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Yes, of course the BBC is biased against you

17 March 2014

1:01 PM

17 March 2014

1:01 PM

And it doesn’t matter who you are. Conservative, Labour, Liberal, Nationalist, Green or UKIP it’s all the same. The BBC is hopelessly prejudiced against you.

As it should be.

Why only this morning we see Owen Jones complaining that, contrary to what the Daily Mail would have you believe, the BBC is instinctively biased against the left and Lesley Riddoch suggesting  the corporation is reflexively biased against the very idea, let alone the prospect, of Scottish independence.

Well, up to a point. But asking whether the BBC is inclined to the left or right is the wrong question. It is a kind of category error. Adding up the number of (presumed) right-of-centre – or Unionist – journalists or presenters on the BBC and supposing this “proves” anything is a fool’s mistake.

Everyone thinks the BBC fails to give their side a proper hearing. Everyone makes the mistake of thinking that the BBC’s job is to be a referee between competing but equally valid versions of the truth. Perhaps the BBC should be a referee but it isn’t and not all views are granted equal validity.

This is not as simple as left versus right. It is rather different. The BBC’s political coverage operates on a default presumption of scepticism. Governments propose policy; the BBC subjects those proposals to intense scrutiny. It is reflexively opposed to change. Almost any change. The status quo – being known and therefore endurable – is preferable to the unknown risks of an alternative vision. In this respect it is actually a profoundly conservative institution.


Which is also why every government thinks the corporation is instinctively hostile. Because it is. The BBC is a reactive institution (Jones is right about that). It often dominates the news cycle but it rarely sets the news agenda on the back of its own journalism. It feeds off two things: the morning papers and whatever the government announces on any given day.

And it is (almost) always hostile to the government’s agenda. Why are you proposing this? Why do you think, even assuming your idea might work, it’s a good idea? What about the cost? You’re making it up as you go along, aren’t you? 

Since there are always more people available to explain why a given policy is a bad idea than there are to proclaim what a ripping notion it is it’s hardly surprising that the tone of much of the BBC’s political coverage is sceptical. As Jeremy Paxman once suggested, it is based on the suspicion these lying bastards are lying to us.

Again, change is the enemy. The United Kingdom is, for now, a member of the European Union. Therefore the suggestion Britannia should leave the EU club is wild and risky and something to be treated sceptically. Britain’s laws on abortion or the death penalty are settled. Any proposal to change them should be subjected to serious scrutiny.

And, of course, Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom. Hence independence needs to be justified more than the status quo.

In each of these examples the burden of proof lies upon those making the case for change. That is usually – not always but usually – the government. Which is why the BBC upsets Conservatives and Scottish Nationalists alike. In their different arenas these are the parties demanding things be done differently and the BBC’s instinct is – not altogether disreputably – to ask whether their proposals make any sense. Why do you want to do this? New ideas or ways of doing things are usually bad ideas and mistaken ways of doing things.

Sometimes this means the BBC opposes a Labour government too. Few members of Tony Blair’s circle, for instance, would reckon the BBC acted as a cheerleader for the Iraq War. Quite the contrary, in fact. Similarly, when it came to public sector reform – of health or education or, really, just about anything else – there was never any shortage of people to take a pop at whatever the government was proposing. Again, this is not surprising: the government view is often a minority view and in a multi-party democracy always liable to be outgunned on the airwaves.

Thus the BBC is not, as I say, a referee. It is simultaneously inclined to criticise almost anything the government proposes while also favouring, instinctively if rarely explicitly, the status quo. Knee-jerk opposition goes hand in hand with a preference for the devil we happen to know now.

The BBC is big on settled will and suspicious of radicalism, no matter where that radicalism springs from. Which is why eurosceptics, libertarians, Scottish nationalists and Trotskyites each have cause to criticise the corporation and complain it is biased against them. It is.

But so, mind you, are the public.

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Show comments
  • Peter Arnott

    Alex…the Miner’s Strike…the war in Iraq…come on!

