back to article Don't tell the D-G! BBC-funded study says Beeb is 'too right wing'

A study funded by the BBC into editorial bias has concluded that it isn't Left Wing enough: it's too friendly to business, and far too hostile to the European Union. The "voice of the licence-fee payer", the BBC Trust, commissioned the study, and gave the job to academic Mike Berry of the Glasgow Media Group - the latter a …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A study into secularism headed by The Pope concludes there are too many Atheists and they have too little faith in God.

    1. LazyLazyman

      Dispelling fears following last years report by Richard Dawkins that the world has too many Christians and not enough Atheists.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Better make sure the BBC broadcasts card-carrying god-botherers every day ...

    3. NomNomNom

      do popes shit in the woods

      1. Rukario
        Joke

        "do popes shit in the woods"

        Only when confronted by a Catholic bear.

  2. Pete 2

    Mathew 7:7

    "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you"

    Or: Only open a can of worms if you plan to go fishing.

    The "news" here isn't so much that the Beeb has a particular political leaning, it's that the BBC Trust chose to pay an organisation that would find that they had such a bias. I'm sure that if they'd chosen another organisation to review their output they could have obtained a completely different outcome.

    The legal profession has a saying: Never ask a question unless you know the answer. I would hope that the BBC Trust has at least that much political nous, and that they got no surprises at all with the results that they paid for.

    The only other question that comes to mind is: why would they have done this? Charter renewal coming up in a few years. perhaps?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mathew 7:7

      "...the results they paid for."

      Except they didn't pay for anything.. this latest display of glorious Marxist masturbation was funded, as always, by we the plebs. All the more revolting as a result. So now we're paying the Bureau of Brainwashing and Compliance to pay sympathetic cronies to spew sycophantic propaganda at us. I feel sick.

      Perhaps it's time to do away with the licence fee. Let's see what would happen to that Bolshevist rhetoric budget if the BBC suddenly had to exist in the real (commercial) world, like the rest of us. Conceited hypocrites.

      </indignant rant>

      1. JayBizzle

        Re: Mathew 7:7

        Having seen the rubbish they spout in the USA, i'd prefer the not perfect "independent" news from the BBC.

        If it went commercial they'd be overly keen to ensure they broke the news first and more senstionalist reporting to attract viewers. No thanks.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mathew 7:7

          "...they'd be overly keen to ensure they broke the news first and more senstionalist reporting to attract viewers."

          No change there then. At the same time, ending the free cash gravy train could instantly remedy the corporation's dole scrounger "socialist" entitlement complex while simultaneously loosening the politico's malignant grip on the purse strings. Sounds like a win to me. Not necessarily an advertising funded model but certainly something independent of tax revenue and treasury control.... there MUST be a BETTER way to do it... can't imagine less gov meddling appealing to the government du jour though, so won't ever happen.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The BBC? Right-wing? Maybe if you're Trotsky or Lenin...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The BBC? Right-wing? Maybe if you're Trotsky or Lenin...

      and here's the explanation

      the BBC Trust, commissioned the study, and gave the job to veteran Marxist academic Mike Berry

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The BBC Trust, aren't they run by that famous Marxist Chris Patten?

      2. Jim 59

        Suspect Beeb is left wing ?

        ...let's find out by asking Nick Griffin-

      3. SergioG

        What a Spin!

        I've specifically asked for this via Twitter, so now I feel compelled to comment. My tweet was:

        "Hey @regvulture, would you care to cover this http://theconversation.com/hard-evidence-how-biased-is-the-bbc-17028 …? On #BBC bias. Would be interesting to read @AndrewOrlowski's spin on it!"

        I should be more careful with what I ask for: I did get a lot of spin!

        The Good:

        Andrew does include a hint (just!) of the raw numbers collected by the study. At least we know where some of the information published here is coming from. Actually, I must say that just the fact that Andrew decided to comment this study is good by itself, the guy is shameless & fearless.

        The Bad:

        - Source was not linked. Why on earth? Does elReg pay less if you include one or two links?

