THE BBC has crashed to new lows of bias. Director-General Tim Davie, who assumed office three years ago in September, set as his priority the restoration of impartiality. But in the past few months he has presided over a huge campaign – conducted through the so-called Trusted News Initiative, which the Corporation orchestrated, and BBC Verify – to root out and shut down ‘disinformation’ spread by those who disagree with its flagrant anti-British agenda. Not just on the BBC’s own platforms but elsewhere too.
It is tempting to invoke loose parallels between how they are now mobilising to crush dissent with the reign of terror instigated by self-declared Witch-Finder General Matthew Hopkins during the latter part of the English Civil War. He became convinced that battalions of witches were infecting and perverting the body politic in rural East Anglia. Hundreds of innocent women were tortured and at least 100 of them hanged.
The modern-day perceived evildoers are ‘conspiracy theorists’ or ‘deniers’. It is now emerging that those miscreants in the BBC’s sights are ‘right-wing’, are anti-lockdown, have reservations about the safety of vaccines, do not accept that climate change is a major existential threat, do not believe gender is a matter of elective choice, or that the British Empire was not a malevolent influence on the world.
A BBC ‘disinformation’ witch-finder called Marco Silva – a part of their massively resourced ‘fact checking’ operation Verify announced by news chief Deborah Turness in May – leapt into indignant action last week. He appeared on the Today programme and posted online on Friday.
His primary target? An American businessman and ‘success coach’ residing in Scotland called Dan Pena. His crime? He apparently said in 2017 that he believed that ‘people with money’, the financial institutions and banks, knew that ‘climate change is not going to happen’. Further, that this was ‘the greatest fraud that has been perpetrated on mankind this century’. His quote went viral and has attracted 9million views on and via the social media platform TikTok.
Cue outrage from Silva. He thundered: ‘The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence has found that world temperatures are rising because of human activity, leading to rapid climate change and threatening every aspect of human life.’
How this high priest of the BBC climate religion cult arrived at such certitude is not evidenced, though his Muck Rack account shows he is engaged in a major propaganda exercise against fossil fuels and all those he sees as ‘climate deniers’.
As part of his duties to shut down such ‘disinformation’, Silva detailed on Today how he was making strenuous efforts to have the Pena statements removed, and for TikTok and other social media platforms to ‘clamp down’ on climate change denial and prevent ‘false climate change information from spreading’. He has also detailed how he has found another 365 different videos in English ‘denying the existence of man-made climate change’, and how he has persuaded TikTok to non-platform them.
In parallel with Silva’s efforts, 27-year-old Marianna Spring, rejoicing in the title of BBC ‘disinformation and social media correspondent’, is in full cry searching for ‘conspiracy theorists’. Ms Spring is a former Guardian reporter who specialised in stories about perceived oppression, and so her credentials for working under the Verify aegis are immaculate.
As already noted on TCW by Niall McCrae, she has completed her first BBC magnum opus, a ten-part podcast series grandly called Marianna in Conspiracyland. News-watch has transcribed the full series and is in the process of writing a full survey of its shortcomings. It is chilling reading, not least because of its cub-reporter crassness in believing that differences in opinion can so easily classified and identified as wrong-headed.
Is she another witch-finder, or maybe rather – despite seeing herself hubristically as an innocent Alice – the Red Queen?
Her targets, as she repeats endlessly in the series, are those she perceives to be right-wing conspiracy theorists. She believes these sinister, potentially murderous folk are beavering away in towns such as Totnes and Stroud to foment revolution in the shires. Their off-with-their-heads crimes? These villains are not convinced that anti-Covid vaccines work, are opposed to future lockdowns, do not believe in climate alarmism and dare to talk to people in other countries who have similar beliefs.
Further, it is arguable that the main purpose of her series is to demonise as a conspirator-in-chief Darren Nesbit, the publisher of an alternative newspaper called The Light. As Niall McCrae observed, her treatment of him was massively unfair, and arguably an attempt by the megabillions BBC to shut down a rival operation which operates on a meagre advertising income from local businesses.
Trust in BBC News has suffered a catastrophic collapse, and these developments making the BBC a campaigner for its own worldview illustrate vividly some of the reasons. Everyone who watches the BBC is forced to pay for the privilege, but its core programming no longer serves vast swathes of licence fee-payers.
An organisation without a guaranteed income would be forced to take heed of customer complaints, but the smug BBC – which serves largely as its own judge and jury on matters of impartiality – does not.