  • discodancer

    Alex, the issue is not that the independence proposal is subjected to greater scrutiny than the No campaign’s arguments, but that stories that benefit the No campaign are reported far more prominently than equivalent stories of benefit to the Yes campaign. Often these reports favourable to the Yes campaign are suppressed by the mainstream media, meaning the information is only found by those who are following grassroots or social media.

  • Iain Hill

    BBC London is certainly biased against our independence. No news of the death of Margo Macdonald on News 24

  • Raw England

    The BBC is pro the Left-wing establishment. And its ran by a mixture of far-Left and immigrant figures. Even half of the presenters are immigrants.

    To a far-Left Scottish oddball such as you, though, Mr Massie, I’m sure the BBC seems Right-wing.

    • Roy

      “Even half of the presenters are immigrants.”
      This is so correct. One wouldn’t know or imagine this is the England or the BBC of seventy years ago. The country has been taken over and transferred into a multicultural hotchpotch without the consent of the original inhabitants or even a minor thought to its ramification. This has been a redrawing, a redesign, from the ones who believe in the coherence of the modern ding-a-ling of the country.

      • Raw England

        Exactly, Roy. And the horror, terror, poverty and suffering wrought upon us by multiculturalism has only just begun.

        Its time to fight like we’ve never fought before; using any and all means.

  • Ian Walker

    Your argument falls down if you watch the BBC coverage, not of the government, but also of the opposition. Labour shadow ministers are given minutes of uninterrupted time on the breakfast shows (which far more ordinary voters watch than QT or Newsnight) to spout their polemics, where Conservative (always called ‘Tory’ by the Beeb) shadows in the nineties/noughties could never finish a sentence without a barbed question being shoved at them.

    See also the Spare Room Subsidy, which even after all the complaints is still regularly referred to as “what many people call the Bedroom tax” and never mentioning it’s real name. Or the fact that the political slogan ‘cost of living crisis’ is used repeatedly without reference to it being a Labour concept.

    I don’t mind the leftist revisionism of the period dramas, or the socialist slant of the modern stuff. I don’t even mind the spitefulness of some of the ‘comedians’ that are BBC favourites, although I have given up on the News Quiz until they pension off the revolting Jeremy Hardy. Complaining about lefty media types is as pointless as complaining about lefty students – neither have ever really had to grow up, so living in a socialist fantasy land is understandable.

    But when it comes to the political news coverage, to ignore the bias is an error. The trick is to realise that it’s not in favour of some nebulous left-wing concepts. The bias is actually and very specifically, anti-Conservative.

  • Daidragon

    The BBC is part of the British establishment. Packed full of public schoolboys, Oxbridge grads, Capitalists, Monarchists and ex mainstream politicians. The idea that it is left wing is laughable. It tries to walk the tightrope of impartiality and is usually successful. The right wing hate the concept of public service broadcasting and will denigrate the BBC at every turn. They would rather the kind of dishonest, venomous, ideological, market controlled, swivel eyed ‘journalism’ as spewed out by the Murdoch’s and Dacre’s of this world.

  • HJ777

    I would have thought that it is obvious that an institution that relies on a tax for its income, rather than competing commercially, is more likely to attract staff who are hostile to, or simply don’t understand, the free market.

    This is why it tends, without intending to, to think that any debate is about opposing views on what the government should be doing about an issue as opposed to asking the wider question about whether the government should be involved at all.

    It is also rather lazy. If something happens, it goes looking for ‘representatives’ or ‘experts’ to give their view on the situation. Therefore, if, for example, some reform of the NHS is being proposed, we will be treated primarily to the views of politicians and of the staff unions but not to those of patients.

  • Craig Bauer Melson

    some of their journalism sets the agenda; Newsnight investigations and Panorama do all the time (even if they’re wrong, ie McAlpine)

  • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

    Massie has overlooked the fact that in coverage of political events the BBC should be neutral NOT oppositional.
    This is a requirement of the charter.
    Neutral they clearly are not.

