BBC Bias Digest 30 July 2020

OFCOM SURVEY FINDS “MORAL DISLIKE” OF THE BBC AMONGST YOUNG:  Craig Simpson,  Daily Telegraph (£ 30/7), said that a report from Ofcom had found that younger audiences ‘are flocking to streaming services like Netflix to find shows with a “talkability factor”‘ and that BBC programmes ‘fail to provide “watercooler moments”’ for young people. The report found that, with attitudes to the BBC,  younger audiences are “more likely to be indifferent” than hostile to the BBC and many value the “societal glue” of the public service broadcaster. But it also said that a minority “cohort” of viewers from largely poorer backgrounds held a “moral dislike” of the corporation ‘over licence fee issues’, including ‘resentment that over-75s will have to pay for it, and because “they feel that the BBC lacks relevant content for their cohort, or that there is bias in the news.”

Mr Simpson reported that a BBC spokesperson responded: “This research highlights the importance of providing world-class, easily-accessible and universally available content that includes an impartial and trusted news service, alongside high quality, distinctive UK programming to bring the nations, regions and diverse communities of the UK together. Despite huge changes in the market, the BBC remains the most-used media organisation among young people with 80 per cent of 16 to 34 year olds using the BBC every week.”


BBC GUILTY OF ‘BREATHTAKING BIAS’ IN MURDOCH SERIES: Stephen Glover (Daily Mail 30/7) argued that the BBC Two three-part series Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty, which had concluded on 28/7, was a hatchet job which showed the BBC was ‘incapable of balance’.  He said that the case against Rupert Murdoch was put ‘one-sidedly by inveterate Murdoch-haters (such as Max Moseley and the actor Hugh Grant) whose own discreditable pasts were overlooked, while Mr Murdoch was treated as ‘low-grade Mafia’ with his achievements overlooked.  Mr Glover asserted:

‘the case against the tycoon was made at such length and so tendentiously that it was hard for this viewer to keep calm — particularly so when Murdoch’s hysterical accusers were wheeled out.’

Mr Glover noted that the programme made no mention of – for example – Max Moseley’s support for the South African apartheid regime; of former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson’s championship of Carl Beech, who had wrongly accused leading politicians of being part of a paedophile ring; or that Hugh Grant was a member of the ‘fanatical’ anti-press lobbying group Hacked Off.


BBC ‘HORROR’ REPORT ‘DENIGRATING WINSTON CHURCHILL’: Commentator GP Taylor, writing in the Yorkshire Post (29/7)  said he had ‘sat in horror’ when Huw Edwards introduced on the BBC One News at Ten a piece that condemned Winston Churchill and his role in the 1943 Bengal famine. ‘It was as if the contributors had been selected on the basis that they believed Churchill to be solely responsible for three million deaths from starvation’, he wrote, adding ‘It doesn’t take a genius to search the internet to find out the background to Churchill and why famine relief was not forthcoming.’ He describe the attempt to ‘blame one man’ as ‘a total disgrace’, calling it an ‘attempt to suck up to anti-establishment agitators’. Mr Taylor quoted LSE Professor of economic history Tirthankar Roy, who said that Churchill had not been a factor in the famine. It had been the government of Bengal, which could have imported grain from other regions but had not done so.


BBC GIVES MURDERERS MORE AIRTIME THAN CLIMATE ‘SCEPTICS’: Eric Worrall (What’s Up With That 28/7), reviewing ‘How they made us doubt everything’,  a 10-part  BBC Radio Four series about climate change, noted that the final two episodes were devoted to ‘vilifying’ astrophysicist and climate change analyst Dr Willie Soon, and then did not present Dr Soon’s response to allegations against him.   Mr Worrall concluded:

‘Regardless of whether you think Dr Soon is right or wrong….(he)  deserves better than this one sided gutter press assault on his reputation from the BBC.

‘Even dictators and murderers are often given an opportunity to argue their case on the BBC. But this is a courtesy the BBC “How they made us doubt everything” series has so far failed to extend to a mild-mannered law abiding climate scientist, who was unfortunate enough to be a prime target of their latest ugly smear campaign.’

Mr Worrall said the programme had set out to compare climate scepticism to rejecting the link between tobacco and cancer, but said this was ‘irrelevant to the climate debate’.

Comments on the article included:

‘The programme is comically and aptly named ‘How they made us doubt everything’. The ‘THEY’ is the BBC. The propaganda, bias and distortions dished up daily by the BBC and their fellow travellers have made us doubt everything. They could have called this programme ‘An example of how we at the BBC produce fake news and destroy trust in the media!’.’


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