BBC ADMISSION ABOUT ‘EGREGIOUS TWEETS’ WAS ‘JAW-DROPPING’: Mick Hume (Daily Mail 16/7) said that the admission to the House of Lords communications and digital committee by David Jordan, the BBC’s director of editorial standards, that Corporation staff had been guilty of sending ‘egregious’ tweets, was a ‘jaw-dropping’ moment for those like himself who had been complaining for years about ‘the pernicious impact of Auntie’s recent displays of bias’. Mr Hume noted that Mr Jordan had also admitted that the BBC ‘had issues’ with tracking the rise of Euroscepticism and the growth of concern about immigration, and claimed this was unsurprising because it was what happened when reporters and newsreaders became more interested in promoting their own political leanings and agendas and increasing the number of their online followers than unearthing facts. Mr Hume opined:
“By seeking validation on Twitter, BBC staffers confine themselves to an echo chamber where their minority worldview is reflected and reinforced. According to its warped narrative, Leave was bound to lose the EU referendum, Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in for U.S. President and Boris risked being thrashed by Corbyn in the 2019 election. With such an unrivalled gift for misreading public opinion, it’s clear that many of its journalists simply don’t understand who their audience is.”
Mr Hume suggested that some senior journalists had ‘flagrant disregard’ for BBC impartiality, and instanced as the prime offender Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, as well as BBC One newsreader Huw Edwards.
Breitbart London (15/7) also covered David Jordan’s evidence to the House of Lords. Victoria Friedman, noting that Mr Jordan had acknowledged ‘issues’ in the coverage of Euroscepticism, said he was perhaps the most senior BBC figure in post ‘to admit the broadcaster’s bias’. Ms Friedman reported:
“However, claims of political bias are nothing new. In 2010, former BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said that 30 years prior when he joined the organisation, it had a “massive bias to the left”.
“The organisation did struggle then with impartiality. And journalistically, staff were quite mystified by the early years of Thatcher, Mr Thompson had said. Recently retired journalist John Humphrys, a veteran of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, had said the BBC had failed since the 1990s to adequately cover people’s increasing concerns about rising immigration. Mr Humphrys said that during the 2016 referendum on European Union membership, BBC bosses “could simply not grasp how anyone could have put a cross in the Leave box on the referendum ballot paper”.
“Leave had won — and this was not what the BBC had expected. Nor what it wanted,” he said in 2019.
“Breitbart London has reported on studies that found by analysis the BBC elevated anti-Leave bias in their news coverage.
“News Watch said in 2017 that the Today programme, BBC radio’s flagship news broadcast, was “strongly biased against Brexit” in the week when the UK triggered Article 50, the mechanism for formally leaving the EU. In one example of bias, analysis by the news monitoring group found that only eight out of 124 guests on the subject of Article 50 were allowed to articulate the benefits of leaving the bloc. Think tank Civitas concluded in 2018 that the Today programme had suppressed Eurosceptic voices between 2005 and 2015, with only 3.2 per cent of guests being pro-independence. The broadcaster had also kept listeners “in the dark” on the left-wing and Labour arguments for Leave, angling the question of Brexit as a purely conservative position.
“When opinion in favour of leaving the EU has featured, the editorial approach has – at the expense of exploring withdrawal itself – tended heavily towards discrediting and denigrating opposition to the EU as xenophobic,” the authors had written.”
BBC ‘DENIES AXING ANDREW NEIL’: Jack Wright (Daily Mail 16/7) reported that the BBC – which had cancelled Andrew Neil’s BBC Two interview show in a round of financial and job cuts – had denied axing Mr Neil and had said he was in talks over a new television presenting role which could be in the schedule of BBC One. Mr Wright highlighted tweets which suggested that the decision to cancel Mr Neil’s BBC Two show showed that the Corporation was now fully dominated ‘primarily by left wing pro Remain establishment elitists’. Mr Wright quoted Fran Unsworth, the BBC director of news. She said:
“During this crisis audiences have turned to BBC News in their millions and I’m incredibly proud of what we, as a team, have been able to achieve. But if we don’t make changes, we won’t be sustainable. This crisis has led us to re-evaluate exactly how we operate as an organisation.”
Mr Wright also reported that Ms Unsworth had also announced that BBC News – which was cutting 520 jobs – would concentrate on fewer stories, with journalists pooled in centralised teams rather than working for specific programmes.
BBC ‘APPOINTS CORBYNISTA’: Guido Fawkes (16/7), noting that the BBC had appointed Rianna Croxford as a community affairs correspondent, claimed that she had in the past been a ‘diehard campaigner’ for Jeremy Corbyn at the 2017 general election, and had called on Theresa May to sack Boris Johnson as foreign secretary because he was ‘a clown’. The article said that Ms Croxford’s tweeting record suggested she believed the entire press was a ‘pro-Tory echo chamber’ and saw that righting that was her mission.