is the most readable in tone and you can almost see the sneer in her voice when she interviews a Tory!
Iain ill say it again, voters do not like timid polititions! Go out and kick their metorphorical heads in!

Nicholas Ball said...

The report isn't being published for another week, so who leaked it to the media. A conservative insider?

haven't we heard it all before anyway? Redwood brings this up before every election.

NewWelshRight said...

On News 24 you could smell the BBCs disdain for tax cuts in the anchorwoman's voice when she said "bizzzness". She also described John Redwood as a right winger which in the public's mind is completely ambiguous because it can mean about 8 different things and in the mind of vacuous urban liberals pretty much means Nasty Racist White Man With A Big Car Who Hates Poor People. The Right is a foreign country to the deluded Marxist riddled BBC. Redwood also criticised the licence fee in the report, which is smart because they were never going to cover a tax cut positively so we might as well give them both barrels. The BBC along with Labour is going to have to be defeated, they are two sides of the same socialist coin.

tapestry said...

Is it laziness? The news narrative is exactly the same in all media cover to cover. It's dull and uninteresting as there is no debate of any issues. Don't call them lazy. call them all boring and slaves to the system. In fact tell the BBC interviewer that they are 'narrative slaves' as that is what they are trained to be.

I was interviewed on BBC2 once, Working Lunch and found myself having a go at the interviewer who had obviously taken up a line of questioning hostile to my cause.

I found myself saying things like 'surely even a BBC interviewer can see the sense in.............'. The interviewer was clearly shocked and had a word with me afterwards asking if I'd done TV before, saying I was a fearless interviewee. I was actually quite scared as not used to being in front of cameras but I was simply angry, and felt what an idiot the interviewer was.

I tried to downlaod the programme from the BBC website afterwards but the part where they interviewed me had been deleted. They don't like it up'em...but asking the interviewer what their opinion is - 'if they can't see the bleedin obvious' can be quite a strong technique.

I guess if uou're up against paxo, it might be a lot harder!

more vulgar than a vulcans vulva said...

Hitch: Good point.

The BBC now tends to use "right-wing" as a term of abuse, without defining what it means. Clearly, they think it means odious, selfish, ruthless, dangerous, extreme individual.

BJ: The BBC's biggest weakness is that it refuses to admit it has a problem. Indeed, I suspect most of your colleagues don't think there *is* a problem.

It's a case of, " oh well, we get complaints from all political parties, so we must be getting the balance right"

Er.. no.

You are never so stupid as to outwardly engage in an act of outright blatent bias (well, sometimes you do) But editoral lines are taken with subtle tones of emphasis towards reporting the following;

(1) *Anything* to do with race - and you emphasis the races involved
(2) You are obsessed with muticulturalism and race, always with programmes on it and now some channels dedicated to a particular race. Asian Network/1 xtra
(3) You do not do controversial hard-hitting documentaries like Channel 4's Dispatches.
(4) Pro-Palestinian bias in middle-east reporting is clear (not that I have much sympathy for Israel)
(5) You use the phrase "right-winger" to describe many senior conservatives - don't here "left-winger" used on Labour ministers
(6) Your line of questioning is always from the left, rarely from the right - when it is it is half-hearted and ineffectual
(7) You are basically a bona fide campaigning organisation for the "Climate Change" lobby now
(8) Your programmes are heavily urban-centric
(9) Race (again) You are obsessed with the racial composition of your audiences
(10) An uncritical line towards the EU. Painting "eurosceptics" as some sort of nutjobs.

Doubtless, you will yell "rubbish!", "bullsh*t!" at all of this. But Andrew Marr (YOUR political editor) and Robin Aitken (YOUR senior ex-reporter) have confirmed it

And for every one of those points above. There are COUNTLESS incidences of sneers in journalists voices, unbalanced interview panels on newsnight, over-aggressive questioning towards Conservatives etc.

You are a left-leaning, liberal, urban, media-graduate recruiting, racially obsessed, multiculturally driven, public-sector organisation. It is your culture that is doing this. This may be why you are unaware/unappreciative of the problem.

What would Macpherson call you??

"Institutionally bias."

