38 Responses to “Pontificating Mr Peston, self-indulgent bloggers, and why the BBC should stop putting opinion before facts”

  1. Sceptical Steve says:

    Good article, though there was one angle that he missed.

    Lord Peston, the great seer’s father, is a former Labour economics spokesman in the House of Lords and sat on the Lords Committee reviewing the BBC Charter.

    Anyone else picking up the faintest hint of a conflict of interest?


  2. dogface says:

    Isn’t Peston Junior being investigated by the FSA for possible misuse of market-sensitive information? When will we get a result? Who appoints the bosses of the FSA and on whom do those persons rely for their job security? Oh, silly me!


  3. Tom FD says:

    I was given Peston’s book for Christmas 🙁


  4. Abandon Ship! says:

    Peston is the business and economics equivalent of Jonathan Ross – overpaid, overindulged, arrogant, self-important and, surrounded as they are by the bien pensants of the BBC and chattering classes, convinced they are untouchable (until lately that is).


  5. George R says:

    The pontificating, ‘multiculturalist’ BBC extends far and wide.

    BBC propagandists, like LYSE ‘humanity of the Taleban’ DOUCET, (no doubt an advocate of female rights) are allowed (or encouraged) to repeat their propaganda, regardless of this:

    BBC report:

    “Taleban ‘will kill school girls'”

    The Taleban, for the BBC, -despite all the evidence- remains, totally unconvincingly, a ‘MILITANT’ GROUP – NOT ‘ISLAMIC JIHADIS’.


  6. Chuffer says:

    The most astonishing thing about Peston is that he can’t talk. His written stuff is perfectly bearable, but put him in a studio and he sounds like a mangled cassette tape in a player with failing but occasionally supercharged batteries.

    How do you get a job as a broadcaster if you can’t put a string of spoken words together?


  7. Chuffer says:

    Double entry not my fault. Honest.


  8. DB says:

    A recent YouTube video from the NUJ showing an interview with its BBC Newsnight rep Paul “Venceremos” Mason.

    “We are the ones who provide accurate information… If I see something happening and I write it down and I go to my editor and say, ‘This is what I saw’ it is different from somebody who is not trained and qualified to do it.” Don’t try this at home, folks. If you see something that needs to be written down please call a qualified expert, preferably from the BBC.

    “Recessions only accelerate and reveal structural changes. I think the structural change for our industry is the most important one.” Some might take issue with that • for example, tens of thousands of people losing their jobs in manufacturing, retail, financial services…

    “I think there has to be a new model come about, about who funds, what is the economic model, for funding local news.” Let me guess • some form of subsidy?

    “I think there are going to be less journalists.” Let’s hope the remaining ones know when to use “less” and when to use “fewer”.

    “How many actual bloggers are authoritative? The actual individual bloggers are not.” Self-important? Not much.

    “A newsroom is real-time peer review mechanism with people in a very tough and abrasive relationship with each other that bloggers in their pajamas just cannot replicate.” Hmm, peer review by fellow BBC journalists. “Play up the anti-Bush angle a bit more, old chap.” “I say, this story about the congressman involved in a scandal • no need to mention his party. He’s not a Republican, you know!” “Your latest piece on Obama • needs more awesome.” “This doesn’t make the EU look very good. Give it a different spin.” “The church-burning thing. If you have to run it, don’t mention the Muslims.” etc.

    “tough and abrasive” Has he ever ventured into the blogosphere? “bloggers in pajamas” Sneering? Not much.

    Guido gets a name-check at the end. Must let him know.

    On the subject of the NUJ, does anybody know what job within the BBC is held by the NUJ rep (Leila?) seen at a recent Stop The War demo (5:30 in) slagging off George Bush and saying she wished she had thrown a shoe at Blair when she’d interviewed him ?


  9. DB says:

    Just noticed that the OpenOffice spellcheck went with the US “pajamas” rather than “pyjamas” in my above post. Can’t really have a go at Mason on the less/fewer front unless I correct this.


  10. GCooper says:

    Peston is not just the son on a Labour peer, he’s also the sympathetic biographer of one G. Brown (aka McStalin, aka McBean).

    Just the sort of qualification for an ‘ubiased’ economics reporter at the BBC!

    As for his presentational ‘style’, I find it hard to believe he would have passed an audition at the Little Snoddington Am Dram society.

