Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

BBC reports that BBC is biased

No folks, you just can't make this stuff up:

The BBC has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff, a report commissioned by the corporation has concluded.

The report claims that coverage of single-issue political causes, such as climate change and poverty, can be biased - and is particularly critical of Live 8 coverage, which it says amounted to endorsement.

It warns that celebrities must not be pandered to and allowed to hijack the BBC schedule.

After a year-long investigation the report, published today, maintains that the corporation’s coverage of day-to-day politics is fair and impartial.

But it says coverage of Live 8, the 2005 anti-poverty concerts organised by rock star campaigners Bob Geldof and Bono and writer Richard Curtis, failed to properly debate the issues raised.

Instead, at a time when the corporation was renegotiating its charter with the government, it allowed itself to effectively become a promotional tool for Live 8, which was strongly supported by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Geldof, Bono and Curtis were attempting to pressure world leaders at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, which was taking place at the same time, to help reduce poverty in developing countries under the banner 'Make Poverty History’.

Mr Blair said the campaign was a “mighty achievement”. The huge Live 8 concerts across the world were its culmination and the BBC cleared its schedules to show them, with coverage on BBC One, Two and Three and Radio One and Two.

Around the same time it also screened a specially-written episode of Curtis’s popular sitcom The Vicar of Dibley that featured a minute long Make Poverty History video and saw characters urged to support it. And it aired another Curtis drama, The Girl in the Café, in which Bill Nighy falls in love with an anti-poverty campaigner - even giving Gordon Brown an advance copy.

The BBC also ran a week long Africa special featuring a series of documentaries by Geldof and a day celebrating the National Health Service, prompting Sky News political editor Adam Boulton to tell a House of Lords select committee it was in danger of peddling government propaganda.
The report concludes BBC staff must be more willing to challenge their own beliefs.

It reads: “There is a tendency to 'group think’ with too many staff inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone.”

A staff impartiality seminar held last year is also documented in the report, at which executives admitted they would broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but not the Koran, in case Muslims were offended.

During the seminar a senior BBC reporter criticised the corporation for being anti-American.

The report was jointly commissioned by BBC managers and the board of governors and will be published by the BBC Trust, which has since replaced the governors.

As the Instapundit observes, the first step is to admit you have a problem. The BBC has done that, but the question remains as to what they're going to do about it. And this is a priceless moment for networks to take note of. Does anyone think that ABC, CBS, or NBC would ever conduct such an investigation? If you do, hold your breath as long as you can.

This has been evident in America for a good long time. For example, take the TV show "Brothers and Sisters." I watched one episode of this show on a whim, and I wasn't too happy with what I saw. The Politico noted that, as well, with four conservative women they asked about the show. The reviews were scurrilous. They identified the typical misconceptions that Hollywood makes regarding conservatives. They also note that the lead character, played by Calista Flockhart (hardly a conservative in her own right) flip-flops on her beliefs.

Here's a memo for Hollywood: You can't get to the heart of what it means to be a conservative by watching the talking heads on TV. You can't understand what conservatism is unless you really do the research. It goes beyond "being for the war," or "being for tax cuts." Small government, strong national defense, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, etc., all top the list. The problem is that Hollywood has never tried to understand or comprehend what it means to be a conservative. The likely reason why so many conservatives who work in Hollywood have kept their thoughts to themselves, and flown below the radar.

The bias that the BBC is noting isn't addressed by their news output, surprisingly. It's not until the end of the article that they even address the subject. Almost as an afterthought, this is thrown in:

The report offers 12 new principles for the corporation to adopt to safeguard its impartiality.

These include: “Impartiality is no excuse for insipid programming. It allows room for fair-minded, evidence-based judgements by senior journalists and documentary-makers, and for controversial, passionate and polemical arguments by contributors and writers.”

It'd be nice if some of the networks here would do this to themselves, and answer the question once and for all where the bias is on TV. Bernie Goldberg, best-selling author and former "BFF" of Dan Rather, has exposed it in the news business. Brent Bozell has done similar. The media refuses to acknowledge it, or if they do it's behind closed doors. Hugh Hewitt has conducted numerous interviews with a variety of media people, and he always manages to get them to admit their own bias, but they refuse to say it's industry wide.

It is, regardless of the entertainment industry or the news industry. It remains to be seen what the BBC will do to correct the problem. One thing is assured: If they do correct the problems, they'll be light-years ahead of the industry over here in the States.

Publius II


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