Biased Biased BBC

For me, there is a surefire way of telling whether somebody’s opinions matter, or whether they’re a raving crackpot.

The idea that the BBC is biased just seems absolutely crazy to me. People having opinions that don’t coincide with yours? Perish the thought.

I’ve read so many people arguing that the BBC is biased, and all of them are utterly unconvincing. And the fact that they come from people of all political persuasions probably tells you something aswell. Those who think that the BBC has left-wing bias can’t have spent much time watching any current affairs programmes BBC One either.

This afternoon I heard Jamie Oliver talking about school dinners on Radio 4. It was a fine example of “political correctness gone mad” gone mad. He said that the food for school dinners should be locally produced “– and it’s not because I’m PC or a hippy.” Yup. We have got to the point where even being a “British is best” chest-beater is “politically correct.”

Particularly entertaining are the ones who complain that the BBC recruit all their staff by placing adverts in The Guardian. Of course, that’s nothing to do with the fact that the paper is actually the market leader in media job adverts, and everything to do with VAST EVIL LIBERAL CONSPIRACY.

And now the Conservatives are after the BBC again. In particular it’s John Whittingdale, who said a few years ago that if he had the power he would tell the BBC to shut down its website. Yeah, shut down the greatest website in the world. Very clever.

The Liberal Dissenter is annoyed like me.

It occurred to me that one could just as easily construct a case for right-wing bias at the BBC. Consider these examples:

  • Jeremy Clarkson’s assaults on environmentalism every week on Top Gear.
  • The tabloid agenda of BBC1’s six o’clock news.
  • The materialistic ethic implicit in the numerous TV lifestyle shows.
  • Hollywood blockbusters that glorify violence, domestic conformity or both.
  • Brian Aldridge in The Archers.
  • Jim Davidson.

If you look for bias you’re bound to find it. But those who spend their whole time trying to “expose” it need to take a good old look at their own bias and vested interests. Not that they would – unlike the BBC.

40 comments

  1. sure the transcription is 100% accurate, but she certainly said “because you lie.” Doctor Vee says all that needs to be said about the Biased BBC . These 50 words were hurriedly scribbled by Dave @ 6:58pm GMT Permanent link. ^Top A Modern Society Should Abolish All Blasphemy Laws »

  2. The real bias rears its head with “The Match of the Day.” In other words, those matches on ITV and Sky Sports suck. The BBC has THE match to watch.

  3. That’s nothing – people in America complain that their media has a liberal bias. What the hell is that all about? They’d probably die of shock if they ever saw Channel 4’s news.

  4. BritBlog Roundup # 3

    Yes, It’s time for the third weekly BritBlog Roundup. Rules are simple, any post by a resident or citizen of these Isles is eligible, you can nominate your own or something from someone else (especially if you see something very

  5. You know, I might just have some sympathy with this post if it weren’t so darned unoriginal and closed minded. It’s a pretty stupid kind of convention you’ve joined, with intellectual horizons that strecth abut as far as well, the status quo is ok and we’re ok, and anyone who disagrees is an extremist.
    There is such a thing as politics you know, and it really leads somewhere. If we didn’t have such a terribly comfortable existence and remarkably cushy history of democracy perhaps you wouldn’t be so blase about the power of the media, which is undoubted constructed in the UK around the foundation of a PSB unlike any other in the world.

  6. Err, okay. What has that got to do with the BBC being biased? And are you saying that state control of the media all around the world is all the BBC’s fault?

  7. We have socialist centralizing govt. A key part of their statagey is to control the media ie the BBC. Lets face it boys it’s not rocket science is it.

  8. That’s pretty hard to believe when you take into account all the various skirmishes the BBC has with governments of all shades. If the government wants to control the BBC, they’re clearly not doing a very good job!

  9. exactly you can’t be biased against the govt. or point out when they are wrong and work for the BBC as i said before it’s not rocket science.

  10. Oh do put the tin foil hat away. If that was an attempt by the government to control the BBC, it backfired pretty spectacularly. You won’t catch the government try that sort of thing again any time soon.

    Just look at how many times every day is government policy questioned by the BBC. They are required by law to represent opposition politicians as much as those in government.

    People of all political persuasions believe that the BBC is biased. That’s a pretty good clue that it’s not.

  11. The BBC is biased in favour of the islamic religion. You could listen to the radio and watch TV for weeks without hearing once about Bhuddists or Sikhs or atheists. Yet day in day out we are bombarded with pro-muslim stuff. Sometimes diguised as a news story – eg the story of the poor belgian muslim woman who lost her job or the difficlties of muslims in rome building a new mosque.

  12. The BBC is biased just like any other channel(s). As pointed out different BBC programs/channels have different bias. News 24 and news.bbc.co.uk have a clear left wing anti-Bush bias and Top Gear borders on the Klan rally.

    Both are disgraceful and should not be part of a public service.

    The problem with the BBC is that it operates like a protection racket and as such it is immune from normal market forces. Effectively it’s the opposite to what they claim, the BBC doesn’t belong to the British people it belongs to no one and answers to no one. The British people have no real say on how the BBC is run.