        - Criticising the methodology is usually a good thing. But Andrew is smarter, he probably knows that the method used in this study accepts to be limited in order to be as objective as possible. Hence he didn't mention this at all, but of course commentards did. The issue is: if you just count how much exposure representatives from different (opposing) areas get, this measure can be controlled and replicated by anyone, so the researchers will probably avoid to cheat, as they can be easily caught. Of course, this method is limited in scope, as one could give some air time to person X just to demonstrate how absurd his/her positions are. But, given a large enough sample, it is reasonable to expect this kind of situation to be fairly irrelevant (at least, if/when a broadcaster needs to appear unbiased). The alternative method, trying to judge/measure the hypothetical spin, is of course highly dependent on subjectivity so would be wide open to (well deserved) criticism.

        - Attack the messenger: "veteran Marxist academic Mike Berry of the Glasgow Media Group". Veteran: he appears to have published his first book for GMG in 2004. 9 years ago, so how do you qualify for the Veteran title? Bah. Academic: good, this one seems true. Marxist: no idea where this comes from, Marxism != leftish. "Of the GMG" how does Andrew know that MB is still part of GMG? His page at Cardiff uni suggests the opposite, and that's all that I could find online.

        The Ugly:

        - No mention on methods, let alone their pros & cons.

        - No overall figures from the study (naturally: they happen to be convincing!), only some quotes clearly framed to suggest bias. But of course, opinions from Mark Thompson and Peter Oborne are more reliable and relevant than hard numbers. That's how you "Tell The truth", the Andrew Orlowski's way.

        Well done Andrew, you just published a short example on how it is possible to spin just about anything. And sadly, on how readers are eager to buy it.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: What a Spin!

          The study link was left out by accident: I've added it.

          C.

          1. SergioG

            Re: What a Spin!

            Ah, thanks, a little better then. And thanks for the article in all cases, I don't know if my tweet had anything to do with it, but I like to think it did.

        2. Sirius Lee

          Re: What a Spin!

          @ SergioG Let me throw almost ALL of your post back at you. You criticize AO for not including numbers and methodology details then add none of your own. So after a lengthy missive readers are none the wiser. Why didn't you include the numbers? Maybe because 'they happen to be convincing!' to AO's perspective?

          The BBC is a train wreck of an organization (and I include the Trust here too). The 'study' amply illustrates the point. Why would a review like this be handed to just one person? The 'methodology' fails right there. Regardless of the validity (or otherwise) of Mike Berry's approach, it is impossible to escape the criticism of bias of any report that is written by one person or group of people. Scientific studies are conducted and then results are subject to verification by independent researchers. But this is a funding limitation. In an ideal world, multiple, parallel studies would be conducted to see if they all reach the same conclusion.

          In this case there is no material funding limitation. An organization that routinely overpays severance to it buddies, that squanders millions and millions on buildings it doesn't need or projects that are out of control does not need to be concerned about spending a few extra 10s of thousands to make sure it's reviews can justifiably claim to be beyond reproach. But that's not what happened. So the review is far from beyond reproach regardless of how this specific report was written.

          We, the licence fee payers, cannot know the motivation of the Trust to handle the issue in the way they have done. But with reason we can be expected to apply a healthy dose of skepticism to the findings and reject them when they conflict with our own experience.

          1. SergioG

            Re: What a Spin!

            @ Sirius Lee: OK, I'll bite.

            Sorry for the late reply, I have only noticed this now.

            "Why didn't you include the numbers?"

            Short answer. Because my lunch break only lasts so long, and reporting the details of a study for free, so to improve somebody else's published articles, is not in my job description.

            My point is that AO reported about a study, interpreting what the study says and what it _really_means_ on the basis of what he already believes is true: that the BBC is biased in favour of lefties or something like that. This isn't good reporting, because it didn't discuss the evidence. At best, it is bad journalism, but it is also likely that it is pure spin, and I felt obliged to point it out (since I've called for it).

            If you want to apply a healthy does of scepticism (I'm all in favour) you can read the study excerpt linked in the article (thanks to diodesign), or the full report linked in a comment below. Go see for yourself and you'll gain an informed insight. It takes longer? Yes, that's why we would like to have more good reporting and less spin.

            The rest of your post qualifies as your own opinions and I will not challenge them. I hope my position is clear, if it isn't, I'll live with it!

