General BBC related comment thread:

Please use this thread for comments about the BBC’s current programming and activities. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog – scroll down for new topic-specific posts. N.B. this is not an invitation for general off-topic comments, rants or chit-chat. Thoughtful comments are encouraged. Comments may be moderated.

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101 Responses to General BBC related comment thread:

  1. George R says:

    The BBC has decided that licence-payers should pay for this ‘post-cuts’ extravagance:

    “‘cost-cutting’ BBC creates Gaelic TV costing £257 per viewer”


  2. David H says:

    On 21st October there was an attempted assassination of the leader of SIOE and three colleagues, one of which was a 75 yar old woman. SIOE was the group that organised the banned march in Brussels 11/09/07.

    I have not seen one report of this in the MSM, there is almost total silence on the riots in Amsterdam and Brussels, again its not just what the BBC reports, its what it decides to leave out that defines the bias.


  3. backwoodsman says:

    Good to hear Robin Page of the Farm Restoration Trust ,exposing the RSPB (one of the beeboids ‘sacred cows’), as a bunch of under achieving publicity seekers on Farming Today.
    Why can’t someone who knows about rural matters, like Mr. Page, present Farming Today ? Oh, forgot, he’s a beeboid non person, like Dr. Bellamy, because he supports hunting.


  4. Heron says:

    David Gregory (previous open thread)

    An interesting case study, and I’m afraid I disagree with those who suggest you should not include the man’s comments in your report. They appear to be relevant, therefore they should be reported.

    However, this seems to me to be a dubious conclusion, and I would have expected you, knowing that you are likely to use his words, to have questioned him on this assertion, maybe asked him whether there could be other reasons for this, how long this trend has been going on for etc. For example the temperature changes since 1998 have been minimal, so if he said this has only happened in the past couple of years, there’s a pretty big hole in his argument.

    The BBC is right to cover global warming, after all the Earth has been generally warming for some time. It is also right to cover the MMGW angle, because it is on the agenda of governments worldwide and has a big scientific following (NOT consensus, mind). My worry with the BBC is the lack of any challenge to people who promote the MMGW legend to explain the slightest event. This appears to be a case in point (I may be doing you a disservice not having seen the footage). Were a farmer to say, for example, that the foxhunting ban had adversely affected the local ecosystem then you can be certain that this view would have been rigorously challenged at the time (or more likely, erased from public view!).

    In past months flooding, forest fires and breeding habits of deer have been put down to global warming, with people allowed to assert this without challenge. The BBC needs to have the intellectual honesty to challenge these assertions – even if MMGW is a reality (personally I doubt it), it doesn’t mean that every freak natural event is a result of it.


  5. The Fat Contractor says:

    Heron | 26.10.07 – 10:45 am |
    The BBC needs to have the intellectual honesty to challenge these assertions

    The BBC does not have any ‘intellectual honesty’ it has a ‘point of view’ which it sticks to no matter how blindingly obvious that what it is doing is wrong. Worse than that, as we see here time and time again, the Beeboids are not even aware of it.


  6. Peregrine says:

    Interesting result from a survey by ConHome:

    Hardly surprising that there is a higher proportion of liberals in the BBC.

    I do have doubts about how the definitions of liberal, moderate and conservative affect which party ones support. I know a few conservative Labour voters and some very liberal Conservatives.


  7. Andrew says:

    Am already on the case Peregrine – watch this space…


  8. Ruaraidh says:

    George R | 26.10.07 – 9:06 am |

    That Gaelic TV channel has been in the pipeline for years, and I’m pretty glad it’s finally being implemented. I live in Scotland and what little television I do watch is all in Gaelic. For me, watching English television would be like you watching German or French TV.

    One interesting fact that that Daily Mail article leaves out is that viewing figures for Gaelic television programmes outstrip the number of Gaelic speakers. In my opinion, this is because the Gaelic programmes are of a very high quality. Eòrpa is a news programme with in-depth news from all around europe, something which there is no English programme equivalent. Tir is Teanga looks at the place names in the Gàidhealtachd, where they’ve come from, and also the flora, fauna, and amazing scenery of these areas.

    Of course, having said all that, there’s no reason why there couldn’t be a commercial Gaelic channel. Until then, I want my GTV.


  9. Teddy Salad says:

    “For me, watching English television would be like you watching German or French TV.”

    Your English is fine. So what’s the problem with watching English-language TV? Are you really going to say that the culture of your small group of Gaelic-TV watchers is so different that you have to get your own TV channel? Do we have to fund a TV channel for everyone who has their own hair-style?