  13. >>Top Gear borders on the Klan rally.

    WTF have i missed now ?

    would you care to explain that point to me in small words cos i really fail to see where your coming from?

  14. It is not so much what the BBC do say more rather what they choose to omit from broadcasts that is what bothers me. No-news days are also quite a regular occurence; banging on about irrelevant subjects with no real content.
    Axeing those pointless and soul destroying soaps would make a good start towards improving the BBC, as well as other channels. chewing gum for the brain! no wonder people are so manipulative.

  15. simple solution make the bbc a supscripton service those of us who dont want liberal p/c anti amercian drible on our tv sets can opt out , probably about 80 % of population

  16. the bbc is liberal p/c anti american institution, the reason why they dont want the the bbc to become a subcription service is that 80 % people would opt out .
    its like going to buy a copy of the times in a shop and being told you have to buy a copy of the guardian as well

  17. That is actually technically impossible for as long as the BBC broadcast free-to-air analogue signals. It would be a good idea in the future, though, with digital television.

  18. i agree with the poster above. its more a case of what the bbc news leaves out and how it prioritises stories – or what it deems to be more “important”.

    for example, on the 6 o clock news today, whatever Sir Ian Blair was moaning on about was deemed more important than the Hamas story – the first item was the Ian Blair story.

    another example is the refusal to cover Iranian executions – and instead we get lots of reports about crip murderer “Tookie”.

    The bbc’s over emphasis on things “muslim” is quite frankly , bizarre, considering that muslims make up a tiny percentage of the overall UK population.

  19. I see you read the Guardian/Observer. Have you really not noticed that BBC news has essentially the same editorial line? Perhaps not too suprising given its appointment ads overwhelmingly feature in the paper, compared to the rest of the national press.

  20. That’s because The Guardian has the market cornered for media job ads. Many, many media organisations advertise for jobs in the MediaGuardian.

  21. Perhaps they should diversify their advertising so they diversify their politics?

    It’s like expecting non-whites to read a Klu Klux Klan magazine for jobs.

    The BBC should become a mutual society owned by it’s subscribers. all the non-British bits of the bBC should be privatised, and the money used to buy set-top boxes for every house that requests one (only 30 quid).

  22. Well it’s not as if the BBC only advertise in The Guardian. There is one in quite a prominent place in this week’s Economist. There are some funny myths about the BBC.

    lord forthesque henry, you complain about the BBC failing to cover the Palestinian election adequately, and then say that they cover too much about Islam! I think you need to go away and think about it; you’re tying yourself in knots.

  23. […] I was watching BBC News 24’s weekly political roundup last night, and this very issue was discussed. All of the pannelists condemned the slogan. The irony seemed to be lost on all of the guests — the programme they were on was called Straight Talk. So they were on a homophobic television programme, were they? Actually, they probably were. Paraphrasing guest Ann Leslie: “Haha, did you see The Sun? They called him a Limp Dem! AHHahahaah!” None of the other pannelists or the presenter suggested that the homophobia might be a bit out of order. Must be the liberal Biased BBC, huh? […]

  24. Who prioritises the BBC’s prime time news stories? There has been some appalling prioritisation, e.g. celebrity or football stories appearing ahead of (or indeed instead of) issues that have or will have a serious impact on the British population; the globe, etc. e.g. the seriously wounded Brit soldiers returning from Iraq.

    There is little serious exposure of what actually is being debated in the commons again regardless of political colour. They would rather endlessly repeat dreary stories about liberal sex scandals or the Gordon V. Blair affair.

    Why is there an over emphasis on US stories? Whether you agree or not with the Socio/economics of the Euro Union they are far closer geographically and what they do is likely to impact on the UK more than one ‘English/Spanish’ speaking country on a distant continent.

    The BBC produce excellent world service news programmes, why are these on late at night or a Sunday afternoon? The quality of BBC world news does not match the tabloid chat show presented at Prime Time. The BBC does not have to pamper to the tabloid world this is their freedom or in the commercial world their Unique selling point, so why do it?

  25. why are people who support the bbc so afraid of giving the public the choice to opt out of the licence fee, if the beeb is so great why are they worried, so much for democracy

  26. Well that kind of misses the point. The idea is that everybody who wants to use the BBC chips in to fund it. If you allowed people to ‘opt out’ then everybody would, and there would be no BBC at all. Until analogue switch-off the technology does not exist to allow people to ‘opt out’ of using the BBC. So if you own a television you pay up.

  27. Hi doctorvee

    Been a scottish lad you will know of the brutally murdered schoolboy kriss donald case and the circumstances surrounding his death.

    I put this question to many people: Does Kriss donald ring a bell? “No they say”

    Does stephen lawrence ring a bell? Yes they are able to tell me in detail the circumstances surrounding his death, how can they not know the story it was plastered all over the tv by the bbc, even stephen’s funeral service.

    What about the white lad kriss Donald and his story?

    link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriss_Donald

  28. So dr Vee,
    What do you make of all the recent admissisons by senior ‘journalists’ and other like minded luvvies of the beeb that it is indeed riddled with bias?

