Saturday, August 26, 2006

Is British TV Too Right Wing? - No, Don't Laugh...

Yesterday there a was a debate at the Edinburgh TV Festival titled: "Is British Television too Right Wing?" Quite unbelievable. Especially when you consider the debate was being chaired by Kirsty Wark!

This is the blurb on the event...

Is television politically biased? Traditionally British Television has been accused of being dominated by liberals and lefties intent on spreading their progressive poison. But these days the schedules are stuffed with right wing historians, columnists and journalists. So are you more likely to get on telly if you're a Tory and what does this mean for the quality of debate and current affairs?

The panellists were Martin Bell, Dorothy Byrne, Head of News, Current Affairs and Business at Channel 4, Peter Horrocks, Head of TV News, BBC & Peter Oborne. If anyone as at the event and would like to report on the discussion I'd be delighted to hear from you.

And in other news today, "Is Ben Thatcher a Wimp?", "Why is Simon Cowell the Shyest Man on TV?" and "The BNP: Why are they so soft & cuddly?"

And now a bank holiday challenge to you. Make suggestions for an entire day's programming of right wing programmes, using existing programme titles but slightly changing them. For example, 'Jackanory' becomes 'Jackatory'. Just a bit of fun.


Lobster Blogster said...

Blue Peter?

Mikey said...

Bill Cash in the Attic
Liddington Britain
Kith and Rifkind
The George Osbornes
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Isaby

Reactionary Snob said...

Let's not forget the BBC held an internal review that said it was too 'pro-Israeli'. This coming from an organisation that refueses to condemn either Hamas or Hizbollah as 'terrorist', and employs Orla Guerin is farcical.

I suppose when you phrase the question 'is it too right wing?' it depends on your perspective. To a sensible person the answer is no. To Polly Toynbee or some other such eejit the answer is probably yes.

On a somewhat related, and I believe interesting note, the Pew Research Centre published findings a few years back claiming there were more pro-Bush articles in leading US papers in 2000 & 2004 than there were pro-Gore or pro-Kerry articles. Of course, it is nearly routine to say that the US media has a left-wing bias...



Anonymous said...

Too right wing ? Don't make me laugh !
I have to turn off the BBC TV News and listen to Classic fm, because the Beeb's slant makes me so cross .

Anonymous said...

Iain my phone has just rung with a comment i agree with -your blog has been boring for several days.liven it up a bit with some hot topics.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, it's August! There's not as much to comment on. I'm doing my best!

Scipio said...

Red Dwarf to Blue Dwarf (sorry, we are a bit more PC now, so it would have to be 'Blue vertically Challenged person'

Scipio said...

I never hit women - but I'd be sorely tested by Orla 'Arrafat' Guerin! I cannot believe that BBC do not do more to edit her tripe. She is so blatantly biased it is laughable. On a privately owned broadcaster with a declared bias (such as Fux News), then OK - but ona broadcaster I pay for with my money I expect an impartial viewpoint!

Sack her I say. Let her go work for Al Jezerra!

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

This was just a put up job-

next time the BBC is accused of being institutionally left wing
they can point to this stage managed show trial and say:

"we must be doing a fine job with your £131.50 - we get attacked for being biased by both sides"

Perhaps Krusty Walk can come and host a similar debate at my "fringe" meeting tonight in the "Waggon load of Monkeys".

Scipio said...

Iain, as it's August and there is bugger all to blog about, why not make some scandal!!!

How about getting people to write ten things they want in the next Tory Manifesto! I started this the other day on the blog about inheritence tax, but no-one folowed it up!

I will start with banning Ben Bradshaw - who is the most supercilious, arrogant, patronisng and annoying twit in the house! And that's before I even start on his disasterous policies!!!!

Anonymous said...

Iain, theee must be some slow news/silly season fun to be had regarding Ruth Kelly's alleged 'dress sense'. Who the hell cuts her hair?

Rickytshirt said...

How about Iaindale Farm?

Rickytshirt said...

...or Michael Howards Way

Anonymous said...

Iain,What are the stories about CCHQ asking you -Iain Dales Diary and Chris at the Homepage to TONE down topics of conversation such as the A list second tranche and its components ie 60% women 10% sexual gender etc etc.Is this because of the latest poll figures giving us the lead and they dont want the blogs to be rocking the boat.Right wing I think.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, what stories? where? I can't speak for Tim M, but I have had no such blandishments from CCHQ. And who's Chris?

Ross said...

Is the Socialist Worker too right wing as well?

Anonymous said...

Agreed with anonymous.These stories of CCHQ cooling the blogs has been circulating for a few days.I agree that your blog and the Homepage are both dull at the moment.Certainly a left right wing conspiracy,involving Hompages Chris.

Anonymous said...

Iain, just what were you thinking about to come up with 'Jackatory'. Is this the prog that shows at 11pm?


Anonymous said...

Bank holiday viewing...not available on the BBC

1 The George Osbournes
2 Everybody Wants To Be A Millionaire
3 Private Doctor Who
4 The Perils Of Non-PC Penrose
5 Bollyoaks
6 I'm A Small Business, Get Me Out Of Here!
7 The Torytubbies (same as the Tellytubbies but no slightly pink ones)

Anonymous said...

I was sitting down with a cup of tea and a biscuit yesterday waiting for the promised news conference on the 40 Derby rebels and some harmless amusement when Sky went to went to a routine, boring news conference on cricket. Wham, bang...You've got to admire New Labour news management skills haven't you ?

Anonymous said...

casual observer asks a vital and intersting question. Who cuts Ruth Kelly's hair? I believe it is done with a power lawnmower - (not a riding mower, as that would flatten her head). This accounts for the random nature of the cut.