Travis Bickle said...

Excuse me but aren't the Conservative Party supposed to be on the right wing of the political spectrum?

The fact that the only rebuttal that Labour spokesmen are seemingly able to offer to what amounts to a series of recommendations that are "under consideration" shows how rattled they are that the Tories might just be looking to people who might vote for them rather than this green garbage aimed at tree huggers who would no more vote Tory than stick pins in their eyes.

Anyway screw the BBC, dumbed down beyond any real political importance, it's Murdoch that DC needs to get onside.

Harriet Hamster said...

I tried to post on Peter Horrocks web page.
In my comment I criticised News 24 today but was not at all rude however I see they did not up-load the comment.

That is not right I pay licence fee...

bebopper said...

Well done Iain.
I heard the "The Labour party has today criticised..." this morning and resolved to make a fuss here and to the BBC.
By the way, the BBC do take notice if they have a sizeable number of complaints about a particular programme, so do get on to them as I certainly will. Sorry I can't give you a link.
Do you also note that most news bulletins begin with: "The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said today...." This gives the impression that Brown is in control of events and is setting the agenda.
Other bulletins begin with: "The opposition leader, David Cameron, was forced to defend his...."
In other words, Cameron has ballsed it up again and is struggling to keep afloat.
There is no question that the BBC is slyly supporting New Labour and it's up to you to complain, loud and often.

jafo said...

What is Andy Coulson getting paid for, exactly? He is the Conservatives' alleged media manager I believe. Doesn't seem like a coherent media strategy or indeed any kind of strategy.

Opposition is about fighting your corner every day and all the time - about time we saw a bit of spine from the Conservatives.

Why aren't they pointing out that taxes have rocketed upwards under Labour - with Gordon Brown as Chancellor until last month - and public services in this country are rubbish? The roads are falling apart, the NHS is going down the tubes, education is useless, Councils can't even collect the rubbish properly and unemployment is rising. You don't need to be "cutting public services" quoting the BBC, you need to be spending money wisely, something Labour are totally unable to do.

It's no good sitting back hoping everything will be fine eventually - it won't. You have to talk about the things people care about. If people don't hear from the Opposition all the time, they tend to forget they are there.

Tony said...

If the BBC was reporting Redwood's plan fairly, surely this page would be using one of the three highlighted "quote boxes" for words Redwood uttered. No suprises to discover that it does not. In fact the TUC spokesman gets double exposure of effectively the same words!

You can see from Newssniffer how the article has been edited to increase the amount of negative comment about the plans and move negatives higher up the page so they are more prominent to people who will not read the whole article.

BBC's News Editors are not even pretending to be impartial any more. Blair has gone, a real left wing socialist is in place and the BBC wants him to win the next election. The reporting makes that clear. End of.

Ethelred the Unhinged said...

The current headline on the Telegraph website is "Tory plan 'shows the Right have taken control'".

In a terrible example of left-wing bias, they even quote John Hutton claiming the Tories are now more right wing than ever.

Oh no! It seems The Telegraph is now run by Marxists, too.

Chris Goodman said...

The Conservative Party “need” the BBC about as much as they “need” a hole in the head. The Conservatives pretend to respect the BBC, and the BBC pretend to be politically impartial. Both would gain more respect if they were more honest. The Conservatives think that most BBC journalists are know nothing Guardian readers whose expertise barely extends beyond Marxist comic books, and the BBC think that Conservative Party members are reactionary bankers under whose reign Thatcher brought darkness upon the Earth.

Should Ian accept invitations to appear on the BBC? Well in return for the BBC shilling Andrew Neil does little more than play the fool these days – presumably he has long given up caring about people other than himself and focuses instead upon paying off his mortgage on his house in France. But let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

canvas said...

'Right wing, Old Guard' means this to most people:
reactionary faction, fogyish, tradionalistic, unimaginative, unprogressive, unchanging, inflexible, fossils, obstructionists, dyed-in-the-wool, eurosceptics...

A right wing political party will NOT win the next general election. No way. This is why the Tory Old Guard must let David Cameron modernise the party. It's the only way to get rid of Gordon Brown and New Labour.

