Tag Archives: BBC

BBC is named as least objective news provider – which we all knew already

No wonder I couldn’t find a correlation between what the BBC was reporting and what people were talking about when I compared them!

Look:

I couldn’t read the story in Broadcast (paywall) but found it in the Express, of all places:

Ofcom conducted an annual survey covering the period April 2019 to March 2020 in which the broadcasting regulator asked audiences if they believed news programmes they watched on each of the main television channels were free of bias.

But in the latest blow for the BBC, the Corporation ranked bottom with a score of just 58 percent. Sky News led the way with 69 percent, followed by Channel 4 (66 per cent), ITV (63 per cent) and Channel 5 (61 per cent).

Ofcom said: “There is a risk that future relationships between the BBC and its audiences could be jeopardised if audience concerns around impartiality continue to grow.”

Bizarrely, the report has come to light at the same time as Andrew Marr said viewers would choose “BBC impartiality” over “Fox News-style rivals”.

But then, Marr’s mission is not ours: he’s saying the BBC cannot be accused of left-wing bias – and I’m sure we could all agree with that.

According to the i, Marr said:

“When Hugh Carleton Greene was Director-General (from 1960), he was pushing a much more anti-conservative, anti-hierarchical agenda than anyone is today.”

Carleton Greene was accused of causing the nation’s “moral collapse” by “decency” campaigner Mary Whitehouse, not least for refusing to censor the word “knickers” from a broadcast.

So he clearly equates Conservatism with impartiality. That’s interesting. Then again…

Does Marr welcome the challenge from the Discovery-backed GB News and Rupert Murdoch’s new “opinionated” TV news venture, both set to launch next year?

“You bet,” he asserts. “All competition is good. I hope we’ll demonstrate quite quickly that whilst partisan TV is great fun for a short period, after a while you turn back with great relief to something that is at least trying to be impartial.”

Anything backed by Murdoch is going to be deeply right-wing, so it seems Marr recognises the far-right as partisan, as well as the left. So it’s an Overton Window problem; he simply doesn’t understand where the genuine political centre lies.

Perhaps that’s the BBC’s problem in a nutshell. Run by upper-middle-class elitist twits, its political compass is tuned to their point of view and they don’t recognise and are too dim to understand that it is out of touch with reality.

I was able to work this out by checking the BBC’s output against what people are actually discussing. Anybody with an ounce of intelligence and curiosity could have done the same.

I dare say it hasn’t even occurred to the BBC’s news bosses.

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Today’s news headlines – what should they really be?

As a sort of intellectual exercise, I’ve just been through Twitter looking at what the main talking-points were, and comparing them with the BBC’s headlines.

It seems to me that the headlines should be:

  • Keir Starmer has provoked Labour groups across the UK to launch ‘no confidence’ votes in his leadership after banning discussion of the way he has mistreated Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Rishi Sunak dubbed “Richie” after it was revealed his wife is richer than the Queen and he omitted this from his list of financial interests.
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg declares that the government is using taxpayers’ money to boost the economy, while failing to declare the income of his own business or to pay taxes on its profits (he has based it in a tax haven).
  • Nadia Whittome, an apparently left-wing Labour MP, criticised for verbally attacking left-wingers in her own constituency party.

But the BBC reckons they are:

  • Hospitals are warning that they could be overwhelmed without a stronger ‘tier’ system to define Covid-19 risk in England. (Isn’t this a story about Boris Johnson’s lockdown failing?)
  • Michel Barnier arrives in the UK for facemask-to-facemask Brexit talks.
  • Public sector urged to be open about its use of computer modelling algorithms.
  • Boris Johnson appoints new chief of staff.

Some of those BBC reports are of fairly wide importance but shouldn’t the BBC be reporting what interests people, too? Is Auntie trying to divert us away from the problems of Labour’s right-wing would-be-dictator and the corruption inherent in Conservative ministers?

What do you think?