  4. Rob Fisher

    Wrong question

    It's not left vs right, it's top vs bottom. Too often the only viewpoints presented are the government and the people saying the government isn't doing enough.

    1. monkeyfish

      Re: Wrong question

      That's because the people in the middle either have no sound-bite-able position, or don't care about the argument. Take any coverage of the evils of WINTER SNOW or SUMMER HEAT. Most people they try to interview on the street don't give them the sensational opinions they were looking for.

  5. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    When I joined the Beeb

    Lo those many years ago... the initial paperwork included questions asking whether I was, or ever had been, a member of the communist party. They asked the same of my parents... never said whether it was a good thing or a bad thing!

    I was always impressed by the way that *with absolutely no shift in editorial emphasis* the BBC was always proclaimed as far too left/right, opposing the current government and starting the morning after an election.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC- Right wing?! Best laugh I've had all week.

  7. Arthur 1

    Baffles Me

    Putting aside the article's main thrust, here's a question: what the hell organization appoints its own outside auditor? Comparing the pains taken to appoint external auditors and ombudsmen are normal organizations to "let's hire a guy, using our bias, to determine what our bias is, ignore that he himself is open about having a bias, and have him work both alone and seemingly without clear professional standards, that'll get 'er done!" makes me very sad for the British taxpayer.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Baffles Me

      Guess it must be different over there but here in the US you almost always get to select your own auditor. Even if a review of operations/departments is court ordered you generally still get to pick who does it.

      I worked for a company that got called out on financial shenanigans once and we were ordered to have a 3rd party audit team embedded in the company for 36 months. The company chose not only our traditional financial auditor but got the very same team that did our quarterly and annual audits.

      It's great for keeping prying eyes out of your business. Picking your own is also great if you need formal outside opinions in order to make major changes within an operation but have a reluctant board or investors. It's really awful for transparency and completely worthless for regulatory compliance, but that's the way it is.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Baffles Me

      Well maybe you need to hire someone to play the Devil's Advocate. Maybe you don't agree with their points but if they're provocative enough it might cause you to alter your own stance.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Baffles Me

      "Putting aside the article's main thrust, here's a question: what the hell organization appoints its own outside auditor?"

      A self-righteous navel-gazing socialist one.

    4. Tom 38 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Baffles Me

      what the hell organization appoints its own outside auditor?

      Who the fuck else would appoint an external auditor, their competitors? Do you think ITV might commission an audit of the BBC? Having an audit is a self examination process

      Engage brain, then post.

  8. Mike Banahan

    Any update from the same source on ursine defecation habits?

    1. LazyLazyman

      Yes, Bears are far to right wing in there toilet habits, and the Pope is far to capitalist in his religious views.

  9. Adam Foxton

    Why would the Unions

    Have any say on immigration? And, more to the point, aren't the unions more likely to adopt the more right-wing "THEY TURK UR JURBS!" stance?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why would the Unions

      The idea that opposition to immigration is a purely right-wing phenomenon is one of the great lies of our age. Most opposition to the uncontrolled immigration we've faced since Blair comes from the working classes, who face the most competition for employment from incoming immigrants. They can be pin-wearing socialists or true-blue tories, but they'll be almost completely united on this matter: immigration reduces their opportunity to find work by increasing the labour pool at the low end of the market, and at the same time it deflates wages - they will be willing to work for less because the alternative is not working at all.

      The union leadership are a different kettle of fish. They tend to be snotty lazy bastards who don't give a toss for the rank and file and support whatever gets them a bigger slice of the pie.

      It stopped being about "left" and "right" decades ago. In fact it's probably never been about left and right. Our ruling class all inhabit the same tiny bubble, along with the BBC and the rest of the media establishment. They're quite content to pit "left" against "right" for as long as necessary to keep us from realising that we're being ruled by the same tiny claque that has always ruled us.

  10. M.D.
    Devil

    Left, Right, Left, Right: Marching to the establishment..l.

    Personally, I'm of the view that the BeeB is simply full of middle-class toadies who (Left & Right) simply ensure their continued access to information by slavishly following the message PR delivered by whoever is in Government....it goes a long way to explaining the perennial view that 'conservatives' think its a Marxist hotbed and 'socialists' think its a Right-Wing think-tank.

