If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 22 January 2011

BBC bias - an insider speaks

I always liked Peter Sissons as a newsreader. Hee seemed to have gravitas as well as a sly sense of humour, and whatever he said sounded like the truth, and not just his opinion. He's now written a blinder of an article for the Daily Mail, in which he describes what he calls the 'mindset' of the BBC hierarchy. A taster:
By far the most popular and widely read newspapers at the BBC are The Guardian and The Independent. ­Producers refer to them routinely for the line to take on ­running stories, and for inspiration on which items to cover. In the later stages of my career, I lost count of the number of times I asked a producer for a brief on a story, only to be handed a copy of The Guardian and told ‘it’s all in there’.

All green and environmental groups are very good things. Al Gore is a saint. George Bush was a bad thing, and thick into the bargain. Obama was not just the Democratic Party’s candidate for the White House, he was the BBC’s. Blair was good, Brown bad, but the BBC has now lost interest in both.

Trade unions are mostly good things, especially when they are fighting BBC managers. Quangos are also mostly good, and the reports they produce are usually handled uncritically. The Royal Family is a bore. Islam must not be offended at any price, although ­Christians are fair game because they do nothing about it if they are offended.

It's quite a long article, but worth reading in its entirety.


  1. A good article by Sissons but, like others before him, he says it towards the end of his career when he has nothing to lose.
    Nothing will change unless the govt steps in and threatens to close the BBC down.

  2. The BBC is such a well-entrenched behemoth that it will take much more than this to bring it under control. However, the fact that someone of Sissons' reputation has said what he has said is welcome, even at the end of his career (pension secured, presumably). I don't know why the government hasn't acted already - there is work to be done, and the Coalition's biggest and most influential critic is allowed to go about its publicly-funded business unmolested. Tragic.

  3. It was indeed worth reading.
    Some institutions will always tend to favour a mindset. I would expect the Beeb attract left wing types. But it shouldn't be so institutionalised. And their protestations of neutrality are irritating.

  4. Two of the most far-reaching manifestations of the BBC-Guardian axis are covered in this video:

    Top-rated comment:
    "This is a video that every blog should share with their readers to underline the outrageous bias at the heart of the BBC, and the propaganda it thrusts upon its viewers, listeners and readers."
    (Autonomous Mind)

  5. Neutrality is not only protested: it's in their DNA, apparently. Irritating doesn't come close.

    Jonathan, that is a good video clip. It's good to see so many dissenting viewpoints brought together in one place. I think it deserves a post of its own. It's a shame about the attack on the Guardian at the end (however true that is) as it tends to dilute the message, but the first half is excellent.

  6. It's a pity Mr. Sissons didn't have the balls to make these revelations when he was working at the BBC.

  7. I think 'BBC employee' and 'balls' don't belong in the same sentence - unless, of course, you are referring to the new Shadow Chancellor.


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