  29. As this entire Blog is a futile attempt of a rather sickly looking student to attract the attention of broadcasters, in the hope that he may land his dream ambition:
    “I am interested in television presentation — yes, I am one of those nerds.”
    I find it rather amusing that the only way he feels he can achieve this aim is to suck up the arses of those he hopes would one day employ him.

    Unfortunately for him, the only qualifications he has to achieve that goal is a total disregard for fact and a complete lack of empathy toward public consensus.

    Even more unfortunate for him (but fortunately for us), BBC bias will make itself all too apparent in the future when he finds that he cannot obtain employment with them because he does not possess the necessary qualifications of homosexuality, minority ethnicity or the female sex.

    However, when it comes to a totally characterless, one dimensional, self important and un-informed writing style, he is over qualified.

  30. Wow, they are getting thin now; resorting to personal insults. ‘Can’t Be Bothered’ must have missed all of those posts where I criticise media organisations.

    But never mind about that when you can’t even bother to find out what television presentation actually is. Yeah, this blog has just been a big advert so that I can get a job making idents! Get real.

    It’s also quite amusing that you can make a comment on “this entire blog” when you only looked at four pages — one of which was the chronically out-of-date ‘About me’ page, and two of which were this one!

  31. I certainly have no political alegiance but I do say that the beeb is a bias organization certainly as regard to the Israel arab situation & is definately responsable for the continueing situation it has also over the years totally ignored the christian /lebanese situation they have cut them off as though they don’t even exist & also just now listening the arcbishop (the anti condom man}only spoke of christians within Israel never mentioned the marinites why not a campaign to support their situation on the bbc lol

  32. just watching the beeb news now 07.52 the bbc is always predudice against Israel they have been told before to get out of Israel they were allowed back but still remain the propaganda machine of the Hamas & Hisbola their reporters are a bunch of cowards why not report what happened in the palistine territories after 9/11 when their cameras were taken away by militant terrorists & threatened the reporters & their families if the revealed the rejoicing …. also the Lebanon crisis we didn’t see the distruction of Haifa I can show photos of this

  33. Well I do think that the Israeli side of the story should be told firstly that Israel inherited the territories after the 1967 war when Israel was attacked by Egypt Syria & Jordan & Iraq God was with Israel & she won the war now she found that she had inherited these territories ” When these territories were in the hands of Egypt (gaza strip) & Jordan (the west bank) we weren’t bombarded by the bbc about the poor palistinians as we are now The Land of Israel is the Land of the jews who were thrown out by the Romans after the Jews revolted against their rule . since then every generation of Jew has suffered persecutation ‘even in this country when 600 Jews were forceably drowned on the shivering sands in the Thames .. also even after being expelled by the Romans they always managed to keep a presance in Jeruselem if The beeb want to fund a program I could show absolute proof of all that I have said & much much more also the story of the Maronite Christian sufferings @ the hands of Islam for centuries ..

  34. You say: “Particularly entertaining are the ones who complain that the BBC recruit all their staff by placing adverts in The Guardian. Of course, that’s nothing to do with the fact that the paper is actually the market leader in media job adverts. ”
    But isn’t this a chicken and the egg situation? If the BBC were to spread its money about a bit and advertise in other quality newspapers then their media job sections might improve.

    The Biased BBC blog is never short of material. Indeed, it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Defend them all you like sir, but IMHO the only ‘crackpots’ around are the ones who see no bias.

    All this would not matter so much if we weren’t forced to buy a TV license to fund this monstrosity. I, for one, would gladly have the BBC channels blocked (if it were possible) if that saved me the license fee.

  35. Um, yowch. Don’t think I’d read this post before, I just saw it had recent comments and clicked. Um, most of the commentaters appear to have not read a word you actually said, is that a fair assesment?

    Then there’s that wonderful old advertise in the Guardian thing. I wonder if they understand the principles of sector based advertisements and what the Media Guardian actually is. Probably not.

  36. On the one hand the BBC condemn the U.S. yet on the other promote U.S. culture. The violence the dumbing down. Indeed the whole look and feel of the presentation is copied straight from the U.S. media.
    Ive never heard of a BBC employee turn down a job with one of the U.S. networks.
    So add hypocritical BBC to the list.

  37. I should point out with reference to your fantasy list of’ BBC right wing bias, that ‘tabloid’ isn’t a synonym for ‘right wing’ (do you ever read the Mirror – and the Sun as we all know supports NuLabour) and as for Brian Aldridge – he’s has been set up to be the ‘bad guy’ of Ambridge. The scripts aren’t so bad that he is not given some redeeming features but essentially his role is that of baddie. It is no argument at all to say ‘people who perceive bias’ are responsive to their own particular concerns (of course they are) – this does not make them wrong. It is equally true that people who do NOT perceive bias are insensitive to those concerns – in other words not perceiving bias should be as subject to scrutiny and scepticism as perceiving bias. Dissent plays a vital role in challenging the might of powerful organisations like the BBC. It is those that chip away at the platitudes and assumptions routinely circulated by the BBC that are the guardians of free thought and genuine debate.