  10. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    Thanks for your considered comments. Yes I did press him further. He was very interesting on this problem with plenty of extra evidence from others with deer herds.
    I can assure you too, if a farmer or landowner came to me and said the ecosystem of our Countryside was being damaged by the ban on hunting I’d do the story.


  11. Anon says:

    How would evidence from other deer herds show that it MMGW was behind it?


  12. Anon says:

    Peregrine — very interessing figures, but you’re right about the designation “liberal” causing trouble. In America this term is used in such a way that’s it’s roughly equivalent with “left-wing”, whereas in the UK it means something different, and doesn’t equate with left-wing at all. I would describe myself as a liberal (of the classical variety), but I would also say I’m on the political right.

    Still, the vast discrepancy here tells us a lot. But Nick Reynolds and John Reith will still insist that all BBC people are able to put issues impartially, even though they’re mostly left-wing people working around other left-wingers, and even though they themselves can’t even begin to see the problem with the numerous biased BBC presentations that are displayed up here every day.


  13. Haversack says:

    “if a farmer or landowner came to me and said the ecosystem of our Countryside was being damaged by the ban on hunting I’d do the story.”

    Even if it turned out there was no evidence, beyond what he just assumed based on his current belief-system?


  14. Teddy Salad says:

    David Gregory’s responses are always along the lines of “Well, let’s see what happens, shall we”, and “Well, I would do this myself”. But we don’t base our conclusions about the BBC on what the BBC might, in David Gregory’s world, do in the future, but on what they do in the actual world. And that’s a very different place.


  15. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    Haversack: If there was no evidence, what would I film?

    Teddy: But its not a different place.


  16. Ritter says:

    David Gregory (BBC):
    Haversack: If there was no evidence, what would I film?

    ? What exactly are you filming David? Deer giving birth? That is evidence only of the fact that deer give birth. What are you filming to provide the causal link to MMGW?


  17. Tom says:

    Interesting piece in this week’s Private Eye this week re. the obvious influence of the BBc’s editorial tema in the scriptwriting of Spooks. Apparently we will see Fathers for Justice attempting a terrorist plot in coming weeks…Yawn


  18. backwoodsman says:

    David Gregory, who do you think carries out the bulk of the practical woodland conservation, ride clearing and cover planting work in the countryside ?
    A) Hunt staff and hunt supporters and keepers
    B)the faries


  19. mister scruff says:

    “George R | 26.10.07 – 9:06 am”

    i just like to reply to that. We in anti-license fee have railed for years about the BBCs insane political correctness. For once, with that Gaelic channel, the BBC has NOT created something according to whatever the latest metrosexual “right on” politically correct fad is.

    Its the right thing to do. Also, the Gaelic Language Act was passed in Scotland in 2005 giving it official recognition for the first time. Expect to see more schools to start teaching it and for bilingual road signs to start appearing (as in ireland)

    The Irish phenomenon of all-Gaelic schooling is starting to happen in Scotland with the first primary Gaelscoil being opened in Glasgow in 2006. 2,092 pupils were enrolled in 2006-07 (so there is demand for it up there!)

    so you have to look at it in the context of devolution and the political process up in Scotland.


  20. mister scruff says:

    also, if you look up Scots Gaelic on Wikipedia you’ll see a reference to an EU Treaty on minority languages – which the UK government has ratified.

    “Along with Irish and Welsh, Gaelic is designated under Part III of the Charter, which requires the UK Government to take a range of concrete measures in the fields of education, justice, public administration, broadcasting and culture.”

    So my guess is that the BBC didnt do it out of the goodness of their hearts – the law required them to do so, if they were to continue broadcasting in Scotland.


  21. The Fat Contractor says:

    mister scruff | 26.10.07 – 7:25 pm |

    What? Cornish is not included in the list? And what about Mummerset? There’s plenty of folk around here who can’t speak English but can Mummer for England … 🙂


  22. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    Ritter: Sorry if I wasn’t clear about this. The manager of a deer herd mentioned the problems with the rut this year because he’d had late fawns born. What to film? Well the rut with young fawns wandering around too. But I was responding to a point Haversack raised.

    Backwoodsman: You really are determined to paint me as some sort of clueless urban beeboid aren’t you! Bless.


  23. John Gentle says:

    Have the commercial channels offered any Gaelic TV (possibly with English subtitles)? Sky could probably do better than £257 per viewer. What no takers, eh?


  24. AntiCitizenOne says:

    does anyone else think the BBC should have mentioned that it filmed these “plumbers” paintballing?


