Wednesday, August 15, 2007

BBC Responds to Redwood Bias Allegations

The BBC's Director of News, Helen Boaden, has written a piece on the BBC Editors' Blog responding to my blogpost on Sunday accusing the BBC of doing Labour's dirty work. She apologises for showing John Redwood singing the Welsh National Anthem, but says their coverage of his report was entirely fair. She quotes all the opening lines from BBC News reports throughout the day, and helpfully includes the one I heard...
Labour has condemned the latest review of policy carried out by the
Conservatives as a lurch to the right wing of politics. The review - led by John
Redwood - identified 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 Michael Howard and William Hague.

Game, set and match I'd say. Well, it would have been had I not said that 'all; news bulletins carried these words. I actually heard the 5 Live bulletin, and normally on a Sunday the Radio 5, 4 and 2 news bulletins are more or less identical. It appears this Sunday they weren't. But the fact of the matter is that the 11am bulletin on 5 Live carried exactly the words I said it did, yet Helen Boaden still seems to feel that this was acceptable.

Media blogger Simon Dickson - under the headline MOUSE SQUEAKS, LION ROARS BACK - reckons it was remarkable that Helen Boaden responded at all...
There’s something faintly surreal at the lengths Helen Boaden goes to, to rebut Iain Dale’s claims that the BBC was biased in its reporting of the weekend’s Tory red tape review. If you wanted evidence of how ‘proper’ media is taking bloggers seriously, here it is.

Well I have never been described as a mouse before!


Anonymous said...

Actually Helen Boaden does not apologise for using the JR Welsh National Anthem footage. Nor does she promise to mend her ways. All she says is:

"In retrospect we weren't right to use that footage again, which came from a long time ago."

Nice that she is taking these things seriously. But she is swimming against the tide. Left wing bias at the BBC is becoming "a truth universally acknowledged." Few politicians and journalists, at least in private, now deny it.

Anonymous said...

What very poor judgment from Helen Boaden. A Director of News should realise when she is doing no more than parroting a spoon-fed Labour talking point. If she can't see that then she should resign. If she can see that - but decided to do it anyway - then she should be fired.

But of course, this is the BBC. The Brown Beatification Corporation - a world where all Tories are "horrid, simply horrid little people..." And I'm obliged on pain of a prison term to pay for them to say this.

Newmania said...

Iain the BBC are past masters at not being caught out with their coverage . When I was handing out a free education to the flighty BJ I quoted some stats on the balance of pro EU and anti EU interviews over a long period .He stomped off the court there is no answer .Its hard to evidence bias on a small scale .I saw the coverage and it was more or less in tune with the Polly Toynbee article in the Guardian.

The problem is that the BBC do not see it .They genuinely do not think that having a Polly Toynbee ( ex head of social affairs !),stance on Conservative initiatives is not the same as having Simion Heffer stance on Labour initiatives which it is .

I can only answer for the coverage I saw and that was unbelievably negative . As I often say though its is the BBC`s non news output that is worse.

Who is Simon Dickson then ? Mouse food ?

Unsworth said...

It would have been rather more elegant if La Boaden had a) apologised before being obliged to do so, and b) offered an immediate apology to Redwood.

This move merely shows that they are reacting to events. No doubt she's not paid enough to anticipate them, or maybe she simply doesn't give a toss.

BOF2BS said...

Iain I think it's worth going back and roaring about a supplementasry along the lines of the following commenter on her blog:

* 1.
* At 10:31 AM on 15 Aug 2007,
* Dan G wrote:

"Five Live, 11am: "Labour has condemned..." - and that's the exact words used by Five Live, the BBC's radio news service, throughout the day. I know, as I was listening.

So, actually, Iain Dale and the Sun were *right*.

BTW will you ever stop saying "we're sorry", "we apologise", "we shouldn't have done this or that" and instead say "we won't do it again"?

Her details are incomplete eg what was first mention on Radio 4 and how did eg 6.00am, 7.00am 8.00am 9.00am 10.00am 11.00am etc newscasts start on this topic. Ditto all her channels

We need to know.

PS there are certainly no mous's on this blog and you should never be accused of being one!

antifrank said...

Iain, you're not quite right. Ms Boaden does not say that the coverage was entirely fair. She says that "we believe that we gave good consideration to the substance of the proposals". The statement looks carefully drafted to cast as many aspersions as possible on your account, without denying the substance.

Anonymous said...