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Disabled comedian Rosie Jones shames Tories with damning verdict on disability law and benefits

I didn’t see this when it was aired on the BBC’s Question Time last Thursday – and I’m sorry because it was one of the few times that sad rag of a show would have been worth watching.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, comedian Rosie Jones, who happens to have cerebral palsy, was asked to comment on what it has meant for herself and other people who have disabilities.

She didn’t hold back. Her comments about the benefits Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and its successor Personal Independence Payment (PIP) were scathing.

And all through, Health Secretary Matt Hancock sat like a nodding dog. At the end, he was even smiling at the torment his government forces people to suffer:

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Plaudits for Naga Munchetty after she demolishes Zahawi over help for the self-employed

A few facts about Nadhim Zahawi, the current UK business minister: these are from 2016 so it’s a few years since he voted to cut disability benefits but that cut is still in force. I wonder how warm his stables are today?

Naga Munchetty is carving herself a niche as the hard woman of BBC Breakfast.

This morning she made mincemeat out of Tory business minister and twit Nadhim Zahawi over the government’s lack of interest in supporting people who are self-employed:

The performance raised a huge amount of support for Ms Munchetty on the social media:

At this rate, the Tories won’t be able to use the BBC as a mouthpiece for their daft policies any more. Then where will they go?

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Test and trace doco shows why the Tories STILL want to silence the BBC

The Johnson government will want to give the BBC a kicking for this, but it needed to be said.

Panorama documentary has exposed the facts about the so-called “NHS” test and trace system run by a private company that has failed the nation.

Don’t be wrong-footed by this; the BBC remains fundamentally right-wing in its outlook.

The point of this documentary is that the BBC is showing that the political party it supports can be wrong.

And when it is, it should be seen to be wrong.

The BBC News story about the documentary says it clearly:

An army of more than 20,000 tracers was recruited by England’s test-and-trace service. But from the beginning, there were complaints that some had little or nothing to do.

Panorama spoke to 19 coronavirus tracers who expressed concerns about a … lack of work, or technical problems.

Latest figures show that just over one in five people who have tested positive for coronavirus are not being reached by the system.

The general public has been even more to-the-point:

And finally:

Source: Test and trace: ‘I spoke to one person in four months’ – BBC News

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The Johnson age of corruption and patronage: he appoints Dacre to run Ofcom and Moore to the BBC

Charles Moore and Paul Dacre: One doesn’t believe in public-service broadcasting, so he has been put in charge of the BBC; the other doesn’t believe in impartial, statutorily-regulated media so he has been given the media regulator Ofcom.

There was no process about these appointments; they are a gift from Boris Johnson to flunkies he wants to do his will.

He knows Dacre will ensure that far-right propaganda gets an easy ride from the broadcasting watchdog because Dacre published far-right propaganda every day in the Daily Heil and gave it an easy ride when he was in charge at the Press Complaints Commission (now IPSO).

This Writer is less familiar with Charles Moore, which tends to indicate that I had a taste of his work and turned away in disgust. From the words of others, I understand there will be no attempt at political balance while he has any say in what goes on at Broadcasting House.

Here‘s the story:

Paul Dacre, former editor of the Daily Mail, has been asked to run the national broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, while Lord Moore, the former editor of the Daily Telegraph and biographer of Margaret Thatcher, is believed to be considering accepting the role of chairman of the BBC.

The provocative choice of two such hardline anti-BBC voices has prompted anger and dismay across the broadcasting and entertainment industry. Speaking to the Observer on Saturday evening the Labour peer Andrew Adonis summed up the response of many to the news. “If true this is Cummings operating straight out of the Trump playbook with the intent to undermine our democratic institutions.”

The former government minister continued: “These would be really disgraceful appointments. Neither Paul Dacre at Ofcom nor Charles Moore at the BBC would believe in the mission of the institution they are running. Dacre demonstrably doesn’t believe in impartially and statutorily regulated media and Moore doesn’t believe in public service broadcasting, as his refusal to pay the licence fee demonstrates.”

