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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207 Responses to General BBC related comment thread:

  1. John Bosworth says:

    I invite all fair-minded people to listen to Justin Webb’s World Service Monday Documentary on the legacy of George Bush and tell me that this in hardly a balanced view. It seems #43 will never get a fair hearing from the BBC. What a shame! They have forgotten they are in the Trust Business. Correction: WERE in the Trust Business.


  2. martin says:

    Robinson sticking up for Labour Peers again.


  3. mikewineliberal says:

    John Bosworth | 26.01.09 – 10:16 pm

    If that’s the one Webb did on Radio 4 a week or so ago, I thought it was fair and balanced; and a welcome corrective to the “nightmare” jon snow spoke of.


  4. martin says:

    I notice that Newsnight and the BBC are trying to move the Labour sleaze story away from Liebour and on to general House of Lords reforms.

    If it were Tory Peers me thinks the Tories would be getting hammered.

    Oh and classic Paxo on the BBC’s refusal to run the Gaza appeal. “Can’t the BBC do anything right…”

    So we know where he stands and it’s not with BBC management.


  5. Anonymous says:

    newsnight leads on the “cash for lords” question.

    as if it really matters in our EU provincial government.



  6. archduke says:

    i saw the above, because the tittle tattle of the elite matters not a jot compared to the thundering elephant approaching our way called “depression”…

    oh well – anything to distract us from it.. well done BBC. (pravda)


  7. archduke says:

    and cash for lords is still going on on newsnight – do they take us for fools?


    this seems to be a big news story amongst the elite with their pants down…


  8. archduke says:

    eric pickles needs another hamburger. hopefully he might explode.


  9. archduke says:

    eric pickles – jabba the hut…

    jesus .. hello tory hq? anyone there?

    do you know what the meaning of “pr” is?

    half expecting princess leia to turn up in chains.


  10. yorky says:

    stuff off! He’s one of our own


  11. martin says:

    Has Pickles eaten Diane Abbot?


  12. archduke says:

    regarding the current gaza charity woo -haa..

    i have one question..

    why should anyone give ANY money to a people who danced on the streets when 911 happened?

    the vids are on youtube. and these are the people i am supposed to be sympathetic with – because they launched over 10,000 rockets at Jews?

    and yet this is a BIG FUCKING ISSUE.?



  13. Random says:

    Eric Pickles is great. He’s also very popular.


  14. fewqwer says:

    Gus Haynes

    I have yet to see you attempt to defend the BBC’s splicing and spinning of Obama’s inaugural speech. Did I miss it, or do you accept it as a bone fide case of bias, and have omitted to say so?


  15. martin says:

    fewqwer: Gus Haynes/MWL etc dodge answering the tough questions.


  16. Jon says:

    Here are some highlights for Gus and his chums

    The mother of TV presenter Lauren Laverne has been shortlisted for Labour at the next general election.

    Wark’s Labour links- now Tory leaders demand action by BBC

    New BBC chairman Sir Michael Lyons has admitted for the first time he was still a member of the Labour party until last week – but resigned on the day he got his new job.

    Gavyn Davies’ links with the Labour establishment stretch back more than 20 years to his days as a high-flying young economist working in Downing Street for Harold Wilson and James Callaghan.

    Top BBC political radio reporter Polly Billington is off to work as a Special Advisor (aka SpAd) to Labour Election Manifesto supremo and Cabinet Minister Ed Miliband MP

    THE BBC’s flagship news programme, Newsnight, was guilty of political bias in its coverage of Peter Mandelson’s resignation over the Hinduja affair, its governors admitted yesterday.

    Here are the links to the BBC reaction to the three main party leaders’ speeches for Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Menzies Campbell.
    As you can see, the reaction to Gordon Brown comprises 5 Labour MPs, 6 Union Leaders, a representative each from Greenpeace and CND but no opposition MPs and just 3 of those reactions were in any way less than completely positive about the speech. The reaction to David Cameron’s speech comprises 3 Conservative MPs, 3 Labour MPs, representatives of Greenpeace, the Green Party, Greenpeace, the SNP, IPSOS MORI, 2 Conservative bloggers and 1 Lib Dem blogger and 8 of the reactions were negative about the speech. The reaction to Menzies Campbell comprised of 6 entirely positive comments from Liberal Democrats.

