Friday 5 December 2014

The BBC News website exposes its...bias

...and, in the light of the previous post, I've just clicked on the BBC News website and found that the 'most read' and 'most shared' article is Nigel Farage defends breastfeeding comments amid row in which our Nigel "insists" on this and that, and is "criticised" by all and sundry - i.e presisely the sort of piece those YouGov respondents might have had in mind.

So (as we scientists say) what is all that 'reading' and 'sharing' about then? 

Well, a clue might be provided by the Comments section beneath the BBC article. 

Click on the 'Highest Rated' and you'll see all manner of people slagging off the media/the BBC for using this against UKIP and saying that Nigel has a point. 

The public were clearly very excited by this story. The article has 1,143 comments. 

However, in a short space of time [considerably less than 24 hours] the BBC moderators declared, "This entry is now closed for comments", so 1,143 comments will be all that the BBC allows. 

The BBC News website is, it seems, unwilling to let its readers continue publicly breastfeeding their views on this article. The British public, pace YouGov, will doubtless draw their own conclusions. 


  1. That manufactured breastfeeding controversy is really, really annoying. Why should the press make such a song and dance out of Nigel Farage’s remark about Claridge’s breastfeeding policy? They must be desperate to discredit Farage. Talk about clutching at straws. What negative, infantile gossip.

    If the BBC or the press ever force Nigel Farage to behave in that politically correct, never-say-anything-straight fashion, like most politicians who are terrified to speak freely in case something that might be misconstrued accidentally slips out, which could be maliciously used against them at a later date, Farage will lose much of his appeal. A politically correct Farage wouldn’t be the same. Maybe that’s their strategy.

    A mild, non-contentious comment about a woman who took ostentatious umbrage at being asked to be discrete about feeding her baby in the middle of the tearoom or wherever she decided to do it, and the press swooped and made a mountain out of it. Just because it was made by UKIP.

    Isabel Hardman got on her high horse. “What is ostentatious breastfeeding?” she asked indignantly. “Does it involve a small brass band and a neon sign...etc etc?”
    No, Isobel. It involves doing something relatively intimate, defiantly, in public.

    Yes, it’s natural. So are many other things, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to watch them in the refined surroundings of Claridges’s tearoom, if you like that sort of thing.

    As a mother and an inveterate breastfeeder, I do know a bit about this. I’ve fed babies myself, here there and everywhere, even in the middle of a tearoom. But it’s so easy to do it unostentatiously that the mind boggles at anyone deliberately getting their tit out, in yer face.
    Anyway, a couple of updates (on Hardman’s article) have clarified Nige’s position, and I think they make Isabel Hardman look pretty silly if you ask me. Which you didn’t.

    1. They certainly do - and we should have done, Sue.

      Nigel Farage's words, in the original interview, were reasonable, cautious, and hard to argue with - unless you were absolutely determined to find offence in them. His response, in Izzy's update, was similarly sensible and hard to argue.

      It really is infantile nonsense. And it's worrying that such mild, thoughtful comments should be blown up into a fake storm of indignation by supposedly-grown-up, actually-over-teenage (though, in Isabel's case, only just) adults.

      The Pavlovian dogs at the BBC have been out in force. The sainted Hugh Sykes (whom I'm not attacking) has been busy re-tweeting mockery of Nige at a fair rate of knots (in his unashamedly biased way).

  2. This was very amusing. Farage said he wouldn't have done it himself, but understood Claridge's concerns, and that they have a right to run the place as they like. It's not like they chased her out. The idea that someone ought to be considerate of a few people of a certain age who might be less than blasé about it is met with outrage. He saw both points of view. What's the problem? Bizarre, but I guess they're all terrified of UKIP now.


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