Back in November, the BBC begrudgingly admitted that some of its greenie/current affairs programmes broadcast on BBC World News and made by an outfit called FBC Media (UK) Ltd had been illegally sponsored by influence groups including the Malaysian and Egyptian governments to the tune of at least £18m. This was no small beer, and I sensed it was the tip of an iceberg because also drawn into the net of accepting inappropriate sponsorship was the Television Trust for the Environment, an organisation made up of green nutters who boast about having the largest library of such material in the world and who supply dozens of programmes to the BBC.
As I reported in November, trustee Richard Ayre was duly appointed to investigate. This was a bit like putting a fox in charge of a hen house because not only is he an ex-BBC journalist of 30 years, but also he is a member and past chairman of the militant rights group Article 19, which believes fervently in warmist claptrap. In other words, he’s about as impartial on green issues as his boss, Chris Patten, is about the EU.
Mr Ayre has now published his report. This is what he says:
“A small number of programmes broadcast on BBC World News between February 2009 and July 2011 broke BBC rules aimed at protecting our editorial integrity. These rules ensure that programmes are free, and are seen to be free, from commercial or other outside pressures. Three current affairs programmes were sponsored, which is nota allowed. Three other programmes were partly sponsored by external organisations with a direct interest in the subject matter and this too broke our rules. In one other programme, the financial relationship between the sponsor and the production company was acceptable but was not made clear enough to viewers. In the case of eight other programmes, all of which featured Malaysia, we found that the production company which made the programmes appeared to have a financial relationship with the Malaysian Government. This meant there was a potential conflict of interest, though the BBC was not aware of it when the programmes were broadcast. Nne of the programmes breached the BBC guidelines on impartiality and none of the BBC’s news bulletins was affected.”
So what Mr Ayre has done is nail the production company for all the blame, and to say that’s it. Move along, there, nothing to see, it was only a little localised problem and we have dealt with it, even though it wasn’t us to blame, it was careless, nasty outsiders. Tell me if I am wrong, but this – like most such BBC inquries – stinks of one word: whitewash.
But meanwhile, as I noted in November, TVE has mysteriously vanished from the web without a trace, and the corporation continue to churn out greenie nonsense on a monumental scale, as well as being directly involved in propaganda. I note, for example, that the BBC is working hand in glove with EDF Energy – one of the power giants specialising in spreading hypothermia – in brainwashing kids about climate change and greenie moonshine. And who are among the principal paid advisors of EDF? Why the BBC chairman and his deputy of course.