Saturday 27 February 2016

Bias, bias everywhere!

I may be wrong but, alongside my belief that the BBC has serious issues of bias regarding the EU, Israel, immigration, Islam, social conservatism (and so on), I strongly suspect it of also betraying a number of other biases - though I may be on shakier ground with them

Today's From Our Own Correspondent consisted of five items.

The first (which was quite interesting) discussed caste tensions in India and the dilemma this is now posing for Mr Modi.

The second looked at the growing unpopularity of President Sisi in Egypt, with Orla Guerin grimly sounding his death-knell.

The third described an encounter between a Trump supporter and a Muslim refugee from Iraq, in which the latter's description of his experiences transformed the perspective of the former (in the BBC reporter's description). 

The fourth described a far less friendly encounter between the BBC's Moscow correspondent and a pro-Kremlin journalist, which - in the BBC man's telling - made the pro-Kremlin media sound very dishonest and propagandist. 

And the fifth - the 'and finally' piece - looked at how people welcome each other at Cuban airports.

All in all, this felt like pretty standard BBC stuff to me and reeked somewhat of bias.

Why? Well, rightly or wrongly, I think that the BBC has anti-Modi, anti-Sisi, anti-Trump and anti-Putin biases too. 

And I suspect that many at the BBC aren't unsympathetic towards Cuba (and, thus, more inclined to give it the 'and finally' treatment rather than the 'evil human rights abusers' treatment). 

And I think that all of the above can easily be fitted into a general (soggy left-liberal) world-view which I believe the BBC to hold, institutionally-speaking.

What I haven't got is lots of killer evidence to back up any of these beliefs, and there could be some confirmation bias on my part at play here, couldn't there?

It's just that I listen to a lot of BBC reporting and I think I know what I've heard. And certain trends appear to be real. (The anti-Trump trend is almost certainly real!)

Maybe I need to do more research.

Here endeth the ramble.


  1. The BBC has gone way over the top in Trump hatred. It seems like every single show has to have a two minute hate on him as way of displaying virtue. I wouldn't be surprised if there's something on CBeebies. I can't stand him, either, but for entirely different reasons.

    The BBC is anti-Putin, but only because of his stance on homosexual marriage, racism (but not his anti-Jewish sentiments), and harassment of Western journalists.

    Another "Isn't Cuba wonderful" segment. They don't even realize they're doing it.

  2. Well Guerin actually stood as a candidate for the Irish Labour Party in the Republic of Ireland. So I think we know where she was coming from.

    I think you'll ever here anything remotely against the Cuban dictatorship is when gays come into the frame. For instance when did you hear anything about the scourge of racism in Cuba? No? Neither did I. But if you google racism and Cuba you'll find there is systematic discrimination towards blacks.

  3. I wonder if the BBC is as much anti Sisi as it is pro Muslim Brotherhood which it sees as a legitimate if suppressed opposition?

  4. The problem is that the bias is there from the beginning, and the report only exists to confirm an already fixed BBC point of view. The reporter concluded, entirely subjectively that the Trump supporter had changed his perspective. There was no suggestion that anyone on the other side of the debate might have changed their perspectives. I doubt if it would even occurred to the reporter, so clearly entrenched in BBC groupthink, to pose such a question to themselves - and actually provide an intelligent report.

    I am no fan of Putin, quite the reverse, but the arrogance of the BBC’s Moscow correspondent almost beggars belief. What did he expect?

  5. It has become a standard form now, that after any interview has finished the interviewer then adds their own opinion (i.e. the BBC party line), rather than letting the listener form their own opinion.


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