NewsBusters reported Sunday that the BBC completed a year-long internal investigation of its policies and procedures concluding that it “has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff.”
The complete 81-page study has now been made available (h/t Benny Peiser), and should be required reading for media organizations here in America that clearly have similar bias problems.
What follows are some of the important highlights of this fabulous, must-read analysis.
After an introduction and forward, the Report set out twelve editorial guidelines, with the most compelling being (emphasis added throughout):
I look forward to complaints that China has only a sixth of the world's population but emits a quarter of its CO2, that Chinese auto emissions standards aren't good enough (Mr Gore?) and that China hasn't signed Kyoto .....
The BBC likely has done two things no major American media organization would dare: go through an internal investigation of its reporting biases, and; share conceivably unpopular results with the public.
Restrained praise is in order for the BBC’s Radio 4 series on anti-Americanism called “Death to America.” The brainchild of senior Washington correspondent Justin Webb, the three-part program examined the hatreds toward America that are bubbling over in France, Venezuela, Egypt and beyond. “A pattern was emerging and has never seriously been altered,” Webb said of his experience of anti-Americanism in Europe. “A pattern of willingness to condemn America for the tiniest indiscretion—or to magnify those indiscretions—while leaving the murderers, dictators, and thieves who run other nations oddly untouched.”
It was this realization, he said, that launched him into the series, which aired three consecutive weeks last month. Any regular consumer of the BBC, if he’s honest, must admit that Webb’s simple insight is rarely if ever heard across the BBC’s media colossus. It took gumption for Webb to approach his superiors about the program concept, and a refreshing measure of fairness for the BBC's top brass to sign off on it. [...]
Michelle Malkin noticed that comedian Roseanne Barr wrote recently on her blog that she's too biased against Israel to be hired for the Barbara Walters daytime gab-fest. Here's what Barr wrote:
In reality, I could never host that show, or any network show, because I have opinions that are not sanctioned by the powers that be who refuse to allow even one dissenting voice over the airwaves of television(in this a "free" country).
I truly believe that millions of jews are not zionists, and that even if they are, they do not support Israeli occupation. I believe that Jews all over this planet choose peace in the middle east over the never ending death machine of hatred and division and terror that exists there now.
Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali immigrated to the US from Holland in 2006 after her controversial views of Islam (she called it “backwards”) resulted in serious death threats and the eventual murder of a friend. An April 24 Reuters article by Alexandra Hudson (picked up by the Washington Post website) stressed the theme that the Muslim women of Holland were relieved that she left for America. It also engaged in a slick game of “blame-the-victim” and minimized the agonizing childhood violence she experienced by describing her flight from “an arranged marriage and abusive family who had her circumcised as a child.”
“Circumcised.” It may sound similar to male circumcision, but it is not. A more appropriate term is “female genital mutilation” or FGM. “Female circumcision” is what the practitioners call it. Reuters didn’t go into the details of this “circumcision,” but Hirsi Ali did in her most recent book, “Infidel.” Aussie newspaper, the Australian, excerpts the portion that describes what the local “expert,” who was likely a blacksmith, did to her with no anesthetic or disinfectant at the request of her own grandmother (emphasis mine throughout)[editor's note: graphic descriptions ahead]:
It didn’t take the BBC World, airing on PBS, long to find a way to criticize America and our constitution it the midst of our national tragedy. After an initial segment on the events at Virginia Tech, the BBC felt another story on Second Amendment rights were appropriate for a broadcast. The story by Gavin Hewitt led with the following, "Today’s images from Blacksburg are at once horrific but shockingly familiar. Shootings on campuses, in high schools, in shopping malls, have become part of the American landscape."
After continuing with a re-cap of past school shootings, his analysis of the ‘American landscape’ concluded with the following:
In the United states there are 200 million guns in private hands. Many Americans believe it is their right to keep and bear arms, as is their right by the constitution. Attempts to bring in tougher gun laws are often weakened by the powerful National Rifle Association. Even after today's horrific shootings, laws are unlikely to change.
What happened at Virginia Tech today is not a "tragedy" in the way that tragedy is usually defined as being a sudden accident. No, it was a cold-blooded crime. But, the criminal action at Virginia Tech had barely finished before news sources began their meme against guns, those "permissive laws" controlling them and the "easy access" to them. All are common phrases used to attack gun rights and this incident is being used as a platform to launch that line of attack everywhere. It's as if, before the last victim was even cold, every anti-gun advocate in the country hurriedly warmed up their cars to race to their local media source to call for more gun control. The debate over this issue is perfectly reasonable, of course, but that the MSM would use this crime as a springboard for their attacks on guns so soon after this incident had been perpetrated smacks of political opportunism.
