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03 October 2012

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Nick

The BBC has become a cosy little club for the in people. The ideal of public service neutrality went out the window years ago. Lord Reith must be turning in his grave. The BBC used to report the news. Now they develop it, spin it and paste their own view on it.

But should we be surprised? It's just another zombi organisation running on our taxes (the compulsory levy). It has ridden the wave of big government and state funding of every aspect of life. It's a zombi so it's biased towards the zombi stance.

By the way the levy is on TV users. It is still legal to own a TV and not pay the licence fee. However, you will find yourself under constant surveillance.

Robert

Truly astonishing and what a relief to see someone confirming what we can all implicitly and explicitly see - corruption, collusion, bias and propaganda. This method of democracy is a complete failure. On the BBC - the bias, selective and lazy nature of the journalism is a great concern when the general public is forced to sponsor it. The purpose, status and funding of the BBC needs to be urgently reviewed.

Midgham

OK so the BBC sucks and plays its own propaganda game, but then the same is true of a pure commercial solution. US style TV, Italian style TV? No thanks. So what is the solution? More public access, locally or citizen produced TV is the only thing I can think of. Channel 4 is an admirable channel but part funded by the TV licence and I sure don't trust Sky and the like! What are the other models worldwide that might help develop different perspectives for its citizenry?

Terry

The BBC is a dictatorship, which funds itself via the Westminster dictatorship's police actions against millions of individuals throughout Britain on a daily basis.

Overthrow both dictatorships and replace them with democratised institutions committed to implementing the will of the democratic majority of the British people at all times in all areas.

Start today.

Alcuin

The BBC did a mini-series a few years ago called "Tory, Tory, Tory". It covered the very long counter-attack to the Socialism introduced by Atlee that eventually led to Thatcher. In 1979, Britain was in deep trouble, yet the confidence motion that threw out Callaghan was won by only a single vote. But for the Falklands War, the very necessary Thatcher reforms could have been choked at birth.

But what was telling was the realisation by the Tories in the 1960s that the mess that was socialism happened because they let it happen. And now Romney is letting Obama get away with murder. It would be laughable if it were not so serious. Conservatives seem to have forgotten the dictum that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Thank heaven that the Tea Party has not.

My only hope is that the Tea Party can muster enough support to throw Obama out. Unlike most "progressive" movements, the Tea Party do not do ideology, they do not do media, they only half-heartedly even do blogs, but they do focus all their energy on elections. This election may turn out for Obama like 1992 turned out for Kinnock because the grass roots are determined to get their vote out. Romney is not much of a candidate, but for all our sakes (i.e. the entire West), I hope so.

Grumpy Oldman

The BBC is not a monolith. BBC news may be poor. BBC4 is the best channel in the world, BBC2 a close second.

Andrew

I think there's a difference between declining quality and bias. Your earlier post on Syria makes a good case for the former but this video makes a poor one for the latter.

I couldn't watch the video but I read the transcript which comes across as an incoherent rant by a conservative speaking at a conservative-sponsored event complaining that there isn't sufficient coverage of stories that he thinks are really important. I particularly enjoy his criticism of the "mainstream media" when he himself is a contributor on Fox News whose ratings are often higher than the networks' and higher than all cable news channels combined. You will not find a more "mainstream" nor a more biased outlet on American television.

Terry Smith

Andrew: There is overwhelming evidence of BBC bias as well as poor quality. Actually the speaker was a Democrat and I did not find him incoherent. Plenty of commercial media organisations exhibit bias and that is totally acceptable providing their owners support their stance. What makes it unacceptable at the BBC is that it is a state broadcaster funded by a compulsory levy on us.

Andrew

Your point about bias in commercial broadcasters is correct but then your video doesn't make much sense since Caddell is decrying the bias in commercial media. (And, no, he's not a Democrat. I know he says he is but if you can find a single example of him supporting a liberal position, I'd be glad to hear of it.)

Your point about the BBC's responsibilities as a State broadcaster is correct. I wonder, however, how much of the perceived bias is actually institutional and how much is down to the fact that the type of people who want to work for the BBC tend to be more liberal than conservative and that it's their personal bias (to which none of us are immune) that informs their journalism?

Your overall point is nevertheless valid: even if it's largely down to personal bias, over time that can become institutionalised and I don't know what mechanisms exist to prevent that. I'm sure you would say "none"!

Terry Smith

Andrew: Caddell certainly has worked for Gary Hart, Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter. That’s what makes his speech all the more remarkable.

Andrew

Again, Terry, if you have any examples of him supporting liberal positions, I'd be glad to hear of it. He's often referred to as a "Fox News Democrat" because they love having him on as an "opposing view" but all he does is criticise Democratic policies.

