Saturday, 2 April 2011

Left-Wing BBC

The Daily Telegraph reports that the television presenter, Michael Buerk, believes, as do many of us, that the BBC has been institutionally biased for many years.

Mr Buerk accuses BBC staff of making the left-wing Guardian newspaper their “bible” and political correctness "their creed”:

“What the BBC regards as normal and abnormal, what is moderate or extreme, where the centre of gravity of an issue lies, are conditioned by the common set of assumptions held by the people who work for it.

It’s all very well-meaning, and painstakingly even-handed, but often notably adrift of the overriding national sentiment ...for those of us who love the place, and what it should stand for, these are worrying times.” 

Well said and good for him. Personally I'd wish to see more programmes - documentaries and dramas -  featuring our rich and colourful heritage of country houses, demesnes and their owners; and less inner city, brash and crude stuff.


John Self said...

I treat any news report from one media organisation attacking another as spin, to be treated with a pinch of salt. I note, for example, that nowhere does Buerk use the phrase 'left-wing', which is slotted into the story by the Telegraph reporter.

Most modern media organisations, particularly Associated (publishers of the Mail), News International (publishers of the Times, Sun and News of the World) and the Telegraph Group, regard the BBC as a rival to be crushed, and will do anything they can to do it down with the hope of whittling away its status as the only publicly-funded news organisation in the country. They may be winning: the current Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, actually said "we wouldn't be saying British TV is the envy of the world" if it wasn't for Sky! There will now be a two minutes' silence while we try to think of what great British programmes Sky has given us to justify this comment.

Timothy Belmont said...

To their eternal credit, Auntie Beeb has brought us many creditable stations, including the world Service and the News 24 which can be viewed when overseas.

I am always looking at their multifarious Internet websites, too.

Buerk does have a point, though, I think.

John Self said...

I find it hard to assess such things. We're all inevitably coming to it from our own perspective, with our own biases and preferences. I would describe myself not as left-wing but as liberal, so perhaps inevitably I find it difficult to see much evidence of bias as the Telegraph suggests. By the same token, someone whose political sympathies are right of centre might naturally see a centrist message as being leftish.

The greatest controversy with the BBC in recent years was over the David Kelly business, which resulted in an almighty battle with the government and harsh castigation from Lord Hutton, leading to the resignation of the DG and the chairman. The government which the BBC had fallen foul of then was of course Labour. I don't recall the Telegraph complaining of the BBC's left-wing bias then!

Generally I think if the BBC is challenging the government, whether Tory or Labour, and holding our elected representatives to account, it's doing good and valuable work.

Mark Rivers said...

The Daily Telegraph also highlights an interview in which Jeremy Hunt discusses his faith with 'Reform' Magazine and his concerns about how his faith might be viewed by his employers at the BBC.

I sense an organisation that was a little more right of centre would at least be prepared to tolerate some expression of christian sentiment. A faith, whether you agree with it or not has been important in the history, development and social mores of this great nation.

The Liberal, Pinko, trendy elite would have us believe that God is dead - and the post modern experiment is a raging success. Maybe themes that are not quite in tune with the nation.

I always remember the advice of one older gentleman who said to me - "Son, Don't allow a television into your house unless you are prepared to talk back to it."

I tend to agree with Andrew Marr, When he said the BBC was not 'impartial or neutral' - “It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”