BBC Bias

July 4th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

The report, commissioned by the BBC Trust, found the broadcaster had been “slow” to catch up with public opinion on immigration and leaving the European Union.

Stuart Prebble, a former ITV television executive, said the BBC had probably been too swayed by the views of politicians, who were also reluctant to discuss immigration for fear of causing offence.

It said Helen Boaden, the former director of BBC News, “accepts that when she came into her role in September 2004 there had been a problem in the BBC’s coverage of immigration. She was aware, she told us, of a ‘deep liberal bias’ in the way that the BBC approached the topic”.

A useful admission. Was it deliberate?

It also said the BBC was “slow to give appropriate prominence to the growing weight of opinion opposing UK membership of the EU, but in more recent times has achieved a better balance”.

The review also identified problems with so many BBC journalists working in a big building and reinforcing each other’s prejudices.

“A large group of people working together are in danger of becoming more homogenous in their thinking, not less, and so less able to see when the output reflects a narrow outlook,” he said.

That is the danger in NZ. Not deliberate bias, but just group-think that is hostile to other views.

I support marriage equality. But I think it is a fair point that if there was a journalist in say the press gallery who didn’t support marriage equality, they’d be very loath to express their view.

I recall a journalist friend whose politics are right-leaning. In their first media job, they were in an office where any view that wasn’t left leaning was met with hostility and even anger.

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BBC censors Fawlty Towers

January 26th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Political Correctness strikes again. Stuff reports:

In the annals of comedy history, Fawlty Towers is considered one of the greatest television programs ever produced. And from among its episodes, The Germans, in which hotelier Basil Fawlty clashes with visiting German tourists, is one of its most-loved.

And yet in an act which many will see as political correctness gone mad, if not actual cultural vandalism, the venerable BBC has censored a scene in which racist language is used.

In the scene, a hotel regular, the elderly Major Gowen (Ballard Berkeley), relates a conversation in which he corrected someone for using a particular racist slur, by suggesting they use another, equally racist, slur.

In the context of the episode, the line is clearly intended to mock the old-school British upper class for their inherent racism. In that sense, the joke is on Major Gowen, as it were, and not aimed at racial minorities.

I detest this sort of rewriting of episodes. People are mature enough to judge old comedy shows in the context they were made – and as reported the show is actually lampooning the Major.

The actual lines that are now censored are:

He kept referring to the Indians as niggers. No, no, no, no I said niggers are the West Indians. These people are wogs.

I guess Archie Bunker will be banned at some stage also!

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Jimmy Savile

October 29th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve not blogged on this to date, as the media has been all over it. But the sheer scale of the revelations are worth commenting on.

Saville, or Sir James as he was a Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory (Papal Knight).  He was also a member of Mensa.

A journalist tweeted that the UK Police has 10 officers investigating his alleged 400 cases of sexual abuse, and over 100 officers investigating journalists for listening to voicemail messages!

He is dead now, but the question is how he got away with it for so long. The Police interviewed him in 2007 oevr allegations, and in 2000 he talked about how some people claim he is a pedophile. A pity his denials did not get investigated. Likewise his defence of Gary Glitter in 2009 should have rung warning bells. He was first investigated back in 1958 it seems!

The BBC first heard of the rumours in 1973, and asked for a report on them. Nothing happened. And of course the BBC canned one of its own programmes in late 2011 that would have reported on the allegations.

There are half a dozen different investigations into Saville, the BBC and the health service (he has access to young patients and often abused them). I suspect in today’s Internet age, he would have been called out much sooner on.

 

 

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BBC right to include BNP

October 21st, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The ODT reports:

To the outrage of many Britons, a white-supremacist fringe party riding a wave of electoral success has been invited to participate in a BBC prime-time TV show on politics.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party government says it is appalled that the far right British National Party will get such high-profile exposure to millions of viewers. The BBC, however, says as a publicly funded broadcaster it must cover all political parties that have a national presence.

The BNP is a loathsome vile racist party. But they also won two seats in the European Parliament. It is not for state owned media to decide not to cover a party, just because of their views.

Personally I believe exposing extreme views, and ridiculing them, is much better than ignoring them.

Having said that media should be careful not give a minor party disproportionate coverage just because they are controversial. For example Winston First should get the same coverage as any other party not in Parliament that is polling 1% to 2%.

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BBC distorts Obama speech

February 5th, 2009 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Harmless Sky has details of the BBC almost inventing quotes from Obama. They played this:

We will restore science to its rightful place, [and] roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.

Now you listen to that and it sounds very powerful. But they have spliced together three seperate sections:

Two parts come from Para 16:

Paragraph 16

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

So the bit on science was not linked to climate change, but if anything to health care issues such as stem cell research. And where did the warming planet part come from. That was six paragraphs later:

Paragraph 22

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

The impression you get from the actual speech, is totally different from what the BBC manufactured.  It is a classic example of altering the news to fit a viewpoint.

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