This man refuses to pay the TV licence fee and Boris Johnson puts him in charge of the BBC!

If you’re still wondering why it’s a big deal, it means Johnson will control the media through these two puppets – and will get away with more of this:

And here are the responses:

An oligarchy is a small group of people running an entire country. That’s what Johnson wants and that is what he is getting. See this, also:

This last one is ironic:

All the organs mentioned in the tweet are indeed now in right-wing hands.

In related news…

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Incoming BBC chief wants to restore its reputation for impartiality. But will he?

Tim Davie: will this new broom sweep the BBC clean?

New BBC Director General Tim Davie is set to tell staff it is now a condition of their employment to be politically impartial.

It seems he has realised the Corporation’s credibility has suffered after years of kowtowing to the Tory administrations of the last 10 years.

And there’s academic information showing an “Establishment” bias during Labour administrations that made it hard for that party to get a fair hearing on the UK’s most-used TV and radio news outlet.

Fine words.

But will they cut any ice with entrenched right-wingers like Laura Kuenssberg and Andrew Neil, or the Tory-riddent BBC newsroom?

We’ll know soon enough.

Here’s the gist of the story:

The incoming director general of the BBC is expected to tell journalists that those who cannot leave their politics at the door are no longer welcome in a drive to repair the broadcaster’s reputation for impartiality, it has been reported.

Tim Davie will set out his plans for the corporation from its Glasgow offices on Thursday having taken on the role from Lord Hall, who stepped down from the top job last week to serve chair of the board for the National Gallery.

And the new director general is expected to make combatting accusations of partisan bias a focus of his tenure, The Sunday Times reported, by using his opening address to staff to tell those who cannot leave their politics at the door that they have no place at one of the world’s most trusted news brands.

Source: ‘You have no place here’: Incoming BBC chief to tell partisan journalists to leave bias behind | The Independent | Independent

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Tories force £100 million payout so outsourcing giant can chase over-75s for TV licence fee

The Conservative government’s relationship with private outsourcing firms is becoming more questionable by the day.

It has been revealed that the BBC is having to pay nearly £100 million to Capita so the firm can hire new staff to chase down senior citizens who fail to pay the TV licence fee.

People aged over 75 had been exempt from paying the fee because the government subsidised it – until George Osborne decided that he was going to axe the subsidy for no apparent reason other than cruelty.

The BBC was then forced between betraying all licence fee-payers by cutting its output significantly, or betraying over-75s by demanding that they pay the fee again.

It wasn’t any choice at all.

At least we’re all laying the blame where it’s due. As the Mirror article states:

Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams said: “The BBC has taken this decision but in reality the principal responsibility lies with the Government.

“Until a previous administration transferred these free licences to the Corporation under a tapering funding arrangement they had taken the form of a welfare benefit for a generation, and to have done that without any consultation left a really bad taste in the mouth.

“The Government cannot absolve itself of responsibility for the upset and distress being caused to many of our over-75s today, the poorest and most isolated above all – and the sadness is that these older people have already endured so much over the last few months.

“The Government needs to sit down with the BBC urgently to keep these TV licences for over-75s free.”

Ms Abrahams’ suggestion is right – but we know the Tories won’t act on it.

They’ll say the Covid crisis, Brexit, and the collapse of the UK’s economy (all their own fault) mean the nation cannot afford to take back the TV licence subsidy.

In reality, though, the real reason is that they’ve given all the money to privatised outsourcing firms like Capita.

Source: BBC to spend ‘£100m of taxpayer cash chasing over-75s not paying licence fee’ – Mirror Online

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Is the Torygraph being a snake-in-the-grass about over-75s’ TV licences?

I don’t trust the Daily Telegraph‘s advice to the elderly on the fact they’re being asked to pay for their TV licences again.

“The elderly should be in no rush to pay the BBC,” the Torygraph‘s headline proclaims – and the piece itself seems to go on in confrontational manner, making Auntie out to be the villain:

“TV Licensing will write to all licence holders aged over 75 with clear guidance about how to pay,” says the BBC, which is a polite way of saying, “We know where you live.”

