Sunday 10 November 2013

More blogging

"So where does Is the BBC Biased? find itself, now, here in November 2013?", we ask ourselves, introspectively

Suddenly, the answer comes to us....and all hell breaks loose (if only): We find ourselves here, in November 2013, still breathing the refreshing air of the blogosphere. So, phew then!

Being shy, retiring types (like nervous exiles), we rarely promote ourselves, thus finding ourselves under-promoted.

We're, therefore, clearly the ultra-cool BBC bias-related blog equivalent of the Velvet Underground (minus the interest in drugs and sexual depravity), rather than being a Slade-like glam-rock BBC bias-related blog (like Biased BBC).

We once gave Twitter a try, quarter-heartedly, but found ourselves like birds not out of water (or, to put it less cryptically, happy to keep ourselves out of something that isn't our natural medium. Soggy wings aren't our thing.) 

So, where has all our quiet, gentle flapping got us?

Well, in the year-and-a-bit since we started, we've scored a few minor-but-palpable hits (like Black Lace?)

With a little help from our friends [Damian Thompson and James MacMillan at the Telegraph] we stopped Radio 4's Sunday from being the in-house radio magazine for Edward Stourton's liberal Catholic publication The Tablet. The clamour of protest to the BBC as a result of an early post of ours [the much-read Take Three Tablets a Day] was a modest success of which we're quietly pleased - especially as it showed that even small-scale, cottage-industry-type blogs like ours can impact on the BBC's way of doing things - if they seek to be rigorous, accurate, fair-minded and detailed enough. 

There have been other hints that the makers of Sunday have been paying attention ever since too. We once even had two direct links to us from the Sunday website - which was surprising (and to their credit) given that one of the two posts they linked to was sharply critical of the programme.

A mention on Radio 4's yearly BBC Correspondents Look Ahead was another satisfying moment. The possibility (yes, just a possibility) that Paul Mason was shamed out of appearing on last year's edition as a result of our first post on this subject, where we deeply embarrassed him, is another source of satisfaction - albeit a satisfaction of the schadenfreude kind (tut, tut). 

There was also a series of interesting reactions to our posts on The Ottomans and a startlingly series of view count 'spikes' for various other subjects - from Grayson Perry and Today's coverage of the Labour Party conference to The Story of the Jews and Newsnight Scotland's coverage of the Scottish independence referendum. Some of these 'spikes' have taken us by surprise - so much so that we still can't account for why they happened. [Your overwhelming refusal to comment hasn't helped much there either!!]

As was also the case at Biased BBC, our former haunt, Sue's posts continue to pull in lots of silent readers. We used to check the stats at Biased BBC and Sue's posts would regularly haul the largest readerships there, despite the relative reticence of the commentariat on her threads. Sue's many readers must be even more shy and retiring than we are - but we're grateful to you nonetheless (as I'm grateful to mine!). Shy and retiring is good, of course - unless you're Russell Brand - but please, please feel free to come out of your shells and comment, if you like - and if our comments system permits! 

Alas, both being busy types, full of family commitments, we find ourselves with little time to blog; hence, the random-seeming spurts of activity that deluge the blog every so often, and the occasional famines that also afflict our blog every so often. That's blogging for you though, so please continue to bear with us. 

Plus we've only got four eyes and four ears [and that's just me], and so we hear far too little to be a widely-focused forum for the topic of BBC bias. Still, we hopefully play our small part - alongside blogs like BBC Watch, Biased BBC, Nota Sheep and others - in keeping an eye on the BBC and, hopefully, helping steer it ever so slightly towards the straight and narrow. 

Yes, though, it does feel sometimes that it's the likes of the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Spectator and the occasional committed Conservative or UKIP politician who make the real difference here. They bash, bash and bash away [like myriad Bashar al-Assads], and their continued and ever-intensifying bashing does seem to be chipping away at the BBC's previously impervious-seeming air of self-confidence.

Also, it's hard not to think that - in many ways recently - the BBC has been its own worst enemy in the last couple of years, staggering from one scandal to another, being lacerated by its own employees (both current and ex), and plummeting in public trust as a result. Never has the corporation felt so under fire from so many sides. The strain is showing.

Hopefully, the intense and sustained fire the corporation presently finds itself under will (in true Zoroastrian fashion) fully purify it and make it worthy of trust again. Well, we can live in hope. 

If not, bye bye license fee, probably. 

So, as far as Is the BBC biased? is concerned, it's onwards and Jedwards, damn the speedos, full torpedos ahead, and on with the dick dastardly. Intermittently. 


  1. Remember you both fondly as major influences on me, when I first came across the Biased BBC blog(do like that Velvet Underground/Slade we include Lou Reed/Gary Glitter type addendums for a richer metaphor?).
    Your "Sunday" Roastings are invaluable-the likes of Stourton and Longley are clearly "idle hired hands" and available for Beelzebubs bottom to ride in comfortable taxis!
    Hope Sue is well-first pro-Israel/Jewish writer I learned my theology from!
    Which brings me to the 9am news on Sunday 10th Nov on Radio4.
    Aldridge reads out some puff piece for the European Conference of Rabbis being held in Berlin...75 years on from Kristallnacht.
    Yet note its value to the BBC only is so far as Goldschmidt wants us all to lay off Islam, let them emigrate freely to our shores and pass no judgements on sharia, on niqabs, burqua and the like.
    I myself imagine he would only be saying this in response to German efforts to prevent circumcision, halal/kosher...but the BBC read-across gave us all the impression that Jewish rabbis-75 years to the day after Kristallnacht(instigated by the Nazis, apparently)-are more concerned with Islamic supremacy going unopposed that Jews being driven into the sea back home...or sent up the new "sulphur scrubbing chimneys" of the New Europe.
    Hope to YWH that Rabbi Goldschmidt knows just HOW the BBC would portray his press releases...he`s only had to deal with Moscow...London is quite another nest of vipers, Rabbi G.
    Keep up the good work-I know many of us still like to call by!

    1. Thanks Chris.
      Sorry, by the way, about our comments system duplicating you!

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