CBS News gives us the claim that it is "much too easy to get guns in the state of Virginia." And they assure us this crime happened because "there's no gun registration, no mandatory waiting period to purchase weapons. The only major restriction: a limit of one gun purchase per month." And, the CBS report is echoed all across the news media.
The UK’s Telegraph reported that the BBC cancelled a 90-minute drama about the youngest surviving winner of the UK’s highest award for valor because “it feared it would alienate members of the audience opposed to the war in Iraq.” The BBC blocked the project that would have honored the incredible bravery and resilience of Private Johnson Beharry, a man who didn’t hesitate to risk his own life two separate times for his fellow soldiers. His Victoria Cross citation reads like a blockbuster Hollywood action script, but instead, it’s the real deal. Sounds uplifting and encouraging, and it could even be a real morale booster, right? Well, for the Beeb, that’s the problem (emphasis mine throughout):
For the BBC, however, his story is "too positive" about the conflict.
The corporation has cancelled the commission for a 90-minute drama about Britain's youngest surviving Victoria Cross hero because it feared it would alienate members of the audience opposed to the war in Iraq.
The Associated Press reported rallies celebrating the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein -- without ever mentioning Saddam Hussein. Lauren Frayer's article makes it sound like the American forces deposed a city, not a dictator: "Tens of thousands marched through the streets of two Shiite holy cities Monday to mark the fourth anniversary of Baghdad's fall." Nowhere in the article is Saddam even mentioned. The headline was also "Rally marks anniversary of Baghdad's fall."
The reader quickly learns the rallies were organized by Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army as an anti-American event, which would explain why it broke through the media's resistance to hopeful-sounding news:
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) continues to refute claims that they are heavily biased to the left and the State run entertainers deny any claims that they pander to the elites of British society. But a new internal study seems to be saying that the programing "remains too middle class and highbrow and needs to be driven downmarket". Leave it to the BEEB to imagine that they are somehow too smart for their audience.
Executives at the corporation have always denied that it is a bastion of the liberal elite, pandering to the young, upmarket and metropolitan.
But now they are secretly conceding there may be some truth in the accusations and are drawing up plans to make programmes more populist.
Some "truth in the accusations"? As laughable it is for the BEEB to continue to deny their leftward leaning editorial underpinnings -- they "embedded" a reporter with the Taliban to give them positive coverage, for Heaven's sake --it's even more outrageous that they imagine themselves the smartest one in the room.
Today's New York Times has an op-ed from Frank Stewart, a Jerusalem-based professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, warning that the BBC's plans to start an Arabic-language TV station could easily end up making the West look even worse in the Arab world, rather than begin to add some balance. "If the BBC models its Arabic television service on its Arabic radio
service, yet another anti-Western, antidemocratic channel will find its
place on the Arab screen," Stewart writes.
Here's an excerpt:
The BBC World Service plans to start an Arabic television service
this fall, and the BBC knows what it is doing. It has been broadcasting
in Arabic on the radio for more than 60 years and has a huge audience.
new television station might sound like good news for America. Many of
us pick up BBC broadcasts in English, and we respect their quality. But
the World Service in English is one thing, and the World Service in
Arabic is another entirely. If the BBC’s Arabic TV programs resemble
its radio programs, then they will be just as anti-Western as anything
that comes out of the Gulf, if not more so. They will serve to
increase, rather than to diminish, tensions, hostilities and
misunderstandings among nations.
The Associated Press reports that three journalists are being kicked out of Cuba for writing stories critical of the Communist regime: one BBC reporter, a Chicago Tribune reporter, and a correspondent for El Universal, a Mexican newspaper.
When I read this I recalled a study by MRC's Rich Noyes a few years back about CNN's Cuba coverage, which, by contrast, never incensed the Castro regime. In fact, Noyes found that stories filed from that bureau's chief Lucia Newman amounted to a "Megaphone for a Dictator."
U.S. Tax Revenues Up 9.7% Through Four Months, Deficit Down 57%; U.S. Media Outlets Mostly Ignore the News
There's a good chance you didn't hear about this (original US Treasury report is here):
Both Brian Wesbury at FT Portfolios and yours truly have to confess to being wrong so far this year on revenue growth. We both have been thinking (Wesbury here, BizzyBlog here) that it’s going to come in at 9%, but as you see, through four months it’s actually pushing 10%.
Occasionally I'm contacted by media
organizations who want to tape an interview, usually when events occur
which will impact military families. Right before the President's
speech on the way forward in Iraq, I received some media requests. The
aim was to come to my home, film me watching the speech and then
interview me about my reaction to what was said. I have never done a
television interview. Ironically, I think I would have accepted one of
these invitations, but I happened to be out of town and not in
Washington during the President's speech, so I was unavailable.
