News of the Day


Posted on September 10, 2003 at 09:23 AM in Not Australia | Permalink

The Telegraph in London has started a segment in it's opinion pages called 'Beebwatch', that is, watching the BBC for bias & journalistic integrity (or lack thereof). Now while this is coming from a compeditor of the BBC and should therefore be viewed with some scepticism, the points the article raises are valid and the BBC has got some serious questions to answer (yes Andrew Gilligan, that means you too).

No, BBC bias is not a piece of partisan trickery - it is a state of mind. So strong is the state of mind that a great many of the acts of bias, perhaps the majority of them, are quite unconscious. It is time to delve into that unconscious. Hence our Beebwatch, which starts on the opinion pages today.

The BBC's mental assumptions are those of the fairly soft Left. They are that American power is a bad thing, whereas the UN is good, that the Palestinians are in the right and Israel isn't, that the war in Iraq was wrong, that the European Union is a good thing and that people who criticise it are "xenophobic", that racism is the worst of all sins, that abortion is good and capital punishment is bad, that too many people are in prison, that a preference for heterosexual marriage over other arrangements is "judgmental", that environmentalists are public-spirited and "big business" is not, that Gerry Adams is better than Ian Paisley, that government should spend more on social programmes, that the Pope is out of touch except when he criticises the West, that gun control is the answer to gun crime, that... well, you can add hundreds more articles to the creed without my help.

Now, none of the above beliefs is indefensible. The problem is that all of them are open to challenge and that that challenge never comes from the BBC.

As Glenn Reynolds notes, the blog world is way ahead of the Telegraph, Biased BBC has been running for a while. All this gets me thinking that maybe one of our papers here in Oz could set up the same thing for the ABC. Unfortunately, then Uncle might be put out of a job.

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"I wish the real world would just stop hassling me" - Rob Thomas