    The recent reporting on Syria is a case in point (being equally supported/panned by both left & right) as it eerily reflects the "we have proof but we cannot show you coz it's a secret", Iraq-War approach by Labour Gov, expertly re-hashed by this Conservative Gov; laced with a complete disregard of the wider Publics' scathing distaste for the whole affair (as evidenced by the fact that neither BBC TV or Radio covered it's OWN Commissioned survey last week that found over 70% of the public were against military engagement - they did have a small article on the website tho').

    Left? Right? A plague on any house that isn't in Power is, I think, the reality

  11. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    I'm now having a nostalgia for the seventies.

    Lets have a winter of discontent. Glaswegian trades unionists on the telly! Rubbish in the streets. Marksist rhetoric. Power cuts. Prog. rock then punk. Everything was better back then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm now having a nostalgia for the seventies.

      Contrast that with where we are, and where we're going in a few years:

      Rubbish on the telly, Glaswegian trade unionists in the streets. Progressive rhetoric. Marxist power cuts.

  12. Bluenose

    Left + Right

    So we have right wingers saying the Beeb is left wing and we have a left winger saying the Beeb is right wing. So the reality is that the BBC when compared to all the other media is pretty much neutral in the scheme of things.

    In reality I think that most people would believe that the BBC is good at playing the devil's advocate when dealing with politicians and endeavours not to overtly upset the political party who control the licence fee.

  13. Chris Miller

    The report is here (PDF); and some commentary (by Mike Berry) here. The problem is that he simply counts the number of times different types of individual and organisation are interviewed, and because there are more on the 'right' than the 'left' (as defined by whom?). the conclusion is the Beeb are biased to the right. But if I interviewed two Conservatives, introducing them as pernicious bastards treading down the workers, to every one Labour, introduced as a hero of the working class, would I also be guilty of right-wing bias?

    The trouble with the Beeb is that far too many of its staff exist in a leafy suburban bubble of Guardian-reading, bien pensant chit-chat. Although they would honestly deny any bias, they never socialise with anyone who might disturb their subconscious world view. You can see the same phenomenon in many a Senior Common Room.

    1. LazyLazyman

      So what he is saying is that the BBC too often interviews the current government and in a time of financial crisis interviews bankers and financiers...

      1. Dave the Cat

        Precisely, one wonders who Mike Berry would have them interview on a piece about financial matters... a representative of the "Inclusive, one-eyed lesbian mothers against fracking alliance of coalitions" perhaps?

  14. Whitter
    Megaphone

    The researcher has a clear POV: are the findings to be ignored then?

    Are the points raised are utterly without merit because one doesn't like the POV of those giving them? The ideal would have been to commission a second report at the same time from one of the plethora of right-wing-think-tanks ('charities' apparently!) and then compare and contrast the two.

  15. Enrico Vanni

    The problem with the BBC is that for the last decade it has hosed money up the wall for no good reason, and funding this study is a cast-iron example.

  16. David Pollard

    "Funded by the BBC"

    Do we know how much this cost?

  17. Paul Johnston

    Oh God here we go again!

    Half the time it's too left wing, the other half it's too right wing.

    If you can upset both sides it cannot be doing too bad a job.

    1. h3

      Re: Oh God here we go again!

      I watch Al Jazzera for World News. Doesn't seem to be as pro Arab as you might expect. (And you get the government propaganda angle normally whether you like it or not). Another good thing is it is never boring whereas the BBC dwell on the same things all the time.

  18. Velv Silver badge

    Sometimes the BBC is to careful in its political correctness and its "in the interests of fairness" - when a Boffin explains why a new science discovery is pushing the boundaries of our knowledge of science, why do they also have to have a trick cyclist come on and argue it's the will of the Unicorns. (I exaggerate for effect, but seriously, watch them do it - maybe not News at Ten, but certainly on Sunday morning).

  19. John H Woods

    They would say that, wouldn't they?

    I know many people who consider the BBC to be biased against their own political leanings - the leftwingers think it is right wing, and vice versa. It also seems likely to me that a person with strong political opinions is more likely to view an approximately neutral stance as further down the spectrum of bias against their own views. And for this reason, I understand that many might be suspicious about someone with an acknowledged political axe to grind creating a report, certainly I'm tempted to agree with the first poster about commissioning the Pope to write a report on atheists.