But the Tories are thier own worst enemies...

John Trenchard said...

Tory plan for red tape tax cut

but its not. its about easing regulations, NOT tax cuts. but in any case, some of the measures cannot be implemented due to EU directives

"Other proposed measures include scrapping controversial Home Information Packs (Hips) "

they cant be scrapped. The Energy Performance Certificate, which is a core part of HIPs was introduced because of the 2002 EU Directive on the Energy performance of Buildings.

"relaxing the regulations on herbal remedies"
again. no can do. the regulations came from the EU.

one area which we still have national control over is taxation. and yet i see nothing from the Tories in that regard.

BJ said...

"more vulgar"... you're right abouts points 2, 3, and 8. I'm not uncritical of the BBC, because it's very far from perfect. On point 5, we don't use "right wing" to describe the mainstream of the Tories, just as we don't use "left wing" to describe the mainstream of Labour. There are no hard and fast rules, but Peter Kilfoyle, John Cruddas and John McDonnell all get called "left wing MPs" or "old Labour" quite a lot... just as the Edward Leigh-type might be described as "right wing" or, more often, "traditional Conservatives"

I'm not in denial. I just wanted right of reply when Iain challenged me to refute an assertion about today's scripts. Iain -- do you think I've done it successfully?

John Trenchard said...

"If the Tories plan to cut public services to fund tax breaks then they won't have my vote. "

dont you understand that tax cuts will actually generate MORE revenue due to increased economic activity?

Vienna Woods said...

Well said Jafo!

Instead of whining about who said what, where, why and when, the Conservatives have got to start telling it how it is. The golden opportunity is now here with Blair's "New Economy" in tatters and everything collapsing around NuLab ears. Where are the manufacturing jobs? What does the UK do as an alternative? Who caused it? Brown is very vulnerable right now as the impending financial crisis is now a fact and no longer a threat. Tell the people that the last time our "balance of payments" were in a plus was with the last Conservative government in 1997. Tell us what the total debt was then and now. Use the FACTS and demonstrate forcfully that Brown was responsible and couldn't be trusted with a kid's piggy bank, never mind the UK economy. Prudent chancellor my arse! Miss this chance and you don't deserve to be elected.

John Trenchard said...

"A right wing political party will NOT win the next general election"

because of the left wing BBC poisoning the political debate in this country.

chatterbox said...

Don't you just love the media.
Labour attack Conservatives,
Beeb start off by wrapping this policy review as a lurch to the right,
and hey presto we finish up with Cameron forced to defend it.

Doh!!

Travis Bickle said...

John Trenchard

There is also though, at last, a moment of sanity on the EU. John Redwood will propose that we harmonise with our EU neighbours across the channel and start to disapply stuff we don't like.

About bloody time we stood up to much of this legislation as well, the Spanish and French do it all the time, and they are "good Europeans". (and before the predictable denial the Valencian Region continue to oppose the THIRD judgement from EU that land laws are illegal, saying that "Valencia is for Valencians", guess what? they take huge grants our of EU and voted almost unanimously for the EU constitution, as they say in Punch and Judy "that's the way to do it")

canvas said...

John Trenchwood said "dont you understand that tax cuts will actually generate MORE revenue due to increased economic activity?"

At whose expense? It's not all about 'money'. You don't get it - and that is exactly the reason why Labour has won the last thre elections...

tapestry said...

canvas - at whose expense?

don't you understand?
the purpose of tax is to raise money. do you agree?

If the lower rate of tax raises more funds than the higher rate, at whose expense is the higher rate?

the answer is at the expense of both the taxed and also of the government's funds. Redwood is saying that many of Brown's taxes are set at the wrong rate.

If on the other hand you think the purpose of tax is to stop wealthy people from investing and hard-working people from working, then Redwood would not agree that those objectives are moral or correct.

Left wing philosophy impoverishes the poor and the rich alike, and is immoral.

Anonymous said...

I usually post using a blogger profile but as this story concerns personal matters I am going to post anonymously.

Redwood is exactly right to say we need to get rid of all this ridiculous health and safety legislation.

