18 Doughty St., in the midst of a series of items on the BBC, have a video up which shows Robin Aitken’s confirmation that in one BBC newsroom a poster of George W. Bush as Hitler was displayed without demurr from staff there.

Significant? Well, take a look at the video and see what you think. In the interview from which it was excerpted (in DS’s Brought to Book series), Aitken talks of a pervasive atmosphere causing young journalists to ape left-liberal attitudes. Having a poster of GWB as Hitler may be compared to other symbolic gestures, such as having busts of Lenin on display as was common behind the Iron Curtain before the Velvet Revolution. Behind the symbol lurks a world of assumptions to be absorbed.

Oh, and of course I should mention that Aitken, a 25 year BBC veteran, has a book out- “Can We Trust the BBC”. From the items excerpted from it during the interview, and from the intelligent, deep approach Aitken has obviously taken to his subject I’d say it will be a rattling good read.

Update (Sat). Here’s the clip itself:

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37 Responses to Anti-American?

  1. will says:

    There was also the report by a visitor to the BBC newsroom who noticed a poster on the wall which pictured Bush with the legend “Hail to the thief”.

    (Can’t remember who reported this. The last time I googled it I got only a link to a comment at Samizdata)


  2. Bryan says:

    If the BBC can portray President Bush as Hitler, then whoever was BBC top dog when that poster was put up in the newsroom should have no objection to being portrayed as Joseph Goebbels, master propagandist of the Nazi regime.

    After all, comparing Bush to Hitler is a gross insult whereas comparing the BBC boss to Goebbels has an uncomfortable ring of truth to it.


  3. El Cid says:

    Bryan, I think you meant “an uncomfortable ring of Pravda to it.”


  4. Geezer says:

    Ha! Ha! Nice one Cid


  5. Anonanon says:

    Someone else fond of the Hitler/Bush comparison is Harry Belafonte, a man who hasn’t met a communist dictator he doesn’t love:

    ‘Belafonte used a Hitler analogy when asked about what impact prominent blacks such as former Secretary of State Powell and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had on the Bush administration’s relations with minorities.

    “Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich [a]. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value,” Belafonte said’

    Given his views it’s not surprising that the BBC is celebrating his 80th birthday. Radio 4 has a special programme about him tonight, and its presenter Stephen Evans was also on From Our Own Correspondent today discussing, in star-struck terms, his meeting with the singer. Unfortunately it’s one of the FOOC pieces they haven’t reprinted on the website so I can’t link to the text. Evans begins by recounting that he first heard of Belafonte from his communist grandfather and has been intrigued by him ever since. The segment ends with this:

    “I see promise,” he said. “I see promise in the human family. I see promise in human beings.” And finally, looking me straight in the eye with a warm, warm smile, “I even see promise in white folks.”

    Grateful whitey done loved that.


  6. Anonanon says:

    Forgot to add the footnote to the above extract from CNS News.

    [a] No he didn’t.


  7. niconoclast says:

    On Today prog last week they had an item on great political persuaders. The presenter lumped Hitler Churchill and Thatcher in the same sentence as examples of great persuaders.

    For that egregious conflation of good with evil alone the BBC deserves to have its licence gently but firmly removed from it.


  8. Ultraviolence says:

    Starting tommorow I’m going to keep a tally chart of all the times I read or hear something Hitler/Third Reich related.


  9. Robin says:


    Please use recycled paper as you will need an awful lot of it.


  10. Anonanon says:

    Just listened to the Harry Belafonte programme. Credit to Stephen Evans – he did challenge Belafonte on his dodgy political views.


  11. garypowell says:

    There you go its a done deal you can all stop having your pointless debates with that dishonest BBC employed stool pigeon John Reith.

    The BBC is bias we all know it and we all now know why. Robin Aitchen has spilled the beans what really is there left to say?

    JR is a paid lier and he knows it. He even had the lieing barefaced cheek to claim to me that he was a Conservative voter.

    This site should, as I said a year ago before the site owners banned me for being rude to socialists, spend its efforts on doing something possitive about this very damaging problem facing our nation.

