BBC News Online drops newspaper front page coverage

– absolutely nothing to do with front pages like the one featured in the post below, oh no, of course not! It’s all to do with copyright of photos you see – even though these could be dealt with in other ways, such as pixellation. Cowards!

Note though that “the written review of the daily papers will continue” – so that’s alright – that way the News Online Beeboids can better select which bits of newspaper coverage to report. It’s a bit like the old News Online polls – they used to run them all the time, but more often than not the results were embarrasingly unsympathetic to the BBC’s right-on world view, which is why we now have all those carefully selected (Don’t) Have Your Say pages instead.

Further to the posts below, here are more details

of yesterday’s Daily Express coverage of my Biased BBC story from Tuesday about the BBC’s “disproportionate” Question Time audience that was deliberately packed out with over five-times as many Muslims as a proportion of the British population.

Click on each thumbnail to see clippings of the Daily Express front page coverage of Biased BBC’s original Question Time audience story. Courtesy Daily Express/

Just for good measure, there are a couple of cracking follow-up letters in today’s Daily Express:

Letter of the day

We don’t pay TV licence fees for BBC Muslim bias

THANK you for your excellent and courageous coverage of the BBC’s programme on questions of security (“Fury over BBC’s bias to Muslims”, August 4).

Last week I had an exchange of letters with one of the editors of the Today programme about another biased piece of reporting that was nakedly anti-American. The editor told me the BBC also took issue with British foreign policy.

Where does it enjoin the BBC to take issue with British policy abroad? The Royal Charter lays fown a duty of impartiality. The BBC was found severely wanting by Hutton and is now fighting a shameless rearguard action.

Undermining the credibility of this country, its government and the vast majority of its people seems to be top of the BBC agenda. That this should be done in our name, as licence fee-payers, is nothing short of sickening.

The vast majority of the Muslim community in Britain and the rest of us share a common good. To allow the BBC and others to undermine it is unacceptable.

Professor Rene Weis, London.


Corporation’s PC brigade is slowly killing ‘Auntie’

WITH reference to the diabolical Questions of Security programme screened on BBC TV (“Fury over BBC’s bias to Muslims”, August 4), I am afraid that we have to face an obvious truth – that the corporation is now just a grovelling apology of its former self, infested with politically correct types whose opinions bear no relation whatsoever to the vast majority of the public.

Auntie now resembles a once-magnificent oaken beam, riddled with woodworm and crumbling into its final collapse – like the country it used to so proudly represent.

Andrew Hathaway, East Grinstead, West Sussex.

Not content with having difficulty with the ‘T’ word

, BBC News Online have outdone themselves, with this, at the bottom of their story King Fahd of Saudi Arabia dies (as pointed out by Guido Fawkes on his blog):

The monarch’s decision in 1990 to invite American forces into Saudi Arabia after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was heavily criticised within the country.

Many say it contributed to the rise of al-Qaeda whose leader, Osama Bin Laden, is a Saudi-born businessman.

Ah yes, Osama bin Laden, sometime terrorist, is a “Saudi-born businessman” to the BBC, missing out just a few of his notable achievements along the way. I know we want the BBC to be robust in describing terrorists as terrorists, but I’m shocked at them wheeling out what is, to the cub journos at BBC News Online at least, such a heinous insult to describe Mr. bin Liner. Shocked!

Better yet, in a special two-kicks-for-the-price-of-one offer, they’ve stealth-edited the original (both stories dated 01AUG05, 21:26UK) to cover up their embarrassment, rather than leave any tell-tale clues. Until it gets updated you can catch the gaffe in its full glory courtesy of Google’s ever-useful cache.

The Daily Express gets with the Biased BBC program

The Daily Express gets with the Biased BBC program, only much later than the rest of the blogosphere — this was their main front-page headline today:


They pack TV terror debate with anti-British audience

by Martin Evans

BBC bosses faced a furious backlash last night after they were forced to admit that they packed a TV terror debate with Muslims.

Angry viewers complained that the programme was anti-British and failed to offer a a balanced view of the danger posed by Islamic extremists.

They were incensed that the opinions and feelings of the victims of the London bombings, which claimed 52 innocent lives and left 700 injured, were not given enough airtime in BBC1’s Questions of Security.

