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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Random: An Article About the BBC News Admitting Bias 
22nd-Oct-2006 06:12 pm
Lois and Clark/Suspicious Minds
Here's a sad, somewhat funny, article someone pointed out to me about BBC News executives admitting a "liberal" bias. I would suppose you would find the same 1960s/70s-style Left-bias dominating American media sources, but ironically I suspect that that willingness to ideologically slant news reporting has caused the paralysis that left the news media unable to effectively critique what seemed to be blatant excesses of the Bush Administration. This resulted in protests from the American Left that the mainline news media is biased toward the Right, but I suspect that that isn't so much the case as that what is left is kind of a "toothless" Left perspective. Once integrity is surrendered to any willingness to ideologically slant news reporting – whether Right or Left – you cannot find the ground to make strong critique in the face of ideological excesses because such excess is simply accepted as the natural right of the party in power. When integrity is surrendered, all that's left is power. The above suspicion of mine is probably complicated by the corporate ownership of most media outlets by a few corporations, as has been widely noted, with the political and ideological ramifications of such ownership.

We are biased, admit the stars of BBC News
By SIMON WALTERS, Mail on Sunday Last updated at 21:11pm on 21st October 2006

It was the day that a host of BBC executives and star presenters admitted what critics have been telling them for years: the BBC is dominated by trendy, Left-leaning liberals who are biased against Christianity and in favour of multiculturalism.

A leaked account of an 'impartiality summit' called by BBC chairman Michael Grade, is certain to lead to a new row about the BBC and its reporting on key issues, especially concerning Muslims and the war on terror.

It reveals that executives would let the Bible be thrown into a dustbin on a TV comedy show, but not the Koran, and that they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden if given the opportunity. Further, it discloses that the BBC's 'diversity tsar', wants Muslim women newsreaders to be allowed to wear veils when on air.

At the secret meeting in London last month, which was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals and people from ethnic minorities, deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians.

One veteran BBC executive said: 'There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness.

'Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it.'

In one of a series of discussions, executives were asked to rule on how they would react if the controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen ) known for his offensive characters Ali G and Borat - was a guest on the programme Room 101.

On the show, celebrities are invited to throw their pet hates into a dustbin and it was imagined that Baron Cohen chose some kosher food, the Archbishop of Canterbury, a Bible and the Koran.

Nearly everyone at the summit, including the show's actual producer and the BBC's head of drama, Alan Yentob, agreed they could all be thrown into the bin, except the Koran for fear of offending Muslims.

In a debate on whether the BBC should interview Osama Bin Laden if he approached them, it was decided the Al Qaeda leader would be given a platform to explain his views.

And the BBC's 'diversity tsar', Mary Fitzpatrick, said women newsreaders should be able to wear whatever they wanted while on TV, including veils.

Ms Fitzpatrick spoke out after criticism was raised at the summit of TV newsreader Fiona Bruce, who recently wore on air a necklace with a cross.

The full account of the meeting shows how senior BBC figures queued up to lambast their employer.

Political pundit Andrew Marr said: 'The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.'

Washington correspondent Justin Webb said that the BBC is so biased against America that deputy director general Mark Byford had secretly agreed to help him to 'correct', it in his reports. Webb added that the BBC treated America with scorn and derision and gave it 'no moral weight'.

Former BBC business editor Jeff Randall said he complained to a 'very senior news executive', about the BBC's pro-multicultural stance but was given the reply: 'The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it.'

Randall also told how he once wore Union Jack cufflinks to work but was rebuked with: 'You can't do that, that's like the National Front!'

Quoting a George Orwell observation, Randall said that the BBC was full of intellectuals who 'would rather steal from a poor box than stand to attention during God Save The King'.

There was another heated debate when the summit discussed whether the BBC was too sensitive about criticising black families for failing to take responsibility for their children.

Head of news Helen Boaden disclosed that a Radio 4 programme which blamed black youths at a young offenders', institution for bullying white inmates faced the axe until she stepped in.

But Ms Fitzpatrick, who has said that the BBC should not use white reporters in non-white countries, argued it had a duty to 'contextualise' why black youngsters behaved in such a way.

Andrew Marr told The Mail on Sunday last night: 'The BBC must always try to reflect Britain, which is mostly a provincial, middle-of-the-road country. Britain is not a mirror image of the BBC or the people who work for it.'
23rd-Oct-2006 04:57 am (UTC)
there's always Radio Australia
or Radio Deutschwelle
or Radio Austria

or wait, I dunno, maybe only Voice of Beijing and/or Radio Moscow can be trusted these days...kinda ironic
23rd-Oct-2006 07:36 am (UTC)
History has its surprises....
23rd-Oct-2006 07:13 am (UTC)
I am wiling away a lazy afternoon at work, reading your journal. I am also interested in Theology and History... possibly because I was raised by a Russian Orthodox priest and live in Australia as a remnant of Revolutionary dislocation... or something. Have added you as a friend anyway.
23rd-Oct-2006 07:37 am (UTC)
Now that's a great biographical teaser! Welcome! I'll try to make interesting reading....
23rd-Oct-2006 09:45 pm (UTC)
I find most of that to be either not true in my experience or simply pointless criticism, plus it's as reported in The Mail, which is semi-tabloid and definately has biases far stronger than the BBC may or may not have.

Offending Muslims: if they value their necks and want to keep the peace, nothing can be said against Islam at the moment, particularly since the latest furore over veils, no matter how true what is said may be, or how insignificant the action. Christianity is fair game these days because it rarely talks por fights back in any way - it just shrugs off criticism and abuse generally. PLus it is not a minority religion and does not feel threatened. Hence the BBC and any sensible media trying not to offend Muslims any more than they do already in reporting the current situation and latest developments.

Anti-countryside? What BBC are they watching? It has so many excellent programs about rural life and living in all it's aspects, more than any other channel, or channels combined! They also have regional offices in remote locations such as Orkney and Shetland, and up in Aberdeen, that produce a lot of content.

This seems mostly to be an article on a slow news day out to take a dig at the BBC for being completely middle-of-the-road in content and approach, from a paper that on some levels is a rival, and definately has biases.
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