Thursday, March 08, 2007

Why Won't the BBC Interview Robin Aitken?

Robin Aitken spent 20 years as a BBC current affairs journalist. He's written a BOOK about the experience, called CAN WE TRUST THE BBC? He confirms Andrew Marr's assertion that there is an inbuilt liberal bias within the BBC. The book has received widespread coverage in the press, but Aitken reckons the BBC have put a blanket ban on him appearing on their airwaves. The BBC deny any such ban exists, but the fact remains that not a single programme has interviewed him on his book. If you want to find out more, we're spending an hour with him on 18 Doughty Street at 9pm tonight. He's also written an article HERE.


Anonymous said...

The solution is simple.

Robin just needs to take to the airwaves on ITV, Sky, Channel 4 and anywhere else he can to shame the BBC into giving him an interview.

The damage to them will be 10x worse if they are seen not to offer him an interview.

Man in a Shed said...

Its not like the don't take an interest - the BBC have been visiting blogs checking what people say on the subject.

The answer is they know they have a problem, but would rather no more light was shed on it. As the political momentum moves towards David Cameron I hope they'll reconsider.

But we should never forget how they have treated us over the last 15 years. It may be necessary for press officers looking for new jobs to say they have no problem with the BBC ( VoxP on 18DT last night ), and MP's who rely on publicity from the BBC to email in their support for the BBC - but when we next gain power they must be fixed and broken up.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Last night, Newsnight led with the story about alleged police heavy handedness over the arrest of a young woman. (Black people are never named as such on the BBC, even if it is relevant, unless they are being portrayed as victims)

This story was wholly biased against the police, implied that it had a racial angle and that the police were using undue force. Trial by television in which no other connotation could be placed upon the filmed evidence.

The alleged "victim" was convicted.

This was portrayed by the BBC and its reporters, including Paxman, as if it was another Rodney King incident. It was no such thing.

The woman was drunk and disorderly and did considerable damage to a car belonging to someone she had had an argument with and apparently struggled with a police officer.

This nasty female is busy playing the race/female/ card for all it is worth, merely to get revenge. She is just another anti-social nobody, but the BBC want to turn her into a martyr.

What's neutral about that?

Anonymous said...

Whats the point anyway. It will be run after 2 completely bogus stories designed to whip up sympathy/tension about migrants or another cloud cuckoo story such as "the AG has obtained an injunction allowing us to create a frenzy over a leaked document material to a case involving the government and public interest'

I dont suppose it dawned on anyone to do the right thing and simply give it back to the police and not publish it? After all the BBC is a public body and had no commercial interest at stake?

A unrealistic expectation maybe but surely if the police wanted it kept quiet a judge agreed what are you lot doing making it public?

Anonymous said...

Do you think Sky would interview an ex-employer who said they broadcast trite nonsense? Would 18doughtystreet interview someone who denounced its Tory bias? It's hardly big news and everyone knows the BBC has a liberal bias.

But then so does David Cameron. In fact, Britain is a liberal country where only those who promise to liberate the people get elected.

Guido 2.0 said...

I think a fair counter is; "Can we trust 18 Doughty Street?"

Ralph said...

The BBC doesn't want debate, it wants to tell everyone it is wonderful and belittle any critic. Robin is well out of it.

Anonymous said...

Guido 2.0, last I looked, 18DS was not taking taxpayers' money while claiming to be impartial.

Why should a publicly funded body be biased one way or the other? That is the question.

Newmania said...

Super stuff Iain I can`t wait to see it .
Why are yuo so easy of Andrew Marr though . Like any media whore he scuttles along after the winning army but he was part of this .

I am not ready to forgive him.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

further to my last comment:

The arrested woman tried to throw the police officer down the stairs.

She also did not need nor request nor receive medical attention.

And yet, the BBC are still portrayin this as a police brutality/racism story, making sure that her age at the time of the incident was 19.

Why, I wonder, are they emphasising that last point?

Anonymous said...

They probably don't dare interview him.
He was an insider for so many years that he probably knows too much about the attitudes/beliefs of the individuals that would be conducting any interview.

If they attempt to counter his assertions his live responses (with illustrative examples) could be even more embarrassing than the book. The beeb hates washing dirty linen in public; proles might just get the idea that the licence tax isn't justified.

Having read and enjoyed the book, can't help but get the impression that there's more that could have gone into it, but for some reason was excluded. (You might want to ask him about that.)

The Empty Suit said...

I think the attitude of the heartfelt liberal end of the media would come from this link to the blog of a journalism professor. The strong feeling is that Aitken's a bloody traitor to the cause.

Anonymous said...

When this book first appeared on my radar I made the silly mistake of thinking it was by someone quite important, namely Robin Oakley, the old political editor of the BBC. It turns out it is by a complete unknown and therefore it is hardly a shock if the BBC aren't giving him airtime.

Anonymous said...

wrinkled weasel, ah yes, but the source of this story is The Guardian and at least the BBC coverage was a little more balanced than the awful anti-police, 'trial by media' stance of that newspaper. I speak as a paid up 'Guardianista'.

But the fact that they are acting as judge and jury in this case when cops are risking their lives daily does astound me.

But have a look at their 'Comment is free' on this topic - people are not willing to accept their 'party line' on this any longer, and many, like me, are losing patience with their disregard for 'due process of law'. The BBC 'Editors' Blog' is also inviting comments on this and Peter Barron admits that it has divided opinion in his newsroom.