Bad workmen blaming their tools comes to mind.....

Tapestry said...

Cameron's strategy with Redwood is interesting. Redwood carefully avoided mentioning anything to do with the EUSR (subservient regions). He merely pointed out the waste of resources involved in various programmes, and suggested a review.

The BBC went off like scalded cats giving voice to Labour's shock that Cameron was opening up this new front on Brown as an incompetent manager of the economy.

How did Cameron, supposedly suppressed in fear by the Brown supposed Bounce and all the previous month's intense Cameron-bullying, dare to challenge the assumed authority of the BBC and its satellite the Labour Party?

Redwood seemed quite reasoned and reasonable. The BBC did not.

The BBC tried hard to provoke Redwood into a eurosceptic statement, (Kwark was saying 'these are eurosceptic proposals aren't they) but he declined the opportunity, saying that he merely wanted these matters to be reviewed, and looked at by the Shadow cabinet.

If the Beeb were to enquire further into Cameron's policy on the EUSR, they will soon enough be introduced to Hague and Kirtkhope's rather hopeless attempt to renegotiate the terms of the EUSR with an alternative treaty. (Subservient Regions)

Cameron's got his bases covered. The BBC don't like it.

Tony said...

And so the BBC's tacit support of Labour and institutional opposition continues thanks to a Blue Peter presenter giving Livingstone a hand.

You can imagine the howls of outrage if a Blue Peter presenter decided to appear on stage with David Cameron to promote one of his policies which had been used to attack Labour.

Anonymous said...

[Sorry - posted this on the wrong thread before]

Hi Iain. Over on Biased BBC they've got the unbroadcast portion of Neil Kinnock being interviewed by James Naughtie on Radio 4 from 1989. Take a listen - it's great stuff - you should link to it!

The fact that the BBC covered up that embarrassing interview for more than a decade points up just how wrong it was of the BBC to show that Redwood footage again.

If Kinnock was a Conservative that interview would have been all over the news at the time - Kinnock would have been finished, and recent British history might very well be very different.

The BBC. It's what they do.

Anonymous said...

you know a subject is dull when newmania and tapestry both do long posts on it.

do these two actually spend all day and night posting on blogs?

Anonymous said...

Er... I may be missing something, but wasn't your assertion (that across its output the Beeb chose one particular Labour-slanted characterisation of the story) WRONG?

Five Live may be your news source of choice, but it ain't mine. Across the panoply of channels the Beeb did what you expected of them - report the story accurately.

If your wrath, such as it is, must be directed somewhere surely it should be at Five Live's editorial team.

Don't demand high standards of others then ignore your own failings and try to fudge the issue.

Five Live were wrong - absolutely. But so were you, and it would be far easier for you to now admit your mistake and address your concerns to Five.

EML said...

The existence of the BBC in its current form is one reason why we might not win the next General Election.

Anonymous said...

The problem is simply that these people honestly believe that they are doing no wrong.They are like the sheep in Animal Farm-Labour good,Tories bad.In reporting Labour attacks on Tory proposals rather than reporting the proposals themselves,they consider themselves to be using no more than perfectly reasonable and responsible journalism as the Tories are by definition in the wrong. Your criticism is incomprehensible to them.

Anonymous said...

The one way to hit the BBC where it hurts?

Stop watching it.

Falling viewing figures and unpopularity will severely jeapordise its chances of getting another charter extension next time round and maybe, just maybe, lead to abolition of the licence fee.

You could also be a "licence fee martyr", but I can't be arsed. Too much hassle. I'd rather stick within the law so I can legitimately criticise them as a "paying viewer".

Anonymous said...

Hope you didn't take the mouse/lion thing as an insult Iain... I think it's to your considerable credit that she has gone to such considerable effort to respond.

I don't think the Five Live quote necessarily proves any BBC bias; more likely, it's a programme editor desperate to move the story on a bit. It's a familiar mantra in any rolling newsroom: 'what's the new top line?'

Anonymous said...

On a completely different note, for two seconds, I promise:

Iain can you use your huge influence in the Conservative Party to sort out their 'Quality of Life Challenge' Website.

This was meant to be a key review and Gummer and Goldsmith are posted missing.

The blogs haven't been updated since January and February and when I phoned up CCHQ yesterday they informed me that the date of publication on the website (July!!) was now September.

There is a danger that we look silly, particularly when Osborne is happy to criticise Labour for similar crimes against the 'blogosphere'!

