A View From Outside The Echo Chamber

Defenders of the indefensible love to belittle this blog by claiming that it’s nothing more than a microscopic minority of cranks and haters caught up in an echo chamber, not representative of any popular opinions, not a single word to be taken seriously. The views expressed here about BBC bias do not, we’re told, represent anything other than an extremist, miniscule minority.

With this in mind, I’d like to direct your attention to this piece by  US writer from Minnesota, James Lileks. He’s of the Right, but socially pretty liberal and has plenty of mainstream opinions and tastes, although maybe an unhealthy obsession with advertising and magazine art from the 1950s. In other words, he’s not the kind of extremist defenders of the indefensible claim we are. So when he independently catches the BBC in exactly the kind of bias we point out here, it’s worth taking note.

Read the following, part of a larger point about “offensive” art and intentions, and notice how it could have been written by any number of people here:

While listening to the BBC today I heard an interview with a California church singled out by the Southern Poverty Law Center – “an organization that monitors hate groups,” and thus utterly neutral and trustworthy, of course; the very act of dedicating yourself to the task proves you’re on the side of the angels. The interviewer, having been informed that the church endorsed the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube video, badgered the pastor about supporting hate,  sounding as though he had a film of sour jam around his teeth as he spoke. The pastor asked the interviewer to explain how the film was inaccurate. There wasn’t any response to that, but the earnestness of the pastor and all that JEEESUS talk was supposed to say it all.

Then the  Southern Poverty Law Center spokesperson said that the church wasn’t violent, but such extremism, combined with easy access to firearms, made for a worrisome situation.

The impetus for the story, just to recap, was a video that supposedly made people on the other side of the world rise up in murderous rage, which had nothing to do with the church in the profile, except that they endorsed its sentiments. They do not believe that Mohammed was a prophet. I suspect the interviewer didn’t, either, but of course he said “The prophet Mohammed” whenever the subject arose.

It’s just easier all around that way. You get less mail.

It’s stuff like this that makes me laugh when defenders of the indefensible do their “you’re an obscure tiny minority and nobody agrees with you anywhere outside the echo chamber” routine. This is also yet another example of the institutional bias at the BBC. Same perspective on this story, same angle of attack, same “Prophet Mohammed”, but on another programme on another channel. Lileks doesn’t say, but this is most likely the World Service, editorially independent and far away from Barbara Plett on Radio 4 and some Beeboid on the News Channel and the rest of the spectrum of BBC broadcasting. They don’t need to pass memos around or send editorial directives from on high or hold secret meetings to deliberately plan this kind of biased reporting: it’s reflexive. It comes naturally to them because that’s the kind of people the BBC hires and that’s the atmosphere in house.

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32 Responses to A View From Outside The Echo Chamber

  1. fitzfitz says:

    Of course they don’t need to pass memos around to ensure the party line — its in the air, its a miasma, as in News International : toxic, manipulative, and the World Service is pretty good at it too …


  2. London Calling says:

    Everyone in the chorus line tap-dancing to the same tune, because their job depends on it. That is a “consensus”? The people installed in senior positions in the 13 Labour years and the people those people hired, and the people those people in turn hired… are all still there.
    Little fleas have lesser fleas, apon their backs to bite them, and lesser fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.

    Independent voices on the internet who do not depend for their daily bread on toeing the party line are the new cutting edge.. You can no longer add up all the paid-for hacks opinions to decide what is right. Media management is too entrenched in our Political system. Consensus, I’m afraid, isn’t what it used to be.


  3. George R says:

    As a case study, will BBC-NUJ give as much priority and time to this story about Labour’s Keith VAZ as it has to the story about Tory Andrew MITCHELL?

    “Secret police probe into Labour MP’s £500,000.
    A police investigation into a high-profile Labour MP discovered that he apparently held hundreds of thousands of pounds in a series of bank accounts, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.”



