Of course the BBC panders to the political Right; we have been saying it for years

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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10 thoughts on “Of course the BBC panders to the political Right; we have been saying it for years

  1. NMac

    Didn’t so-called Lord Reith say during the 1920s/30s that the BBC would have a right-wing leaning bias?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No – or at least, not as far as I can see. He worked very hard to avoid that, often clashing with Conservative politicians and governments.

  2. Rusty

    These days, the beeb are a mouth piece for the government! There report on a private ward in a NHS hospital was at best misleading! A slant in favour of tory policy! This is just one example that stands out for me!

  3. Neilth

    So the accurate and reasoned criticism of the BBC by the Left that that organisation is biased toward the Right largely goes unreported in the further right wing press and, – shock horror, who’d ever believe it – the BBC!

    We all know that letting the general population know what is going on through the mainstream organs of news distribution is limited to the Mirror and sometimes The Guardian on a good day and that this accesses a very small minority of the electorate.

    The question we need to answer is how do we overcome this political bias and get our message out unsound byba generally hostile media?

    I have no answer.

    Social media etc have self selecting audiences. This Blog for example is largely preaching to the converted judging by the majority of responses, with the occasional provocative foray by some right wing interloper looking to wind us up. This tends to be true of most blogs I’ve seen.

    One ostensibly effective tactic that I’ve seen is a local blog that purports to be unbiased, it says so on its front page, puts up one or two news stories each day about local news but is actually hugely right wing and does everything to spin the story to the detriment of the (Labour controlled) Town, county and Welsh governments. I spend much of my time having to explain to people that what they’ve read on that rancid organ was wrong and that the truth is far more prosaic. The comments the blogger allows through are nearly all from the rabid right and promote his agenda.

    Sadly more and more people seem to be referring to the propaganda these days and the constant drip feed of lies and contempt for all things labour seems to be having an effect.

    We have nothing like this. Maintaining a daily blog of this type, sourcing daily newsworthy stories etc is very time consuming and not many have the free time to put in that amount of effort. But this is what is needed for an effective local news blog.

  4. Barry Davies

    It is odd how everything that people hate has to be right wing, brexit is accused of being right wing, although most votes came from left wing areas of the nation, and yet the BBC is totally in favour of remaining in the eu even now after the people voted to leave, so the would make them hard left surely, it seems that people do not understand the real differences of right and left wing and accuse anyone with a different position to theirs as being hard left or hard right, makes you wonder how they drive their cars.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, Barry – it’s just that you can’t tell the difference.
      We’ve been over the voting patterns already and I showed you how you were wrong about more votes coming from ‘left wing areas’. As you are still peddling that myth, are we to take it you’ve had orders to do so, or what is it? You’re not stupid but you seem to be stubbornly refusing to accept the facts.
      I don’t think the BBC has shown any particular bias in terms of Brexit. Could you perhaps point me to an instance in which a BBC representative has said, “The BBC believes the UK should stay in the European Union”?
      Do you have any other silly examples?

  5. mrmarcpc

    The BBC have always been at its heart conservative, regardless what Tebbitt and the tories said back in the 80’s, they know the truth, the BBC has always been in bed with them, their mouthpiece, especially in recent years, they’re their little bitch and they’ll do as their master tells them to say and do!

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