During Brown's campaign he said "Check out the Brown campaign website. The latest blog is a week old. The last video was uploaded over a fortnight ago. There is no new compelling vision of government; no new store of ideas."

Sort it out!

strapworld said...

Tapestry, well said.

I would love Cameron to announce that one of their manifesto policies will be a Royal Commission into the BBC and for that RC to make recommendations as to whether 'public service' broadcasting is no longer necessary in these days of satellite 24/7 news coverage.

I believe it would prove a real winner!

fairdealphil said...

'She apologises for showing John Redwood singing the Welsh National Anthem...'

he wasn't singing it, was he?

that was the point.

wonder if the bbc will now stop using the clip of Kinnock slipping on the beach every time he is in the news??

no, didn't think so.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

- my remarks on Sunday morning were provoked by listening to Radio 4 all morning and they sound VERY similar to the ones you reported from Radio 5.

The old clip of John Redwood always comes out. Compare and contrast with Micheal Crick's admission that he had seen Tony Blair's university photograph in full AT THE START of his leadership, but chose not to mention it for 12 years.

The top half of the photograph shows Blair grinning inanely in some university group. The sort of photo that made him out to be every mum's favourite. The censored, bottom half of the photo shows our Great Statesman/Actor, making "the wanker" sign for the photographer.

NEVER shown by the BBC/MSM until he left office. Selective censorship for THEIR man.

Anonymous said...

What is different now is that left-wing bias is seen more as bias towards the Government. In Tony Blair's time, left-wing bias on the BBC used to give rise to opening bulletins with "the government has been criticised after they announced that...", presumably because the BBC regarded Tony Blair as too right wing. As a former supporter of Tony Blair I found the habit most irritating, so I can empathise. I long for the days when journalists asked difficult questions. Now they just chew the cud with in house "correspondents"
John, London

Anonymous said...

I heard BBC R4 news bulletin at 8am on Sunday and they lead the bulletin with exactly the words you quote, Iain.

Quite apart from being irritated at such obvious bias, I felt at the time and still do that that was not news. One party saying something and the other party disagreeing with it isn't news, it is comment, and they have no business leading a News Bulletin with such words.

Anonymous said...

Strange how Gordon Brown's proposals in 2005 to cut red tape were reported by the BBC without any questioning or criticism, but when Redwood proposes similar measures the BBC feels it necessary to ring round to find people to rubbish him, or as Nboaden puts it; "Naturally we included in our coverage the reaction from the Labour party, and also from the LibDems, the CBI and the TUC."

And yet this 2005 story reads like a Labour press release.
Brown pledges law to cut red tape

Chancellor Gordon Brown has promised to bring in new laws to cut the burden of red tape on business.

Johnny Norfolk said...

The Problem is that BBC does not believe it is biased, It is so far to the left that any middle of the road comment is regarded as right wing by them.

The Tory party needs to fight the BBC like Norman Tebbit did and not just leave it to bloggers.

Hughes Views said...

Some say that owners become like their dogs. You're certainly going at this little topic like a yappy little dog with a very precious bone!

anthonynorth said...

Sorry, I'm still trying to get my head around 'Director of News'.
When did the BBC bring it back?

Oscar Miller said...

Helen Boaden is simply trying to cover the BBCs bright red backside - and failing miserably. I'd say the score on this one is Iain - 1000. BBC - nul points. Some lion. Some mouse.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly Ms Boaden did not actually apologize for the BBC's coverage of John Redwood's report but at least she accepted to some degree that the use of the footage of Redwood's Welsh Anthem wasn't right but it was dissappointing that she seems to suggest that this was purely on the basis of the fact that the footage was from "some time ago" rather than the impression( intentionally or unintentionally) of there being a political bias

The point I was trying to make is that as the saying goes "a picture paints a thousand words" and whether or not the commentary was fair(that is of course open to individual interpretation)the subtle impression given was that "this is a report from someone who quite honestly is faintly ridiculous". Before people accuse me of being an over sensitive
Conservative supporter I would not support the use of footage of Tony Blair being slow hand clapped at the WI over a report on his role as Middle East envoy either for the same reason. At the very least it's sloppiness on the part of the VT editors and at worst political bias which has no place in an impartial news organization such as the BBC purports to be.

Anonymous said...

Strapworld - "I would love Cameron to announce that one of their manifesto policies will be a Royal Commission into the BBC and for that RC to make recommendations as to whether 'public service' broadcasting is no longer necessary in these days of satellite 24/7 news coverage."