    Because wasteing your time on here will acheive LESS then nothing at all. Unless this site becomes part of a national campaign to STOP THE BBC it is only showing what a pathetic shower opponents of the states NATIONAL socialist broadcaster are.

    Do you lot not understand yet?

    Get off your lazy fat asses, hit the streets and shout very very loudly indead.

    Get into your middle class piss smallminds that the BBC is not going to change one little bit, because of a few PC bound self opinated nonentities who spend countless unpaid hours logging mountains of BBC bias, on this or any other blog site.

    They dont care, they hate you all. You are all they think that stinks and is rotton in this country. They think the world would be a much better place to live in, if you were all hit by a big red bus. They think you are a bunch of thick racist wankers that use the Daily Mail as your bible, when you are not reading the real one.

    Get angry get very very very angry and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    Stop these arragant selfselecting authoratarian socialists once and for all by closing down their state funded state propaganda gravy train ASAP.

    It may not work but how are you lot or anyone else going to find out if you dont try?

    And remember just because the BBC does not understand or realise that it IS and has long since BECOME a NAZI organisation does not mean it is not.

    Or that it can not do even more damage then the NAZIs did in the long run to the future of free mankind.


  12. Ultraviolence says:

    Troll = LoL!

    When I read your post, a wire crossed in my mind, and now I can’t remember why I hate the BBC.

    Nothing. Zero Recall.


    “Or that it can not do even more damage then the NAZIs did in the long run to the future of free mankind.”

    Invoke the epic power of GODWIN!



  13. jgm says:

    My God, is that THE Gary Powell?


  14. Ralph says:

    ‘Get into your middle class piss smallminds that the BBC is not going to change one little bit, because of a few PC bound self opinated nonentities who spend countless unpaid hours logging mountains of BBC bias, on this or any other blog site.’

    You couldn’t be more wrong.

    Although this blog hasn’t had its Rathergate moment yet (mainly due to the failure of the other UK broadcasters to follow some of the stories posted here) BBC bias is actually being documented here and on other blogs.

    I knew this blog was making waves when I over heard someone talking about it in the People’s Republic of Oxford.


  15. Kulibar Tree says:

    (Post at head of list)
    There was also the report by a visitor to the BBC newsroom who noticed a poster on the wall which pictured Bush with the legend “Hail to the thief”.

    (Can’t remember who reported this. The last time I googled it I got only a link to a comment at Samizdata)

    Hi Will – FYI, it was in the excellent Daily Telegraph Beebwatch series on BBC bias several years ago written by – I think – Damien Thomson.

    Cheers –


  16. Bryan says:

    Hi Gary,

    Good to hear from you again. But you underestimate the effectiveness of this blog and other documentation of BBC bias. Journalists don’t like to be thought of as biased, unprofessional propagandists. So sustained, educated and accurate criticism has the effect at least of limiting the bias, if not actually forcing radical changes in the BBC mindset. BBC apologists wouldn’t come here to try to prove us wrong if they didn’t take us seriously.

    Not all of us can don armour and ride physically into battle. And even if I were that way inclined, I’d have to get on a plane to Heathrow first.


  17. Anonymous says:

    If this Blog was of no worry to the BBC, how come so many of their discredited journalists and others come here to comment?

    Wasting their time perhapse?

    The BBC fears the truth getting out..they want to pretend the World is LALAPC Planet….and it aint…..


  18. Ultraviolence says:

    It’s safe to say that this blog is WATCHED by PEOPLE with CONNECTIONS.

    Seriously though, we need something more concrete to kombat the BBC.

    I suggest a catchy protest song.


  19. argus says:

    The Daily Telegraph “BBC-Watch” series was unfortunately abandoned after a few weeks. Some BBC overlord complained that it was “mean-minded” — an expression used by PC types to condemn something without having to give a reason.
    One has to remember that even conservative journalists hope to get on to the BBC from time to time, and politicians are now terrified of it. A colleague of mine who knows the BBC well says that “they think they are more powerful than the government”


  20. Ultraviolence says:

    Your colleague is a drunken tramp isn’t he?