    Over the Crimea everybody seems to have gone bonkers.
    95% vote for return to mother Russia… bad.
    Elected leader of Ukraine removed by street politics…..don’t mention that.

  • zakisbak

    Conservative, Labour, Liberal, Nationalist, Green or UKIP it’s all the same. The BBC is hopelessly prejudiced against you. –

    Well,apart from Labour,Liberal and Green,which just about defines the de facto BBC agenda.

    I actually worked there.
    Loads and loads of Guardians.
    Absolutely no Mails.
    It is biased,institutionally so.

    So the occasional pro Israel,anti global warming,anti immigration piece doesn’t constitute balance.

    • Daidragon

      The lack of Daily mail’s laying around is surely a sign of the overall high IQ of BBC employees more than anything else.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Nonjsense . The Daily Mail has the best columnists. Everybody knows that. The Guardian is a yawn.

  • Sean L

    It’s just plain wrong that that the BBC is “profoundly conservative” in its defence of the status quo, its opposition to change. Mass immigration, the most radical change this country has ever experienced is if anything encouraged by the BBC.

    • James

      If you think the regular BBC is bad in that respect, you should try the “World Service”.

      Whatever garbage they promote here pales in comparison to the rot they broadcast to the world.

  • wael albargouthi

    I think there is some stalling of the status quo if there are those who are working against the British government means that there oppose it means that the British government was in jeopardy and current status is reassuring after becoming the British government negligent with Iran without any work to hold tough against her and reactor the world’s nuclear afraid of what is happening in Iran ….

  • Tensor

    Let us take a rather straightforward set of examples. The coverage of the deaths of various people.

    1. Chavez – a truly dreadful leader whose failures rank alongside Bokassa. Weeks of uncritical praise from the BBC
    2. Mandela – a man who may have been a useful symbol but was a poor leader and whom even Amnesty failed to support on the grounds of his terrorism. Hysterical and endless praise and worship from the BBC.
    3. Hobsbawm – a vile man who dismissed the murder of millions. Undiluted praise and admiration from the BBC
    4. Crow and Benn- two destructive and misguided men whose legacy was exemplified by the fate of the British motor, nuclear and transport industries. ‘National treasure’ status and warm praise from the BBC.

    5. Margaret Thatcher- by far Britain’s most successful and effective peacetime Prime Minister. Unending hatred, scorn, abuse from the BBC, which was probably heartbroken to see its campaign failed entirely as the crowds in London showed.
    6. 3,500 assorted innocent Americans in the World Trade Center. BBC response, the carefully picked audience at the Question Time programme following.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      What colour is the sky in your world?

      • Colonel Mustard

        It’s red in yours. And you wade in the blood of a score of failed socialist dictatorships.

    • MC

      Utter utter nonsense. Do you watch the BBC?

      • Tensor

        Look, I realise that being left wing involves being unable to think in any more detail than can be contained in a four or five word slogan (Orwell’s sheep would be dangerous intellectuals in today’s Labour Party), but do you really think that in anything but Drooling Ed’s “mind” a series of specific, reasonably detailed examples is in any way refuted by a sort of content free groan?

        Which bit of the Chavez/Mandela/Hobsbawn coverage didn’t hold them up like a religious relic in some benighted priest ridden dump? Which bit of the disgraceful Question Time didn’t demonstrate the truly lower than vermin form of life which is the British left?

        • MC

          Oh bless. My detailed rebuttal would be to say that the Chavez and Hobsbawn coverage was hardly “fawning”, more accurate. The Mandela coverage probably was, but much of the British Right was similarly fawning.

          And the Thatcher coverage was calm and dignified. They clearly had dissenting voices, but that’s because they report the news, and there were dissenting voices. They were respectful throughout – even refusing to broadcast the Ding Dong song despite its chart position (They just played a few bars of it).