As someone who has suffered previously from a psychotic illness, a combination of health and safety legislation (admittedly from the EU) and our compensation culture regarding 'harrassment' (it is still PC to say 'loony', 'fruitbat' etc in the even the most PC council office) makes it pretty much impossible for me to work without lying to my employer.

They are perfectly within their rights to sack me for doing this.

New Labour regulation stinks. I wrote to my Labour MP about it, I received a patronsing standard letter from Anne McGuire MP telling me 'that Jobcentre Plus is committed to offering all disabled jobseekers particular help ... (it goes in like that for a few more paragraphs in typical NuLab fashion).

Madasafish said...

>Anonymous 8.33pm
What makes you think removing legislation will make you more employable?



As a couple of general points:

John Redwood has acted when in office as having zero political nous. I am not the only one to remember his Welsh office days.


I fail to see how theis current economic paper can win any new votes. Sure it will appeal to existing Conservative voters.. but does it have any broad electoral appeal..|It certainly will not convince any Gov't employess.. so 40% of the voting poulation is estranged from the start:-((

Hardly the kind of politics to win elections... Pure muppetry imo

Votedave said...

Well said Iain. David Cameron should pledge impartial news reporting in his manifesto.

David Boothroyd said...

votedave: Would that extend to the newspapers as well? The Daily Mail for instance?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I have a theory and it is this. The BBC knows its days are numbered and it is merely pursuing a scorched earth policy.

In other words, when Adolf realised he was losing he ordered Albert Speer to order the destruction of the Germand Industrial infrastructure.

The Kirsty Warks and the Gavin Esslers and all the faceless Trots who hide behind the corporate identity are going for broke.

I want to see the destruction of the BBC because it is a travesty of Lord Reith's vision of "a drawn sword parting the darkness of ignorance" and now it is merely a mouthpiece for an ever dwindling liberal humanist left wing elite who frankly should be made to eat at McDonalds and forced to wear panties made in Macau by slave labour at 2p per garment, and have compulsory lessons on heterosexuality.

Chris Goodman said...

Have you noticed that the New Labour sock puppets that infest the comments section of this blog do not even try to defend socialism any more, they just pretend to be Conservative voters. The trouble is they are such bigoted narcissists they have no comprehension of the views they are supposed to be mocking. It would be laughable were it not for the insight it gives into the desperate vacuity of their totalitarian mindset.

Newmania said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Newmania said...

votedave: Would that extend to the newspapers as well? The Daily Mail for instance?



David are you admitting the bias of the BBC but excusing on the grounds of supposedly right leaning newspapers. Surely you must see what a weak position this is. These bodies respond to cutomers not legislation they are elected everyday. In fact in a nebulous way I think the MSM is somewaht to the left of the public as a whole . Thats how far out of touch the BBC is

Sea Shanty Irish said...

Agree with Iain on the specific question;this kind of backward formulation is always a joke no matter which way it goes.

The transcripts cited by BJ above are also a joke. Stressed that John Redmond is a rightwing Tory (hardly news) and that Labour thinks he's wrong AND Tories are rightwing (again, not news). Nothing (other than something-something-billion-or-something) about the actual proposal.

Like Brother Bob said, British newsmongers have been brainwashed into thinking this stuff is actually journalism at least since the days Harold Wilson donned his first Gannex. All parties suffer, but the opposition suffers more precisely because it is the opposition.

UNLESS of course the opposition deploys superior media strategy & tactics. Thus makes more sense for Tories to ask what Andy Coulson AND Rupert Murdock are up to, instead of wasting precious bile damning & blasting the BBC.

That didn't help the Hun and it won't help you.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

The BBC have moved on:

They are now leading with the story that 150 protesters have turned up near Heathrow, pitched tents and intend to protest and "hold workshops" all week about Runway 3.

If the BNP had turned up at Heathrow to protest about the immigration that comes through Heathrow, would the BBC give them top billing?

Instead the BBC have given a heads up - there's a free camp this week to every crusty, swamp dweller in the land. They've even helped by showing a location on a map where the camp is.

Was this really a story in need of top billing or a way of getting the snowball rolling for another BBC pet project?

Newmania said...

