Sunday 14 June 2015

"Outrageous BBC bias!"

Another little glimpse into BBC insider thinking came courtesy of Mark Mardell on this morning's Broadcasting House.

Paddy had played a few sound clips of British mammals, hoping to use BH's powers of persuasion to tempt Radio 4 listeners into wanting a BH vote for 'Britain's National Mammal' (in parallel to David Lindo's successful 'Britain's National Bird' vote, won by a landslide by the robin [beating my own favourite, the magnificent British blackbird, into third place]).

He'd played sound clips of badgers (which I didn't recognise, despite all the coverage they get on Springwatch!), dolphins (which I did recognise - though not the screaming baby part of their repertoire), red deer (which I certainly recognised too) and foxes (which I completely failed to get).

Along trotted Mark Mardell and quipped in response
But what about the poor hedgehog? Just because it doesn't make a sound you don't feature it? Outrageous BBC bias!
I bet those sort of frivolous "Outrageous BBC bias!" jokes are common at the BBC. 

They doubtless genuinely believe that impartiality is in their genes and that the kind of accusations that sites like this keep making against them are complete and utter balderdash (as Marcus Brigstocke might put it). 

Coming from Mark Mardell though, whose track record on this front is far from unblemished (see here and here), such insouciance is rather galling. 


[He is right about BH's unfair neglect of the hedgehog though. The hedgehog is my candidate for 'Best British Mammal'. 

He's not right about it not making a sound though. Hedgehogs make plenty of sounds. The snuffling noises hedgehogs make while courting are a delight to hear.

Outrageous BBC inaccuracy!]


  1. "I bet those sort of frivolous "Outrageous BBC bias!" jokes are common at the BBC. "

    These inter-staff quips are becoming more frequent and less credible by the week.

    Let a member of the public try and discuss such things with them and suddenly a whole lot of BBC spokespeople, directors or FoI lawyers magically appear.

  2. Oh, and try it on twitter and a blocking likely beckons.

  3. Yes, the contempt they have for anyone who disagrees with them is often on display. Note to the disgusting Mardell: It's a conspiracy, not just bias. There's a pattern of censoring positive news about hedgehogs. Obviously.

    How could a dolphin be an indigenous British mammal? Or do extinct Pleistocene era cetaceans count?

    1. They have a broad range of responses to those who disagree with them; contempt being but one, if highly prevalent.

      More for entertainment value let me share here the latest response to an ongoing FoI:

      "We apologise for not making this clearer in our original response to this request."

      I will be pointing out, amongst a few other things, that is an optimistic way to describe saying another thing entirely, to which I legitimately responded.

      Still, it did give me an opportunity to keep their always interesting default replies in the public domain.


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