  25. Jack Hughes says:

    More of the BBC worldview:

    “Migration, along with improved life expectancy and fertility levels, are [sic] apparently fuelling a British population boom.

    The caption to the picture is: “Many see the rising population as a good thing”.

    Who are these people ? I meet all kinds of people every day and nobody talks about rising population being a good thing. Instead we all grumble about daily problems caused by the effects of over-population: traffic gridlock, staggering house prices, queues everywhere. There are also other problems – for example pollution, sewage disposal, rubbish disposal. You name it.

    The article finds some business voices who enjoy the increasing pool of cheap labour. Whoopee doo.


  26. Bryan says:

    The BBC’s “reporting” on Darfur on the World Service this morning was beyond belief. BBC hacks are basically lying to us. I paraphrase:

    200 000 people have died in the conflict between the Jangaweed and Sudanese rebel groups.

    No, BBC, the government-sponsored Jangaweed Arab Muslim terror group has slaughtered 200 000 black Muslims. They have raped the women, destroyed entire villages and driven people from their homes in a brutal, calculated and merciless programme of ethnic cleansing which is tantamount to genocide. In a defensive reaction, “rebel” groups have arisen among the decimated black population to stem the genocide. How many of the Jangaweed have been killed as a result? Difficult to know, since Islamic terror groups are not known for revealing their casualties (witness Hezbollah) but there is no doubt that it is miniscule in this unequal war. The Jangaweed are armed to the teeth by the Sudanese government.

    So here are the questions any journalist worth his/her salt would be asking:

    *Who is arming the Jangaweed? Is it China? Who else, if anyone?

    *Is China content to let the genocide continue because of its cosy, oily relationship with the Sudanese government?

    *What can be done to pressure China to help stop the genocide?

    *What is motivating the genocide?

    Instead we had a BBC hack “interviewing” a rebel leader and complaining that he is not joining the “peace” talks. Quite reasonably, the rebel said he doesn’t want to talk, he wants the Jangaweed to stop killing his people and raping the women. Of course, the BBC wouldn’t dream of conducting a challenging interview with someone from the Arab side and asking him, for instance, why he is killing his Muslim brothers simply because they are black and whether he intends to stop killing them. It simply would not cross a BBC mind. Far safer and easier to blame the victim for not coming to the talks.

    So here’s a question for the BBC: Why does the BBC feel compelled to hide, obfuscate and minimise the crimes of Islamic terror groups worldwide? More specifically, what exactly is it about Arab Sudanese Muslims that makes the BBC give their crimes such a wide berth?

    Even when the BBC is apparently fulfilling its obligations to inform the public on Darfur, it still feels obliged to bury the fact of Arab genocide of Africans so deeply within the article that one needs a magnifying glass to find it:

    Now we wait with bated breath for a Jeremy Bowen equivalent to start yelling “war crimes” at the Sudanese government and for BBC hacks to prove how badly they can write while describing Jangaweed attacks on black villages. If they can jump up and down furiously when Lebanese civilians are killed as an unintended result of Israel defending itself against Hezbollah terrorists, they should surely be able at the very least to react in a similar fashion when actual war crimes and genocide take place.


  27. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    AntiCitizenOne:…/uk/ 7064270.stm

    does anyone else think the BBC should have mentioned that it filmed these “plumbers” paintballing?
    AntiCitizenOne |

    Hi AntiCitizenOne! I guess not seeing as that would be contempt of court! Unlimited fine and a prison term! Still… don’t let me hold you back!


  28. Anon says:

    Contempt of court to mention that these men once appeared in a BBC TV show? That sounds unlikely.


  29. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    Anon: email me direct and I can explain more. david dot gregory at bbc do co dot uk. But if you want to risk contempt, at least be brave enough to leave a name, eh?

    PS Is anyone watching the Electric Proms on BBC2 now? It’s brilliant. Red button all weekend I think if you miss it.


  30. Andrew says:

    David G.: “that would be contempt of court”

    Presumably that would be why the BBC’s filming of the alleged paintballing isn’t to be found (at least not easily) on BBC Views Online, whilst the BBC’s filming is, for example, recorded accessibly in the Guardian of October 11th.


  31. Peregrine says:

    Have just recovered from enforced listening to the Electric Proms. What exactly is the point of them? I can imagine the record company bosses licking their lips at the free publicity for already massively successful groups.

    As a jazz fan (not of the Parky type) I am very badly served by the BBC. Getting rid of the late night slot on Radio3 was bad enough but losing Helen Mayhew was a disaster.


  32. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    Andrew: It all rather depends on where your commentators want to go with this information.