  21. argus says:

    No, he is someone with twenty years of experience in independent broadcasting, and then in a proper government information department.


  22. JohnBosworth says:


    The BBC doesn’t think it’s more powerful than government – it IS more powerful than government. Does the tail wag the dog? Sure. But who voted for the tail?

    They answer to no-one: not even the audience. I remember one Radio 3 controller at a programme review board claiming that his network got a ‘healthy’ 0.5% audience figure at 10am.

    William Rees-Mogg summed the BBC up with the words “despotism tempered by dismissal”. Perfect!


  23. John Reith says:

    JohnBosworth | 13.03.07 – 2:05 pm

    I remember one Radio 3 controller at a programme review board claiming that his network got a ‘healthy’ 0.5% audience figure at 10am.

    Mmm. I’m sceptical about that.

    RAJAR’s timeslot share for Radio 3 at 10am is 1.4%. And has been around that figure for ages.

    I suppose it could’ve almost trebled since the occasion you cite, but I doubt it.

    Radio 3 is doing pretty well at the moment. 2.03 million listeners (up by 50,000 on last year). The ‘average’ listener tuning in for more than seven hours per week.

    But even assuming your recollection is accurate, I don’t see how that shows any more contempt for the audience than that supposedly exhibited by, say, Virgin Radio Classic Rock (0.1%) Planet Rock (0.2%), Sunrise Radio (0.3%) etcetera. Or, by analogy, is the Spectator to be criticised for lack of accountability because its circulation is only a tiny fraction of total magazine sales?

    I’d say the proof that the BBC has got its radio offering very well tailored to audience preferences is the fact that more than half of all radio listening of any kind is to BBC stations.


  24. JohnBosworth says:

    John Reith:
    1. So you have audience figures at hand…(PS I didn’t quote the date of my Radio 3 figures, that would help identify me.)
    2. You dish the company line – and
    3. You are very fast in reacting to comments here.
    Let me guess: you work at Corporate Affairs in White City and your task is to monitor this blog and respond to postings. Nice work if you can get it. You have every right to do this and I read your (often) correct rebuttals with interest. Not all of us are crazies! But the main thrust the people who contribute to Biased BBC is true…”Your BBC” does not represent “me”. Please tell your lords and masters that they must reform (quickly) – and I mean real reform not the sham they indulge in every time the licence fee is at risk. And I hope you have better luck than I had trying to convince them that all is not well in the state of Denmark.


  25. tom atkins says:

    Radio 4 “A good read” 16.30 Tuesday 13th March.

    Adam Sisman decided to review John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids for this book review programme.

    quote (and I’ve used my Evoke 3 for an exact one):

    “The Triffids are a genetic mutation created by man which are harmless until everyone goes blind…
    …yes their plants, in fact their plants, I beleive that President Bush is about to create to solve the petroleum problem”

    Was Mr Sislam chalenged on this assertion?
    Of couse not. So on a highbrow BBC Radio 4 programme, guests can come on, accuse President Bush of creating the Triffids and go completely unchalenged?
    What will they accuse the yanks of next week – creating the Daleks?
    “Creating conditions similar to the late 20’s in Nazi Germany?” (actually a guest did just that yesterday morning on Radio 4).

    Its like reading a copy of the Daily Star. Except I’m not being forced to fund the Daily Star and the Daily Star doesn’t pose as being “highbrow”.


  26. BaggieJonathan says:

    John Reith, would it not be fairer instead of mentioning Virgin Radio Classic Rock, Planet Rock and Sunrise Radio to compare Radio 3 with its genuine competitor Classic-FM?


  27. archonix says:

    Lets add to this the fact that all those other stations get a fraction of the funding that radio 3 gets and still pull in as many listeners in spite of incredibly fierc competition.

    Radio 3. It’s very quiet, isn’t it?


  28. Anon says:

    Wow. What a bunch. So thinking Dubya is a moron or a war-monger is suddenly evidence of “left-liberal bias”? Funny – I thought even perfectly right ring people in this country understood that he ticked those boxes perfectly happily. I guess I’m just some commie fifth columnist…

    The BBC shames every other “news” organisation, here and everywhere else in the world. It is envied by every American I’ve ever met, including those who love Dubya unquestioningly. It’s sheer lunacy to wish it gone or even its funding structure changed. You lot make me ashamed to be British.


