Marc of USS Neverdock is nothing if not persistent and has sent a comment to this blog saying various things about the BBC. I did respond to these examples in detail a while back on Biased BBC. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to find this, so I’m going to have to respond again. At least this time I will have something to link to properly so I don’t have to do it all again.
The trouble with Marc is that he spoils his case by using exaggerated and inaccurate language and sometimes even misinterprets his own examples.
Many of Marc’s examples are rather old now but I will deal with them anyway.
1. “The BBC’s own defense correspondent complained that the BBC was lying, his words not mine, in its reporting of Iraq.”
I’m afraid they are your words Marc. The words “lie” or “lying” do not appear anywhere in this article in the mouth of Paul Adams or anyone else. The reason the BBC employs correspondents as good as Paul is precisely so their judgements can be used to make the BBC’s journalism better. Paul disagreed with the BBC’s editorial line and as a result I expect it was changed. No evidence of bias.
2. “In this report from Iraq, the BBC describe as a British aid worker, a well known anti war activist to allege war crimes against the US. I exposed Jo Wilding here. Note that she works for the Guardian”
Here Marc may have half a point. It may have been a good idea to let readers know more about Jo Wilding’s background. But I don’t think that in itself this destroys her credibility as a witness. The fact she sometimes writes for the Guardian is in itself irrelevant.
3. “why did the BBC stack the audience with Muslims 5 to 1 to non Muslims in the aftermath of the 7/7 terror attack?”
The BBC did not “stack the audience with Muslims 5 to 1 non Muslims” Marc. In fact, if you read the story properly there were more Muslims in the audience to this edition of Question Time than there would be as a proportion of the population. You seem to imply that there were 5 Muslims to every non Muslim, which was not the case.
Not a perfect programme by any means and Greg Dyke later apologised for its tone. But not some kind of deliberate anti US conspiracy – just a mistake.
4. “And why did the BBC fabricate a UK Army desertion story?
“Fabricate” is loaded language, implying a conspiracy. But again you may have a half a point here. I put this one down to sloppy research.
5. “Why did the BBC feel it necessary to ban its top people from “participating” in an anti war march?“
For the obvious reason that the BBC is required to be impartial. This story proves the BBC is unbiased, or at least trying to be.
6. “There there are the many BBC’s own admissions and investigations that prove the BBC is biased, anti American and pro Muslim.”
Let’s take these in order. The first is a Times report on the BBC’s recent research on Impartiality. You will notice that it contains only two quotations from the report itself. People should actually read the report (which is available here) and make up their own minds.
Similarly the Daily Mail’s report of the BBC’s impartiality seminar. The Mail says the seminar was “secret” which it wasn’t. It was streamed live on the internet and I watched it and blogged it on my internal BBC blog. The Mail’s report is inaccurate in some respects. For a more accurate summary, see this article on Wikipedia (which I partly edited). And here is a full transcript of the meeting.
The Impartiality report is fascinating, well worth reading and spotlights areas where the BBC could do better. But the report did not cover the BBC’s News and Current Affairs output.
Peter Jay’s article is interesting but is really about the BBC of forty years ago when he worked for it. He’s entitled to his opinion. He also says:
“I can now see that my old BBC media liberalism was not a basis for government.”
The BBC is not a government or a political party. It’s a broadcaster and content producer.
I always find it odd that people with conservative views can work for the BBC for many years and then suddenly say it’s biased. If it really was a hot bed of media liberals or left wingers then how could they work there for so long?
7. “The list is endless.”
Indeed Marc’s list is endless and I’m afraid I don’t have time to comment on every single assertion and example.