Admittedly, I can’t see more than the first paragraph of Charles Moore’s article because, being published by a Tory paper, it’s behind a paywall.

But it seems to be pretending that the BBC is forcing over-75s to pay TV licences unnecessarily, and this is a lie.

The change is happening because George Osborne didn’t want the government to pay the subsidy for senior citizens that was brought in by New Labour.

He announced that the Tories would stop paying it and the BBC would have to decide what to do about it.

The choice was between asking pensioners to pay up again, or drastically reducing the BBC’s output.

Either way, there was going to be an outcry. But whatever the decision, the BBC is not to blame.

George Osborne is, along with his Tory government and its successors.

Don’t let the Torygraph fool you into believing anything else.

Source: The elderly should be in no rush to pay the BBC

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Blame shifting Tories accuse BBC over end of free licences for over-75s

This is stomach-turning hypocrisy from the party that hoodwinked the UK into giving it an 80-seat Parliamentary majority.

The Independent explains what’s going on:

The BBC is to end free TV licences for most over-75s from 1 August, after the plan was delayed by two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The broadcaster was due to introduce means-testing at the start of June.

The policy changes mean more than 3 million households will need to pay the £157.50 fee from August, according to the BBC.

That’s bad enough, and you might think it’s poor of the BBC to inflict the licence fee on senior citizens who’ve had TV for free for many years.

This hypocritical Tory certainly seems to think so:

Julian Knight, the Tory MP who chairs the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, also expressed his concerns about the decision.

“At what is already a very difficult time, this will be a body blow to millions of British pensioners,” he said.

“I had hoped that the previous delay announced would lead to the government and BBC coming together in order to thrash out a fresh deal. However, that has clearly not happened.”

He seems to have conveniently forgotten that the subsidy was ended by a Tory government, back when George Osborne was Chancellor of the Exchequer.

As This Site has previously stated, the subsidy that paid TV licence fees for people aged 75 and more was brought in by the New Labour government in 1999, when Gordon Brown promised to pay the BBC to provide the service.

Tory Chancellor George Osborne reversed that agreement in 2015 when he told the BBC the government would stop paying the subsidy by June 2020.

He did not say the BBC would be ordered to pay the subsidy instead of the Treasury; it was nothing to do with the BBC.

And before anybody tries to say that Julian Knight is misinformed and Boris Johnson wouldn’t accuse the BBC in the same way, let’s just remind ourselves of Johnson’s own words on the subject, from August 2019:

The BBC should “cough up” and pay for TV licences for all over-75s, the prime minister has said.

It comes after the BBC announced in June that it would restrict the benefit to those in low-income households.

Speaking to reporters at the G7 summit, Boris Johnson said the BBC’s funding settlement had been conditional on it continuing to fund the free licences – something the corporation disputes.

Mr Johnson told reporters at the summit in Biarritz, southern France: “The BBC received a settlement that was conditional upon their paying for TV licences for the over-75s.

“They should cough up.”

As This Writer put it at the time, it’s a typical Tory tactic.

They starved councils of funding, forcing them to cut services to the public. Who got the blame? The local authority.

They privatised huge swathes of the National Health Service, meaning that public funds were diverted into the profits of private firms and services suffered while the Tories were claiming to be increasing funding massively. Who got the blame? The NHS.

Now this.

Worse still, the Tories are using this as an opportunity to introduce means-testing for over-75s. They will demand to know how much money each household receives, in order to determine whether it should have a subsidised licence.

But the idea of means-testing by asking whether households are in receipt of pension credit is fatally flawed.

Many households don’t even know they qualify for the benefit because the Conservative government hasn’t bothered to tell them.

So let’s be honest.

Boris Johnson is lying about the fact that his Conservative government is forcing pensioners aged over 75 to pay the TV licence free – including those who should be exempt but don’t know it because his government hasn’t told them.

Source: BBC to end free licences for over-75s next month | The Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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