I would go further. Once the analogue signal is switched off, the license fee should be abolished and the BBC should become a subscription package, just like Sky, UKTV etc.

I suspect most people would, ultimately, choose to subscribe as the BBC does have some very good programmes on occasionally, but it should become optional and I believe that it would be a sensible proposal to make

Anonymous said...

jafo said...
"I heard BBC R4 news bulletin at 8am on Sunday and they lead the bulletin with exactly the words you quote, Iain."

Here's what the 8 o clock Radio 4 Bulletin said;

"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. Here's our political correspondent, Guto Harri."

So Mr Jafo you appear to be mistaken

David Lindsay said...

Oh, well, I suppose that someone has to be nice to him, so it might as well be the BBC. It certainly isn't Cameron, who has allowed Redwood's proposals to sink without trace.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Are you sure it was Helen Boaden and not an underling on her behalf? A few years ago BBC executives with time on their hands decided that in addition to Wimbledon, Test Matches, Cup Finals, US elections etc. they'd also like to start attending the Edinburgh Festival. Being too gormless to arrange it themselves and too mean and corrupt to pay for it themselves, they usually spend August squandering licence fee money on five star hotels and lavish hospitality in Edinburgh. Helen Boaden is displaying an unusual devotion to duty if she is replying to anything.

pxcentric said...

If you genuinely think this is "game, set and match" then you are deluded.

Boaden's list of the opening words of various reports shows that your complaint that "all" BBC news bulletins started with the words "The Labour Party has today criticised..." to be plain, cloth-eared, only hear what I want to hear, wrong.

Not one of them started with those words and only one with words that were similar.

For you to accuse the BBC of bias is just hilarious.

Oscar Miller said...

Happening to catch R4s lunchtime programme on 'kidults' and how to grow up, Lucy Mangan (Grauniad columnist) chucked in a little crowd pleaser - one of the risks of growing older was growing Conservative. (Appreciate sniggers all round). She added that the experience of growing up under the dreaded boot of Margaret Thatcher left her with a lasting aversion to being tainted by Toryism (or words to that effect). At this point Katharine Whitehorn quipped that it wasn't all to do with age - some people, like Tony Blair, were born Conservative. (more smug laughs). This kind of indoctrination is now so uncontroversial on BBC output it passes as a mere pleasantry rather like commenting on bad weather. The entire Thatcher supporting public are screened out like a dog turd on their shoe. Try to imagine the joke playing the other way round - growing up under Tony Blair made it just too embarrassing to be a Labour supporter. Ever heard anyone on the BBC make that joke? Nope. As Whitehorn instinctively showed being anti Blair is just another opportunity to take a pop at the Tories. No wonder the BBC don't notice any bias when reaching for their old clips of Redwood failing to sing the Welsh national anthem. On the other hand if it came to running the YouTube clip of Gordo picking his nose in the House of Commons ... well that'll be the day.

Tapestry said...

If you stop thinking that the BBC is biased towards Labour, and instead realise that the Labour Party is the slavish device meeting the democratic requirements of the BBC, you get a lot nearer the mark.

Is there anything you can think of which Brown is in favour of, or against, which is not fully BBC-backed policy?

Blair managed to keep the Beeb backing him, at the same time as the Americans and Murdoch, by policy hopping no and again.

Brown is a policy fixture, and has gone so far over to being a BBC lapdog that he's lost the Americans, according to Stelzer, and Murdoch too is backing a pro-referendum policy against him.

The more hopelessly one tracked and uniform Labour and the BBC become under Brown (or is it Brown under the BBC?), the more glaringly obvious the cowardly alliance becomes.

NuLab under Blair kept all sides interested in doing business. With Brown it's BBC,BBC,BBC,BBC and that's about it.

The only thing left to decide is which part is the organ grinder, and which part is the monkey.

Sir-C4' said...

BBC - Biased Bolshevik ****s

Anonymous said...

Hang on a minute. So Iain's claim that
"the BBC are starting all their news bulletins about John Redwood's Competitiveness Commission reports with the words... "The Labour Party has today criticised..." "
has been proved to be completely untrue? So the whole point of people's ire is built on a falsehood?

Why no acknowledgement of YOUR mistake Iain? And not even a hint of an apology. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you. Without one, I don't see how we can believe anything he ever tells us again. It's like finding out there's no Father Christmas all over again....