    • chrisH says:

      Vaz, Uddin, Ahmed?….
      You try asking anything about how they get all their money and you`ll be considered as a racist, stopping the grasping race card sharps from improving themselves.
      Desai and Boateng…Jasper and Darcus….if only we could black up and earn a crust ourselves…
      To think Vaz is a fat self satisfied teflon coated creep is no doubt a hate crime…this oil slick is New Labour in a barrel.


  4. George R says:

    BBC-NUJ’s Marxist historian and guru, Eric Hobsbawn has died.

    So this is a major event for Beeboids; and who do they get to appraise one of their own on e.g. Radio 4?

    1.) on Radio ‘PM’ it was solely Tristam Hunt, Labour Party politician.


    2.) the American socialist, and Obama funder, Simon Schama, 9 pm this evening.


    • George R says:

      BBC-NUJ’s socialist audience will be torn at 9 pm this evening as to whether to listen to Schama on Marxist Hobsbawn, or to watch Ms Flanders on Marx, BBC 2 TV.


  5. Span Ows says:

    Surely the BBC is the echo chamber?


  6. Span Ows says:

    Messages not appearing…


  7. chrisH says:

    Hobsbawm hardly out of his Hampstead chaise longue before the likes of Tristram and Simon are on to sing the Internationale over his Miles Davis records.
    This man -like all other lefties-has no reply to just how the Ribbentrop-Stalin Pact between the Nazis and Communist can be justified….why Katyn..why he stayed schtum over Hungarian and Czech Uprisings being so brutally squashed using Soviet tanks.
    So there we have it-our Eric was a useful idiot to the Stalinists and always danced to their tune…but he used big words and was a pal of Miliband, Chomsky,Laski and other Soviet toadies.
    The kind of tin star wannabe rebel who could egg on the Revolution without ever having to leave Birkbeck or Hampstead….no wonder the BBC loved him so.
    One Norman Tebbit was worth a thousand Hobsbawms….and no doubt Erics kids are well-placed too to “continue the onward , upward progress of the Soviets”…and where else to plonk your fat and pampered arse than the BBC?
    I`m dreading Last Word…are there enough victims of the Gulags etc to pay tribute to this fatuous weekend rebel?
    His house should be bullldozed as any traitors should!


    • London Calling says:

      Well spoken Chris. Millions of human beings ground into fertiliser to feed the megalomania of Marxist Dictators. And still the “intellectuals” gather in the academic cloisters to praise the greater good of the many, their own wine cellars full of the rewards of “public service”


      • George R says:

        Of course, the political left of Labour Party, BBC-NUJ, TUC, Open University, etc have been happy to adopt and propagandise Hobsbawn’s Marxist class analysis as their truth.


    • Doyle says:

      All you need to know about Frogspawn:

      Asked by the Canadian academic and politician Michael Ignatieff on television whether the deaths of 20 million people in the USSR – not to mention the 55 to 65 million victims of Mao’s Great Leap Forward – might have been justified if this Red utopia had been realised, Hobsbawm muttered in the affirmative.


  8. George R says:


    INBBC notices this:-

    “Ikea ‘regrets’ removal of women from Saudi catalogue”


    -But INBBC does not notice this:-

    “How Saudi petrodollars fuel rise of Salafism”



  9. Prole says:

    Why is this blog a joke? Because it allows people who have no knowledge a platform to constantly prove they have no knowledge. Preiser writes about the BBC with the knowledge I have of Fox News ie none. As for the pathetic attempts of a few giant intellects who have never read a History book beyond the Ladybird series to attack Eric Hobsbawm (who merely changed the way History was studied)…he’d laugh at your limp barbs, and probably is!


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Care to provide specific criticisms of one of my posts, or was this a drive-by sneer? Can we also assume that nearly all blogs are a joke, according to your definition?


    • London Calling says:

      “people who have no knowledge” – funny.

      Ad-hom-ers always innocently give themselves away, by describing themselves. Projection is 20:20


    • Earls court says:

      Hobsbawm is in hell right now with all the Socialist, Marxist freaks he admired so much.
      Hobsbawm was one of those socialists who talked a good fight, but if anything really happened he would be hidding underhis bed at his house in Islington hopping nothing happened to him.