Instead, the “news special” which was watched by millions, was dominated by militant factions in the audience who were heavily critical of the police and security services.

BBC bosses admitted they deliberately set out to give Muslims a louder voice in the debate hosted by Huw Edwards.

One irate viewer told the BBC “I felt that the audience for this programme was not reprasentative of the British public.

“What methodology was used to recruit the audience? And why were the views and concerns of the victims of the bombings, as well as the public and commuters, so down-played?”

Another added: “I did not pay my license fee to watch an unrepresentative Muslim audience like this.”

Despite Muslims making up only 2.7 per cent of Britain’s population, 15 per cent of the audience were from the Islamic community…

(No link, I’m afraid).

Some BBC related snippets from the last week or two:

BBC ready for Radio Four-letter words

BBC RADIO 4 must challenge political correctness to satisfy an audience that no longer “wears tweeds and plays golf”, its controller says.
Mark Damazer has declared that the principles underlying the station during his stewardship will be “dissent, excitement, thrills and fun”.

Addressing the Broadcasting Press Guild, Mr Damazer also backed the Today programme, including the forceful questioning style of John Humphrys. He said: “Today is a large beast in the jungle and big beasts do not tread lightly.”

There was room for sex, not least in The Archers, ripe language and a commitment to find new comedy talent. The station, which has an average listener age of 54, will challenge the assumed liberal values of its audience.

Mr Damazer, a former BBC news chief, said: “Dissent must be one of the qualities of Radio 4. There should be a lack of political correctness and a willingness to challenge the foundations of political ideas. We won’t be afraid of the politically unorthodox.”

Does that mean you’ll be bringing back Frederick Forsyth, sacked because “BBC executives… objected to his political stance”, then Mark?

Angry viewers rap 0870 call costs

Government agencies make millions of pounds because people have to call 0870 numbers, newspaper reports claim. But they’re not the only ones using them – BBC News does as well, something that annoys viewers.

Brian Taylor told NewsWatch that the BBC should be more open how much the calls cost and, below, Michael Stock of Audience Services supplied some answers.

And rightly so – the proliferation of 0870 so-called ‘national rate’ numbers (in reality disguised premium rate numbers) is one of the biggest and best of all the scams that BT have managed to slip by the plodding regulators at Ofcom (and its comatose predecessor, Oftel). Even the BBC’s own consumer affairs programme, Watchdog, has the gall to use an 0870 number! But, amazingly, even with the huge potential revenue that 0870 nos. present to an organisation with as many callers as the BBC, get this, “the BBC doesn’t make any money from these calls. A rebate is available to organisations who use 0870 numbers – but the BBC has waived its right to this in return for better telephone services for the audience”. Utter clowns! Someone’s laughing all the way to the bank, and it’s not the telly-tax payers or phone bill payers!

And finally, now that the dust has settled (see Crime never pays – except when the BBC is newly flush with telly-taxpayers cash):

Burglar documentary to be shown

A documentary about Tony Martin, who was jailed for shooting dead a burglar, will be shown on the BBC despite controversy over payment to a criminal.

Brendan Fearon, who was wounded in the shooting after breaking into Martin’s Norfolk home, was paid £4,500 by the BBC to appear in The Tony Martin Story.

Interestingly, whilst Tony Martin’s conviction is covered at length, Brendan Fearon’s lifelong criminal record is barely mentioned, presumably for reasons of space.

More importantly, for concerned viewers, telly-tax payers and decent people everywhere, what of the idiot(s) who deigned to offer money to Fearon the lifelong career criminal in the first place (i.e. the real scandal here)? Have they been fired, disciplined or reprimanded? Is the ever accountable BBC going to tell us whether it has learnt the lesson of its Cash for Criminals scandal yet?

An excellent letter in the Daily Telegraph today from Oleg Gordievsky

, as noted by PeterN in comments on the post below:

The Red Service

Sir – Just listen with attention to the ideological nuances on Radio 4, BBC television, and the BBC World Service, and you will realise that communism is not a dying creed (Leader, Jul 30).

Oleg Gordievsky, London WC1

Gordievsky, for those unfamiliar with him, knows what he’s talking about. Born in Moscow in 1938, he joined the KGB in 1962 and was posted to Copenhagen and London, rising to the rank of Colonel. Disillusioned with the reality of communism and the Soviet system, he became a double-agent in 1974, working for MI6 until his dramatic escape and defection to the West in 1985. He appears in the media from time to time, and has written several books, including KGB – The Inside Story (with Christopher Andrew) and Next Stop Execution, his auto-biography.

