Thursday, September 16, 2010

BBC Swears It Stopped Beating Wife

As reported by AFP:
The director general of the BBC admitted Thursday that his organisation had been guilty of a "massive bias to the left" but said "a completely different generation" of journalists now works at the broadcaster.

Mark Thompson told the right-of-centre Spectator magazine that there was an institutional bias when he joined the organisation, reinforcing the findings of a 2007 internal report which concluded that greater efforts were required to avoid liberal bias.

"In the BBC I joined 30 years ago, there was, in much of current affairs, in terms of people's personal politics, which were quite vocal, a massive bias to the left," Thompson said.

"The organisation did struggle then with impartiality. And journalistically, staff were quite mystified by the early years of Thatcher. "Now it is a completely different generation. There is much less overt tribalism among the young journalists who work for the BBC," he added.
Better late than never, I guess. More cautious is Powerline's John Hinderacker:
I like that phrase, "overt tribalism." It's a nice way to refer to the Journolist mentality. It leaves open, of course, the question whether left-wing bias at the BBC has been eradicated or has merely gone underground.
I agree with Hinderacker--much press bias is endemic and cultural, and masquerades as objectivity. Boasting self-elimination of lefty leanings simply isn't credible.

The only way to beat bias is to quit buying the mainstream media. Here in America, most sensible consumers have. Unfortunately, the British public -- which pays the BBC about £150 [$225] annually per household -- remains obliged to subsidize slanted stories forever.


Warren said...

"Massive bias to the left" is euphemism for lying.

OBloodyHell said...

> "Massive bias to the left" is euphemism for lying.

No, not necessarily. Ignorantly believing in 'x' and expressing assuredness that it's correct is not lying.

Bush was not lying about WMDs, to the best evidence I've seen yet. He was, by all indications, substantially mistaken.

The typical lefty REALLY REALLY believes all this crap, which absolves them of "lying" -- even when they are deliberately allowing themselves to become almost criminally uninformed about something.

Warren said...


I agree that bias is not lying. But "massive" was used for a reason.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of an example with the BBC, but was France 2 biased when it withheld tapes in the Muhammad al-Durrah case, or was more going on?

Was Walter Duranty massively biased?

Are news groups here massively biased when they oversample Democrats in polls?

I have been in many debates with liberals who us arguments or state facts that they know are false. They do it without shame.

The BBC has undoubtedly done the same thing.

OBloodyHell said...

Warren, you're (somewhat) missing the point.

They really aren't 'lying'

This requires a knowing expression of an idea or attitude you actually believe to be false.

The problem here is that they actually BELIEVE most of this crap.

Facts don't enter into it.

All that stuff you mention, some of them knew, sure. THEY were lying. But most of the jackasses were pulling a Sgt. Schultz.

suek said...

Dennis Praeger interviewed a Dutch author yesterday. One of the facts they brought out was that Europe has no Talk Radio or equivalent. I'd never thought about it - not living there. The author's opinion was that there would be a significant difference of attitude if something like US Talk Radio existed in Europe, since all of the press/news available from any source is basically along governmental "approved" lines. I must confess - I never thought about it...I'm guessing that the governments of Europe own the radio/tv stations? I don't know.

Interesting development in Australia - apparently they're having T.E.A.parties that have much of the same attitudes as the TParties in the US, although naturally, with a somewhat different slant. The basic idea of "Taxed Enough Already" is the underlying similarity. I Wonder if it will be picked up in Europe?? that could be interesting.

Warren said...


I get the point. I agree in some cases, maybe most.

But I believe that with many people on the left it goes beyond allowing themselves to become, as you aptly call it, almost criminally uninformed.

There's no doubt in my mind that many liberals knowingly lie as do many conservative when they defend a political position.

I have been in discussions where people acknowledge that they got the facts wrong, or that their reasoning is flawed. (Yes it actually happens on rare occasion.)

Later, they cite the same statistics or faulty example.

Politics aside, I remember a discussion with a friend, a New Age type.

She cited the Hundredth Monkey Effect. She told a story about the original research that supposedly gave birth to the so-called HME.

I sent her an article that completely debunked her story. There was no question, absolutely none, that what she said never happened.

She acknowledged getting the article and reading it.

A couple months later, I drop in on a talk she's giving. She told the story of the original research in the exact same way. Got the story totally wrong again.

Was she in denial? "Lying"? Did she really, really, really believe in the Hundredth Monkey Effect? I say she was lying, without any quotation marks.

The same thing happens in politics. A lot.

I agree with you that fact don't or rarely enter into it. It is the rare person who forms a position based solely on facts. Usually, emotions determine a position, then the intellect is used to support and defend it.

Was the BBC lying? I agree with you, not necessarily.

But my guess would be that there was a lot of outright lying going on in that "massive bias to the left."