          The most recent study on the BBC output shows a bias towards the incumbent, though there have generally been more people of the right on shows than of the left. If anything, the BBC was a bit too “home counties” and didn’t reflect the country in its entirety.

          But you know, don’t let facts get in the way of vitriol.

    • Daidragon

      I seem to recall Thatcher’s funeral being televised live and her and her legacy being treated with hand wringing and hushed reverence. This is the woman that destroyed the UK manufacturing base, took us deeper into the EU than any previous PM and turned the Tory party from a broad church of right/centre right politics, into a monoculture of greedy fanatics. Dreadful woman.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Well, now we know what you think.

  • Roy

    Whether right or left wingers these days it’s hard to find ones who stand for the common sense and the truth of the matter. All sorts of defenders of the indefensible are arising to tell us the truth we know is not the truth. The facts we grew up to know are not really the facts. We are ruled by a conglomeration of elitist know it all’s. So we have the country of today … does it look like it knows what it’s doing?

    • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

      Many public school elitists in fact.

      The failure/decline of the UK over the last 50 years shows the consequences when an elite indoctrinated by its own sense of superiority runs the show.

      In the contemporary arts few take the slightest notice, in politics the damage done is incalculable.

  • Jambo25

    Sorry Mr. Massie but the BBC’s default position is not scepticism but to reflect and broadcast the received wisdom of the British political and media classes. That is a mix of social liberalism and vaguely neo-liberal economic policy. It operates within a fairly narrow band grouped round these positions. If your political, social or economic positions lie outside of these parameters then you are seen as being beyond the pale. So the BBC can be partial: can pass off those outside its chosen positions as weirdos or actually just bad. it means that when Paxman compares Salmond to Robert Mugabe, then that’s OK. When the BBC puts a personal friend of the last Labour Scottish First Minister on to interview Salmond and she screws up big time then its only Salmond being precious.
    Nor does this apply only to Scotnats. It applies to Ukippers, leftists, those a bit further right than ‘Call me’ and his pals and those who don’t share the present general delight with our ‘vibrant’, ‘diverse’ present.

  • Teddy Bear

    The BBC are desperate to apply pressure on MP’s not to decriminalise licence fee evaders. So they got Tom Chivers at the Telegraph and Alex Massie here to tell us that ‘they’re really not biased, just doing their job – and a good one at that’.

    Spare us Massie – you must really think we’re stupid . All you do is highlight how little ethics and morals you have. Rather than tell the public what to think – do some homework.

  • Steven Whalley

    “The BBC’s political coverage operates on a default presumption of scepticism.”

    Except where it is scepticism against global warming. Then BBC buries its collective heads in the sand and completely ignores anything counter to the BBC perceived wisdom.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      Scepticism means you doubt until evidence is presented. Doubting in the face of overwhelming evidence, preferring a global conspiracy, is not scepticism.

      • Fergus Pickering

        What overwhelmng evidence?

        • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

          The peer-reviewed literature indicating global warming is happening and human activity is the cause, vs the absence of such literature on the opposite side.

          Of course there will always be people who disagree, just as how there are still people who dispute evolution, or who insist homeopathy is real. Heck I can point you to a few honest-to-goodness geocentrists if you like.

          • Fergus Pickering

            There is plenty of literature on the other side, I assure you. Homeopathic medicines do cure people sometimes. And Darwin didn’t get it right about evolution, as he confessed himself. And no that doesn’t mean I believe in the Garden of Eden. You are obviously a young fellow and inclined to believe what you are told by people with letters after their names. I am older, with plenty of these silly letters, and am inclined to think, ‘Why is this bloody liar lying to me? What is in it for him? It’s usually money.

  • Two Bob

    Funny….this was written by a metro lefty.

  • Brentfordian

    The BBC openly advertise the jobs available – so anyone can apply – if they happen to see the adverts in The Guardian or the New Statesman.

