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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118 Responses to General BBC-related comment thread:

  1. Robin says:

    Never underestimate the BBC’s desire to make unlikely headlines out of global warming.

    The peg in this story:

    is that a new species of barkfly has arrived in Britain from the Madeira Islands, according to ‘experts’ quoted prominently in the piece, because of global warming.

    The claim is complete with a nursery school map purporting to show just how many thousands of miles to the south the insects have migrated from.

    Odd then, that two clicks away from the source of the alleged climate change sensation, is a short scientific paper that reveals that the species has been living in Ireland for many years and is considered ‘widespread’ there.

    A fact conveniently omitted from the BBC story.

    Would the barkfly discovery have made the cut had the global warming angle not be included? Not in a month of Sundays.


  2. Anonymous says:

    The BBC • Opponents of the Tories.

    Over the weekend BBC news reported Jonathan Aitkens appointment to Iain Duncan Smiths independent think tank. The newsreader started along the lines of ‘Jonathan Aitken has launched a bid to return to politics…………’ A report then followed in which the reporter stated that Mr Aitken had said that this was not a bid to return to the political scene. The reporter went on to say that’s not how opponents of the Conservative Party will see it.

    So we have a statement from Aitken saying that he was not launching a bid to return to the political scene and a comment from the reporter that ‘this was not how it would be seen by opponents of the Conservatives’.

    So why, every time they ran the story did the newsreader start with – Jonathan Aitken has launched a bid to return to mainstream politics – despite Aitkens comment that it wasn’t a bid to return.

    One can only assume that the reporter’s last comment was spot on. Opponents of the Conservatives would see it as a bid to return, hence the BBC line of continually stating it as such.


  3. John Reith says:

    Anonymous | 12.11.07 – 12:53 pm

    Over the weekend BBC news reported Jonathan Aitken’s appointment…..

    Yes. And yours is just the latest in a number of comments about the BBC’s coverage. On the last open thread there were eyebrows raised over the phrase: ‘disgraced former minister’.

    If we’re serious about discovering whether the BBC is really biased, it’s worth taking a look at how other media have covered it.

    The Daily Mail, under the headline Jailbird Tory Jonathan Aitken set for return to politics reported that DISGRACED former Conservative Cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken will today make an extraordinary return to the political front line…….

    The Daily Express in its 12/11 print edition noted:

    DISGRACED former Tory Cabinet Minister Jonathan Aitken is making a spectacular return to frontline politics, it emerged yesterday.

    Moving sharply up-market, the Times, under the headline, The return of the disgraced former minister reported Jonathan Aitken, the disgraced former Cabinet minister who served a prison term for perjury, will return to frontline politics today ..

    Now you ask why the BBC (and you might have added • the rest of the MSM) do not set much store by Mr Aitken’s denial that this marks a return to politics.

    I expect you already know the answer. In case you really don’t, here are some helpful hints: Ritz, Paris. Prison.


  4. BaggieJonathan says:

    As per usual it is BBC policy to have a go at fatty Americans.

    Oh the shame of the BBC reporter that got Australian and American confused and the editor that let it past.

    No doubt internal disciplinary action will be forthcoming…


  5. Peregrine says:

    Very odd article about gun control from the BBC:

    On the one hand guns are “harder and harder” to find – something that isn’t born out by statistics (for example the Crime in England and Wales 2006/7 report shows that Other Firearm Offences are running at an average of 4.2k per year compared to 3.5k five years ago).

    On the other hand they seem a bit like Pally rockets where the guns are “fairly poor quality and not particularly powerful, but they could still be lethal, especially at close range”.

    No bias I suppose (unless you are one of those people who used to like to pretend to be Dirty Harry), just very oddly written.


  6. Steve Swales says:

    Seeing Robin’s comments on the BBC’s coverage of the humble Barkfly reminded me af a conversation I was having with soem agricultural folk last month.

    They looked at me with pity when I trotted out the vonventional (BBC) wisdom that Blue Tongue Disease was brought to the UK by a particularly dynamic midge benefiting from unseasonably warm autumnal weather.

    They pointed out that, if that were the case, why would it find its way over to a farm in Suffolk? It would surely be more likely to have come across by one of the shorter sea crossings.