  29. terry johnson says:

    Dear Anon,
    Funny, it’s people like you who make me ashamed to be British. So smug about your wonderful anti-British, anti-Christian, anti-American BBC.
    You also obviously don’t know that many Americans – most of the ones I know realize that Al-Beeb is bigotted against the USA and reeks liberal-left bias as a matter of standard operation.


  30. Bryan says:

    So thinking Dubya is a moron or a war-monger is suddenly evidence of “left-liberal bias”?

    Yes, it is. Lunatic lefties line up like sheep to follow those who believe that US president George W. Bush is a moron because he couldn’t name India’s prime minister or Pakistan’s president a few years back and he has difficulty with the pronunciation of “nuclear”.

    I watched him give a half-hour, dynamic speech to that seething mass of anti-American third world dictatorships known as the “United” Nations without faltering once. Some “moron”.

    As far as “war-mongering” goes, the man understands that when you are hit you have to defend yourself, if you value your honour – a concept that is foreign to lefties.


  31. Sarah says:

    I’m American. I despise the BBC, and as a resident in the UK, resent the licence fee.

    I am not a Bush supporter, I opposed the war in Iraq, I think that the War on Terror has been and is a disaster, and am critical of many aspects of US policy.

    However, the BBC’s smug bigotry towards Americans is as obvious as it is deplorable and self-serving. It may rake in the ratings from a public that wants to make itself feel better about their own miserable little existences by the BBC’s portrayal of the US as a country full of cranks and idiots, but it isn’t honest, it isn’t laudable, and it isn’t good journalism.


  32. Katie says:

    In a choice between Al Gore and Bush, I am glad Bush won, its sickening listening to the BBC claim he is an idiot all the time….


  33. Alex P says:

    Ed Thomas – you say at the end of your blog re Robin Aiken’s book “I’d say it will be a rattling good read.”

    Well, I got it a few days ago and read it in 2 sittings – it’s well written, well researched, incisive, authoritative. I’d recommend it highly, and I don’t say that too often.


  34. IngSoc is doublethink says:

    Well Well Well Mr Reith and Anon……

    Seeing as most of what passes as “light entertainment” is “clever” editing of GWB as seen on Dead Ringers,Time Trumpet etc or the endless “gags” on Have I(not)Got News For You,QI or Never Mind the Buzzcocks from such comic “greats” as Mark “George told me a joke that Qusay told him” Steele then yes it would indicate a slightly liberial bias.

    But of course the only “nice” and “intelligent” Americans come from Washington or New York,who are wealthy white Harvard educated types or the token black musicians/actors/athletes.

    Nope all those hick American’s like ol’ Powell or Condi (bet you refer to them as “bounty bars” hay JR), or the gay hating Cheney (who’s daughter is a lesbian),are just soooooooo stupid,in comparison to you oh so clever people in the Al Beeb canteen with their “free” trade coffee in one hand and there Chavez lovin’ Independant or Guardian (who seems to now report the news on behalve of Al Beeb these days).

    I fully accept that GWB isn’t up there with Churchill in the inspiring speech stakes,but next to the likes of Gore or Moore he seems like a giant compared to those interllectual pigmies.

    Even dear old Sarah,your “target audiance” of yoof,slightly liberial “politically aware” (war=bad peace=good) smells the stench of your xenophobia…..


  35. Pete says:

    I heard someone in the BBC once sent a funny email of George Bush dancing to another staff member. Imagine that, the swine!!


  36. Steve_Mac says:

    It is envied by every American I’ve ever met,

    I’m an American and not envious of it, nice to meet you.


  37. Alexsei says:

    Gary Powell, your protest wont work. You dont have the support. The only people on your march will be the small band of nutters who share your dillusions.
    I dont take your criticisms seriously. I post for the same reason people oppose facism. I dont think your ideas have any merit, but I believe in the truth.

    Long live the Licence Fee!!!!!