I notice that BJ the state’s apologist ignores Mr. Vulgars devastating point 6 which is the root of the matter in current affairs coverage "Your line of questioning is always from the left, rarely from the right - when it is it is half-hearted and ineffectual"

Indeed and it could hardly be otherwise as there is noone on the BBC in any position of influence who is not left progressive which they regard as the plumb line of the country. It is not of course. I could probably construct a leftist line of questioning myself with a bit of thought but hardly with the ferocity that real outrage lends to your inquisition.

Thus the left float through their coverage not only unscathed but by implication endorsed. The BBC would be better of asking nothing that presenting the easy targets they serve up . Polly Toynbee a hard left agitator was the head of Social affairs why not try to imagine the equivalent on the right for the BBC to employ just to get an idea of the depth of delusion in this organisation.. It could not be anyone from the Conservative Party as La Toynbee is far to the left of the Labour Parties policy it would have to be someone who venomously criticises the Conservatives from the right .Peter Hitchens ( the real one)is the best example I can think of , why is Mail rightish polemicist not put into to bat just to balance up a tiny part of the Guardian left ?

Not in our lifetime but even if he was the serried ranks of convinced “Progressives” would hardly break their stride , you cannot survive in an institution like this alone. The brute fact is this , the BBC is nationalised industry paid for by A POLL TAX . It has no role and the Conservative Party would diminish it at the least. People now talk quite casually about the BBC as a Political Party it is fighting for its life

BJ defends himself by quoting some introductions but this is not the point as we have seen on the European debate time and time again. The background noise is always whispering one message and this is why the illusion of journalistic credibility is actually damaging . The BBC would be l;ess poisonous if it were at least to admit to its point of view. Any sort of reasonable analysis shows up the nudge .


Still I tell you what , lets ask Mr. BJ what his politics are ? Or lets not bother they will be left centre which to him is neutral. Case dismissed and the more certain it is that the BBC are the avowed enemy of the right the more they will fight against it …incidentally the drama output is vastly worse

No BJ you have not refuted the point successfully you have ignored the balance of reporting. I have not seen anything so blatantly pro government since Scottish Socialist Andrew Marr tickled Gordon Brown’s tummy for god`s sake that was before the left wing Celt was doing his history of Britain its laughable. Who in gods name sits there on a huge salary and decides this is showing neutrality…


SHANTY _ If you were to take a look at the background of those employed you will soon see why in or out of government they hate the Conservative Party. I wonder how many Conservatives would be prepared to pay an equivalent amount to the licence fee to stop the BBC broadcasting. I would

Newmania said...

Tone Made me ..that is a brilliant post and excatkly the sin of emphasis and ommission that the BJ`s of this world are enitely blind to.

Look how they censored the information that AIDS is spread through the heterosexual polulation in this country largely by infected African immigrants arriving here . Now that was a really big story... first censored completely and then tucked away

tapestry said...

John Redwood could help the left wing biassed muppets in the BBC to understand better by saying that £14 billion would be saved by 'our society'.

Talking about business is not all that easy these days as it has been allowed to become a negative in the same way as Tory or Conservative have been ground down over the years by BBC commentators.

It is just as valid to tell people our society is saving £14 billion of wasted money, in which all can share - not just rich shareholders of large corporations donating money to the government to acquire peerages.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Why is the Conservative party not attacking the BBC over this. Oh of course we do not want yah boo politics so it remains 'The Silent Party'

BJ said...

Still I tell you what , lets ask Mr. BJ what his politics are ? Or lets not bother they will be left centre which to him is neutral.

I can't speak for anyone else at work, but I just don't let my political opinions colour my work.

Here's another analogy. One of my colleagues is biased towards QPR Football Club. He loves them. Goes to as many games as he can. And he quite often writes about football for work. But is his football copy somehow "biased" towards QPR? Course not.

Tone made me do it -- the Heathrow protest was the lead story because of the injunction that BAA obtained against the protestors. And they turned up at the airport without warning. And because Heathrow Airport has been in the news for being a bit crap lately. And because, yes, some people have strong feelings about the environment. It's not rocket science, folks.