    • mattrp

      You should dust off your prejudices and bring them into this decade. The once-extensive Media Guardian recruitment pages in which the BBC used to advertise are now around a page in total, as media recruitment has moved online (and not to the Guardian’s website either). The same is true for the teaching ads in the Guardian’s education section.

      • tastemylogos

        Nope, saw the BBC advertising in the paper only last month. Never seen it in the Telegraph. Funny that.

        • MC

          How curious – you either (a) bought the Guardian, (b) looked at it to make your point or (c) are talking nonsense.
          Matt is correct, MediaGuardian has lost most of its size and revenue. It just happened to be where ads were placed historically. Do you plain that education jobs are in the TES?
          It’s not like a natural Telegraph reader would want to join the BBC and go “damn, I can’t! The ads are listed in another newspaper!”

          • tastemylogos

            I didn’t buy the Guardian, no. In my office all papers are available to read.

            > It’s not like a natural Telegraph reader would want to join the BBC and go

            Why the hel l not? After narrowing down the potential ways of reading the Guardian without much thought you then go on to make the most intellectually bigoted comment yet.

            Is your world view coveted in prejudice or is today an off day?

            • MC

              You misunderstand me. On purpose I assume?

              The nonsense is because I know and matt has said above that public sector ads in the Guardian have declined massively in recent years and gone online. The Guardian even published an article about its increased losses because of this.

              If you want a BBC job you look on their website, you don’t go to the Guardian. My subsidiary point is that certain ads go in certain papers – the education ads go in a newspaper owned by a US private equity house. That’s just how it is.

              My Telegraph point was as above. It wasn’t suggesting that a Telegraph reader wouldn’t want to join the BBC – I’m sure they would and would be welcome. It’s that that reader wouldn’t somehow be put at a disadvantage just because some (not many) BBC job ads are in the Guardian. My point was pretty obvious – though not if you do what you do and cut out the second half of the sentence (“and go “damn, I can’t! The ads are listed in another newspaper!”)

        • mattrp

          And the point about most recruitment advertising having moved online, away from newspapers? You’re just ignoring that bit, yeah?

          • tastemylogos

            Yes. I ignored it because it was fatuous. Care to substantiate your point with statistics? In the meantime we can see – as fact – that to this day, the only printed advertisement the BBC pays for is in the Guardian and NS, correct? In which case, you would think that this was quite bizarre if one is wishing that employees represent as large a proportion o the population as is feasible, Cheers.

            • MC

              Oh a quick Google solved this. There’s an article about reduced MediaGuardian ads causing greater losses in the newspaper group. Easy to find.

              There are even more articles explaining that the Guardian is the only “quality” newspaper with a media jobs section, but that the only place to find all BBC jobs is on their website. In the 90s, the BBC used to put an equal number of ads to the Guardian in the Telegraph but the latter then shut down its media jobs section.

              I should also note that The Sun (that known left-wing hotbed) also only advertises its jobs on its website and the Guardian.

              But please, continue your anti-BBC rant informed by no evidence. Go ahead.

  • post_x_it

    The Blair government was roundly and persistently criticised by the BBC, but always because its policies were not left-wing enough. They were not the sort of criticisms that the opposition would have come up with in Parliament. The BBC was extremely sceptical about the Iraq war and about Blairite reforms to health and education. I don’t remember the BBC ever criticising Labour for opening the immigration floodgates or capitulating to silly demands from Brussels.

    • funkinwolf

      It was critical and asked questions. You can make up fantasy all you like.

  • Daniel Maris

    Come off it Massie. The BBC clearly, for better or worse, has a left-liberal bias. The way Newsnight has been turned into Guardian TV with that idiot Chris Cook being let loose to puff up non stories is a good example of that. The BBC will produce a respectful series on Hobsbawm but not on some right wing fascist.

    I don’t want the BBC broken up. I like it in lots of different ways – not least the absence of adverts. But it should and could display less left-liberal bias.