    On a note that would belong on a General Comments thread (the old one needs throwing out for the birds) I’d just like to add that I have yet to find a single television programme on any of the BBC’s channels to watch over the festive season.

    Will someone please remind me why I am forced to pay a licence fee?

    Bah! Humbug!


  11. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Glover missed a key ingredient: Nick Robinson admitted on his own blog that the government was feeding them info before going public with it. This explains the pattern of Peston’s blogging and Mr. Brown’s various policy announcements.

    In any case, Glover is exactly right about Beeboids inflicting their opinions on everyone.


  12. Chuffer says:

    GCooper: ” AS for his presentational ‘style’, I find it hard to believe he would have passed an audition at the Little Snoddington Am Dram society.”

    Funnily enough, I reckon he’d make a perfect Widow Twanky.

    Oh no, he wouldn’t.
    Oh yes he…. that’s enough of that.


  13. Gerald Brown says:

    Did Robinson not blow the gaffe that he and Peston had been briefed on the PBR well before it being announced to Parliament? Perhaps Peston had the earliest briefing because he was of the opinion that VAT might well have to rise to pay for the government spending splurge, unless, of course, he really is a seer. I’m afraid I’m in the camp of him being a government stooge.

    If they had received a “leak” containing the same information would we be in the midst of a police enquiry about it? Seemingly official leaking good unofficial leaking bad!


  14. Bryan says:

    Ain’t no open thread, so I’ll take the liberty of posting this here:

    There was endless eulogising of radical lefty playwright Harold Pinter on the World Service yesterday and today. The BBC is evidently determined to spread his message as widely and loudly as possible, with much emphasis on his political opposition to Bush and Blair and Iraq.

    When the BBC loses one of its own, it never tires of letting us know all about it.

    There’s even a Have Your Say on it. It’s encouraging to see that there are some really colourful anti-Pinter comments that made the top of the Readers Recommended page:

    Added: Thursday, 25 December, 2008, 16:46 GMT 16:46 UK

    A vain,tedious and over indulged moral hypocrite. His “greatness” was merely a figment of both his own and his followers imagination. Pinter was merely one of a long line of priveleged high profile, left wing useful idiots who were moral apologists for dictatorships around the world. There is nothing so hypocritical as a Champagne Socialist!.

    Cue Liberal outrage, Yorkshire, Great Britain

    Recommended by 110 people

    Added: Thursday, 25 December, 2008, 14:52 GMT 14:52 UK

    The latin tag ‘de mortuis nil nisi bonum’ means ‘Speak nothing but good of the dead’.

    Harold Pinter is dead.

    I shall, therefore, remain silent.

    Max Sceptic, Galt’s Gulch

    Recommended by 106 people



  15. BBC Chairman says:

    If you’re going to link to the hysterical, menopausal hypocrisy of the Daily Mail, why not start linking to the Daily Star, David?


  16. Jon says:

    BBC Chairman | 26.12.08 – 5:11 pm |

    The Mail is a newspaper – the BBC is supposed to be unbiased – can you point out the “hypocrisy” with examples please?


  17. George R says:

    BBC Chairman:

    Good! An annoyed Beeboid suporter who would prefer that this site linked to his chums’ “hysterical, menopausal hupocrisy of the Guardian”.

    Note: no discussion of the content of Glover’s ‘Mail’ article.


  18. GBA says:

    So, BBC Chairman, the menopausal are hypocrites? Just confirms the Beeboids contempt for, amongst others, the older people in society. Believe it or not, they too have an opinion and an unbiased BBC would reflect their voice.



  19. GCooper says:

    Did I detect a little festive misogyny there from our new playmate from the BBC?

    How transient are the Left’s shiboleths! Last thing I new feminism was still in fashion.

    Better not let Jenni (sic) Murray hear you using words like ‘hysterical’ and ‘menopausal’!


  20. BBC Chairman says:

    The point of the Mail article – if you’d bother to read it – was that the BBC had failed to see the positives in the current economic climate. The very opposite of what both this site and the Daily Mail have harangued the BBC for. There’s your hypocrisy.


  21. Jon says:

    BBC Chairman | 26.12.08 – 5:56 pm |

    You should try reading the article yourself – the point was that only one view was allowed on the BBC and that was Pestons.