So the video is just another example of that behaviour. Regardless, it doesn't support your argument. We should be talking instead about the actual evidence of BBC bias and how to fix that.

Grumpy Oldman

Andrew: There is overwhelming evidence of BBC bias as well as poor quality

Really? Let's see it then!!

Not your finest hour, this, Terry

Terry Smith

GrumpyOldman: Here’s one for a start-a BBC news presenter (Here’s a clip of him at work on BBC World):

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/world_news_today/9632049.stm

And here are his Tweets, with references to Obama being the ‘coolest’ President ever:

http://biased-bbc.com/2012/09/15/omg-obama-is-like-the-coolest-eva-hope-he-wins-lol/

Leaving aside the obvious problem of having someone who sends Tweets like a 13 year old presenting on the BBC, the bias is unarguable. I can send you an example every day of this sort of bias indefinitely if you like. Mark Mardell, the BBC’s North America Editor nearly supplies enough material for this on his own.

Terry Smith

Andrew: I see. Caddell may be a member of the Democratic Party and have served several of its leaders, but as you don’t agree with his views, he can’t be a Democrat.

Grumpy Oldman

Thanks for those, though I also hear the left say the BBC tries to 'cover up' the government's NHS reforms

Union Jock

Caddell is an old-timer with an outdated idea of the influence wielded by mainstream media. In reality they are paper (and screen) tigers haemorrhaging readers and viewers in this age of internet information 24/7 from all over the world. The gatekeepers no longer hold the only key to the gate.

TS's blog is a small example of how informed comment can reach interested parties unmediated. The old 'Few of Us Pros In the Know talk to All of You Amateurs In the Dark' model of news has broken down.

To take one example of Caddell's evasive illogicality. He moans that the MSM aren't covering the Zionists' and military industrial complex's ennemie du jour, Iran. Yet in the next breath he cites poll evidence that Americans consider Iran Public Enemy Numero Uno! How so, if the poor sheeple get all their info censored and sanitised by evil liberal conspiracy media?

He says the media underrated Reagan when he was alive. I agree. Yet Reagan was one of the most liked presidents and is now one of the most admired. How so, if hostile MSM liberals control perceptions of public figures?

Does not compute. Caddell's paranoia is the counterpart of his spluttering way of speech. What he is really ranting about, could he but admit it, is the failure of 'conservative' political parties to row back from liberal social and statist economic policies when in office, and the feeble alternatives they offer when out of it-- such as RINO Mitt Romney, whose only legislative achievement was the inspiration for Obamacare.

The truth is that it suits the elites of Repulsicrats and our own dear Tories not to be too 'extreme' in office, so they can hang on to it and wallow in the perks. Trying to shift the blame for these MOR politicians' compromises and corrupt bargains to a declining press and broadcast TV industry won't make it on Planet Reality. Mainstream, centre-ground-hugging politics which makes the electors lose interest is the villain, not mainstream media reflections of the pols' priorities.

Besides, we have seen huge parts of the left-liberal dream, such as socialism, go down in flames in the 30-odd year since Caddell says the media went rotten. They couldn't stop that with all their black arts. The USSR imploded, China went capitalist. And the last time I checked the UK still had a royal family, a House of Lords, public schools, an established church and large, increasing differences in wealth... while The Guardian loses £50m a year.

So my message to the disgruntled is: stop bellyaching about the papers and the 'biased BBC', the most admired (and one of the cheapest) British institutions in the world's eyes. Get out there and fight for what YOU want, or you deserve not to get it. Your supine whining is just defeatism with a dash of self-righteousness.

Like most who have spent their working lives in the chattering trades, Caddell overestimates his own community even in the act of deploring it. Public opinion is a very mysterious thing, and has never worked on a simplistic push-pull model, as the first great modern newspaper baron, Northcliffe, ruefully acknowledged in contemplating how many Daily Mail campaigns had come to naught.

Still less do small-circulation broadsheets and small-audience shows such as Newsnight mould the instincts of the silent, torpid masses today, while the curious minority surf the world to find out what they want to know.

Terry Smith

Union Jock; Good point, well made. Nonetheless the BBC’s bias still troubles me as I am compelled to pay for it.

Grumpy Oldman

I thought the BBC had a good episode of 'Question Time' with some bloke called Smith on it. He was bloomin' biased for sure!!

Terry Smith

Grumpy Oldman: I’ve never pretended I’m not biased. But then I’m not running a state broadcasting service compulsorily funded by licence fees so I can be as biased as I wish. I think I needed to be judging by the inclusion of Tony Robinson on the panel.

Grumpy Oldman

Good on you Terry!! The point is that 'biased' BBC put you on there. It was all the better for it too...

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