I'm loath to get personal with Iain on here, because so many other idiots do it... but you did set me a challenge on your blog... I'd be interested to know whether you think my original response cuts the mustard!

garypowell said...

All lovers of liberty should BOYCOTT the BBC for just about every democratic and sensible reason known to mankind. Then tell the people very loudly WHY, by any method still left to them.

THAT INCLUDES YOU IAIN

The interests of FREEDOM have nothing to lose, and all to gain.

For even the slightest of right-wing libertarian THINKERS, being involved in anything BBC is worse then a Hiding to nothing. It is a soul destroying humiliation of the most vile and biased nature imaginable. Which is very much worse then a highly dangerous and POINTLESS political exercise.

IT IS SLOWISH PARTY POLITICAL SUICIDE

I think Cameron is GREAT, or certainly has all the potential to be so.

However many years ago when I used to outline the sort of Conservative PM that the people might go for. (Which, minus the public school-boy stuff DC represents very nicely.) I also recommended that;

"a national movement to destroy the credibility of, and cut off the funding for, the BBC WAS ESSENTIAL for any form of Conservative victory EVER AGAIN. Never mind one big enough and clear enough to make a difference."

It looks like we will have to wait till the Queen is on the dole as well as several more millions enslaved by the state before the British people and the Conservative parties leadership start to properly understand quite how hopelessly NEO NATIONAL SOCIALIST this country really has long since become.

But believe me, it will be far too late to do bugger all about anything by then. In fact if we do not get rid of the BBC by last week it will already be too late.

anon1829 said...

This is where Cameron needs a Mandelson, to ring up the DG personally and threaten to kneecap the producer concerned, as Mandy so often did in 1996-97, when Blair, like Cameron today, was playing at being Mr Nicey Nicey.
So where is Cameron's rottweiler enforcer?
Murdoch is a tougher proposition, of course.

garypowell said...

Newmania

Some may say that the BBC has become A political party, but IMO they would be wrong. Its way past that sage.

THE BBC has become effectively 'THE Party'. Whether it entirely knows itself to be so or not.

It has more cash and democratically and commercially unaccountable WORLD WIDE political influence then any other single media entity in the entire universe BAR NONE.

Which is why the BBC currently has more power over the 'collective disaffected hearts and minds' of the world then any single democratic country has ever dreamed of. Including 1930s Germany.

Only the British public can save not only themselves but the planet from its poisonous 'thought police', corporate fascist, pan-national, ambitions.

But a very large part of the British public are still in a deep BBC induced coma.

David Lindsay said...

What, no discussion of Redwood’s actual proposals, Iain?

David Cameron ignored the recommendations of Iain Duncan Smith, for which there existed and exists an enormous popular constituency. And he is most unlikely to adopt the recommendations of John Redwood, not because they are unpleasant or unpopular (although they are certainly both), nor even because they come out of a long tradition of people who accrue to the fringes of the Conservative Party while not actually Tories at all (Ralph Harris the Cross Bench peer, Arthur Seldon the lifelong Liberal, and so forth), but for the same reason as he failed to adopt IDS’s agenda: he cannot guarantee that Labour would do so at the same time.

Actually, Blair would have adopted Redwood’s proposals if Cameron had also done so (and possibly even if not), whereas Brown certainly won’t. But Brown would have adopted IDS’s proposals if Cameron had also done so (and might yet adopt some of them), whereas Blair certainly wouldn’t have done. Therein lies such difference as there is between Blair and Brown.

But therein also lies the most dangerous thing that they have in common, both with each other and with Cameron: a total commitment to acting in unison with the other party on everything that really matters, since any other approach would be to abandon “the centre ground”.

Flavious said...

I see that both Al-beeb and the mail have now readjusted their respective headlines to something more appropriate.

Pity it's too little too late, since the majority of the public will have read yesterdays headline article, and are unlikely to absorb the reality of what the report is actually about. Now they have read the Nu-lab spin machines version. :/

Newmania said...

I can't speak for anyone else at work, but I just don't let my political opinions colour my work.