  22. Jon says:

    BBC Chairman – you should read your own guidelines.

    “our journalists and presenters, including those in news and current affairs, may provide professional judgments but may not express personal opinions on matters of public policy or political or industrial controversy. Our audiences should not be able to tell from BBC programmes or other BBC output the personal views of our journalists and presenters on such matters.

    “we strive to reflect a wide range of opinion and explore a range and conflict of views so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under represented.”


  23. George R says:

    BBC commonly puts its pro-Labour opinions before facts in its very choice of headlines; e.g.:

    BBC report:

    “Criminal deportations target met”


    ‘Daily Mail’ report:

    “Brown’s U-turn as 2,000 foreign prisoners granted early release… with a £168 gift from taxpayer”


    “The criminals were released back on to the streets despite a promise by Gordon Brown that they would all be deported.
    “The total cost of funding the handouts for the foreign inmates could be as much as £370,000.
    The revelations will overshadow today’s announcement by the Home Office that it removed a record 5,000 foreign criminals last year.”



  24. AndrewSouthLondon says:

    Interesting the “Comments” function at Daily Mail re Glovers excellent piece isn’t functioning. Perhaps the moderator has thrown a sickie to get to the sales. I posted this morning at 8:00am and approaching 8pm not one single comment has been made by anyone on the planet. Don’t believe it. Fossil Media – even “the good guys” do not comprehend the importance of supporting fluid audience interactivity. Bad Show Daily Mail Online.


  25. George R says:

    Expect LYSE DOUCET to pontificate about this typically hard-line policy of the CIA towards the Taleban:

    “‘Viagra lure’ for Afghan warlords'”


    And then there are all the other problems which infidels cause Muslims, so that in the UK:

    “Foreign Office warns holidaymakers against extramarital sex in Muslim countries”


    Will we ever see, in Muslim countries:

    ‘Muslims warned against supporting Islamic Jihad in Christian countries’?


  26. Jack Hughes says:

    @DB – nice fisking job


  27. sawtooth says:

    As for BBC Chairman’s suggestion that “the point of the Mail article was that the BBC had failed to see the positives in the current economic climate”, what Glover actually said was that “Mr Peston has given his verdict on the financial crisis, and it has often been an apocalyptic one.”

    Glover adds that “other voices might be inclined to paint a less dark picture of the economy”, but are not given a similar platform on the BBC.

    A more serious inference might be that Peston, and the BBC itself, has been used by the present Labour government to leak negative information on the banking sector. That has made it easier and cheaper for the Government to acquire a large stake in a number of banks, and to arrange a shotgun wedding between HBOS and Lloyds TSB, even though the latter was not in financial trouble.

    More state control? Now why would the BBC be in favour of that…


  28. Pete says:

    There’s no opinion on BBC news, just analysis.

    Unfortunately this analysis is of the quality of the vast majority of BBC output.

    Eastenders anyone? No, thought not.


  29. Jon says:

    “There’s no opinion on BBC news, just analysis.”

    Pete I think you are mistaken here – for example:

    “The BBC political and economics correspondents generally took a view that was sympathetic to the government but it was the political correspondent, John Pienaar, who showed outright pro-Labour bias. I jotted down a couple of his remarks.

    He said that a fiscal stimulus “desperately needs to be done”. This is the Labour Party’s view. It is not the Conservative Party’s view. His job, at the BBC, is to be impartial and not to express a personal view either way.”


  30. Jon says:

    And here is another personal opinion:

    “‘Alistair Darling was right to give a grim assessment of the economy, according to an extraordinary public defence from Radio 4 Today programme presenter Evan Davis.
    He argued that the Chancellor should not be vilified because he was just telling the truth. ‘”

    “The truth” according to who?

    “But on his blog Davis, 46, a former economics editor at the BBC, offered his personal view that Mr Darling ‘deserves defending’ from the ‘various accusations laid at his door’ over talking us into recession and causing the pound to plunge.

    He denied the Chancellor had ‘dropped a clanger’ and said talk of him failing to reassure consumers and investors was wrong. ”


  31. Jack Hughes says:

    If we could distil BBC bias down into one thing it would be their correspondents not even knowing the difference between facts and opinions.

    A typical BBC report is like a club sandwich – starts with a layer of facts, then opinions, then facts, then the author’s views, then more facts, and so on until they reach the number of words wanted.