Anonymous said...

Let it go, Iain. You're already damaged goods with the 18DS campaign against the Television Tax. Any more of this stuff and the red carpet at News 24 and Five Live will be rolled up. For good. No more paper reviews for you mate.

BJ said...

Robin Aitken has written a few pieces for Murdoch and Northcliffe-owned newspapers plugging his book -- but has he been interviewed anywhere in the mainstream media about it?

Is that fact that 18DS is doing an "exclusive" with him simply down to either a) that not many people are interested in what he has to say; or b) that his PR machine is not very good?

If he also being interviewed on Sky, C4, and the South Bank Show, then you'd probably have a better argument.

A search for his name on Google news turns up the East Lothian curling champ of the same name just as much as it does the former BBC man. Amusingly, however, "our" Robin does still feature on the Today prog's website.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Very interesting stuff over at the Grauniad, anon 1.30

I don't think you have to be an alpha plus intellectual to realise that the BBC now routinely slants this kind of story as a police attack. The only time they are nice about the Police is when they have Ali Desai on, and frankly I think the jury is still out about him.

They turned the murdered Ipswich prositutes into objects for beatification. They will never accept the idea that people who break the rules have to take some kind of personal responsibility.

Ultimately they are undermining public trust in the police who are already in trouble for having to carry out their own politically correct procedures (at the behest of Nulab) when molly coddling Muslims. The recent conviction of the demonstrator over the "Cartoon" affair for advocating mass murder hardly warranted a mention at the BBC

Anonymous said...

Its a victim-of-the-day story combined with a government initiative story combo every day to suit the agenda. Whilst everyone knows what knob the stories are it fans the flames,obscures other statement, prepares the ground for an upcoming event and keeps everyone off the scent.

NuLab has in the last few weeks suggested;

New legit UK citizens should pick up litter

Single mums with kids over 12 should be forced into work

Migrants must learn english (whilst cutting the ESOL budget)

Text migrants to ask politely if they would stay and carry on working here as we have renewed your registration

conducted a secret inquiry into clerical errors

voted to remove the HOL as an effective brake on govt excess

seen the COE election fraud monitors arrive

Brown make an arse of himself

leaked docs to the press

lied in parliament

seen an unelected advisor of the PM declare his innocence, after the evidence leak. He said the same after his previous two arrests on the subject

and NOT ONE person has been criticised, admonished and certainly not been fired over any of it.

Anonymous said...

Pity he couldn't get on the Andrew Marr Book-Plug Prog "Start The Week".......but maybe Putin objected

Anonymous said...

We know what the BBC thinks of Robin Aitken, because it is mentioned in his book: "Who is this f**ker?"

Two glimmers of hope:

1) As Robin says, his views are actually shared, on the quiet, by one or two very highly placed people in the corporation. In the long run, this may lead to change.

2) The mood of the country is also changing. Read any of the stale old liberal columnists in the Guardian and see how much flak they now have to take on CiF. Even the diehard Guardianistas are beginning to grow up.

Chris Paul said...

Media on media = tedious for public.

Anonymous said...

Newspapers are unashamedly biased. So is 18 Doughty St. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it might explain why they are comfortable giving the book and its author airtime.

The situation with the broadcast media is subtly different. By branding the Beeb with institutional bias it could be infered that Aitken is criticising all broadcast media. Thus he makes it a difficult subject for any tv or radio journalist to cover.

Of course, to the delight of a wingnut like me, the Beeb's studied silence simply confirms that they are guilty as charged and they know it.

Anonymous said...

Patrick Mercer used to work on the Today programme too, so its bias clearly isn't that liberal.

Anonymous said...

Proud anglo Saxon

"His allegation is of the dog bites man genre in interest."

This is even worse. You are implying that the BBC accepts that Aitken is not a story because what he says is commonly known to be the way of the world (in the same way that dogs bite people, so the only story is when the man bites the dog). If the BBC is admitting that then they are admitting to breaking a key part of their charter

Anonymous said...

If Cameron is a Liberal, then how come you complain about a Liberal bias?

Tories don't understand the word. Learn to separate Liberal and Left, and you'll all be able to do what DC is trying to do much better.

Man in a Shed said...

The long a short of all this is that the BBC has helped the last Labour government get elected - hence the anon astro turfer interest in comments here.

We must bide our time - win power then privatise them and hand out public service grants to competitive tender.

Softly, softly catchy commie.

Anonymous said...

Cameron is a liberal, not a Liberal. the difference is important - many in the Liberal Democrat party are neither liberals nor democrats.

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale 6.11

I read your so-called "test" message with disgust. You should be ashamed of yourself, you Tory bastard.

Johnny Norfolk said...

It just proves the point he has made in his book.

The BBC manipulates things all the time to its agenda. The other side of the Global Warming debate was on Ch 4 it should have been on the BBC.
The BBC is not balanced, it is a left wing organisation.

Johnny Norfolk said...

18 Doughty Street does have people from the left all the time.
The BBC is supposed to be unbiased that is it charter. 18DS is on the right, that is its stated position, and is not paid for by the public.

The BBC just puts it head in the sand and has done nothing to redress its left wing position.

Anonymous said...

Task number one for the next conservative government: privatize the BBC. With prejudice.