BBC Committee Admits Own News Story Not Impartial

The Programme Complaints Committee of the BBC looked into charges that one of its news reports was unfair towards the Conservative Party. Almost a year after the broadcast, the committee has ruled that the story did indeed breach "the guidelines on accuracy and impartiality."

According to a Friday BBC story, "Governors said rules were broken when Harri said the then Conservative leader was booed, but did not mention the same thing had happened to Tony Blair."

The reporter in question is Guto Harri, who now peddles his fair and balanced reporting as BBC's North American correspondent.

The story aired "a month before the General Election last year," but a Conservative Party spokesman claimed there were other "occasions during the General Election when the BBC's coverage fell below it's normally high standards."

Said Friday's BBC report:

The three main party leaders had been questioned by a studio audience with Mr Blair and Mr Howard booed when they walked on stage.

The Governors' Programme Complaints Committee concluded: "Blair's Question Time entrance was greeted by pronounced booing and this did not come across in the subsequent news report.

"Given that the report referred to booing during Michael Howard's entrance, it ought also to have referred to booing during Tony Blair's entrance," it said.

"Failure to do so gave an inaccurate and partial impression of the reception Tony Blair received.

But just like the CBS commission into who was to blame for Memogate/Rathergate, the BBC committee declared that the story did not indicate "evidence of political bias."

Said the Conservative Party spokesman, "This ruling will serve as a reminder to the BBC that they must meet the highest standards of accuracy and impartiality."