    Nevertheless, evidence is evidence, and I think we need to surpress our instinctive reactions somewhat and challenge the report with further evidence rather than simply dismissing it with a 'they would say that wouldn't they" argument. In particular, the statement quoted does seem to have some basis in truth:

    "On the issues of immigration and the EU in 2012, out of 806 source appearances, not one was allocated to a representative of organised labour," the study concludes. In coverage of the banking crisis "opinion was almost completely dominated by stockbrokers, investment bankers, hedge fund managers and other City voices".

    1. Squander Two

      Re: They would say that, wouldn't they?

      > a person with strong political opinions is more likely to view an approximately neutral stance as further down the spectrum of bias against their own views.

      If you really think that's the only reason some people think the BBC is left-wing, I recommend reading some of Peter Sissons's thoughts on the matter, all based on his experience of working as their news anchor. They're not neutral. They're the broadcast wing of The Guardian. Which is hardly surprising, since they recruit almost exclusively via The Guardian's jobs pages.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They would say that, wouldn't they?

        Peter Sissons - who conveniently kept his thoughts to himself until he had retired, and then expressed them as he did in order to get a deal with the Daily Mail to serialise his book. Hardly an "unbiased" contribution to the debate.......??? As for the old Guardian chestnut - The Guardian is the only paper to run a decent media section every week. The first rule of advertising being to target your audience, good old Auntie is therefore using licence payers money wisely, by placing the adverts where they are most likely to be read!!

    2. Arthur 1

      Shock and Horror - Relevant Experts Were Used!

      "On the issues of immigration and the EU in 2012, out of 806 source appearances, not one was allocated to a representative of organised labour," the study concludes. In coverage of the banking crisis "opinion was almost completely dominated by stockbrokers, investment bankers, hedge fund managers and other City voices".

      I ran a personal study and found that not one of those was allocated to an astronaut. We can thus safely conclude the BBC is anti-science.

    3. Nial

      Re: They would say that, wouldn't they?

      "On the issues of immigration and the EU in 2012, out of 806 source appearances, not one was allocated to a representative of organised labour,"

      If anything this proves a left wing bias, they don't want anyone airing their doubts about the EU and unfettered immigration could have a negative effect on the local workforce.

      Nial

    4. Why Not?

      Re: They would say that, wouldn't they?

      "On the issues of immigration and the EU in 2012, out of 806 source appearances, not one was allocated to a representative of organised labour,"

      That is probably because most trade unions would denounce Labour for importing cheap labour and undercutting their members.The BBC don't want to upset their chums.

  20. Steve Button

    Godwin's Law?

    A similar study carried out in the 30s in Germany may have concluded that most people weren't Right Wing enough (compared to the average of the political parties at the time).

  21. Squander Two

    Obvious statistical bollocks.

    I've seen these studies before -- they're usually performed on American media -- and they always measure the same thing: quantity. By this measure, if I devote twenty minutes to mocking A's beliefs but only ten minutes to saying how right B is about everything, I have a 2:1 bias in favour of A against B because I gave them twice as much airtime. It's a fundamentally crappy metric.

    I strongly suspect that the same analysis would show heavy Conservative bias amongst members of the SWP, since they never shut up about the Tories.

    1. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

      Re: Obvious statistical bollocks.

      That's exactly how they came to declare the A-Team to be the most violent programme on TV - they counted the number of bullets fired during an episode.

      1. Squander Two

        Re: Obvious statistical bollocks.

        The US media used this approach a few years back to "prove" that they had no bias towards Obama or against Palin in the election. "Look! We mentioned them the same number of times!" The tone of those mentions wasn't quite the same, though, now, was it?

  22. JimC
    Boffin

    Presumably

    For balance one needs two studies. This one, clearly demonstrates that the far left considers there's editorial bias in the BBC in one direction, whereas the previous one demonstrated that the far right considered the BBC biased in the other direction. Therefore they've demonstrated that the BBC is providing thoroughly balanced coverage , and all is well in Nephelococcygia.

