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.