    The significance of Suffolk is that the infected farms were close to the Ports of Ipswich, Harwich and Felixstowe, and it’s far more likely that the infected midge came over on an inadequately fumigated freight vehicle/container.

    That’s the great thing about the BBC (and the MSM generally) – Never knowingly let the evidence get in the way of a good story with a MMCC angle.


  7. John Reith says:

    Andrew Cramb | 12.11.07 – 2:23 pm

    The BBC doesn’t describe Mandelson or Blunkett as “disgraced”.

    Perhaps not now. Water under the bridge and all that.

    But it did at one time.

    Twice-disgraced Peter Mandelson was eventually rehabilitated, but it is hard to see at what point in the future Tony Blair would be in a position to bring Mr Blunkett back.

    recently disgraced former Home Secretary David Blunkett


  8. Alex Swanson says:

    Peregrine, the article on guns is biased and I have lodged an official complaint. The uninformed reader is clearly going to be left with the idea that the 1997 gun ban made it more difficult to get a gun illegally. As you point out, there is no evidence whatever to support this idea, and some evidence of the opposite.

    [The Moderator: I have deleted some comments, including a paragraph from this one, on the BBC’s use of “disgraced” in regard to Aitken, because they weren’t very useful.]


  9. Haversack says:

    Reith’s links tell us that at the time the BBC felt obliged to call Mandelson and Blunkett “disgraced”, but after a while they decided they could get away with not using this description of these people (although most of the rest of the media has decided this as well).


  10. BaggieJonathan says:

    I’m not the BBC’s greatest fan but I think this line a lot of posters are taking on Aitken is really overegging the point.

    There have been many disgraced former ministers, Labour and Conservative, of which many have no doubt done criminal acts and deserved incarceration, but only one was convicted and jailed – Aitken.

    He does have a unique ‘right’ to the title disgraced.

    I do not belittle his efforts, his conversion could be genuine, as could his remorse and his reformed character.
    Could be, but he will have to prove it by his actions and he will have to do a lot to rid himself of his troublesome epithet.


  11. pounce says:

    The BBC,how it defends Hamas and half a story

    Deadly clash at Arafat Gaza rally
    At least six people have been killed in gunfire at a rally organised by Fatah in the Gaza Strip to mark three years since the death of Yasser Arafat. Security forces from the rival Hamas movement opened fire at crowds, causing people to run for cover, reports say.
    Hamas security officials said they fired toward protesters who threw stones at security compounds. Witnesses said the first shots were fired after crowds started accusing Hamas security forces of being a proxy for Shia Muslim-ruled Iran.

    Strange how the BBC only airs the Hamas Version here is what everybody else in the world is reading;
    Hamas opens fire on Fatah rally commemorating Arafat
    Forces loyal to the Gaza Strip’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers opened fire on Monday at the rival Fatah group’s mass rally commemorating the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
    One civilian was killed and at least three were wounded, witnesses said.
    Hamas said the dead man was killed by Fatah gunmen who had fired from rooftops, but that could not be confirmed.

    6 dead after Hamas fires on Arafat rally
    Hamas security forces opened fire Monday at a rally by the rival Fatah movement commemorating Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
    Hamas said Fatah gunmen took positions on the rooftop of a building near the rally site. No Fatah gunmen were visible on the streets during the clashes, though a handful of Fatah militiamen were earlier turned away from the rally by organizers.

    Gunfire kills six at Gaza memorial rally
    Gunfire killed at least six people and wounded 80 on Monday at a Fatah memorial rally for Yasser Arafat attended by hundreds of thousands of supporters of the defeated faction in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
    Fatah officials accused Hamas forces of opening fire from the nearby Islamic University. Hamas said its men had come under attack from Fatah gunmen and returned fire.

    Oh and best of all the BBC runs a picture strip showing people throwing stones at Hamas.

    Here is a video showing the otherside of the story;

    The BBC,how it defends Hamas and half a story


  12. Allan@Oslo says:

    I saw an incident from the Latino-sphere conference in Santiago on Norwegian TV last night where King Juan Carlos told Venezuela’s Chavez to shut-up whilst the latter was on a rant against PM Zapatero’s predecessor – “fascist” etc. Was any of this reported on the BBC? It isn’t as if it is a minor matter because it was very heated.