Roger Thornhill said...

The BBC knee-jerk mindset is really starting to look stupid. Good.

The Huntsman said...

Institutional Leftism alive and kicking at BBC (Chapter 29432)

The Huntsman said...

Institutional Leftism alive and kicking at BBC (Chapter 29432)

Anonymous said...

Newmania said...

Iain the BBC are past masters at not being caught out with their coverage . When I was handing out a free education to the flighty BJ I quoted some stats on the balance of pro EU and anti EU

Shut her up for heavens sake.She's doin' me head.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

mV3 is right. Stop watching the miserable BBC.

Lets get this straight, the main sin of the BBC is the sin of ommission. Very difficult to prove somebody left something out deliberately, but they do it all the time.

The recent reports about the protesters at Heathrow made it look like a hippy love in, rather than a group of stinkies crapping on private property.

Newmania said...

The BBC is an anachronism . To justify the Licence fee they have to produce broadly appealing programmes ie commercially viable programmes ,where a subsidy is absurd . Do we need a Poll tax for wall to wall cooking and Jonathan Ross? Ridiculous . There is a case for a small scale heritage channel but no more.
The BBC cannot claim not to be biased against the Conservative Party , against the Protestants in Northern Ireland and against America . They have a Liberal left centre view that they do not question. There exists convincing evidence and more could easily be aquired by simple monitoring .

Much of the country increasingly resent paying to be persuaded of one political view and not only on the right . To give any broadcaster such an insuperable pre-eminence is dangerous and distorts the market as well. Imagine if they changed allegience from Brown to Cameron , would we feel comfortable with a state funded propagandist working for the Conservative Party ? The bias in news is not as bad as the general climate of Liberalism that pervades the dramatic and other output though and that’s the problem....

The BBC is shaped by a class of people who come from the arts and middleclass backgrounds . I did an arts degree many years ago and as a Conservative I was generally regarded as a psychotic would be baby eater . I `m afraid the new thinking will still have its disagreements with the same conformists, but they will not appear to represent the country .

As for Helen Boaden we can state with utter certainty that she would rather admit to sex with a farmyard animal than to having voted Conservative over Dinner so we need not worry to much about her pleading

Anonymous said...

Tony said...You can imagine the howls of outrage if a Blue Peter presenter decided to appear on stage with David Cameron to promote one of his policies which had been used to attack Labour.

You honestly believe people care ? Well they don't.There would be no outrage.Just you and Iain, and the rest who spend their days here.

Unsworth said...


And Kinnock is a member of which party, which parliament just now? When was the last broadcast of the clip of Kinnock falling over? And anyway, that makes it perfectly all right then? Don't be silly.

Anonymous said...

Oscar Miller said...

Helen Boaden is simply trying to cover the BBCs bright red backside - and failing miserably. I'd say the score on this one is Iain - 1000. BBC - nul points. Some lion. Some mouse.

Pretty embarrassing post Oscar.Creeping,cringing,fawning come immediately to mind.Yes bloody embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

jafo said...

I heard BBC R4 news bulletin at 8am on Sunday

Well good for you.

towcestarian said...

Currently not a word from Boaden about Robin Brandt's description on Newsnight of the right-wing of the Conservative party as "the blue rinse brigade". The following Wark-Redwood interview I thought was fair, but Brandt's preamble report was typically biased, sneering, anti-Conservative propaganda. Remembering, of course, that Robin Brandt on the Today program described Conservative supporters in these colourful words "Most of them are over sixty. They’re white, they’re middle class. I was thinking earlier perhaps half of them can’t hear without the aid of something mechanical."

BTW Over at Biased BBC there is an entertaining thread about BBC staff editing of Wikipedia pages, including one which changes President Bush's middle name from Walker to Wanker.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:26pm

Yes. The latest splutterings of the Tory fanboys are based upon nothing other than their own jaundiced perceptions.

There is not a shred of evidence.

What Mr Dale blogged on Sunday was not true. He misheard one bulletin and just assumed all the others would be the same.

But you don't need facts to get the fanboys ventilating: any old nonsense will do.

Oscar Miller said...

Pretty embarrassing post Oscar.Creeping,cringing,fawning come immediately to mind.Yes bloody embarrassing.

The embarrassment, as you well know dear Sock Puppet, is all the BBCs. As is the "creeping, cringing and fawning" over Gordon Brown.

nadds said...

