21 March 2009

Reality is biased

Something that really narks me about blogging is that frequently the BBC receive criticism for being biased, particularly towards Labour - this is something that gets on my tits a bit, as a person who reads pretty much every paper from the Mail to the Mirror, I feel I'm pretty good at spotting bias, whether it's in a right wing rag like the Mail or an upstanding broadsheet like The Times or The Independent

In pretty much every media outlet you notice a primary vein of opinion that runs through it, obviously the whole point of the newspapers is to provide information the owners want to provide, and the same goes for TV channels (like Sky, and even Channel 4) - the BBC, I have always felt, does not do this

Now while I can see certain examples of bias - Andrew Marr particularly annoys me; he's a well known leftie and has been very soft on Brown on occasion, although to his credit more recently he's been a bit better, possibly egged on by his bosses - and I've always wondered if his shifting from chief Political correspondent to Sunday morning political chit-chat host was a result of his sympathetic views

However this does not represent the whole BBC - it is an organisation that is supposed to reflect every aspect of British society and is a massive employer, I expect the odd show to involve a bit of lean to the right or left

The Andrew Marr bit is fair enough, but then his successor Nick Robinson is frequently accused of being a Labour tool - now while I admit he is a bit too tame these days, he has been the one who harassed Labour non-stop over the past decade - he openly criticised Labour's 2005 manifesto, argued with John Prescott and most recently asked Brown for an apology when he was in the presence of Obama - no Labour lackey would dare do such a thing

As Robinson himself has said, especially at the BBC, he has to report on the government (whoever that is) and can't lend weight to the critics as a newspaper can - he has to stick to the facts, he's a reporter - and considering I despise the current Labour government I don't regard his stories as biased towards them. He reports what has been said and allows the reader/viewer to draw conclusions - unfortunately this means that those on the right (who are the opposition these days) don't get the analysis they want - that's not bias, it's unbias, and it just annoys me that people who don't get their own partisan views endorsed regard anything that doesn't agree with them as biased

Then there's the case of the often-overlooked Mark Easton, who is the Home Affairs editor - one of the major reporters at the BBC, who seems to spend his life questioning Jacqui Smith and her dodgy crime stats, and criticising the government over drug policy - if anyone says he's a Labour stooge they are, quite frankly, insane - he does have a generally liberal view (which is in no way a Labour ideology), but if using reason and logic is bias then so be it

Or how about Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics? Who refers to Brown as the 'Dear Leader' - surely that alone proves this former Times editor, Sky chairman and mate of Rupert Murdoch, has disdain for Brown and his government, just watch one of his shows and you'll be hard pressed to accuse him of any sort of bias towards the Labour party

I was going to provide a list of researched examples but alas time is currently short so I'll hopefully be doing features on where the BBC is accused of bias, and how it plainly isn't - take this example of a Tory blog that claims the BBC is biased on the 'knife crime stats row' - even if they were (despite their coverage of a 'row' rather than just printing government information) one look at how a senior editor has devoted a lot of time to questioning those very stats right from the outset should at least provide some evidence to the contrary

As far as I'm concerned the BBC covers a massive area of news, and does a good job of being impartial, in some ways it demonstrates a lean to political correctness and multiculturalism, but I'm afraid that is something that I feel is a cultural aspect in Britain, and not some conscious attempt to prop up Labour

But anyway, I shall seek to question as many allegations as I can...

and all for free?? you'd think I could get a bloody job off them wouldn't you...

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