  13. Sarah-Jane says:

    Here are some links to articles about the POLIS debate which I believe Charlie Beckett plugged and Andrew picked up on:

    and Marsh:

    apologies if someone already linked to these.


  14. John Reith says:

    Allan@Oslo | 12.11.07 – 4:22 pm

    Was any of this reported on the BBC?


    Spain’s King Juan Carlos told Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez to “shut up” as the Ibero-American summit drew to a close in Santiago, Chile.

    The outburst came after Mr Chavez called former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a “fascist”.

    The spat began after Mr Chavez called Mr Aznar, a close ally of US President George W Bush, a fascist, adding “fascists are not human. A snake is more human.”

    Current Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero then said: “[Former Prime Minister] Aznar was democratically elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people.”

    Mr Chavez repeatedly tried to interrupt, despite his microphone being turned off.

    The king then leaned forward and said: “Why don’t you shut up?”


  15. It's all too much says:

    I was rooting about trying to find out about the Beebs policies on audience selection. I nearly fell off of my chair when I read this:

    the application document to join the Question Time audience.

    I think we need a Freedom of information request here. How can the BBC demonstrate that they achieve a balanced representation – for from a viewers perspective there is not a match between the audiences we see and the population at large. What about the “what do you think of Iraq” question, in fact what about the ehole load of leading and deeply intrusive questions. In order to participate in a superficially public debate, I have to submit this sort of information. Doesn’t seem reasonable to me.

    I think we need the BBC to publish their societal model against which they assess applicants and to demonstrate how they have achieved a verifyable “balance” for each programme. This is only fair as we need to see what they think of as a ‘balanced’ audience.

    One final thought. I am fairly sure that the data protection act explicitly forbids a data controller from making assumptions about an individuals political affiliations or of recording such conclusuions.


  16. Rob Clark says:

    With regard to the barkfly, what exactly makes Janet Lister, a regional nature conservation advisor for the National Trust, qualified to talk about global warming?

    She may be qualified to observe that a new species has arrived in Britain, if indeed it has, but not to comment on the reasons behind that arrival.


  17. BaggieJonathan says:

    The BBC’s latest ‘offering’

    I look for evidence, but alas it is not there.

    Apparently “Nigeria is a major oil producer yet its population is poor and equally split between Muslims and Christians” constitutes evidence for the BBC.

    What an insult.

    It makes the outrageous claim that “British and American officials have long been obsessed that Nigeria was ripe for al-Qaeda-style groups.”

    The the only one who is obsessive is the BBC about islam.


  18. Allan@Oslo says:

    Not quite, JR. I would have thought that the clash between the heads of state of two fairly important countries (Spain and Venezuela)should have been on television, wouldn’t you say? I reckon that the BBC ‘buries’ such incidents deep in its website away from the masses in order that you (BBC) can say that you (non-)reported some of the idiocies of one of the BBC’s icons. As I wrote, this is not a minor incident: it is worthy of proper reporting.


  19. John Reith says:

    It’s all too much | 12.11.07 – 4:47 pm |

    This is how the Any Questions audience is recruited.

    As for Question Time, I’d guess that the criteria would vary according to what’s topical. E.g. If Iraq were likely to come up as one of the main questions, the ‘Iraq balance’ might be more important than the current voting intention balance. At election time, that wouldn’t be the case etc.


  20. John Reith says:

    Allan@Oslo | 12.11.07 – 5:02 pm

    I expect it was reported on TV and radio.

    What’s your source for saying it wasn’t?


  21. Dr R says:

    John Reith

    So that’s how QT managed to get a 90% anti-American audience (wth the usual quota of screaming islamofascists) the day after 9/11?


  22. It's all too much says:

    John Reith

    Thanks after a quick scan, I may be wrong not having studied it in detail but I can’t see how the guidance defines what the BBC sees as “balance” – it simply states that the BBc intends to achieve balance. Now correct me if I am wrong – I am sure that you will – but don’t you have to have a benchmark against which to assess such balance.

