Sunday 24 April 2016

Peter Preston wants the BBC to take his side

I see that Peter Preston of the Guardian/Observer is calling on the BBC to stop being so 'fair and balanced' and start getting onside with "Project Calm Rationality" instead. 

He also wants pro-Leave guests (such as Dan Hannan) to be introduced with 'health warnings' (such as that he's never "negotiated a trade deal, as opposed to writing leaders for the Telegraph") and for the BBC to play the 'authority' card by not "pretend[ing] that the accumulated weight of the IMF, OECD, Bank of England, White House, NFU, TUC, CBI and IFS can somehow be wiped away when Chris Grayling demands his rebuttal moment".

That, of course, is how 'climate change sceptics' are already dealt with by the BBC - especially following LordLawsongate at Today.

In this, PP echoes (albeit more crudely) Prof. Timothy Garton-Ash who argued a while back that "the BBC is too timid" and that "being impartial on the EU is not enough". The BBC, he says, is guilty of "fairness bias" - giving equal airtime to unequal arguments, without daring to say that, on this or that point, one side (in his view, the Remain side) has more evidence, or a significantly larger body of expert opinion, than the other (the Leave side). He wants the BBC to give "judgements" (and I think we can safely assume that he thinks his side will be the one getting the lion's share of the favourable 'judgements').

It's an interesting gambit: Say the BBC is too impartial (music to their beloved BBC's ears!) and then demand it stop being impartial and come down instead on the their side instead - the side of 'rationality', 'evidence', and the great and the good. It's a strategy that's worked well for such people over 'climate change', so (I guess they're thinking) why not try it again here?


  1. What's the next stage, trial by torture, ordinary or extraordinary? Being broken on the wheel?

    These people must have a pretty weak argument if they have to stop the other side from speaking.

    1. Well there is death by social media for those who dare to express an opinion other than that Islam is great, mass immigration is fantastic and the genders are of completely equal in ability in all respects including football and firefighting.

  2. "IMF, OECD, Bank of England, White House, NFU, TUC, CBI and IFS"

    None of who are exactly noted for "getting it right" are they.

    1. What happens if we vote to Remain and it all goes tits up? Are they going to write out personal cheques to us in compensation for their error? Er - no.

      All these bodies are saying these things because they think, rightly or wrongly, that to Remain is in their interests. The IFS's reputation for being "objective" is completely ill deserved. You can't expect an organisation that had Roy Jenkins as it vice President to be anything other than rabidly Remainist. If you look at its luminaries over the last decade or so , you find they pop up in places like IMF, Bank of England,UK Stats Authority and OBR. It's one big merry go round of key appointments from which they propagate their anti-democratic views. Meanwhile young people in this country can't get secure employment or decent housing. They don't care.

  3. Yet Beeboids and journalists and defenders of the indefensible were always telling us that we didn't really want an impartial BBC and really only wanted the BBC to take our point of view on everything.

    It's always the Left wanting that.

  4. Both of them would say they've got a liberal outlook. And yet both want to control the argument by muffling their opponents' right to speak. The cognitive dissonance ought to be deafening (but won't be).


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