While we’re on the subject of people with first hand experience of Soviet totalitarianism, Vladimir Bukovsky is a former Soviet dissident who also campaigns against BBC Bias. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph in 2002 he said:

“For a long time I felt it would be ungrateful of me to criticise anything about a country which offered me a home, but the BBC’s TV licence is such a medieval arrangement I simply must protest against it.

The British people are being forced to pay money to a corporation which suppresses free speech – publicising views they don’t necessarily agree with.

When I needed to persuade my fellow prisoners in Labour camps in the Soviet Union to go on hunger strike, I always said that if enough of us grouped together, we would not be punished, and we would achieve something.

If 5,000 people join us in refusing to pay their fees, there is no way the BBC cannot take notice and actually debate this issue.”

Bukovsky’s campaign website is

Yesterday, BBC Radio 5 Live News,

amongst other BBC news productions, reported on Migration Watch UK‘s analysis of the government’s until recently (i.e. until after the election) secret estimates of the number of illegal immigrants in the UK. Migration Watch’s analysis carefully argues that the true illegal migrant number in the UK is approaching 750,000.

But don’t worry Beeboids – the reports were as brief as possible (for example, Illegal migrant figure ‘too low’, appeared ever so minimally on BBC News Online’s home page after 1am, disappeared to the UK home page early in the morning, and disappeared completely as soon as possible thereafter – ‘blink and you really do miss it’!), and, in many cases, smeared Migration Watch, who describe themselves as, and who are, by all reasonable accounts, ‘an independent and non-political body’, as “a right-wing think tank” – the usual leftie approach – “we don’t like what they say, however rational and fact based it is, so they must be right-wing, and we all know right-wing is really bad”, so that’s alright then!

Just to make sure that Migration Watch’s figure were given the full BBC spin treatment, a later update to the story added a John Kerry “I voted for it before I voted against it” style quote from Keith Best, ‘Chief Executive’ of the so-called Immigration Advisory Service (part of Britain’s enormous immigration human-rights, except for those who already live here, industry):

Failed asylum seekers are not illegal immigrants. They are people who are subject to removal but have not yet been removed.

Ah, so that’s clear – that’d be them all queued up at the airport ready for the off then Keith. Still, Keith’s no stranger to double-dealing, though unusually for the BBC, in his case, they almost always forget to mention his previous role as an early example of “Tory Sleaze”, even though “Tory Sleaze” usually gets dragged up whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Meanwhile, in a related story about the lamentable shambles of Britain’s passport controls (the ones that permitted the successful flight abroad of one of the most high-profile of wanted crime suspects last week), Hoon ponders new passport checks, BBC News Online manages to omit the ever so minor detail about which governmment it was that scrapped passport exit controls and other immigration checks and balances. Does anyone, outside of the BBC, need a clue?

Following on from much disparaging blogosphere comment

(for instance Stephen Pollard, Clive Davis, Harry’s Place, etc.) about the dreadfully biased studio audience selected to appear on last week’s BBC news special, Questions of Security (surely Questions of Terrorism?), the BBC has admitted that “there was a deliberately disproportionate number of Muslims in [the] studio audience”. Truly astonishing.

‘Disproportionate’ hardly begins to describe the situation – according to the BBC, “around 15% of the audience” was Muslim, “as opposed to 2.7% of the country as a whole” – in other words, Muslims were more than five times over-represented. Judging from the aggressive self-righteousness of so many of the apparent Muslims among the questioners, they weren’t even representative of British Muslims as a whole.

In the BBC’s admission, Anger at news special audience, hidden away in their Newswatch graveyard, Sue Inglish, Head of Political Programmes, says:

Huw Edwards explained at the start of the programme [that] the studio audience was made up of a variety of people from a range of communities, particularly those most affected by the questions we were discussing in the wake of the bombings of 7 July and the incidents on 21 July.

