“MAJORITY OBJECT TO BBC LICENCE FEE’: Glen Owen (Mail 20/12) reported that 40% of those questioned in a poll commissioned by the Defund the BBC Campaign wanted the abolition of the BBC licence fee, compares to 37% who supported the £157.50 annual charge. He said the poll had also found that 15% of respondents had asserted they would not watch any BBC programmes during Christmas , while 33% said they would only watch the BBC for five hours or less. In the same report, Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns condemned the BBC’s ‘dismal’ Christmas schedule as ‘dispiriting’, and ‘littered with endless repeats and cheap game shows’.
BBC CORRESPONDENT ACCUSES TRUMP OF ‘CATASTROPHIC’ FAILURE’: Craig Byers (Is the BBC Biased? 19/12) said that the BBC’s New York correspondent Nick Bryant had claimed in a year-end posting for the BBC Radio 4 programme From Our Own Correspondent that Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak could come to be seen as ‘the most catastrophic domestic policy failure of the past 100 years’. Mr Byers also noted that Mr Bryant had suggested that male heads of state had handled the pandemic worse than female ones, and had quoted Donald Trump’s America, Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil and Boris Johnson’s Britain as three example of ‘macho’, swaggering populist surfers who had discovered that the virus ‘could not be sloganed away’.
He concluded: ‘It really is extraordinary how the BBC can claim to be impartial when its senior reporters are given free rein to write and broadcast such one-sided, contentious stuff.’