I farm these interviews out when possible. My husband calls me a
"chicken" for doing this, and he's mostly right. When I'm contacted,
it's usually because the outlet is looking for a "pro-victory" point of
view and they know, obviously, that I represent that point of view. No
doubt they already have the opposing view lined up. One of the reasons
I'm leery of television interviews is because of ambush tactics such as
those recently used against my blog mom, who was asked to appear on an
ABC News show with another mother to discuss Iraq.
arrived at the prescribed time, I put my earpiece in, got the
microphone clipped to my sweater and the cord appropriately hidden. The
New York producer and the director (or tech guy??) both spoke in my ear
and I did the microphone test... 1, 2, 3, 4... 10, 9, 8, 7. I sat
listening to the broadcasts and news feeds in my ear for a good 20
minutes, including a few on-air promos of the upcoming interview “with
two military moms with their take on the President's State of the Union
Address,” as well as the two lead-in interviews with two of ABC's
female political reporters -- one in New York and one in D.C.
thinking, Great. I have Hillary or Nancy in the other chair! Close.
Turns out it was Barbara Boxer’s friend, Anne Roesler not to mention Nancy Pelosi’s
darling. While there was a small legend that appeared and quickly
disappeared under Ms. Roesler’s picture, turns out that Anne Roesler is
no ordinary, average “military mom”, but a practiced anti-war speaker
and writer -- AND HAS BEEN SINCE BEFORE THE WAR ACTUALLY BEGAN.
Never underestimate the mainstream media for their ability to advance a theme that runs counter-intuitive to the sensibilities of most clear headed individuals.
Thus I was not surprised to read that both the New York Times and the BBC furthered the idea that life in Somalia was relatively calm under the Sharia law that was imposed on the Somali people ever since the Islamists ran the warlords out nearly six months ago.
The Islamists came to power earlier this year as a grassroots movement that drove out Mogadishu’s warlords and restored a semblance of order to a city that was once one of the most violent on the planet. - The New York Times
Some residents say lawlessness has returned to Mogadishu - which had been under Islamic rule for six months. - BBC News
Beware of New York Times articles that include labels commonly associated with progressive political movements. For instance the use of the term "grassroots" typically means a community effort to further an idea or an agenda. I don't know about you but I tend to think that the term is almost always referenced in a positive manner to connote the uprising of popular ideas with communal backing.
The BBC reports that John Bolton had to leave the UN due to a weakened Bush and Republican set backs in the November election. While those facts are true, a responsible reporting organization should know that Bolton failed to be confirmed prior to the election.
If the November 7 results had produced the exact same composition in the Senate, Bolton still wouldn't have been confirmed. In fact, he might have been confirmed in the last session were it not for weakness, not of Bush, but a Republican headed out of the Senate - Mr. Chafee, I presume.
Anything to keep the meme going, Democrats up, Republicans down. And of course it's all Bush's fault. The article also contains praise for Bolton from the Chinese Ambassador.
A few weeks ago, the BBC complained that one of my Newsbusters pieces unfairly criticized them as horribly biased. Then a recent report emerged wherein Andrew Marr, a BBC staffer, said at an internal seminar that the Beeb had gone too far in pursuit of multiculturalism.
It seems that the BBC is getting tired of these so-called mischaracterizations...
One of the BBC's most senior executives has defended the corporation against accusations that it is "crammed full of soft liberals" obsessed with pushing a politically correct agenda.
In an exclusive interview, Mark Byford, the deputy director-general, has hit back at suggestions that the broadcaster is too sensitive to the feelings of Muslim viewers and that it has an inbuilt anti-Christian bias.
But this claim seems disingenuous after a week were the BBC announced a consideration of allowing Veiled Muslim news presenters and has featured an embedded reporter with the Taleban allowing the Taleban free and unfettered access to a platform from which they can disseminate their anti-British and anti-western propaganda.
Once again taking "tolerance" to the level of societal self-destruction, the BBC has decided that showing the human side of the Taleban is an important story to cover.
They have ridiculously embedded a reporter with the Taleban in Afghanistan. Reporter David Lyon has been reporting from the Taleban and has filed a report filled with laudatory terms and brimming with respect for his subject.
Terrorists in Iraq know they can rely on CNN to carry their propaganda as if it were straight news, now the Taliban is having success in placing "news" with the publicly funded British Broadcasting Corporation.
The BBC, a government agency, fought hard to keep an internal study of the organization's bias secret. Reporters from other British media outlets filed a complaint with the UK's own Freedom of Information Act, and the report has now been released.
The level of political correctness at the BBC seems almost like a caricature of what a politically correct group would look like, but caricature matches reality.
An internal memo, recently discovered by the British media, revealed what the BBC has been trying to hide. Senior figures admitted in a recent 'impartiality' summit that the BBC was guilty of promoting Left-wing views and anti-Christian sentiment.