Unsurprisingly, Inglish is being more than a little disingenuous. At the beginning of the programme, after a long preamble, Edwards did slip in: “well now, our audience tonight includes representatives from some of the communities most affected by the recent events in London and of course elsewhere in the United Kingdom” – but that is a long way from saying “oh, and by the way, we’ve loaded the audience with five times more Muslims than you might expect”, which is how Inglish now expects us to interpret Edwards blather.

Moreover, it’s rich to imply that Britain’s Muslim population constitutes “some of the communities most affected” – leaving aside the fact that the community most affected by the appearance of Islamist terrorists (sorry BBC, bombers) in the UK happens to be all of us (as potential victims) – Muslim or not, the communities “most affected” surely start with the victims, families and friends of the 7/7 atrocities, followed by those who use London Transport and those who live and work in and around London.

This scandal of loading the Question Time audience (even more than usual), without admitting so up front in the programme, has shades of the nationally embarrassing Question Time following the 9/11 atrocities, which was so bad that Greg Dyke, then Director General, apologised to offended viewers and personally to Philip Lader, the former US ambassador, for his treatment on the programme. Was the selection of that audience similarly loaded? Is the BBC going to be honest and tell us?

The time has come for transparency in the selection of audiences for Question Time and other political programmes with audiences. No longer should it be down to the programme makers to screen audience members, selecting those who will participate, those who will get to ask questions and the questions themselves. Audience selection should be carried out by respectable independent organisations, by lottery from the electoral roll if need be, accountable only to the BBC’s governors, so that the producers and researchers may not skew the audience or influence the questions, intentionally or otherwise. And then perhaps Question Time will once more be for the people of Britain to ask questions of our leaders, rather than for the selectorate of the BBC to promote their perception of what matters (or what they think should matter) to the ordinary telly-tax payers who are forced to pay for the BBC.

One last point, just to add insult to injury, for those of us who are as proud to be British as our English comrades, when Inglish says “But the rest of the audience – around 85% – included representatives of a number of other different ethnic and religious groups, including Christian, Hindu, Sikh, African Caribbean, English, Irish, Kashmiri and Turkish”, she makes the classic BBC faux-pas of conflating English with British, whilst remembering to name just about every other ethnic group of any size in the UK. Typical.

You can view the programme and its loaded audience for yourself here:

Real Video format: Standard 34kbps or Higher quality 224kbps

Windows WMV format: Standard 34kbps or Higher quality 224kbps

Request: Does anyone have any links to or recordings of the dreadful edition of Question Time that followed the 9/11 atrocities? Thank you.

Update: This story has since been picked up by the Daily Express, a national newspaper in the UK. See above for updated Biased BBC coverage.

It’s the way they tell ’em!

Going back a couple of weeks, on the day of the BBC’s Annual General Meeting, Michael Grade, Chairman of the BBC’s governors, was interviewed on the Today programme. I believe he was interviewed once, however, looking at the reports of his words on BBC News Online and in the Daily Telegraph, one has to wonder if the Beeboids at News Online were wearing their rose-tinted ear-muffs that day (as usual). Using your skill, judgment and experience of BBC bias, see if you can figure out which of these two introductory excerpts is the BBC version and which is the Daily Telegraph version:

‘Repeat-free zones’ aim for BBC

Prime time viewing hours on BBC One and BBC Two could be “repeat-free zones” within 10 years, the broadcaster’s chairman Michael Grade has said.

It is “not good enough” that one in 10 programmes currently shown at peak times is a re-run, Mr Grade said.

Answering licence fee payers’ questions at its annual general meeting, director general Mark Thompson said plans for 15% spending cuts would improve value.


Licence payers neglected for years, says Grade

Television licence-payers have been “neglected” for years by the BBC’s governors, chairman Michael Grade has said.

Mr Grade said the governors had followed their own opinions and tastes and had failed to ensure the BBC responded to the requirements of viewers.

He also set out an ambition to make BBC1 and BBC2 “repeat-free zones” within the next few years, while attacking “inefficiency” within the corporation

The corporation plans to cut staff by 15 per cent and Mr Grade backed this by saying that over-complex internal management and contract structures needed to be simplified.

Note particularly the contrast in the reporting of the BBC’s restructuring plans – one report describes “15% spending cuts”, whereas the other reports “plans to cut staff by 15 per cent”. Unless the BBC is planning to cut the licence fee (as if!), that ought to nail any lingering doubts for you!