  23. GM

    Sounds like some of those arrogant left wing nutjobs are happily sipping their cafe luwak in the bbc boardroom.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The govt are thinking about a removing the BBC trust as the BBC's regulator and assigning it's duties to OFCOM. Ofcom know the BBC has a left wing bias and will have to do something about it. This is surely the BBC Trust trying to muddy the waters before that happens.

  25. P. Lee Silver badge

    How is being sceptical of an organisation which seeks to centralise power across Europe, possibly in a manner which leads to German domination, being "right-wing"?

    Makes about as much sense as "socialism in one country."

    1. Squander Two

      Well, quite. Tony Benn is about as anti-EU as you can get. News to me that he's right-wing.

  26. itzman
    Holmes

    The Big Lie and the Left...a case study.

    Independent psychology think tank 'Reason in Politics' have concluded that whereas only 47% of 'right wing' organisations were likely to claim their opponents were doing what they in fact were doing themselves, or make such outrageous claims that it seemed inconceivable that they were simply lying, the prevalence amongst groups classified as 'Left wing' exceed 97% of all statements made by such organisations, with Green organisations topping out at 100%.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is not the report that interests me.

    The report that interests me is the Balen Report.

  28. DrXym Silver badge

    Subject matter experts and false balance

    Perhaps the BBC is biased (it may well be) or perhaps it just has a tendency of interviewing people who can give an informed opinion on the topic at hand. I'm sure a trade union rep would love to have a rant about the banking crisis but are they actually able to explain why it's happening, or what the remedies mean, or what the latest figures mean?

    As an aside, too many news channels distil an "issue" into two sides where one side is represented by a subject matter expert and the other by a congenital idiot. The idea being that a story has to be balanced by someone who holds an opposing point of view no matter how demented it is. This happens far more on Sky and US stations and for public health / science issues but still I'd rather the BBC stay away from doing it.

  29. Nextweek

    They don't realise they are doing it

    The reporters probably think that they are not biased. However when their sources are from Twitter and Facebook you are immediately targeting middle classes for their opinion on matters. Asking someone in the street what they think is too much hard work.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strongly biased in favour of the stupid wing

    To be honest I have a love/hate relationship with the BBC. On the one hand, some of the things it does are almost unique as no one else is even trying to do them. Radio 4, for instance, is about the only source I know of reasonably sensible and informed discussion about serious subjects. It also does programs like "The News Quiz", which is both very funny and non-condescending or politically correct. And its nature coverage on TV is outstanding (usually).

    But it seems to be plagued by political correctness, compelled to kow-tow to the government and the powers that be, and utterly convinced that none of its listeners or viewers has an IQ of more than about 85. Even programs about serious topics veer away in panic at the mention of a number - any number greater than 1, I mean. They get world-class scientists and technologists to appear on their programs, and then cut them off as soon as they try to go past the level of baby talk.

    Yet in a few isolated subjects, they allow self-appointed "experts" to babble on all day using the most impenetrable and probably meaningless jargon. Economics and finance are the worst offenders here.

    Still, the BBC does so many good things. Take "The Moral Maze" - one of the funniest programs I have ever listened to. The utter dogmatic smugness of all the participants (take a bow, Melanie Phillips!), their apparent total ignorance of all the work done to date by philosophers and students of ethics, and above all the complete lack of any attempt to impose some kind of rules of order on the chaotic "debate" - it has me chortling helplessly within seconds, much like the first page of "Lucky Jim". A sense of humour is always a saving grace.

  31. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    banking morons

    who can possibly still think at this point that the people who created the financial crisis are actually knowledgeable and expert at what they're doing and not simply incompetent boobs not really qualified to give their opinion on a bacon sarnie on any given day?

    1. Squander Two

      "the people who created the financial crisis"

      You mean the American politicians who passed laws forcing US banks to give mortgages to high-risk borrowers? Yes, I couldn't agree more.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well the BBC seems to be supplying Boris Johnson with staff (Guto Harri, Will Walden) or employers (Andrew Gilligan).

    Nick Robinson (ex-Young Conservatives chairman) and John Humphrys (Daily Mail columnist) are hardly lefties either.

