Few readers of News-watch will need convincing that the BBC is biased. The Corporation’s track record of hating Britain and its values in a helter-skelter quest for ‘diversity’, and as a political campaigner against conservative values and in favour of liberal-left causes such as climate alarmism, lockdowns and much more, has been chronicled voluminously in these pages.
Now university lecturer David Sedgwick’s latest book, Is That True Or Did You Hear It On The BBC? brings a series of fresh and meticulously researched insights into the gargantuan scale of the bias. It shows that without doubt the BBC complaints system is rotten to the core.
The book has been published at an opportune moment. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is assembling her Mid-Term Review of the Corporation. The public consultation phase has closed (July 29). Of course, her tenure in office may be short, but she has at least taken steps in the framing of the review to attack BBC bias head-on. Her appointment rattled the BBC, and executives are fighting tooth and nail to thwart her ambitions.
Meanwhile, Director General Tim Davie – despite a deluge of evidence to the contrary after almost two years in office – risibly continues to claim that his top priority is restoring impartiality. He has ordered a raft of measures allegedly to tackle the problems, including a politburo-style ‘10-point plan’.
Close scrutiny of the measures, however, reveals that they are little more than all-too-familiar BBC window-dressing and an exercise in kicking the can down the road. There is, for example, an acceptance that output should be subject to independent (non-BBC) review. To deal with this, four consultants have been appointed by the BBC, so the idea that they are truly ‘independent’ is yet more BBC flannel.
The peerless BBC blogger Craig Byers explains the inadequacies of the 10-point plan in further detail here.
Sedgwick has already written two books about the BBC, and a review of one of them is on TCW Defending Freedom here. In 21 illuminating case studies of BBC bias at its most flagrant, his latest title nails exactly why Davie’s measures are the equivalent of tackling a petrochemical blaze with a water-pistol. His key line of argument is that throughout its 100-year history, the BBC has blindly supported the social and economic objectives of ‘society’s wealthiest and most powerful entities’, and does not report news but rather ‘news narrative’ and is therefore ‘a hugely valuable asset of global power’.
Some might disagree with his suggestion that the 1984 miners’ strike was part of a popular uprising against the establishment, but his main point, that the BBC in 2022 has swallowed the World Economic Forum ‘Build Back Better’ agenda and is thus supporting undemocratic political agitation against the interests of the British people who are forced to pay to receive it, is strongly made.
The book begins with the BBC’s current main activist hobby horse: fanning alarm about the climate. The Corporation’s so-called environment ‘reporters’ trumpeted in 2004 that the Maldives were a ‘paradise facing extinction’ and that the 360,000 inhabitants would soon be forced to evacuate. Eighteen years on, says Sedgwick, the population and tourism have both doubled, and more than $800million is being ploughed into expanding the main airport to meet the mushrooming demand. A survey of atolls worldwide has shown a growth in landmass of 8 per cent over the past 60 years.
Another example is a forensic dissection of the so-called Harlow ‘race-hate murder’ of Arkadiusz Jozwik, a Polish man, soon after the Brexit vote in September 2016. Daniel Sandford’s television news reports trumpeted it as a race killing, and BBC2 Newsnight embellished the sensationalism by including claims that Nigel Farage had ‘blood on his hands’. Eventually it emerged that Jozwik had provoked a gang of youths by himself being racist and was punched in retaliation. One youth was convicted of manslaughter. The outrageous BBC reporting was also covered on TCW Defending Freedom, for example here.
Sedgwick chronicles how the BBC rejected all claims of bias over the case, but three years later broadcast a programme intended to put the record straight. It was titled The Brexit Murder? thus compounding the original Sandford claims and confirming that even when seemingly trying to correct errors, the Corporation is so mired in its own confirmation bias that it cannot do so.
For its 100th anniversary celebrations, the broadcaster appointed as an ‘official BBC historian’ Sussex University media studies don (and former BBC producer) David Hendy. He has written The BBC: A People’s History, which is best described as pro-BBC propaganda, and an extension of how the BBC attacks all those who criticise it. Hendy, in essence, argues that those who criticise the BBC are mainly right-wing, malicious axe-grinders. I hope to review it for TCW soon.
Sedgwick’s clear analysis is a valuable counter-balance to Hendy’s flummery.