Friday 26 February 2016

They spin me right round, baby, right round

I suppose if this blog were to adopt an MP as our patron saint it would have to be Andrew Bridgen. 

He's by far the most prolific, high-profile complainer about BBC bias in parliament. 

If there's an article in the Telegraph or the Mail featuring MPs complaining about BBC bias Mr Bridgen is bound to be among them.

And I salute him for that.

The Telegraph reports today that Andrew Bridgen has now written to the BBC complaining that Newsnight and Today are "biassed (sic) towards the EU":
In the run up to the EU council, pro-EU voices heavily outweighed sceptical voices on Newsnight (which on two out of five nights in the week of the council was Nigel Farage). 
Meanwhile Today continues to give greater prominence to pro-EU guests. The 6.15[am] business slot in particular has become an opportunity for a business leader to quickly claim that we must remain in the EU with little to no scrutiny behind the arguments for this. 
Eurosceptic business leaders meanwhile are impugned for wanting to leave for either reducing workers’ rights or dodging the bonus cap.
You may have heard more of the BBC than me this week. Is this true about Today

I will obviously have to investigate.

As for Newsnight, I will admit to being puzzled. I get the bet about...
In the run up to the EU council, pro-EU voices heavily outweighed sceptical voices on Newsnight 
but I don't understand how the following bit in parentheses is meant to reinforce that point: 
(which on two out of five nights in the week of the council was Nigel Farage).
...especially as my own survey of that week's Newsnight shows only one interview with Nigel Farage (though there may have been a brief clip of him in one of the week's reports).

How does Nigel Farage (allegedly) being on twice 'prove' that the BBC has a pro-EU bias?

My survey also shows (in the four days prior to the deal) a (roughly-speaking) 7:5 pro-Remain ratio. 

That's a slight pro-Remain bias, but does it justify the words "heavily outweighed sceptical voices"?

I don't like being spun to by any side. Am I being spun to here?


  1. Re: Farage's appearances and whether or not that's a sign of pro-EU BBC bias:

    Consider how he's treated. We can think of more than one instance where you wouldn't say his mere appearance was a sign of anti-EU BBC bias, right?

    I need to look up Andrew Bridgen. I admit I'm not up to speed here.

  2. There is something in this. Call me paranoid but I've noticed a tendency on Newsnight to interview pro-EU types in authoritative settings e.g. an office, sat in an executive chair or via a studio link, whereas the anti-EU spokepersons like Nigel Farage and Melanie Phillips have been interviewed in the street for some reason - like vox pops, thus diminishing their authority.

    These tricks may be deliberate or unconscious. Then there is the strange fact that Farage has been cut off mid sentence at least three times on various channels. Unofficial action by audio engineers, who no doubt all talk to each other. I can't think of it happening once to any other party leader (it must have but three times in a few months IS suspicious, just as is a ballot box going missing for six hours on election night). I'm not a UKIP member BTW, or a member of any other party.

    Today the minority demo by CND got the full luvvie treatment on Today - softball interviews with the demonstrators about to set off...just allowed to state their views without challenge for about 5 minutes! Did Today do that with any other non left wing minority demo - say by Pegida? No.


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