If al beeb are not biased, perhaps they can show us Brown picking his nose everytime they reference him over the coming weekend, or start referring to nulab ministers as left or right wing lab figures

Then we might start believing them

Anonymous said...

Did anyone listen to the(socialism) TODAY prog this very morning?
A whole TEN mins was given to a "climate camp" spokesman in which he compared them to JESUS CHRIST! (I kid you not) according to him the protesters are suffering for our redemption! They are saviours of the downtrodden masses who are forced to fly by the evil capitalist swine adding that jet travel kills 140.000 people every year(where did those figures come from?)All sorts of ill thought out trash came out of his ignorant mouth and the BBC loved it! They have been pushing this pathetic camp, even showing a map of how to get there so every unwashed and thick class war warrior could attend!
The BBC are pulling out ALL the stops to pave the way for a re election of their man Gordon Brown!
and all the time David Cameron sits there and takes it! WHY? When the "team today" did a piece on the camp only one side was represented (can you guess?) How about a national campaign to throw out the TV and stop paying the BBC poll tax?

Anonymous said...

EU refendum has an excellent post on the BBC and its proEU bias. Radio 4 just broadcast a ludicrous story on the Chinese product recall WITHOUT mentioning they all carry the EU safety standards mark. Musnt upset the agenda must we

Anonymous said...

English Democrat

I agree totally. The only way to change the BBC bias is to stop paying for it and get it into the media. as we nknow this government only cares about one thing - money.

Anonymous said...

The Heathrow protesters represent 0.00046% of the population. The BBC is pretending that they are a popular movement.

Tapestry said...

where the bbc and labour are completely wrong is in calling these measures proposed by John Redwood to help business, something emanating from right wing politics.

business is where jobs are created, wages are paid, pensions are funded, goods and services are provided at competitive prices, benefiting the whole of society. business is where the quality of life agenda begins, and where the key environmental improvements for the future are going to come from.

if society as a whole being able to benefit by the £14 billion is seen as 'right wing', then what word will the BBC use for the annual gathering of veterans from the Waffen SS?

I don't think the BBC has the first idea how society works, stuck in their state-funded ivory towers seeing the world through distorted BBC spectacles.

James Higham said...

A lot of historic precedent to the mouse jibe. They're taking notice.

Tapestry said...

Brown needs a bit of news blanket to cover up the Conservative fight back...and the proposals by Redwood exposing Brown's economic incompetence.

That's why anything coming out this week is given prominence - even 36 hippies in tents camping outside Heathrow.

No doubt Brown's masterful Prime Ministerial intervention has already been planned, and the script writers are down to planning camera angles and lighting issues as I write. make sure all the bogeys are out before cameras roll this time.

Rich Tee said...

Why does BBC News publish detailed instructions of how to reclaim bank charges? That's not impartial.

This would be OK on the Watchdog site. It is also OK to just cover the story.

Anonymous said...

So, Mr.BBC Insider, what's your view about comment heading up a news programme? You also avoided explaining the use of the word "right" (meaning right-wing)twice in eleven words. You don't usually refer to Labour as "the left", do you?

Changing the subject slightly, if you actually are a BBC Insider, perhaps you would like to explain this proposed TV play about the early political career of Margaret Thatcher which allegedly has her using the F*** word, when everyone who knows her says she has never used such language. The weak sounding defence for this is:
"......the film is 'a personal interpretation of how she might have been, not a factual presentation of how she was'. Think this is code for "this is a lie but it suits us to lie"

After all, the BBC are used to lying when it fits their agenda - not even The Queen is safe.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I heard this as well and was taken aback by its naked partisanship. Dont listen to R5 live so I must have heard it on R3 or R4. Perhaps a parody on the "Boaden Catalogue" is in order: "Conservatives to increase aid to third world - Labour says Tories returning to colonialism".

Anonymous said...

I have decided not to pay my TV licence fee in future, in protest. Of course that's rather easy and of no consequence in view of my advanced years, but others might care to be difficult over it, albeit without breaking the law.

What really gets me is when people like Boaden express sorrow under duress or when they have been found out, but patently show little or any sincerity. A grudging apology is worthless.

Geezer said...

Wrinkled Weasel said...
"Lets get this straight, the main sin of the BBC is the sin of ommission. Very difficult to prove somebody left something out deliberately, but they do it all the time.