    They drift effortlessly between facts and opinions so well that I really believe they cannot see the difference any longer.


  32. Jack Hughes says:

    I guess if you hold an opinion, your wife echoes the same opinion, your newspaper does, your work colleagues do, your chums in the canteen do, and you never ever meet anyone with a different opinion then it starts to seem like an objective fact.

    Proof by repetition.


  33. Atlas shrugged says:

    Are BBC bosses aware of what is going on? asks SG.

    Which seems to be a sensible question.

    Another sensible question should be “WHO exactly are the real bosses of the BBC?”

    In other words who selects the people who select the people who apparently run the BBC?

    Because surly it is completely OBVIOUS that neither the Chairman nor the BBC’s governors are really pulling all or even a majority of The BBC’s strings.

    You can be sure of this.

    Whether the chairman of the BBC is only paying no more then lip service to The BBC’s charter, or not. IMO makes little difference to anything much at the BBC.

    If the people who really control the BBC did not like what Mr Preston did or did not do. He would be given his cards within an hour. If they did not like it, very much indeed, Mr Preston would never work anywhere in the main stream mind control industry ever again. They clearly like what Mr Preston does, self evidently because he is still working for The BBC.

    I contend that there is very little indeed that ever happens at the BBC, which is not planned,designed or ordered to happen by people, who’s job it is to plan,design and order these types of things.

    Which is exactly the same way things are planned, designed or ordered in every large corporation in the entire world, but especially ones in the mind control industry, with budgets measured in several BILLIONS.

    The BBC is many things, one of which is very highly departmentalized.

    Therefore one department knows very little of what another department is doing. In a corporate departmentalized structure the size of the BBC, it is perfectly possible that someone that has never set foot in the BBC knows more that is actually gos on there then well over 95% of the people who have worked for The BBC most of their entire working lives. Even in some cases, the BBC being one of them, The Chairman himself.


  34. George R says:

    More opinion wrapped up as news, as presented by ‘anti-US imperialist’, ‘death to America’, ‘anti-Bush’, BBC report:

    “Iranians join Bush shoe protest”


    What brilliant pro-Ahmadinejad reporting, Mr. Mark VENNARD, and BBC.

    Meanwhile, the real Iranian opposition to the Iranian Islamic dictatorship, is ignored by the BBC as it adopts a Channel 4 line.

    If anyone wants some worthy political news on Iran, suggest ‘Jihadwatch’ archive, or ‘Iran Focus’ site, as here:


    ‘Iran Focus’ reproduces the ‘Times’ piece by Hugo Rifkind:

    [Opening extract]:

    “My New Year’s Message: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


    “In the name of the Humblest, the Most Merciful, the Boss, the Top, the Tip, the Indisputable Leader of the Gang, Top Cat, I am His Most Excellentness Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the democratically elected dictator of Iran! ”


    It is quite clear where the ‘multiculturalist’ BBC and its Mr. Vennard stand politically on Iran.


  35. mister ed says:

    OT: re the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza today…

    i cant help wondering if they are linked to this story…


    “An Iranian freighter carrying tons of humanitarian equipment destined for the Gaza Strip will set sail from the Islamic Republic on Saturday, Iranian media reported on Friday.”

    “humanitarian equipment” in Iranian-speak usually means weapons.


  36. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Jon | 27.12.08 – 2:16 am |

    Funny how the Beeboids think it’s okay for Mr. Darling to speak gloom and doom about the economy, but George Osborne got smacked around for his own comments about the drop in value for sterling.


  37. adam says:

    Mason is a typical beeboid.
    Sneering. Self important. looking out for himself.

    if we want authority in journalism instead of quality, how about we just let the government give us the news, pretty much what they do already at vast expense.

    it is also laughable that they see themselves as journalists. There are no journalists in television. All people in television get their news from newswires. It is ridiculous how similar the nightly news channels are to each other.

    As for access to downing street they make little use of it, it is really the politicians that control them, Alaistair Campbell has them wrapped around his little finger and they know it and Nick Robinson is desperate not to say anything that might jepordise his position of credibility.

    Why is the BBC so upset about the internet and blogging, more so than other news outlets which dont whine nearly half as much. Especially as BBC jobs are much safer than the private sector.

    Newsnight staff are anti-blog. You would think they would see it as an opportunity and a good thing.