  33. Anonymous says:

    Argie elections on the Beeb: centre-right candidate gets the smallest write-up and no photo…


  34. Ritter says:

    A BBC employee writes “yes, our blogs are crap!”

    Blog Problems

    “Many of you have been writing in to complain about problems getting through both on the Editors’ blog and on the Newsnight blog pages. I sympathise. Often I try to respond to a comment or complaint about the programme and end up gnawing my knuckles in frustration as the response either doesn’t appear for many hours or fails to materialise at all. Hardly the best way to have a free flowing dialogue with our viewers. “

    OK – when do I get a rebate?

    p.s. don’t bother posting a reply to the editors blog over the weekend, there’s no-one working at the other end Sat or Sun. Welcome to the £3.6bn funded BBC……


  35. Anon says:

    “Anon: email me direct and I can explain more. david dot gregory at bbc do co dot uk. But if you want to risk contempt, at least be brave enough to leave a name, eh?”

    David, think about it. If I’m dubious about whether this was a contempt of court issue for the BBC, I’m hardly going to be thinking that I’m in any risk, am I?

    And if I genuinely thought that I was risking contempt of court by merely expressing an opinion on what the BBC might have reported (a view that not only do I not believe but which never actually entered my mind), then it wouldn’t make any sense for me to doubt whether the BBC would be risking contempt of court for directly reporting on the activities of these people — ie. if I thought I was at risk, then obviously I would have to think the BBC was doubly so.

    Anyway, all you needed to say was “As a journalist we get legal advice about these matters, and I can assure you that it is a contempt of court issue”.


  36. David Gregory (BBC) says:

    Anon: It wouldn’t be an issue for the BBC. It could be a contempt of court issue for this blog and whoever posts about it. This point has been raised several times and for now I think the legally safe thing to do is to wait for the end of the trial. The simple rule of thumb is that if it hasn’t been said or shown in court don’t discuss it.

    Roland Thompson-Gunner: Very true. But that’s for the judge to decide.


  37. Stephanie clague says:

    BBC world leftist agenda laid bare about the Argentine elections! Three women are shown but get very different treatment according to their political outlook. The centre socialist gets the full on praise job, ie being compared with Mrs Clinton, lots of flattering shots of smiling faces/happy people! One quick shot of the centre right candidate looking very glum and no interview! And the leftist candidate with the least support gets to speak and gets more flattering camera shots!
    Bias at its worst and proof positive of a set political agenda? Showing the right wing candidate with a serious/unhappy face for just a couple of seconds with no interview is not only wrong but goes against the BBC charter and I hope that the leftist hack who produced this propaganda trash is nailed to the wall!


  38. Martin says:

    Sudan: Notice the BBC never mentions that RUSSIA has been arming the Sudanese Government (along with China)

    Oh and the BBC continues to peddle the lie that the “West” (that means the USA and UK) armed Saddam.

    However, as anyone with an IQ knows, Saddam was armed by Russia, China and France.

    Who makes Mig 29 fighters BBC? Who makes T55 & T72 tanks? Who makes Silkworm missiles?

    The fact that the BBC allows this lie to continue says it all.


  39. Stephanie clague says:

    Martin you missed the ‘roland’ anti aircraft system, courtesy of the French? incuding radar systems.


  40. Bryan says:

    And that article is from August 2004. People forget how long that genocide has been going on, with the world doing nothing and the BBC doing its shameful best to hide the truth while pretending to report on Sudan.

    If it were an American-backed, white Christian government killing its own black civilians in the hundreds of thousands, the BBC would be all over the story like ants on sugar.

    The BBC’s gross hypocrisy becomes as clear as day when you imagine different players in the same event.


  41. Shug Niggurath says:

    Today in various locations there is a Pro-Referendum Rally taking place. I can’t see any mention of it on the UK, England, Scotland or Politics sections of the BBC website, nor noted any mention on News 24 up until now.

    There is an article available on England, UK and politics about an Anti-Abortion Rally taking place today which is 15 paragraphs long, and gives 10 of those to reporting the position of various pro-abortion groups and the government position. It also links to a group called abortion rights who are not mentioned at all in the article.

    I believe this article is biased in its reporting and also that it highlights the omission of the Pro-Referendum Rally on the BBC.


  42. NotaSheep says:

    Has the BBC covered the EU Referendum Rally yet?


  43. Bryan says:

    I’ve tried a number of times over the course of a year or more to publish comments on HYS exposing the Iranian regime for what it is. None of them have been published. The subject generally attracts a flood of comments, and since they can’t or wont publish them all I can’t assume that I am personally being discriminated against. But I’m almost beginning to think that this is a conspiracy of sorts and that there is a deliberate effort by the moderators to minimise anti-Iranian feeling.