    • Pip

      I want it closed down, it is an utter disgrace, completely devoid of honesty, impartiality or accountability and we are forced to pay for it through immoral taxation. The BBC and all its employees who have trotted out the party line without question whilst being paid handsomely by the taxpayer deserve to lose their jobs and be vilified for their blatant left wing bias and lack of moral courage.

    • MC

      Both sides accuse it of bias, which suggests it’s doing the right thing. It’s overall leader (Patten) is a Tory. Nick Robinson is a Tory, Andrew Neil is a Tory, various Tory SpAds come in etc etc.
      I don’t doubt it has more left of centre employees than not, but that’s a consequence of age, industry and location more than anything else.

  • mitate

    it feeds off the morning paper, not papers; the paper upon which it spends 86% of its recruitment advertising budget. fair makes you want to hug a murdoch.

    • mattrp

      Time to bring your prejudices into this century. The jobs pages in the Media Guardian are now no more than a page or so; like everyone else, the BBC uses the web to recruit now.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      If you were trying to recruit people who want to work in media and the creative industries in which paper would you place the adverts?

      Though as has been highlighted, it’s all done online anyway.

      • Richard

        perfectly good Press Gazette out there (also does TV/Radio) and its cheaper…..

  • david17606

    A tiny number of BBC journalists and presenters have a background which is anything other than left wing. They can’t possibly be even-handed.

    • mattrp

      The BBC’s upper ranks are stuffed with Oxbridge graduates. I assume therefore you consider this left wing.

      • Pip

        It is stuffed full of Common Purpose Poodles many of them Blarites, many of whom happen to be Oxbridge Graduates and yes they are mostly left wing which is obvious to anyone who cares to look.

        • MC

          Can you please tell me how to look to judge?
          I see Chris Patten, Nick Robinson, Andrew Neill all in positions of power. I see Nick R’s producer, Thea Rogers joining George Osborne as a SpAd. I see Neill’s producer as a former SpAd to Francis Maude. I see the economics editor leaving her job for close to half a million at JPMorgan (terribly left-wing). I see Craig Oliver moving from the BBC to David Cameron’s office. I see Guto Hari moving from the BBC to Boris Johnson’s office and later being replaced by another BBC bod there (Will Walden).
          So left wing.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            Don’t forget the Moral Maze, whose panel typical consists of a former Tory MP, a right-wing journalist, a libertarian and a clergyman.

      • Fergus Pickering

        What has Oxbridge got to do with it. Cambridge used to be stuffed with traitors.

        • Kitty MLB

          Nothing wrong with Cambridge University, Fergoose.
          Traditional degrees, not as many Lefties and ‘ different’
          characters as the leftie haven Oxford and much better at
          boat races, old stick!
          Why are you bothered anyway, clearly you had an excellent
          education- but I sense you were an Edinburgh chap-
          a Very good university- top notch actually.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Though educated in Edinburgh at the Royal High School (Musis Respublica Floret!) I did spend five years in Oxford (Merton College, the oldest, an excellent place with a good croquet lawn), though between degrees I was at Edinburgh for a year. Splendid snooker tables, haggis and chips and very cheap beer. There you have it, Kitty. My mother had a degree from Edinburgh.

            • Kitty MLB

              A very fine education indeed sir,it shows and within the
              city of dreaming spires.
              Tried snooker whilst I were at university, it was shocking,
              I had absolutely no coordination and the chaps got fed up with teaching me.
              Your mother must have attended university during interesting
              times, not just because they were still very much male dominated institutions but I am assuming your mothers generation were
              between the two wars or the beginning of WW2.
              I can imagine universities containing the majority of ladies
              at that time and having
              to deal with crusty mothball eaten old professors and
              upsetting their usually tranquil existence- and that made me smile.

              • Fergus Pickering

                But my mother and her good friend my stepmother (my mother died rather early) were at Edinburgh in the 1930s. I had otherv honorary aunties who had been there too. Oh, and my godfather was a Bishop who had been at Cambridge with my father. Well-connected isn’t in it..