    • Dysgwr_Cymraeg says:

      ” Eric Hobsbawm (who merely changed the way History was studied)”
      fully paid up party member are you then?


    • Andrew says:

      “he’d laugh at your limp barbs”

      Not if he had his way and we were all living in his communist dreamworld…

      He’d either have David shipped off to a work camp or simply have him murdered.

      I suppose he might laugh at that.


    • Ian Hills says:

      Is that “prole” as in “failed polytechnic trendy pretending to be one of the workers”?


    • Richard Pinder says:

      Prole, you need to read LIBERAL FASCISM by Johah Goldberg.

      I do not think many people have studied my favourite period of history. The history of independent Yorkshire from Old King Coel to Eric Bloodaxe (410 to 954).


      • Stewart S says:

        LIBERAL FASCISM Is a great book
        (Though I may have gone away
        with the wrong message) but It left
        me wanting to know more about
        american politics of the 20s. Suggestions for further (non marxist-revisionist) reading on a post card please


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘with the knowledge I have’
      Doubtless also including a climate science Professorship from Peckham South University, access to a Palestinian asylum seeker from Israel translator and an intimate knowledge of how a newsroom ‘should’ work?
      When claiming others don’t know what you don’t on the basis you reckon they must inhabit another parallel bubble to the one you have chosen is revealing but still daft.
      A new entrant or yet another incarnation of an old one?


    • Paul Weston says:

      Hobsbawm’s support of murderous Communist countries helped ensure the millions of deaths (in very painful circumstances) necessary to prop up economically failing dictatorships. This Prole chap seems to think this is unimportant. I don’t believe I have ever come across such wicked, evil and morally bankrupt people as the Left.


    • Henry says:

      Got to love your intellectual hubris.
      I don’t know where I got the idea that Hobsbawm was so blinded by a simplistic ideology that he came incredibly close to saying that millions of deaths would have been justified if the communist experiment had in the end worked. Or that he was one of the historians who was so muddled over objective truth that he thought that propaganda, subtle and unsubtle, were somehow justified by a practitioner of a supposedly scholarly subject.
      Must have been in one of those ladybird books.


  10. chrisH says:

    Wonder if our new found friend prole heard Jeremy Paxman say that our Eric was linked to Venice…he meant Vienna I`d say?
    Such is the level of devotion to detail shown by Beeb researchers, or maybe Paxos rose-tinted specs misted over at the autocue.
    So when Hobnob couldn`t bring himself to even think about what his beloved party did to Poland with that Molotov/Ribbentrop Pact( so sez my Ladybird History!)…that was “changing the way that history is studied?”..well yes, if you`re prole…and yes if you work for the BBC or the Guardian.
    As for Stalins footstool now laughing at our barbs?…do`nt think the Revolutionary Soviet will be happy at your implication that there could possibly be life after death…you some kind of Jesus nut fella…we have a psychiatric ward in the gulag for the revanchists like you ,
    Welcome to our re-education camp!…you hurry back ,you hear?


  11. Backwoodsman says:

    “changing the way that history is studied?”.. = only leftist revisionist opinions count !


  12. Wild says:

    Stalinists for the BBC

    Maybe “Prole” ought to write that on a sign the next time he goes on a march.


  13. velvel says:

    This blog is an amusing, often accurate indicator of some truly awful bias. My view, as I have stated frequently, is that you are in a position to bring about some change, but choose the course of nonfeasance. Why don’t you meet with the new broom? Why don’t you use the more rational sections of our country’s truly awful media to state a case for objective news reporting? Is it because if you were effective, most of the bias might actually go away, and then the various weirdos and others with opinions and no evidence would also disappear, leaving you with no site?


    • Earls court says:

      Left-wing people are weirdos naturally.
      They are dilusional, self-loathing, jealous and have really bad hygiene.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      What does that mean, exactly? How does one “use the more rational sections” of the media to state the case? And do you really think anyone here would prefer to keep the BBC bias going as is just so they can complain about it?