Very true. BBC bias arguments are never black and white and are always ambiguous because, unless they actually state "vote Labour" or "don't vote Conservative", they can always try and weasel there way out of, even the most blatant bias with the usual obfuscation ,feeble excuses or just plain denial.
You see that from BBC apologists on here and other blogs all the time.

Politicised people can see the bias, especially over a period of time, but your average floating voter rarely does, or has seen it for so many years that they have become immune to it and just except it as the norm.

Anonymous said...

I think the BEEBOIDS are pushing the camp on orders because not many look like showing up! The phrase HARD SELL comes to mind! Why dont Blue Peter do a feature on it? It could be made by the makers of the Palestinian TV kids show, you know, where a fluffy bunny praises suicide killers and chants death to the Jews! Just the ticket for our modern multiculti nation!

Anonymous said...

Dear Annon 18.22,

Those kind and generous Chinese are giving us all our manufactured goods very cheaply (for now!) arnt they good to us? (for now!) Our Blessed leader keeps inflation down with all these cheap(nasty?)white goods!
I am sure that the Chinese will not use our total reliance on their factories output to blackmail us in the future! That would be against all the ethics of international socialism wouldnt it?
After all since when did the peace loving Chinese hurt anyone? (Tibet?)

Greater Manchester Fabians said...

Rather than accusing the BBC of being leftwing or pro Labour, don't you think the nature of the BBC creates a situation where it is inclined to be biased to whoever the government of the day is?

Tapestry said...

The Brussels Broadcasting Corporation and its Slave Labour Party.

Newmania said...

don't you think the nature of the BBC creates a situation where it is inclined to be biased to whoever the government of the day is?

No no , its the class of people that join. Middleclass arts ...its just that they are the typical Guardian reader. It won`t go away just by stopping the BBC but it will not speak with the faux authority the BBC has .

Anonymous said...

In tonight's LES, Anne McElvoy says:

There is a Wall of Sound emanating from the Tories that has a recognisably retro edge and not in a good way.

Mr. Cameron knew from the start that he had to re-deploy the thinking Tory Right to good purpose - or risk them becoming sullen and disruptive.

But Mr. Cameron still has one advantage here that is underestimated. He has set up these policy reviews to pick what he wants and discard what he does not and both are equally important.

How very true.

BJ said...

What is most disturbing is that a junior-ranking producer has to rebut the allegations a full 48 hours before la Boaden more or less copies and pastes what he's written onto the Editors' Blog!

(I haven't been ignoring you all, dear friends -- I've just been out on my bike, with my real friends, having a nice time not in front of the internet).

towcestarian said...

greater manchester fabians 7.35

"Rather than accusing the BBC of being leftwing or pro Labour, don't you think the nature of the BBC creates a situation where it is inclined to be biased to whoever the government of the day is? "

Good try, but it doesn't wash. The BBC are institutionally "media-liberal", not left-wing or pro-labour. If you fit the "media-liberal" stereotype you get good reviews, if you show any inclination to being right-wing (Thatcher) or not anti-American enough (Blair) you get the Redwood treatment.

Newmania said...

Pratty Batty Said -Shut her up for heavens sake.She's doin' me head.

Du hur du hur duhur.... If you understood what I`ve said you'd have replied gimp . You have no idea do you....and I haven`t got any change

ps: Iain to we really have to put up with the sort of verbal dirty protest. Adds nothing. Bores everyone; whats the point

Anonymous said...

greater manchester fabians [7.35 PM] As I said on an earlier posting, 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?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Weasel discovered this earlier today...

Did you know that the BBC edits thousands of Wikipedia entries?

The clever "wikiscanner" search engine has revealed that the BBC has edited many thousands of entries on the site ranging from such subjects as ethical journalism to abortion.

Does anyone know why they do this, and Mr BBC insider, what's BBC policy on this?

And according to Dizzy, someone at CCHQ has contributed to the entry on the Hellfire Club.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

further to the Wiki thing...the BBC is now running the story about wikiscanner, only they are leading with the CIA angle.

They have rather modestly left out references to their own contributions to Wikipedia, which inexplicably run into several thousand.

I suspect there will be more to this story. Why does our public broadcaster engage in wholesale editing of this site? What's their remit?

Can anybody find an instance of them being less than impartial?

Tapestry said...

Until the BBC admit that there is a narrative behind all their reports, and bring an end to the John Birt narrative system, any apologies are mere window-dressing.

If they already know what will be said, and will happen, and what reaction they should have to it - the BBC is addressing everything that happens with the total certainty of Islamic fanatics who've been brainwashed into thinking in a single dimension.