    Given the now established habit of the BBC of selecting competition winners from acting schools there is some room to doubt the (undefined)methodology employed


  23. John Reith says:

    Dr R | 12.11.07 – 5:10 pm

    No, back then people really did believe the ‘only a weeny weeny, teansiest, tiny minority of Muslims’ line.

    Came as a bit of a shock to the organizers that 99.99% of the assembled RoPers weren’t calm, rational middle of the roaders eager to distance themselves from nasty Mr Bin Laden, or so I’m told.


  24. Allan@Oslo says:

    John Reith:
    Allan@Oslo | 12.11.07 – 5:02 pm

    I expect it was reported on TV and radio.

    What’s your source for saying it wasn’t?

    There’s no source, JR. It’s just that I wouldn’t expect the BBC to report such a negative item (not even the BBC could spin that one favourably for Chavez) about one of its ‘heroes’. I also assume that, given the speed of your response and link, had it been on TV or radio, you would have said so.

    Can any contributors enlighten me here: did the BBC show the clip of the King of Spain telling Chavez (who was ranting away) to shut-up? It was quite something and is making news in most other parts of the world.


  25. Ben says:

    “I reckon that the BBC ‘buries’ such incidents deep in its website away from the masses in order that you (BBC) can say that you (non-)reported some of the idiocies of one of the BBC’s icons.”

    Yes Allan, it is all a big conspiracy. Talk about tenuous, I don’t think that fabricating links based upon stereotypes really does any favours to those with legitimate criticisms of the BBC. Stop seeing things where they don’t exist.


  26. John Reith spins in his grave says:

    John Reith:
    It’s all too much | 12.11.07 – 4:47 pm |

    This is how the Any Questions audience is recruited. news…organiser.shtml

    Question Time is outsourced to Mentorn (Mrs Paxo’s outfit) isn’t it JR.

    In that case, who sets the “balance” criteria – the Beeb or the independent programme maker?

    If it’s the Beeb, presumably it has to be written down in Mentorn’s contract somewhere. Are we allowed to know what it is?

    Something else has puzzled me for ages.

    As the Beeb has outsourced more and more of its output in recent years, why has its appetite for staff and ever more lavish facilities not diminished commensurately?


  27. woodentop says:

    I see the BBC in its unbiased way is helping out with the climate change “debate”.

    Why don’t they go the whole hog and just a permanent link up to RealClimate, the well known AGW advocacy site?


  28. moonbat nibbler says:

    Excellent spot woodentop. Even if it wasn’t for the ‘compiled with advice from realclimate alarmists’ statement at the bottom it is a joke of a piece. The “sceptics” text is pure straw man fallacy.


  29. Martin says:

    This should tell you all you need to know about the BBC and Question Time.

    “…Many of those who rang to complain felt that there had been an imbalance in the audience, with a disproportionate number of people from an anti-American perspective.

    The BBC’s Media Correspondent, Nick Higham, said there was a recognition in the corporation that the audience could have been more representative of wider opinion…”


  30. Andrew Cramb says:

    John Reith

    Mandelson and Blunkett

    Please accept my apologies. So “water under the bridge ” for Mandelson and Blunkett “, but why not Aitken ?

    He at least has , on the face of it, repented. But I am not defending him, just looking for equal treatment.


  31. Shug Niggurath says:

    John Reith

    No, back then people really did believe the ‘only a weeny weeny, teansiest, tiny minority of Muslims’ line.

    Came as a bit of a shock to the organizers that 99.99% of the assembled RoPers weren’t calm, rational middle of the roaders eager to distance themselves from nasty Mr Bin Laden, or so I’m told.
    John Reith | 12.11.07 – 5:15 pm

    JR, I can’t find audience statistics for this particular episode, but I sat aghast watching it, and the audience was not made up of 99% RoPers (your words, do you use that description at the office btw?), but of of a balanced mix of the left wing of Britain along with a few very angry muslims.

    In my opinion, and I know it is only that, the audience that night was not really much different from any other week – but the subject matter changed and the tickets were already out, the BBC was caught bang to rights on that one – the attacks happened two days before, the audience have to apply in advance, so unless you are able to provide me with evidence to the contrary, that audience was a typical QT one… and they were about 75% biased to the one side of the argument.


