Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More on BBC Bias

Biased BBC links to notes taken at a New Culture Forum event held in London in September at which Robin Aitken - a former BBC reporter of some 25 years’ experience and author of the forthcoming book Can We Trust the BBC? - was interviewed by Peter Whittle. The account of Aitken’s remarks that is given on the New Culture Forum blog quotes him as saying that
…given the institutional leftism’ of the BBC, news coverage in the UK would benefit from the existence of its own version of America’s Fox News.

‘If we did have a British Fox it would be tailored to the expectations of a British audience and so quite different from the American version,’ he said. ‘I do think an explicitly right of centre broadcasting organisation in the UK is long overdue.’

Aitken, who was a BBC reporter for twenty-five years and covered such issues as Northern Ireland, the Chernobyl disaster and the Monica Lewinsky affair, made the call during a talk to the recently formed New Culture Forum about his experiences of left-wing bias at the corporation.

Although he asserted that there was little deliberate intention to slant the news agenda, and that most reporters acted in good faith, it was nevertheless true that the whole culture of the BBC took a certain world view for granted, and anything which challenged the collective political assumptions and instincts was either ignored or treated as suspect.
The notes taken by the Croydonian blog are not verbatim, but give a more detailed idea of what Aitken said at the meeting. Excerpt:
RA: I felt that the BBC was showing a consistent bias and had reported that to senior figures in the BBC, up to and including the governors. The McPherson Inquiry termed the Metropolitan Police ‘institutionally racist’, meaning that the Met is not explicitly racist, but was inadvertently so owing to its institutions and culture. Likewise, I believe the BBC and its people act in good faith, but they cannot see the elephant in the living room. The institutional leftism shows up in its instinctive mistrust of capitalism, and it should be remembered that it is a pre-war corporation set up along with similar institutions like the Forestry Commission. The BBC model was not the only possibility, and it can be compared to the US model of a free market broadcasting model. Similarly, the presumption of the BBC is that public spending is automatically a good thing. It does not challenge that idea. Why not?

See also: BBC Admits Left-Wing Bias
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