Sunday 26 April 2015

"The horrors! The horrors!”

One of the most bizarre comments I've ever heard from a BBC presenter came from David Eades on The World Tonight this January. 

All this week The World Tonight's Beth McLeod will be talking to the people you hear a lot about in this heated debate but rarely hear from.
By that he meant immigrants.

Unless David was merely being disingenuous or purely propagandistic, that pronouncement must rank among the most inaccurate statements ever made by a BBC presenter, given that the BBC has been absolutely relentless in getting us to hear the voices of immigrants - especially the nice ones with distressing back-stories. 

I was put in mind of this again today by a comment from Guest Who at Biased-BBC:

Guest Who
@bbcnewsnight has posted this harrowing tale:
Three teenage migrants describe the horrors they saw on the way to Europe
Thing is, it seems these… migrants… appear to have made their way through most of Africa to get to a warzone, to pay some scumbuckets for a roll of the dice chance at a better life in Europe by illegal means.
Just what… is the BBC proposing here? 


  1. Eades was being sarcastic, surely.

  2. Meanwhile, in other's not just the BBC...

    Jeremy Clarkson (Sunday Times, today) has also come out in favour of letting in ALL boat migrants on the Med.

    1. I hope Jeremy was laying on the irony with a trowel - otherwise I shall ask Guido to remove my signature from the JC petition!

    2. Clarkson is (was) a licensed jester. The conservative stance was mostly an act. He's little more than a spoiled child whose laddish contrarianism was enabled by the massive amount of money he earned for the BBC. He may like cars and things that explode, and may not like being told what to do by authority, but he's not a proper conservative. It's why he's buddies with Cameron.

    3. I think that you are, alas, quite right & that Jezzer has feet of clay. I must confess that I signed on the grounds that, 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' & was motivated more by mischief than a fondness for petrol fumes.

  3. No - no irony quotes. A cynical person might say he's in image makeover mode.

  4. The BBC just seem incapable of being impartial.

    Tonight on their website they have three headlines:

    "Miliband plans to curb rip-off rents" - Clearly a positive intro. No mention of Labour Shadow Minister having ruled out rent control in Jan.

    Sturgeon: "Miliband will change tune" - Good for SNP this headline - suggests Sturgeon is a strong character determining events.

    And then:

    "No "lack of drive" in campaign - PM" Hmmm...not so positive eh? This headline suggests the Tories are on the backfoot having to engage in denial politics.

    But we know how the BBC will counter any complaint - there are three parties mentioned. Balance...and the Tories actually get more "column inches" on the page.

    Of course - there is another issue: why do the BBC favour SNP over UKIP or indeed Lib Dems? Bigging up the SNP seems a v. BBC approach: the Tories want them to do it and it allows them to squeeze UKIP off the front page.

    1. It will be interesting if the BBC gets prodded into releasing comparative data on headlines and home pages.

      Seems Guido this morning has again highlighted a, shall we say, oddly skewed level of emphasis. Again.

      If they do an interesting precedent gets set.

      Especially for those of us who have asked for such data and been refused on spurious grounds.

      For the BBC to try and claim impartiality whilst only permitting transparency it controls would be a tricky thing to carry off credibly.

    2. That would be protected from FOIA requests on the grounds of "journalism", no?

    3. Yes.

      And I have just had my latest FoI request denied on the alternate, 'we've made it too expensive to check our systems for deliberate error' excuse.

      They seem to alternate. With the odd 'this is not formatted the way we like' rejection thrown in to waste more time before they end up blowing it off anyway.


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