As for the styling, I believe she rides the power mower through the car wash and lets it air dry in the service station forecourt.

She suffers from the disadvantage of only ever having one hand free to work on her hair as the other hand always holds a comestible, preferably something containing double cream. She is an adherent of the Blairina school of figure control. (Did you notice how an entire school of barracuda fled when Cherie Blair appeared on the deck of the yacht?)

Anonymous said...

Here is another interesting topic to liven up August. It's not a "hot topic" as demanded by Anonymous 12:40 p.m. but I am trying to help Iain out here: This is for women, but gays are most welcome, as are straight men with an interest in the vital matter:

Which professional sport has the cutest male players? Many girls will say football because their legs are great, but a lot of them look stupid and feral. And they run around with their mouths gaping open like great apes.

My own vote is for cricket. I do not care what race they are, every last one of them looks handsome and magnificent in whites. Cricket players simply look like heroes. My personal favourite - fast bowlers.

(I hate all those coloured outfits covered with logos that make them look like medieval jesters, though. Someone lost the plot.)

Least favourite: ice hockey players. That Canuck style just doesn't cut it.

AnyonebutBlair said...

BBC TV too right wing...don't make me laugh...attached beneath is my complaint about Orla Guerin and response from the BBC:
I said:
>In two separate news pieces from Orla Guerin in Bint Jbeil in Lebanon yesterday she gave a biased anti-israeli and anti-american commentary disguised as news, in fact based on the attached weblink, her commentary was misleading if not downright untruthful
>It goes further e.g. "In a month of fighting, Israel couldn't beat Hezbollah - probably not how its ally the United States expected things to turn out. For George Bush this is a bad chapter in the war on terror"
>How can Olra say this? What does beating Hezbollah look like? On what basis can she make such observations? Has she asked George Bush or one of his spokesmen if this is a "bad chapter" or is it just Orla's opinion? A very shoddy piece of journalism
>Will be BBC take any action to remove this obviously biased reporter from the news programmes?
>Will the BBC apologise for what is clearly a misleading if not untruthful storyline?
>I await your rejection of this and your self-justification with interest

The wonderful reply I received is below:
Dear Mr xxx
Thank you for your e-mail regarding BBC News.
I appreciate that you felt Orla Guerin's reports from the Middle East on 14 August displayed an anti-Israeli bias.
Orla Guerin's report on the 'Ten O'Clock News' from Bint Jbeil in Southern Lebanon made clear at the start that she was reporting on the perspective of Lebanese people returning home in their thousands.
She reported: "I haven't seen a single building that isn't damaged in some way. Many have been flattened. Many have been singed. This town has really been wiped out"
Orla did not say that every building had been wiped out. She was using an impressionistic phrase implying extreme damage which is justified by the scale of what she saw.
Nevertheless, I do acknowledge your overall concerns and will ensure that your comments are fully registered and made available to news editors and indeed senior management within the BBC. Feedback of this nature helps us when making decisions about future BBC programmes and services and your views will most certainly play a part in this process.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.
Jonathan Carberry
BBC Information according to the BBC "Orla did not say that every building had been wiped out", but I'm unsure what is unclear in any way about her statement on BBC News at 10 "This town has really been wiped out"
So I've told the BBC that their response is unsatisfactory and await their legally required response that will escalate it to the this space.
Too right wing...don't make me laugh.

Anonymous said...

anyonebutblair - beating Hezbollah looks like:
- Their leadership dead,
- Their capacity to launch rocket attacks removed (or at least degraded),
- Their popular support gone,
- Their infrastructure, including their TV station, disabled.
- Captured Israeli soldiers freed.

These were the stated objectives of the Israeli attack and NONE of them have been achieved.

How can you suggest that this is anything other than a bad result? And if you would acknowledge that it's not the result the Israelis and Americans were looking for, then surely it's fair enough for the BBC to say so?

Anonymous said...

Verity: Good idea for a poll. Rowers get my vote!

Anonymous said...

Good chat Verity!

I vote for Morris Dancers every time. There's something about the clash of the sticks, pints of Harvey's, the pent-up hatred and the ring of the bells against a backdrop of pure old English fire and brimstone. More war descibed by these guys than ever imagined!

This'll probably be the last weekend we will see them, which is a pity.

Scipio said...


As a cricket player - for once I have to agree with you.

But as a rugby player, what have we done to offend. Are not Jason Leonard, Martin Johnston, Darren Garforth et al simply the very epitome of hansomeness incarnate???

Ok, I know we have some pig ugly brutes - like Will Carling, Jason Robinson and Jony Wilkinson, but ignoring these particular individuals, we are a particularly attractive bunch of guys you know!

Curly said...

Torynation Street
GMTV (Great Maggie's Tory Vision)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, an interesting challenge:

A few picks from today are:

The BBC Ten O' Clock News with Michael Howard and Theresa May,

Prime Minsters Questions Extra: a look back at how the housemates have been doing over the past week. Dave has a surprise in store for Tony.

Love Island: Election Night

Last of the Summer Whine - Hazel Blears looks back at how she thinks every problem in modern history can be blamed on the Tories.

Cameronation Street - Tory Dave gets down with da kids on a street in Manchester.

Lost - William Hague takes a trip through time exploring the foreign policy of New Labour.

World Equestrian Games: Three-Day
- Hazel Blears plays rounders.

Anonymous said...

All together now:
"Who's the Tory
In Ballamory?
Wouldn't you like to know?"

Hint- it's the posh one in the big pink castle...