    The BBC was at the centre of a political bias row last night over claims a senior executive told reporters to ‘go easy’ on the Labour Government now it is lagging behind the Tories in the polls.

    According to a well-placed source, the man in charge of BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today In Parliament told his staff that it was right to be ‘aggressive’ when things were going well for the Government but not when it was in trouble.

    Some of those present were outraged by the comments attributed to Peter Knowles, editor of the BBC’s parliamentary programmes, at an ‘away day’ gathering in London

    The above is only a very small selection.


  17. Martin says:

    Jon: The lefty liberal Beeboids won’t see anything wrong in anything you’ve posted above. that’s their problem, they don’t see being left wing as biased!!!


  18. Millie Tant says:

    And like Ben Bradshaw, they are incapable of seeing any fault in their coverage of foreign affairs. That is scary.


  19. Garden Trash says:

    “Gavyn Davies’ links with the Labour establishment stretch back more than 20 years to his days as a high-flying young economist working in Downing Street for Harold Wilson and James Callaghan.”

    How did that work out by the way ?


  20. GCooper says:

    Jon – that was a remarkable post. Congratulations!


  21. Cassandra says:


    “Eric Pickles is very popular” At the local McDonalds/pie shop/fish and chip shop?

    Never ever trust a fat polititian!


  22. mikewineliberal says:

    Martin | 26.01.09 – 11:34 pm

    Gus Haynes/MWL etc dodge answering the tough questions

    From what was said on this site and others, I think there’s a prima facie case of inappropriate news management there, to bend what was said to the hack’s agenda.


  23. martin says:

    mikewineliberal: Answer the question!!!!!


  24. NotaSheep says:

    Jon: Excellent research, thanks.


  25. glj says:

    “Israel Soldier killed near Gaza” – so that will be in Israel then?


  26. PaulS says:

    The next time a Conservative appears on a BBC programme about the sleazebag Labour peers, he/she should just come out and say “stop trying to make this an issue about Lords reform. It isn’t. It’s an issue about criminal corruption among Labour politicians. Lords Reform can be discussed on another day.”

    Martin is spot on. The BBC’s effort to divert all discussion on this subject onto the wider question is itself an instance of bias and news manipulation.


  27. George R says:

    I thought that the BBC had just given us the complete truth about the whole of science in its TV propaganda series, ‘Science and Islam’ this month.

    ‘BBC orders three new science series’


  28. George R says:

    A tricky one this for the BBC: whether to support a suspected Al Qaeda jihadist, or President Obama:

    “Brother campaigns for ‘enemy combatant'”


    “Freed Guantanamo prisoners taunt U.S. as closure plans fall apart”


    “President Obama’s plan to close Guantánamo Bay within a year appeared to be unravelling yesterday with the emergence of former inmates on terrorist websites, fierce opposition in the US and a lukewarm response to taking detainees from the European Union.

    “After signing an executive order last week to close the US military prison, Mr Obama has been confronted with myriad obstacles that are making his ambitious pledge look unrealistic.”

    Michelle Malkin:

    “‘Rehab’: Gitmo recidivists thumb their noses in new video”


  29. George R says:

    While the MSM (inc. BBC) are reporting on the political shenanigans of certain Labour Lords currently, the activities of this particular Labour Lord seem to be largely omitted:


    “Lord Ahmed threathens Parliament into submission”


    “Lord Ahmed is a repugnant individual. Not only in appearance, but in association, character and morality. And to hear that he has threatened jihad on the House of Lords if their lordships should fail to meet his demands only serves to intensify Cranmer’s loathing of the man.”


  30. Sutekh says:


    “Eric Pickles is very popular” At the local McDonalds/pie shop/fish and chip shop?

    Never ever trust a fat polititian!
    Cassandra | 27.01.09 – 5:50 am | #
    As opposed to the lean politicians who are so all VERY trustworthy: Peter Mandelson, to name but one…


  31. DB says:

    Jim Naughtie introduced an interview with the executive director of the ACLU by describing it as “the venerable American Civil Liberties Union”.