That’s a yes ! Ah you are super human able to set aside you beliefs excuse me for being tad cynical when there is clear evidence that whatever your personal genius for disengagement ( I jest) it is not reflected over the BBC`s coverage . The minotaur study on the pro and anti EU statements and interviews over five years for example on the EU show a two to one pro EU ratio. A untoward emphasis on Conservative Party division on Europe (reflected by the coverage of the Redwood ( FAR RIGHT) proposals that some of the of the last ten years might be dealt with ) . The BBC are still in denial about this awkward fact. Rather than defending the indefensible you might set your keen journalistic mind onto discovering how it is that I am to know your political views without any more knowledge than you job and occupation . How can you possibly go on averting your gaze to this disgraceful imposition. I `m afraid I already know the answer to that as well.


”Here's another analogy. One of my colleagues is biased towards QPR Football Club. He loves them. Goes to as many games as he can. And he quite often writes about football for work. But is his football copy somehow "biased" towards QPR? Course not.”

I took some considerably mirth from what I hope was the unintentionally patrician tone of this remark. An analogy eh cooo ! Allow me to explain how an analogy works .It takes disparate subjects and sheds light on one by referring to a similarity between them.( How do you like it ?) You have chosen two subjects that have nothing relevant in common though and that is why your “analogy” is worthless. I do hope that the general view of the BBC is that if I can disengage from something as trivially one dimensional as football team my entire world view is much the same. Hardly. I do accept there is an attempt at some discipline but it usually fails It is simply not acceptable to have one political view overwhelmingly in the majority and “Trust “ that they will not take advantage of this .

Think your point on the news worthiness of the Heathrow protesters is not entirely unreasonable but then it is undercut by the extent to which the BBC sets the newsworthiness agenda itself. Where is the investigation into EU corruption? Where is the investigation into systematic lying on immigration figures, where is the investigation into the exaggerated claim as of the environmental lobby ? If the BBC had to earn a living it is unlikely these hot topics would be so neglected. It is not, as you say , rocket science.

BJ said...

If it'll satisfy you: I have actually supported Tory, Labour and Lib Dem election candidates in the past.

Can't be arsed going round in circles any more. You can think you've "beaten me" if it makes you happy.

Cassandrina said...

Anon1829 is correct.
Cameron will get significant support if he attacks the BBC for its obvious bias and puts a team onto monitoring its activities as websites in the USA are doing.
David Davis is the perfect man to manage and advise on the team on this but he needs support from some serious spin doctors.
The Boris Johnson mayor affair with "Black MP's" being 3 days later changed to "Labour MP's" is an obvious case, but every Today Programme on Radio 4 has biased instances. Today they showed overt support and encouragement for the demonstrations at Heathrow by the headline "more demonstrators are going to Heathrow"
Colin.

hugo said...

It's not a pro-Labour bias, it's a pro-government bias. It's always been the same. If the Tories were in power it would be the other way round, but you probably wouldn't be complaining about that.

Newmania said...

BJ..and with a toss of her pony tail Tamara strode purposefully form the netball court.....

Umbongo said...

hugo

Re the BBC's bias: "It's not a pro-Labour bias, it's a pro-government bias."
"If the Tories were in power it would be the other way round,"

Obviously, you weren't around during the Thatcher/Major years. Otherwise you couldn't have made such a fatuous comment.

Little Black Sambo said...

Newmania you are brilliant.

C4' said...

Can someone email George W. Bush about nuking the BBC? The BBC always plays down Islamofascist terrorism and trained most of Al-Jazzera's personel.

Anonymous said...

State run tv - so what's new? The real underlying story here is why Dave's love-in with the BBC has failed miserably. Also, why are the Tory wets trying to shore up their position using the 'right' when the polls are showing the cons going down the pan? Is it because when they fail again they can continue to lay the blame elsewhere and keep saying they didn't go far enough in their modernising?

Harriet Hamster said...

I like when Chalkie White at the Guardian does the papers he is so witty everyone has a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

This is an even worse bit of BBCism: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2007/08/cut_and_paste.html

To paraphrase: "golly gosh, everyone's being so jolly mean about that EU constitution, but that awfully nice Mr Murphy who is awfully handsome too, well, he says it's just all tea and crumpets!"