  32. Anonymous says:

    BBC and “obsessed”…

    Where is the supporting evidence that the US and British are “obsessed”?

    Does “John Reith” consider that this is an appropriate word in this story?


  33. Stephanie clague says:

    The BBC website report entitled “behind the lines” is perhaps the most blatant propaganda smear/hatchet job yet! The title is revealing isnt it? as though the intrepid reporter is going behind ‘enemy’ lines? it consists of the kind of black propaganda the Nazis used to love.
    Do we have a critical analysis of the “climate skeptics” evidence? No! just a pitiful fake attack on how divided and unsure the “climate skeptics” are!
    So the only time the anti AGW/MMCC scientists are mentioned is to belittle and deride them. The BBC reporter even called the scientists “self styled climate scientists”, how biased is that? Why does the BBC refuse to show the huge ammount of evidence that conflicts with the AGW ‘concensus’? This ‘report’ is perhaps the “smoking gun” that will prove beyond doubt that the BBC is following a political agenda that is in clear breech of the BBC charter, I recomend that you all visit the site and read it, it will shock you.


  34. 1327 says:

    Thanks for the link Woodentop but that webpage is interesting in its own way. If you think back just 6 months ago the BBC wouldn’t admit there was anyone who didn’t agree with the climate change “consensus” apart from a few nutcases. Now the Beeb is admitting there are people who don’t believe the official line and that they are using scientific arguments. Admittedly this webpage isn’t exactly unbiased (to say the least) but it shows a change in the current BBC groupthink.


  35. John Reith spins in his grave says:

    I see the BBC in its unbiased way is helping out with the climate change “debate”.…629/ 7074601.stm

    I don’t believe it! They’ve nicked the script, word for word, from our BBC Pioneers item “The University of the Closed Mind” – Oct 20th. Must be the first time in the history of satire the p*ss take has preceded that-out-of-which-the-p*ss-was-taken – if you get my drift.Here’s what we wrote:-

    The Professor’s talk will outline the fundamental truths of Climate Change and deal with the petty, irrational and frankly childish arguments of the pathetically few deniers who have yet to benefit from the Party’s re-education programme.
    Proposition A – global temperatures are rising :-
    Extensive examination of global temperature records over millions of years shows that the planet is heating at unprecedented rates.

    Deniers claim:-
    It was warmer in Roman times – they grew grapes in Yorkshire and the Vikings named Greenland because they had fertile farms there.
    It was also much colder in England in the 1700’s they lit bonfires on ice on the Thames

    Professor Horror-Binge’s response:-
    After extensive world-wide investigation – I’ve come up with an answer to the first point from my colleague, BBC Business Editor and son of prominent Party Member, Robert Peston. Robert knows a lot about what small businessmen get up to and thinks that all those posh Roman villa owners in York probably lied about where their wine came from to avoid import duty. Also Eric the Red, who discovered Greenland, was known to be a bit of a real estate promoter on the side and was probably trying to flog off some bits of icy tundra with a dodgy brochure. Isn’t it typical that doubt should be cast upon the efforts of The Party’s most eminent scientific workers by the corrupt machinations of petty capitalists. Shame on them! As far as the bonfires go. Where’s the photographic evidence? These sketches were drawn by the journalists of the time – who ever believed anything a hack told them? You people are so gullible.

    Proposition B – Carbon Dioxide causes global warming :-
    Antarctic ice core samples show a relationship between global temperatures and CO2 levels.

    Deniers claim:-
    The samples show temperature increases about 800 years before CO2 level rises.

    Professor Horror-Binge’s response:-
    Well, frankly, what’s 800 years in the millions of years of our planet’s history. Also I’ve spoken to the world’s most famous ever scientist, Professor Emeritus and Nobel prize winner Lord Albert Gore, on this and he points out that way back, before his two term presidency and even before he invented the internet, he and his old buddy and namsesake Al Einstein once sat around in Al’s Post Office and chucked around some ideas about time and space moving forwards backwards and every darned which way sometimes. He also points out, sometimes you’ve gotta lay it on a bit thick to prove a point.

    Proposition C -Global warming is accelerating:-
    It has reached a critical tipping point requiring immediate action.

    Deniers claim:-
    In that case, why do the temperature records show no increase since 1997?