    Venerable = “entitled to veneration”
    Venerate = “regard with deep respect”

    How about “controversial“? Better still, how about not editorialising at all? Not that it would have mattered because what followed was little more than a Today editorial disguised as an interview, with softball questions designed to produce agreeable responses.


  32. Grant says:

    Whether in local or central government, Labour always have been much more corrupt than the Conservatives, but at least Labour have the BBC to try and cover up for them !


  33. Andy says:

    Anonymous | 27.01.09 – 5:50 am | #

    Welcome aboard!


  34. Dr Michael Jones says:

    Wonderful moments in the increasingly ridiculous “Newsnight” programme last night, when the vile, bullying Paxman – eyes wide open in that ludicrous “indignation” trademark pose – cried: “A lot of people don’t like the BBC!”

    Who knows? Maybe if the dilettante uber-bully is getting it, the message may just be getting through.

    “Why is that?” whined the hideous, alzheimerish Paxman.

    Hmm. Then again, maybe not.


  35. Roland Deschain says:

    The next time a Conservative appears on a BBC programme about the sleazebag Labour peers, he/she should just come out and say “stop trying to make this an issue about Lords reform. It isn’t. It’s an issue about criminal corruption among Labour politicians. Lords Reform can be discussed on another day.”
    PaulS | 27.01.09 – 9:02 am | #

    It won’t happen. You can bet the Tories have a few skeletons in their cupboard they would rather didn’t see the light of day, so they won’t make it a Labour-only matter. Why do you think it was the LibDems who called for the police to be involved whilst the Tories kept quiet? The media, and BBC in particular, will be busy looking for those skeletons as we speak.


  36. Gerald Brown says:


    If the Justin Webb “Legacy of Bush” item was what I heard on World Service overnight, and I think it must have been, it was about as balanced as a see saw with an elephant on one end and a mouse on the other!


  37. Sue says:

    “Jon: The lefty liberal Beeboids won’t see anything wrong in anything you’ve posted above. that’s their problem, they don’t see being left wing as biased!!!
    Martin | 27.01.09 – 12:27 am |

    I had a revelation about this the other day. I commented on experiencing a unique phenomenon.
    John Humphrys sided with us!
    Not in a biased way, but in an impartial way. Or was it!

    I enjoyed listening to him questioning Christopher Gunness, a man with all sorts of, in his own words, “dogs in the fight.” Fairly rigorously, Humphrys kept asking Gunness just how needy the Palestinians really were: “Could they get water?” ” Erm, yes.” “Could they get food?” “Erm, yer, but……….”
    I asked myself, if I was your average listener, hearing that interview, would I perceive that as biased against Palestinians, and I have to say, yes I would.

    So what I am trying to say is that our task here is even more difficult than I thought. If an impartial and unusually informed blip in the Humphrys repertoire suddenly pops up, I love it. How far over the balancing point it would have to tip before we recognised that it was biased the other way, I don’t know. But one thing’s certain. The consensus at the BBC is going to be a hard nut to crack, for the reason Martin has just pointed out.


  38. Grant says:

    Sue 10:29

    Didn’t hear the interview, but Gunness used to work at the BBC, so may have crossed swords with Humphrys in the past.
    Generally the BBC have given Gunness a free ride to spout his Hamas propaganda.


  39. Umbongo says:

    Another example of Today’s “impartial” selection of interviewees (ie attack hound versus chihuahua), this time to “discuss” job losses in Corus and elsewhere.

    We are given Tony Woodley (aggressive, ignorant, know-nothing dinosaur from Unite and stalwart of the “nationalise everything which doesn’t actually move” and “hang anyone in a service industry – particularly bankers” school of economics) and Ross Walker – economist from RBS (effectively a government employee and desperate, I guess, to keep his job and not upset too many applecarts).

    I only heard half the session but I came away with the distinct impression that the Conservatives and/or the US (at least until last Tuesday) are responsible for all the misery in the world and Gordon gets the usual free pass. Why is it beyond the capacity of even poodles like Walker to point out (and keep pointing out) that the UK can function without a steel industry (and car industry for that matter) but we can’t do without a banking system?


  40. Tom says:

    Umbongo | 27.01.09 – 10:58 am

    Ross Walker – economist from RBS (effectively a government employee and desperate, I guess, to keep his job and not upset too many applecarts).