                • Kitty MLB

                  You have exceptional genes old fellow, very well – connected indeed!
                  This evening I shall raise a glass to exceptional genes,
                  Oxford, Edinburgh, dear Cambridge, Fergus’ father
                  and its not an excuse to have a large G& T before dinner.
                  A Bishop for a godfather, that must have been pretty hard going- poor chap, surprised you did not rebel and become
                  a raving atheist.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  He was a very nice Bishop.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Well, I shall raise a glass to the good Bishop as well, and to mothers, of which both our ours went somewhat early.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  And a glass to you, Kitty!

    • Pip

      I would suggest it is not a tiny number but quite a large number in fact.

  • Kitty MLB

    Really ! They are bias against us, good God, nearly fell I off the table.
    Honestly, lovely Alex, the proof is in the pudding and as we all know
    the pointless BBC is a hodgepodge of socialist, greedy, PC correct sickliness,
    self obsession, incompetence, incorrect, illiterate and not fit for purpose.
    Never watch it for the news. Only plays , foreign language films
    and the odd documentary.
    Oh, nice picture of Andrew Neil, I have absolutely no idea why they call him ‘ Ole Brillo’.

  • James Allen

    Haven’t they sacked you yet?

    I want a free Press where anybody who wants to get their view across is able to, where there is no “authoritative” or seemingly “above politics” news organisation, paid for by a compulsory levy enforced by the state, and where arguments are judged on their merits and not whether they represent the status quo.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      Because a privately owned oligopoly would be preferable?

      • James Allen


        – I wouldn’t have to pay for it
        – It wouldn’t masquerade under cover of “impartiality”
        – Competition (enforced by the competition commission) would ensure a wide range of opinions are available
        – The state would lose its mouthpiece and accountability would improve

        And don’t you try your straw doll arguments with me, young man.

  • monty61

    Seems like a fair argument.

    Much of the anti-BBC agitation has people (like Rupert Murdoch) behind it who would like to see it’s advert-free existence brought to a close (or at least severely curtailed) for naked commercial advantage.

    While there’s no question the BBC needs some reform, efforts to shut it down or silence it in this way need to be resisted vigourously resisted.

    Really though, Newsnight should have known better.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Using politicians as the litmus test to determine whether the BBC is biased is idiotic. Analysing how it allocates airtime and the manner in which issues are handled (if at all) will show bias.

    • mattrp

      Except it won’t. Cardiff University did a major study on it, finding that if anything the BBC is too ‘middle England’ in its choice of news topics.

      • Pip

        You are attempting to defend the indefensible with half truths and distortions, it wont work, the British People are waking up to both the corruption and treason of our Political Class and the vile Left wing Pro EU Common Purpose bias and propaganda of the BBC., both are on borrowed time.

        • mattrp

          Hang on, what’s ‘half true’ about the Cardiff study? Cardiff University exists but it didn’t conduct a study?

        • MC

          I know – a university study which analysed the content of the BBC News and reached empirical conclusions. What half-truths and distortions. Let’s listen to a chap on a messageboard who makes assertions instead!

      • Fergus Pickering

        Who at Cardiff University? Which department? What was their brief? Studies usually find… what they want to find.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        ………..funded by the BBC Trust. One would have to define ‘middle England’ and the choice is not the only issue – it’s how those topics are portrayed. Did it look at priorities? Is Francoise Hollande’s love life or the hqacking of voicemails THE issue for ‘middle England? What say the BBC funded Cardiff chaps say about that?

  • Alasdair Stirling

    Self-serving Unionist nonsense. It Massie’s theory were correct, the BBC would be busy training it’s sceptical eye upon the Unionist plans for further devolution.

    • James Allen

      It’s nonsense, period. No need to call it Unionist.

      • Keith MM

        You’d be right if Unionist were not a euphemism for Unitarist.