    Professor Horror-Binge’s response:-
    When scientists start to study these things, they have to choose reference points to start and end the data they collect.
    If they choose random points they run a serious risk of not achieving the goals the Party has set for them.

    They might end up with any old garbage – and how the hell would you use that to extend your research grant and keep your family out of the gulag?

    Also, come to think of it, now that the Party has declared that all further research is terminated, we’ll probably bin the data after 1997, so there won’t be an argument really – will there?

    Proposition D – A consensus of all the world’s scientists have agreed on Climate Change:-
    More than two thousand have signed the IPCC report.

    Deniers claim:-
    Many world renowned climate scientists disagree with the conclusion and the IPCC signatories include more government functionaries than real scientists – also several prominent scientists have asked for their names to be removed.

    Professor Horror-Binge’s response:-
    Don’t argue with me about what constitutes a consensus pal – I’ve got an English degree.In any case, I think you’ll find the consensus is growing stronger by the day, as our colleagues persuade the dissenters to recant. Do you happen to have any names and addresses by the way?

    Next week’s programme:-
    Is climate change denial a peversion or a mental disability

    As I write our expensive team of hand-picked QC’s are preparing the writs.
    ( and I still think ours is more convincing).


  36. John Reith spins in his grave says:


    It’s gone from the front page.

    They’ve just left the “Unravelling the sceptics” garbage.

    Obviously scared of our superior legal reources.


  37. David Preiser says:

    The invasion of Leftoid groupthink into Radio 3 continues. A recording of a panel discussion from this weekend’s “Free Thinking 2007” has just finished, in between proper music programmes.

    Leftoid Philip Dodd hosts a groupthink session entitled “Are we freer than we think?’

    “On stage in Liverpool, Philip is joined by Tony Blair’s former chief speechwriter Philip Collins, ANC activist and now South Africa’s Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs, and Chief Constable of Merseyside Police Bernard Hogan-Howe. Are our traditional freedoms in peril from smoking bans, CCTV and anti-terror laws? Or, in an individualistic and deference-free age, are we freer than we’ve ever been before?”

    The website blurb does not include a fourth member of the panel, Heather something or other, who described herself as a “Leftist Activist”. Although it’s available for a week via “Listen Again”, I can sum up the panel’s answers to the above:

    Leftoid Phillip Collins: It’s all our fault, really.

    Liberal but not insane Albie Sachs: I know a police state when I see one, and things are getting bad here. Now for some not entirely relevant comments about being a judge and other experiences, plus too many people worry about money and material wealth, etc.

    Heather Brooke: The police are awful, the government is awful, we’re perilously close to being a totalitarian regime, and other vacuous statements (including – and I’m not making this up – a complaint that the nasty police are so territorial about controlling citizens’ behavior that, for example, ordinary citizens riding a train feel that they can’t tell a young lager lout to get his feet off the seat, because said ordinary citizens fear getting the worst of it from said nasty police). We don’t know that all these surveillance cameras and draconian measures actually reduce crime. (What’s this, common sense and a conservative viewpoint from a self-described Leftist Activist? No, she’s just in knee-jerk juvenile “coppers are bad, m’kay” mode). The police are awful, she used to live in an ethnic area of East London, and the police never came when they called (and other lyrics from American gangsta Rap group Public Enemy). The police and the government immediately leap to draconian measures without every trying anything in between. It’s clear Heather lives in an imaginary Summer of Love festival, or is perhaps a script writer for “Life On Mars”, but thinks she lives in that version of 1970s Manchester. Oh, and did I mention the police are awful and the government is awful?

    Chief Constable of Merseyside Bernard Hogan-Howe (apparently not so nasty): The lone voice of sanity. It’s all very well to talk about dialogue and grievances, but until the dialogue has worked it all out, one has to have some kind of laws to protect oneself before one is overwhelmed by the problem.

    Audience members asking questions: Straight from central casting, asking textbook questions about nasty police tactics and why do we have nasty laws instead of lovely dialogue and finding out why whoever does whatever. Probably plants on Blue Peter when they were younger, and kept in the BBC “Audience Balance” database. Look for them in some of those reserved seats at the next location of John Reith’s “Any Questions”.