Anonymous said...

"Can I just conclude by saying that I would make the same point if they started their report about a Labour policy announcement with the words 'The Conservatives today criticised...' It's just that I have never heard them do this!"

I must say I laughed when I read this. It was only a few days ago that Iain lauded the Sun headline on the day of the 1992 election. http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2007/08/thank-god-this-man-never-became-pm.html#links

How can you claim to be a bastion of press objectivity on monday when you believe the Sun's treatment of Labour in the 80s and 90s was responsible journalism on Sunday

Iain Dale said...

That must rank as one of the more stupid posts that have ever appeared on this blog.

1. I do not claim to be a bastion of objectivity. I am a Conservative blogger and commentator. I do not pretend to be objective

2. The point I was making was about the BBC - not a newspaper. The BBC is funded by the taxpayer and has legal obligations to be even handed. Newspapers do not. End of story.

Votedave said...

David Boothroyd asked me a question. Yes, I do think non-biased news reporting should extend to the Daily Mail. I make no complaint about (editorial) commentary and columns for commentators, but news articles should be impartial.

Hugo isn't right in what he says. The BBC were continually accused of anti-Tory bias in the 1980s. Remember when their Glasgow office was raided in 1987?

CuriousHamster said...

Instant google provides this from last week:

"Lack of funding for research is partly to blame for the current foot-and-mouth crisis, according to a Berkshire MP.

Richard Benyon, Conservative MP for Newbury, criticised the government's response to animal infections..."

Could it be that you just don't notice when the BBC does it the other way round? As BJ says, the Beeb often opens reports with "the Conservatives have criticised the government for [insert latest woeful government incompetence here]".

Are you saying that the Beeb shouldn't allow Labour ministers to spout their party political talking points and only let the Tories do it? Can't see how that would possibly work.

Ewan Watt said...

It's worth adding that in the BBC Online report they highlight two quotations from the TUC and one from Andy Burnham. Despite the story being about the Conservatives, the coverage was minimal.

David said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6944588.stm

How does this 'Tony Blair is awesome' puff piece count as news? I know he's not even an MP anymore, but this is essentially the story that the former PM is in a magazine somewhere, and that nice things have been said about him...

Rob said...

I saw this story covered on News 24 yesterday in shocking BBC style.

Political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg was in the studio giving details of Redwood's proposals and then the news anchor, Maxine Mawinney, replied "Isn't this just turning its back on modernisation?".

Laura Kuenssberg then helpfully suggested that many people are saying if we wanted to withdraw from regulations in the social chapter, we might need to leave the EU to implement these proposals, which would fit Redwood's agenda.

To add to this travesty, she said previous Tory governments had tried to get us out of the social chapter, which is surely just factually incorrect because I don't think we even signed up to it until Blair came in.

Mawhinney then proceeded to give an exceedingly soft interview to someone from the TUC along the lines of "please tell the viewers why these Tory proposals are so wrong".

What a joke that channel is.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

BJ, and others: When did you last hear a BBC interviewer ask questions like this:

1) Can nothing be done to reduce the burden of taxation in this country?

2) Why do you think big business has been so outstandingly successful over the last decade?

3) How much of our legislation is now effectively dictated by the EU?

Anonymous said...

What I would be interested in Iain is the actual evidence. Helen Boaden has responded to you citing her evidence showing how wrong you are.

I am a Liberal Democrat, not a Labour supporter and I am also critical of the BBCs rigidity and over promotion of Natasha Kaplinsky at the expense of Moira Stewart but you really should cite your evidence.

Henry Ellis said...

I think you are absolutely right. The BBC has become really sloppy of late. I'm not left or right wing in general but the BBC always used to be above political bias.

Anonymous said...

Anyone, like me, the morniing after a great sporting victory for the English Rugby team, think the top story headline on the BBC news website and Telext "Brown praises fantastic England" is more evidence of the BBC/Nulab organistion being in league with Browns Britishness propananda campaign - nauseating.
Dan, Derby

Spread Betting said...

Politics gets into everything and will probably benefit the BBC directly so it isn't surprizing to see politics creeping into all headlines no matter how unusual the connection