    An excellent point – and not one I bet the BBC have even thought about.

    Interviewees from banks owned by HMG are now really little different from civil servants.

    Or ‘Gordon’s lackeys’ if you want to be more realistic about it. 🙂


  41. Cassandra says:


    Speaking for myself, I dislike all Westminster polititians, they are all in it for themselves, the Tories may be slightly less evil than nulabour and slightly more intelligent than the truly ridiculous libdems but as I see it all of the Westminster b*****ds need clearing out lock stock and stinking self serving barrel!
    80% of our laws now made by a malevolent scheming foreign power and the Tories are as happy as the proverbial sandboy, millions of deeply hostile and violent colonists destroying our national life and creating their own alien nation within our own and the Tories are simply beside themselves creeping and crawling to these hostile colonists as though a few votes is all that matters to them, if the Tories are labouring under the illusion that they can buy off these hate filled hostile aliens with money and promises of power and autonomy then they are betraying us all.
    I hope the whole rotten edifice of Westminster is torn down and its grubby bag of traitors and whores are given the ‘retirement’ they so richly deserve.
    When that empty bag of wind call me dave walks into No10 I will not be cheering.


  42. Sutekh says:

    Oh, I wouldn’t disagree on the whole, but would also extend my own loathing to most of those outside Westminster too.

    That said, the only Westminster one I have any time for happens to be my own MP, Dennis Skinner. Anyone who can severely piss off both the Tories and NuLiebour is fine by me.

    Now that’s what I CALL impartial…


  43. Peter Wilson says:

    Fuck me, Kebabs are not healthy shocker, well who’d thought that? And there was me choosing to eat them after a couple of beers because of the ‘healthy’ salad

    Labels: is the pope a catholic, nanny state is best


  44. Hugh Oxford says:

    Phone “Lord” Ahmed’s office to demand an explanation as to why he threatened Parliament with Islamic violence if exercised it’s Freedom of Speech.

    020 7219 1396


  45. Roland Deschain says:

    It’s Tuesday, so there’s already two climate change stories on the BBC News website. (Emperor penguins face extinction) (Global warming is ‘irreversible’)

    The BBC seems to be ramping up the propaganda.


  46. frankos says:

    nice to see Labour bailing out the car making unions — ie those idiots who will sponsor the Labour party in the next election.
    Of course we have to pay, and get sod all if our jobs are threatened.
    Seems to me some people just matter more than others to this government


  47. GCooper says:

    It’s instructive to see how the BBC’s coverage of the Labour peers corruption story has changed since the weekend.

    The latest version of the story is here:

    As can clearly be seem, there is no shortage of Party identification now. The foul four are named and properly identified as Labour peers.

    But how that contrasts with the original BBC version of this sorry tale, which we can see, courtesy of Newssniffer, here:

    What are we to make of this change of heart? That the need to identify the political affiliation of these four alleged villains was not necessary on Sunday but it is, on Tuesday?

    Or, which seems more likely, that the original author assumed the story could or would be quickly buried with the minimum damage to ZaNuLabur – a process in which she or he was only too willing to take part?

    Either way, the sea change in the Corporation’s coverage tells us one thing: that we were right, the BBC apologists here were wrong and that the BBC has now come round to agreeing with us, that it was indefensible not to properly identify these twisters.


  48. Martin says:

    GCooper: This is nothing new. Much of the media follows the lead of the BBC. I’m betting that part of the reason the BBC decided not to do the Gaza appeal was to help divert bad news away from McFatty One Eye.

    On Radio 5 right now some Labour peer is being given a totally free ride by Simon Mayo to justify ‘bungs’. It’s Lord Soley. Then we have the vile and fat Derek Draper to provide balance!!!! oh and a leftie Journalist from the Independent. So two lefties + Mayo is balance at the BBC is it?

    The BBC seem to be trying to make out that these Peers have done nothing wrong.


  49. Tom says:

    GCooper | 27.01.09 – 1:14 pm

    I fear the BBC’s coverage of this story will change once again when the PM gives them a new line to take – this is a global corruption crisis, that stared in Illinois…..etc.