David Bakin


I’m not sure if

this sneer is evidence of bias, or not: maybe they just fell

for the line peddled to them by the radio company; but explaining why satellite radio in your car is catching on in America they say:

“Often in rural areas the only choices were country music, religious output, or crackle.”

I have no experience driving through rural areas but I doubt this is true.

I too have never driven through rural areas of America, so I can’t say of my own knowledge whether the BBC’s view of the pre-digital airwaves in rural areas is fair or not. I suspect it is something the writer is happy to believe. What do readers say?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

Gavin writes:

…am gobsmacked to see that Newsnight Review has that well-known anti-Semite Tom Paulin on again this evening (Friday 5 March). I’ve given up complaining to the BBC myself, and so am relying on you to pass this on to the relevant blogs!

Just in case anyone had forgotten, Robert Kilroy-Silk made some comments about Arabs that combined home truths with some unlovable and boorish generalisations. In no way did he advocate violence. Nonetheless, the BBC professed itself utterly shocked and horrified, and Kilroy-Silk’s show was taken off the air. In contrast Tom Paulin called for Jewish settlers to be shot. Shot as in dead, sans phrases … and the BBC welcomes him back.

Shocking! Bush Is Running For Prez!

Shocking! Bush is running for Prez! Imagine the chagrin of the BBC (and many other big media outlets) to have President Bush actually talking about the defining event of his presidency, the Septemer 11 terror attacks. After this story was fed to some major TV and newspapers in the last couple of days here in the USA, the BBC dutifully tells the anti-Bush side of the story. There are plenty of 9/11 relatives to be found who agree with the “tastefully done” TV ad. Could the Beeb manage to locate them? Not a chance. Now that there has been such an outcry, the Bushies have decided to run the ad in even more media markets. What’s disturbing about this BBC Online article is its failure to mention that the good ole’ International Association of Firefighters president quoted in the article has publicly endorsed John Kerry for president. It shamelessly features easily identifiable ‘attack dog’ talking points fed to it like the most obedient of hounds.

Down to Earth, like a polio virus.

“Down to Earth” is how the BBC describes Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State, Nigeria, who has made his name by blocking polio vaccination in his jurisdiction, on the grounds that the vaccine is a Western plot to make Nigerian Muslim women infertile. As Robert Hinkley, in whose “Sporadic Chronicle” I found this story, points out, the BBC story is written in a way that displays an astonishing degree of acceptance of and respect for an attitude that is already killing and crippling people in Kano and far beyond. I could get started on the contrast between the BBC’s flattery of Muslim conspiracy mongers such as Mahathir (this blog, passim) or Governor Shekarau and its scorn for US Christian fundamentalists who are little lambs in comparison, but that comes second to asking what the hell the BBC thinks it is doing? The one halfway believable justification most of these progressive world bureaucracies that the BBC so loves can offer for their bloated tranzi existences is that they eliminated smallpox and are on the way to eliminating polio and other diseases. But not, it seems, at the price of the BBC telling its Nigerian audience something it does not want to hear.

The BBC story ends with these words:

But Mr Shekarau says that any agency or government contesting the results of the findings of his scientists must bring their own scientists to work alongside his trusted team.

In the end, the team should come up with a joint result.

If his scientists are proved wrong, then and only then will he give in.

So far this has not happened.

To that Robert Hinkley responds:

“At which point the reader may feel inclined to ask “who are his ‘trusted scientists’ which the article mentions three times, and what is their evidence?” but is left uninformed. Come on, BBC, all you’ve done with that article is reprint the Governor’s official press release. That is the starting point from which they should start asking questions and… dare I suggest… do some actual journalism.

Mr Hinkley is still too gentle. When the BBC is urging us all to pay the TV licence fee with a happy smile or to demand that our MPs renew its Charter unchanged, the organisation makes much of its role as a scourge of the mighty and a light of reason. Just look at this example of pandering to obscurantism and conspiracy-mongering to see how they perform that role in practice. Re-read the conclusion of the BBC story with the eyes of a resident of Kano who has heard the views of his governor and now turns to the BBC to get the facts. If his scientists are proved wrong, then and only then will he give in. So far this has not happened. That can be read, and certainly will be read by many, to mean “so far his scientists have not been proved wrong.”

It was and is the plain duty of the BBC (trusted all over the world as it never tires of telling us) to state that the conspiracy theory is not true. It failed in that duty.

ADDED MARCH 4TH: For more about the Nigerian polio vaccine story, see here. The links and discussion refer more to the story itself rather than the BBC presentation of it, so I didn’t think they were appropriate for Biased BBC.


posted to wrong blog. Easily done if you have two blogs on Blogger. Then on hasty second thoughts I deleted the whole thing. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed much, just me being wrong about US politics.

On the six o’clock news today

I watched BBC coverage of the awful bombings in Iraq. It was vivid and affecting. The viewer saw terrified crowds separating and re-forming – one minute arousing pity, when we saw a shot of market trolleys pushed into service to carry the wounded away or a glimpse of a man carrying a bloodied baby – and the next, horror, when a mob coalesced around an Iranian pilgrim and looked set to lynch him for what had happened.

These scenes were captured by BBC journalists and cameramen doing their job well, at some risk to themselves.

I noticed one thing. The reporter called the perpetrators “terrorists.” That is correct. It is a classic tactic of violent revolutionaries to spread terror, in the hope that where terror goes, violence and disorder will follow and give the revolutionaries their chance.

How distasteful to think that the reporter will probably be censured by his bosses for lack of ‘impartiality’ between those who slaughter worshippers at prayer and their victims.

Jon writes


… don’t know what your position is on the whole Israel/Palestinian conflict, but anyway, this is a copy of a something I just sent to the BBC’s “feedback” section of their site. It’s regarding a factual inequality in TV reporting on the conflict.

Here is what Jon said to the BBC:

The last 2 nights (25 and 26 Feb, GMT+4) every BBC World News TV bulletin featured Orla Guerin’s reports from the West Bank of clashes between anti-wall protesters and Isreali troops. (By the way, checking the transcripts will show that both reports were inappropriately emotive and opinionated, and presented only the Palestinian point of view).

But today, 2 Isrealis in their car were shot dead by Palestinians

while travelling on the edge of the West Bank. I have yet to see a single TV report of this incident on BBC World, although it’s recorded on your website.

What makes the clashes between protesters and Israeli troops worthy of your TV news, and the fatal shooting of 2 Israelis in the same area, not worthy of your TV news?

Your own BBC World promo says “Demand a broader view”. Yes, a broader view would be nice. Or is this a case of “a little information going a long way”?