It is little different in result. Islamists think killing their opponents is justifiable. The BBC thinks character assassination is par for the course.

Until the BBC demonstrates that it has rediscovered the virtues of keeping an open mind, and is not running a controlled programme little different from a propaganda agency, any apologies are going to ring hollow.

Tapestry said...

With Redwood they have a narrative all prepared in the drawer - 'this is the guy who acts that he knows national anthems when he doesn't and is therefore an unsuitable person to have an opinion about Gordon Brown's economic mismanagement'.

I guess all BBC narratives are available to editors online so they don't even need to think. Just enter the name and the subject and robotic thought control is available at the click of a mouse.

As the viewers don't see the system of control, and have access to their natural instincts or common sense, they end up feeling that the BBC provides a distorted version of the world and not one that they easily recognise.

In fact the way policies are aggressively attacked even before they've been explained, means that few can get the ideas they represent about complex issues.

I guess the narrative writers try to write their scripts in a way that they hope people will believe. But as they all work together in a huddle, their view on reality becomes too narrow.

Why not throw the floor open to someone proposing policy changes?

Act as if it's all making sense for 2 minutes. GIve viewers a chance to take in what is being said. Then come in with aggressive questioning in phase 2.

If the counterattack starts even before the proposals are made, the viewers think it's overdone. not surprisingly. and they feel their intelligence is being insulted.

Anonymous said...

The BBC's investigation into the manipulating of programme content barely scratched the surface of their crimes and misdemeanours. In a 3 part programme into the Summer Exhibition they followed the progress of 3 crap paintings by the comedian Vic Reeves. Against stupendous odds and in the face of supposedly anonymous competition two of Vic's dawbs were selected to hang on the walls of the RA - thereby cheapening and subjecting to ridicule the RA as well as the BBC.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter Iain - there's a draft proposal to privatise the BBC waiting on a hard disk in an Investment Bank in Docklands.

I can't see any Minister refusing a windfall of a few billion in the next recession when finances get a little tight. "The BBC - a luxury we can afford to do without."

Tapestry said...

Newsnight tonight remarkably unaggressive about Redwood's latest proposals - but Paxo had to interview Crick this time, as maybe Redwood's had enough of on-screen vulcanisation and having to watch his failing to get into Boyzone for the 7 millionth time.

Detail of interview from tonight's Newsnight on my blog if interested.

Oscar Miller said...

Congratulations Iain - this morning's extremely careful presentation of the Redwood report on the Today programme, that scrupulously avoided any charges of prioritising Labour opposition over the content of the report, was, I'm sure in large measure down to your intervention. This shows what some good, honest street fighting by the blogsites can achieve. And as I have a reputation for crawling to maintain I will repeat - 'some lion, some mouse'.

Street Foodie said...

You lot complain about the allegiances of "old media" but its pretty clear you're trying to do the same with blogging. The era of the blogopoly has begun, and its considerably right of centre...

Anonymous said...

BBC or some blogger? I know which I trust every time.

I am, though, mystified why Helen Boaden should even bother replying. The lion/mouse analogy works for me!

Oscar Miller said...

The era of the blogopoly has begun, and its considerably right of centre...

Well hope does spring eternal ....

Anonymous said...

Helen Boaden took an axe and gave John Redwood forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave his policy forty one!

Ned said...

'31 July '07. 0853 hrs.
Your BBC presenter interviewing Dave Cameron is doing her utmost to interrupt his Policy announcement by over the top reference to GBs Bounce emails et al! ....watching is a painful experience ...this when the BBC should be apolitical in their views..she is just showing an alliance to Labour that is totally unacceptable! Well done David Cameron in keeping your composure.'
"Thank you for your e-mail. I can assure you I do not belong to any political party. I questioned David Cameron in detail about his policies on education so that the viewer could understand more about the proposals on discipline. He was not interupted during this and had more time on policy than on "bounce" - a total of 9 minutes in all.
One cannot ignore bad opinion polls, by-election results and sniping from inside the party. I had to put these points to him and I think it would have been a disservice to our viewers not to."
'It's the way 'I perceived 'your discussion & pre- seems every time they(Tories) make any announcements they are trounced for any ancient past waffle,mistakes, jibes etc, I don't actually believe that a Labour Minister doing a similar interview..would be challenged with their past or recent gaffes?....& there are many!'