  33. Tim Almond

    Establishment Organisation

    Ultimately, it's an organisation that depends on the state to keep it alive. Think it's going to give any oxygen to the views of PJ O'Rourke or Milton Friedman, and let people know that there's an alternative, and consign itself to having to compete in the market?

    (the BBC gives airtime to the left, and to the old right, but rarely gives coverage to small-government libertarians).

    1. Squander Two

      Re: Establishment Organisation

      The BBC usually describe any libertarians they stumble across as "far right".

  34. arrbee

    I'd suggest that any political bias at the BBC is becoming less relevant as they become less able (or is it less willing) to challenge politicians in any meaningful way - listening to the "flagship" news programs on Radio 4 its noticeable how much the politicians are in the driving seat. I think the rot started with Blair (in many ways) and the Gilligan surrender.

    ( as an aside, I'm sure there is a program to be made about Blair and Brown and what made them so desperate for acceptance from Bush and the City respectively that they lost all sense of, err, sense )

    1. Squander Two

      Going off at a hell of a tangent here, but hey.

      When Blair was elected, he started lobbying Clinton for action against Saddam Hussein. The popular idea that Blair wanted the UK to take part in the Iraq War just so he could do the bidding of his pal Dubya is refuted by the timeline.

  35. David Kelly 2

    Don't Tell Jeremy Clarkson!

    Clarkson will be in apoplectic shock for a week!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fact or opinion

    There is a difference between reporting the facts of the news and reporting opinions of the facts of the news. If the facts of the news are not that exciting, you can always find someone to quote who has a controversial opinion of that news, be they be based on the facts of the news or not. Because news is only worth reporting if it will sell adverts or increase viewing/circulation figures.

    When reporting the facts of the news, it seems sensible to ask the people who are likely to know the facts irrespective of the their political persuasions. So asking bankers to explain the facts of a financial crisis seems fair enough to me. If you want or care about opinion about a financial crisis, ask whoever you want, because everyone has an opinion.

    I like my news unadulterated, "just the facts ma'am" - I'll make up my own opinions.

  37. loneranger
    FAIL

    bwa ha ha

    If you believe that the BBC isn't left wing, I have to wonder if you only live in a left wing echo chamber. Some might even characterize the BBC as Socialist or even Communist-friendly. I've listened to the BBC for many years, and even the Socialist Democrat party in the US isn't that left-wing, or perhaps doesn't have the courage to say publicly what the BBC says. Compare the viewpoints expressed by the BBC to the Socialist or Communist International manifesto, and you would have to look long and hard to find any differences.

  38. phil dude
    Headmaster

    not left or right, but less smart...

    I agree with the general sentiment that the BBC is always tarred by the Guvm't of the day as being biased. One thing my subjective view provides, is that it has definitely been dumbed down. I would not be the first to propose the 24 hr news cycle caused much of this.

    Something that has been a touch bothering lately is the impermanence of news. Websites can be changed too easily to reflect a "new truth" and with serious issues focus dilute, this is perhaps a symptom?

    Oh, and while reflecting on the BBC in this rant, I am very annoyed they destroyed so many old programmes on tape, and will not put the rest of their massive publicly funded content on iPlayer....

    P.

  39. Why Not?

    Don't worry

    They will just lock a few more people up:

    "The BBC was responsible for more than one in ten criminal prosecutions last year as the number of people taken to court for non payment of their television licence reached a new high."

    doesn't sound like cuddly Auntie!

    lets stop them extracting money with menaces.

  40. Why Not?

    Maybe its time to change their financing option?

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/48101

    "Taxing citizens to subsidise a biased broadcasting corporation is unfair and immoral.

    In the digital age we live in, the BBC should be able to survive on advertisements and selling the rights to its various TV programs and even to charge a subscription if they wish to."

    or

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/54120

    "We ask the Government to replace the TV Licence Fee with a voluntary subscription. The commercial element of the BBC would be scrambled for non-subscribers and the public service content would be free to air.

    The TV Licence Fee is responsible for 12% of court prosecutions. It criminalises poor people and forces people to pay for genuinely ‘free’ services funded by advertising."

  41. briesmith

    The Public Eh?

    Many people believe many silly things. Some, for instance, think the BBC is right-wing in its views.

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