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October 22, 2006
BBC Confesses To Being British

We in the blogosphere often take the mainstream media to task for their unannounced biases, charges which most editors and reporters strenuously deny. Admitting to bias would undermine the credibility of most news organizations, especially American outlets, after having built objectivity as the pinnacle of journalism. Apparently that quality does not hold the same significance in Britain, however, as their primary media source found in an impartiality summit" that The Beeb is anything but:

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.

In something reminiscent of the infamous decision to censor South Park by the Comedy Channel/Viacom, the BBC said that if a comedian appeared on one of their programs and wanted to throw a copy of the Bible and the Koran into the trash, the BBC would allow the former and not the latter. Why? The news organization doesn't want to offend Muslims, but apparently has no problem offending Christians. Again, why? Because offending Muslims gets you killed, and offending Christians gets you plaudits. Not only does that reveal a bias against Christianity, it also shows a yellow streak at the BBC.

However, for those familiar with British news media, this isn't as egregious as it sounds. The British press make much less pretense at being objective than their American counterparts. Their broadsheets actively align themselves with political movements in a manner that few if any American newspapers dare. The Telegraph has a pro-Tory stance and explicitly writes from a conservative stance. The Guardian does the same with Labor and left-leaning liberalism. The Independent appears even more Leftist and presumalbly supports the Liberal Democrats. All of these do fine work, but in order to get the full picture of news, one has to read all three.

The BBC has put on a pretense of objectivity more than these broadsheets, in part because of the mandatory funding that British subjects must provide for the Beeb. Those who own televisions must pay a special annual "license fee" that supports the BBC, and this mechanism gives them more of a responsibility to remain objective and even-handed. That obviously hasn't worked, perhaps in part because of the media culture in the UK. As the Daily Mail makes clear, it's also the result of their hiring decisions and their institutional decisions on philosophy. They have declared themselves proponents of multiculturalism, which means that any news stories that tend to argue against it will not get played on the BBC -- and the Daily Mail provides a couple of examples. They do not like America, and its Washington correspondent has had to secretly work with sympathetic editors to tone down the outright hostilty of the Beeb to the US.

This revelation is still very significant. Imagine if PBS and NPR declared themselves openly as agents of the Democratic Party; the outcry would shatter the public funding for each. It's possible that the British might demand some extensive management and editorial changes now that the BBC has come out of the journalistic closet and declared themselves partisans. As a long-time reader of their wire service reports, such changes would certainly improve the product. We'll see if objectivity, especially in government-funded media outlets, suddenly becomes more than an empty talking point.

Sphere It The Beeb is anything but.&topic=politics"> Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 22, 2006 10:51 AM

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» Biased Broadcasting Company from Bill's Bites
Our enemy the BBCScott Johnson The Sunday Daily Mail carries a report by Simon Walters based on a leaked account of the BBC's impartiality summit. There's nothing in the leaked report that I haven't deduced from listening to any given [Read More]

Tracked on October 22, 2006 6:27 PM

» *SHOCK!* The BBC is biased?? from Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy
You mean that center of all wisdom, that paragon of calm and reassuring journalism might actually have cultural and political biases that influence its stories? That it may be -*gasp*- anti-American? Like this is news? Hey, don't take my word [Read More]

Tracked on October 24, 2006 10:29 PM


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