Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cancel The Revolution!

Party's over. Everyone back on your heads!

Yes, the BBC has spoken. Apparently, all those media reports of the BBC admitting its own bias at a seminar were…..well, not strictly speaking untrue, but y'know, kind of….well, let the BBC’s own Helen Boaden explain:
It was planned as a serious seminar to investigate and understand better the BBC’s commitment to impartiality in an age in which spin and opinion riddle much of the world’s journalism.
Tune in tomorrow when Mr Pot will be interviewing Mr Kettle live!
To keep us all on our toes, a rich variety of formats was used during the day. I was on a "Hypothetical" – where a panel of people in charge is given a series of mounting “real life” crises and asked how they would handle each of them…

The point of the Hypothetical is to generate discussion, debate and ideas. The situations aren’t real; the discussions aren’t binding and they certainly don’t define BBC policy.
All of which leads me to say one thing: huh ?

Whatever the wider context of the discussions, the speakers quoted weren’t talking hypothetically; they were talking about the BBC as it is now.
The main thing is, however, [Jeff Randall and Andrew Marr] were both giving their personal opinions. That is entirely their right ….
See, that’s what really worries me about the BBC: they genuinely seem to think it’s an act of generosity to allow people to dissent.

Anyway, where was I ? Ah yes:
The main thing is, however, they were both giving their personal opinions. That is entirely their right and what they had been asked to do in the interests of discussion. I disagree with them. I found their claim of liberal bias unconvincing – based on anecdote and attitude rather than evidence.
Except, of course, that the BBC has never actually got round to carrying out any research in the first place. After all, this is an organisation which is obsessed with every other form of diversity, but try finding out how many Conservatives work in BBC news rooms. And yes, I said ‘news room’ – having a few folks who might conceivably have voted for Lady Thatcher down in accounts doesn’t count.

This is what I was saying yesterday, nothing sums up the incestuous, self-obsessed monoculture of the BBC like the fact that one of their staff can cite a poll showing that 40% of the public don’t trust them as proof of the quality of their output. Wasn’t there anyone there who could point out that the whole justification for the BBC poll tax is their super-exceptional quality ? Are we sure that even ITV wouldn’t provide a great service with three billon quid and a virtual immunity from the normal laws on competition ?

What really gives the game away is the BBC’s defenders. If the BBC is really unbiased, how come it’s defenders are always people who sound like the Bush conspiracy generator ?

All the usual suspects are present and correct in the comments to that post. Take, for example, the revelation that Conservatives are STOOPID
At 12:54 PM on 24 Oct 2006, Alex wrote:
Glad to see you're not taking the comments of the Mails and the Express too seriously.

The greatest shame, of course, is that those with an ounce of intelligence and more than a hint of healthy cynicism, know full well that items were extracted selectively from the broadcast to back up a pre-conceived story which fits the papers' agendas.
Those without these mental facilities, sadly, believe what they are told to believe by these rather sad journalists.

Keep up the good work Beeb - those who retain the power of independent thought still trust you !

Funnily enough, it’s us thickos who can handle the concept of a distinction between a newspaper in the private sector and a poll tax funded state broadcaster. Libs ? Not so much. Hence, approximately 50% of them make some version of that point, with one guy going for the double header:
At 01:08 PM on 24 Oct 2006,Silas wrote:
I think it hilarious that a right wing rag like the Mail is accusing the BBC of having a left-wing bias. Compared to the Mail, pretty much everyone has a left-wing bias as everything is to the left of them.

I'm surprised, however, that the BBC was only rated at 60%. I pretty much disregard anything on Sky until I see it confirmed by the BBC.

Channel 4's news coverage is usually excellent, and I do like watching it - only because they allow more time for discussion than the BBCs bulletins.

If people want to see a biased news programme, may I suggest they watch Fox News? Then let them complain about the impartiality of the BBC.

Fox: now making Liberal heads explode even from 3000 miles away.

Trouble is, all that use of ‘right-wing’ as a pejorative term does tend to undermine the Left’s argument.

At 01:57 PM on 24 Oct 2006,John Ellis wrote:
Good piece by Helen. In any event, what makes the Mail/Telegraph/Sun any more right on their side of the partiality equation? The red-tops and Murdoch media sicken me with their 24-hour diatribe of poison and disinformation - they are akin to US shock jocks such as Rush Limbaugh. By and large the BBC is impartial, sometimes (as with global warming) dangerously so. I am happy for the BBC to continue to attempt to penetrate what lies behind news and broadcast reality on the ground.

‘Their side of the partiality equation’ ? But…but...but...I thought the BBC was unbiased ?

Or maybe the BBC is biased but that’s OK because Conservatives are too FICK to deserve fair treatment:

At 01:11 PM on 24 Oct 2006, Mike Morris wrote:
Assuming there were a preponderance of "liberals" in the BBC it would just confirm Al Franken's observation in Lies and the Lying Liars...that journalists beyond a certain level tend to be better-educated than the majority and have realised eg that knowing gay people hasn't automatically led to personal disaster. The idea that liberal ideas are anything to be ashamed of is the most pernicious of the deceits peddled by the right-wing muck-sheets.
BTW where's Randall gone? The CBI?
Ashamed ? Hey, it’s the BBC which keeps denying they’re Liberals. Maybe they need to ask those gays they know (????) for some tips on coming out of the closet. But no, that would leave the ‘better-educated’ Liberals having to pay for their own TV. Nothing says socialist solidarity like soaking the working class to keep a bunch of degenerate snobs in coke.

If you want final proof of BBC bias, consider this: all the comments to the original post were fully moderated. The above comments are what the BBC – whose normal comment forum is jokingly referred to as ‘Don’t Have Your Say’ - considers useful contributions to the debate.

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