    The whole event was a Radio 3 deal, but this seems like Radio 4 fodder to me. Why cut time from arts broadcasting for this drivel, BBC? Still not enough airtime for The Narrative?


  38. Stephanie clague says:

    The BBC news website has an article with the title, “climate skeptisism, the top ten”. I find it strange that the BBC has made thousands of articles and programmes that push the ‘Anthropogenic global warming/man made climate change theories’ and have never felt the need to offer ANY counter evidence whatsoever! BUT when they offer the “climate skeptics” side of the argument they feel it necessary to place a critisism right next to it, strange that isnt it? Lets examine it further, each of the “top ten” arguments are edited and compressed to a couple of sentences, whereas in fact to present each argument FAIRLY they need to do a separate article for each one! But
    lets look at it from the BBC angle, now lets pre-suppose that the BBC have been ordered to show a more impartial view on the “climate change debate”. Clearly the BBC have a big problem with that! So, how to make it APPEAR that they are being impartial while at the same time make it look like the “climate skeptics” are a bunch of deluded nutters? Hmmm, thats a tough one for the BBC ‘eco warriors’ to crack isnt it?
    But ‘crack’ it they did with their highly simplified and compressed top ten points with an instant deconstuction at the side!
    In reality all the BBC have achieved is to make themselves look even more biased, if that were possible!


  39. 1327 says:

    Did anyone see the latest episode in the “Future School” section on BBC breakfast time this morning ? I saw it about 7:20am although it was probably repeated at other times as well. Like the last one this was another lovely piece of Dept of Education propaganda but now without any attempt to wrap it up as a news item. It was about a new type of lesson being “rolled out” (a now horribly overused phrase) to all British senior schools. The lesson was called SEAL (sp ?) aimed at improving a pupils emotional well being. The report didn’t show one of these lessons but only a talking session in a classroom after one. It included the usual brief sound bites with pupils but while the teenage girls spouted the party line without question the boys looked and sounded uncomfortable about the whole thing (teenage boys for all their faults can spot BS at a 100 yards). Then back to the studio where the breakfast show presenters interviewed the reporterette who was gushing about it all and wasn’t asked any difficult questions at all.

    Whats the point in interviewing the reporter ? Surely it would have been better to interview a couple of teachers or ex-teachers to get a better overview.


  40. Abandon Ship! says:

    You couldn’t make it up. How many times has the BBC featured Guantanamo as the fount of all evil?

    Today programme 8.30 am – around 70 Guantanamo inmates are seeking legal help to stop them being sent back to their own countries. Apparently the horrific torture they endure in Guantanamo is far preferable to the treatment they might receive in their own (Arab/Islamic) countries.

    Is the irony lost on the average Beeboid brain? Or are they as we speak devising a way to blame this on the Bush administration as well?


  41. Abandon Ship! says:

    Today programme 8.45am: “Is art too left wing?”

    Sounds interesting, but don’t get your hopes up as 3 leftoids (including Naughtie) toss this around for a few minutes. There are guffaws and laughter at the mention of Bush, Thatcher and the Daily Mail. But at the end you will be none the wiser, as yet another interesting question remains unanswered in the echo-chamber that is the BBC.


  42. Robin says:

    Another year – another set of accounts that show that the EU is totally corrupt in its accounting procedures.

    How does the BBC choose to report this scandal, which affects the payment of billions of pounds, including a significant proportion in the UK, and indicates persistent corruption that, if found in a big company, would lead to jail sentences ?

    Simple really! It’s the fault of olive farmers in Greece, who conjure up extra trees to boost their subsidies, or it is according to Mark Mardell’s report on the Today programme:

    and the main part of his report on last night’s BBC1 Ten O’Clock News.

    Through such tangential jounalism, the Corporation steers deftly away from the main structural issues (ie institutional rot at the heart of the EU) and avoids holding to account the politicians and bureaucrats who are responsible for the fiasco.

    And the impression is given – exactly in line with what EU bureacrats want -that EU corruption is a remote issue that has very little to do with day-to-day life in the UK.

    To be fully fair, Mark Mardell, did mention briefly the UK dimension in his BBC1 report. But the overall impression was that this was mainly about Greece.