    The current debate on Iran is a case in point. I sent them this unpublished comment yesterday:

    All those ranting and raving against the US here seem to think that Iran is no threat to anyone. Somebody even claimed that Iran only wants to wipe Zionism off the map, not Israel. This is nonsense. Iran is ruled by Islamic fundamentalists who have worldwide domination by Shia Islam as their aim and terror as the means to achieve it. An example: They have financed, armed and trained Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad terror groups whose sole aim is the killing of Jewish men, women and children.

    I dunno, I didn’t think that was an unreasonable position to take. I mean it’s only the truth and it certainly didn’t break any HYS rules.

    Meanwhile, the rabidly anti-US comments are in the ascendancy on this current topic, and are dominating the first “Readers Recommended” page: I was under the impression that the moderators liked this Steve Day’s anti-US stance so much they published two of his comments a few minutes apart:

    I was wrong. They published four of his comments a few minutes apart, at 18:42


    19:01 and 19:05. At least those were the ones I noticed. Funny that only two comments appear on his personal page – which should show all of his published comments. Glitch in the system, or the moderators deliberately hiding the fact that he’s a favourite because his views are in line with those of the BBC?

    Difficult to tell with these slippery HYS moderators.


  44. Anat says:

    Re Darfur, BBC are blaming the victims: “Rebel snub threatens Darfur talks”


  45. Bryan says:

    Funny, I see from my personal HYS page that the comment I tried to post on HYS yesterday on Iran now has the dubious honour of achieving “rejected” status, one of a total of 760:

    Rejected comments

    This is the total amount of comments that have been rejected by one of our moderators. Comments will be rejected if they break a house rule or if they are an exact duplicate….

    I see. So it’s against HYS rules to tell the truth about Iran? The BBC should have a look at who “moderates” the Iran topics. If it is serious about overcoming its own bias, that is.

    One wonders how many of those 760 were rejected simply because they didn’t follow the BBC line on Iran.


  46. Bryan says:

    Anat | 27.10.07 – 2:13 pm

    Because Arab Muslims trump black Muslims in the BBC’s despicable game, even when they are killing blacks in the hundreds of thousands.

    I commented on it yesterday on this thread at 11:01 pm.


  47. Steve Edwards says:

    Pro-abortion bias on Today

    This morning’s coverage of the abortion debate exposed the BBC’s pro-abortion position quite neatly I thought.

    First of all, at no point was the point put that abortion is the killing of a human being, and the rights denied to that person by abortion, and the humanitarian crisis presented.

    Three interviewees were presented in the following order.

    First, a pro life doctor from the CMF. He had a couple of minutes to speak, and was cut off quite abruptly.

    Then, an abortionist was given a five minute monologue. No questions, no interrogation, despite his blase treatment of the subject of ripping people apart. He made a number of specious and disingenuous points, all of which should have been challenged, but weren’t.

    Last, a pro-abortion woman was given her podium. Her abortion was almost completely irrelevant to the debate at hand, having had a child with a fatal disorder, but she went on to voice her opinions about non-medical abortions anyway.

    At no point was the child’s perspective put, the whole thing revolved around “the right to choose”.

    The “last say” as it were, was given to the pro-abortion position.

    There are a couple of questions serious investigative journalists at the BBC could ask the government about abortion, but won’t, because of their pro-abortion bias.

    1: How many termination requests are declined on the grounds that the abortion doesn’t meet the grounds of the 1967 Abortion Act, viz. that continuing the pregnancy presents a greater risk to the mother and her family than having an abortion?

    2: How many doctors are prosecuted every year for performing illegal abortions/ authorising them without good faith?

    These are simple questions that would rapidly expose the abuse and disregard of the Act, contrary to what Primarolo says. But will they be asked? I doubt it.


  48. will says:

    Re this contempt of court mullarky.

    Yesterday BBC Look North led on the brutish police action in knocking up a single parent mother & her angelic teenage son at 5am, he was arrested over the robbery of a football.

    Both were given the opportunity to deny the charges & provide character references for the boy.

    The police (Who may well have been heavy handed, but if it’s good enough for 10 Downing street) are saying nowt ahead of trial.

    Contempt anyone?


  49. Umbongo says:

    NotaSheep 1:27 pm

    “Has the BBC covered the EU Referendum Rally yet?”

    Seems not but, to be fair, neither it seems has Sky.