Most executives admitted that the corporation’s representation of homosexuals and ethnic minorities was unbalanced and disproportionate, and that it leaned too strongly towards political correctness, the overt promotion of multiculturalism, anti-Americanism and discrimination against the countryside.
On the 30th of September I wrote a post on Newsbusters about how the BBC is using their reporting on the Global War on Terror to advance their ideological bias against the war instead of merely reporting the facts of the news.
On the BBC website a segment called The Editors appeared on Oct. 2nd and raises this very posting of mine and makes an attempt to refute it.
Alistair Burnett (editor of "The World Tonight") made a weak attempt to nay say my point.
Is the BBC trying to make a political point when it uses the expression 'so-called War on Terror' or 'The Bush Administration's War on Terror' or 'the American-led War on Terror'?
It's not the crime, it's the... coverup. The BBC is trying to prevent the release of a study that looks at its coverage for bias. Like corrupt government bureaucrats, the government-funded organization is trying to keep the Freedom of Information Act from releasing the study of charges of anti-Israeli bias. Ironically, this same Freedom of Information Act is what hard-charging BBC reporters use to expose government wrongdoing elsewhere.
The BBC has spent thousands of pounds of licence payers' money trying to block the release of a report which is believed to be highly critical of its Middle East coverage.
The corporation is mounting a landmark High Court action to prevent the release of The Balen Report under the Freedom of Information Act, despite the fact that BBC reporters often use the Act to pursue their journalism.
If you read the lawsuit, you won't get to the gist of what the State of California really wants from the six car companies it sued over their alleged contribution to the state's alleged global-warming problem.
(Aside: part of me would LOOOOOVE for this suit to go forward, so that global warming arguments can be shredded in open court.)
Here is the "relief" the lawsuit (15-page PDF) requests:
The People request that this Court:
1. Hold each defendant jointly and severally liable for creating, contributing to, and
maintaining a public nuisance;
2. Award monetary damages according to proof;
3. Enter a declaratory judgment for such future monetary expenses and damages as may
be incurred by California in connection with the nuisance of global warming;
4. Award attorneys fees;
5. Award costs and expenses; and
6. Award such other relief as this Court deems just and proper.
That's pretty vague. But this BBC article on the suit has this interesting unattributed sentence about what the state is actually after, something I have not seen mentioned in any other article I read on the topic:
MRC's Michelle Humphrey noticed that the BBC World rebroadcast Thursday night on Washington PBS affiliate WETA described Bush and McCain agreeing to a regime of "limited torture."
Reporter Matt Frei: "The President has basically agreed with, the White House has agreed with these rebel Republicans, that there will be a specific list, to quote here, to 'enumerate the actions that would constitute grave breaches of the Geneva Convention.' In other words, they will respect the Geneva Convention, especially Article Three which talks about the treatment of prisoners and if there are grave breaches of that article, then they, these people, CIA interrogators would be prosecuted and would not get the protection of the White House. And this is the key thing: we don't know what these grave breaches are --"
The BBC has obtained evidence that Israelis have been giving military training to Kurds in northern Iraq.
A report on the BBC TV programme Newsnight showed Israeli experts in northern Iraq, drilling Kurdish militias in shooting techniques.
Kurdish officials have refused to comment on the report and Israel has denied it knows of any involvement.
From that point forward the story is literally riddled with assumptions about how other countries and the rest of Iraq will react, without a single quote or attribution from anyone who supposedly will object. Examples throughout the article's text (scare words in bold):
It appears that the BBC is taking a page from the American media in its love of ‘rebellious’ Republicans. Last night, BBC World (airing on Washington PBS station WETA) opened with a report on the President’s visit to Congress.
“It soon became clear that even in his own Republican Party there are serious doubts about the president's plans. Three Republican titans, Senators McCain, Warner, and Graham, broke with their president and by 15 votes to 9 the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a bill very different to that of Mr. Bush. It's an extraordinary act of defiance. “
As the report closed, the theme repeated: “As vital congressional elections draw near, who actually speaks for the republicans on the key issue of the day national security? Adam Brooks, BBC News, Washington.”
Some ultra-PC alarmists inside the BBC are fretting about a video made to spoof assistant editor Simon Torkington's new gig at Al-Jazeera. The video features his colleagues dressed up in Middle Eastern garb, singing a parody song.
A company statement called the video "illjudged, and we will be speaking with those involved." This means that censorship now extends to private parties for the self-flagellating BBC. In forty years, hopefully Al-BBC executives will be just as abhorrent of anti-European jokes.
Members of the BBC London news team today face a grilling from senior bosses after they filmed a spoof video making light of the conflict in the Middle East.
The film, a skit on Peter Kay's (Is This The Way To) Amarillo? was made to mark the departure of assistant editor Simon Torkington who is going to the news channel Al-Jazeera International in Qatar with his wife, former ITV news anchor Shiulie Ghosh.