  43. Jack Hughes says:

    Yes I was narked by the extraordinary Climate scepticism: The top 10

    Just look at each entry – notice how the “right answer” is always wider and deeper than the “sceptic” statement.

    Extraordinary piece of agitprop.


  44. Jack Hughes says:

    This is even worse: Unravelling the sceptics

    it includes a picture of a Rubik cube with the caption: Deciphering the positions of climate sceptics can be a puzzle.

    They just do not get it. Its like asking “what do non-smokers do ?”.

    There is no cohesive, doctrinaire club of climate sceptics – just lots of individuals who have lots of different opinions – some rational, some emotional.


  45. Dr R says:

    Exactly how does the Today Programme select its news? Now let’s imagine that Israeli troops had opened fire indiscriminately on an unarmed Palestinian crowd, killing at least six (eight, according to some sources) and wounding scores, including children (one of whom was savagely beaten in front of witnesses). Of course it would have made headline news. Yet when the “legitimate elected government of Hamas” do just that, it is not even mentioned the following day.

    I still can’t quite understand how they let such overt bias pass, especially given the ignoble history of the Balen Report. Are they that stupid, or are they so infected with hatred that they simply cannopt see the wood for the trees? And the underlying assumption: that Arabs are simply incapable of moral thought or behaviour and so should not be judged by the same standards as white men (esp Americans) and joos.


  46. mike_s says:

    The BBC and reporting the facts in Iraq
    In the last week the BBC has changed his tune from highly sceptical to a more factual reporting of the effects of “the surge”.

    Only a question some facts in the article;
    “This appears to be supported by figures from Iraqi ministries on the death toll in Iraq – 887 Iraqis were killed in October, up on the September figure but significantly lower than the 1,992 deaths recorded in January 2007. ”
    But were the October figures up from the september figures. Not according to this site;
    So what is the source for these figures


  47. Nep Nederlander says:

    [i]Jack Hughes:
    Yes I was narked by the extraordinary Climate scepticism: The top 10[/i]

    Note the following at the bottom:

    Compiled with advice from Fred Singer and Gavin Schmidt

    All I can think of is that they completely ignored Fred Singer and let Gavin Schmidt write it. All the “counters” are full of a mixture of flat-out lies, such as “Analyses by Nasa for example use only rural stations to calculate trends”, double standards such as “Variability from year to year is expected, and picking a specific warm year to start an analysis is “cherry-picking””, and various other misrepresentations, half-truths, and overconfidence .

    All the “sceptic” sides are overly simplistic and formulated as straw men.

    I can only surmise that Fred Singer provided sceptic arguments which were then reduced to overly simplistic straw men to be knocked down.

    If somebody has the time, they should take all the “counters” and counter them, with appropriate citations.


  48. exgof says:

    I found this link on YouTube of Juan Carlos:
    It has a BBC News stamp, though I don’t know how prominently it was covered. Sorry to assist “John Reith”, but we may as well show how to be unbiased”


  49. John Reith spins in his grave says:

    I can only surmise that Fred Singer provided sceptic arguments which were then reduced to overly simplistic straw men to be knocked down.

    If somebody has the time, they should take all the “counters” and counter them, with appropriate citations.
    Nep Nederlander | Homepage | 13.11.07 – 10:24 am | #

    Reading through the “sceptic statements” and the “counters”, what becomes obvious is that the former are strongly science based whereas the latter are much more rhetorical and politicised.

    I could believe that Fred Singer consulted on the “sceptic statements” – but the “counters” look like the product of an IPCC spin doctor rather than a scientist.

    The first sentence of the first counter gives it away, no scientist would ever say “Warming is unequivocal” -it’s just not a scientific statement.

    However, since they don’t employ any science graduates, the point would be lost on the Beeb.


  50. Dr R says:

    On another matter, did any catch the ludicrously oversold Capturing Mary. Typical dross from the grotesquely over-rated Stephen Poliakoff. I think productions like this (and believe me, this was EXPENSIVE) show the pisspoor the BBC has become in drama and how corrosive it is to the nation’s cultural output (I mean compare it to what is produced in the USA). I encourage you to watch it – uyes, it really was THAT bad!