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Much of the criticism of the BBC’s decision to screen an interview with Marine Le Pen focused on good taste as much as political judgment.’ [Image: Claude Paris/AP.]

Much of the criticism of the BBC’s decision to screen an interview with Marine Le Pen focused on good taste as much as political judgment.’ [Image: Claude Paris/AP.]


Tom Mills, in The Guardian, argues that the BBC’s interview with Marine Le Pen is less of an issue than the corporation’s supine attitude to right-wing politics – and he’s right.

But he is completely mistaken when he states that “the Left should be more critical”.

Not only have we known about it for years; we’ve been shouting about it for all that time. Here are a few examples from This Blog, if you don’t believe me:

The BBC has a broadly right-wing bias

Political pressure making BBC biased against Labour/Corbyn, says former BBC Trust chair

Researchers consider legal action to stop BBC bias against Jeremy Corbyn.

And has everybody forgotten the rush to protect BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg when she was accused of pro-Tory bias? Suddenly everyone who made such a suggestion was pilloried as a sexist, for bizarre reasons known only to those making the claims. Accusations of sexism and misogyny were checked independently and only one was found to be valid, if I recall correctly.

The problem isn’t that “the Left should be more critical”. The problem is journalists in the mainstream press who want to deny that the Left already is.

More worrying and less discussed is how the BBC’s daily reporting is skewed in favour of conservative movements and business interests – a bias that is rarely challenged. Conventional wisdom has it that BBC political reporting is impartial, or even left-leaning. This makes sense if your comparison is with the Sun or Daily Mail. But closer scrutiny reveals a less comforting picture.

Not only do government and Westminster sources dominate the BBC’s news output with a slant towards the right… research shows, but the rightwing press has an agenda-setting function that influences the BBC’s output, favouring conservative interests.

The corporation’s economic reporting has also reflected a narrow set of economic policies with even mainstream macroeconomic theory, let alone alternative or radical ideas, largely ignored.

Source: Marine Le Pen isn’t the problem – the BBC panders to the right on a daily basis | Tom Mills | Opinion | The Guardian

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