This week's Dateline London was surprising on many fronts (and highly enjoyable).
I expected it to be like every other BBC programme at the moment (slight exaggeration but not much!) and to be a tiresome festival of misery about the US election result with all the usual crowd wailing and gnashing their teeth and agreeing with each other from a shared left-liberal position. Not a bit of it, it turned out.
The range of views on Donald Trump was pleasingly diverse, with lots of positive things as well as negative things being said about his election and what it means. It was far from the usual Dateline consensus. Unusually, the range of views on Hillary Clinton was less diverse but in a most 'un-BBC' way, the general feeling being that she got what was coming to her.
More surprising too is that, for the first time in seven years of continuously monitoring this programme, the panel had a majority of right-wingers. (It's had majorities of left-wingers literally hundreds of time - and I do mean 'literally' in the literal sense there!).
There was a woman making an anti-feminist point and even a climate sceptic who denounced 'climate change' as a scam. Such things don't usually happen on Dateline (if ever).
The only unsurprising thing was Gavin Esler, who couldn't quite manage to shake off the BBC mindset (or mood) in some of his comments but, in fairness, he hardly got a word in edgeways for much of the programme.
Well worth a watch if you've a spare half an hour. You're unlikely to see or hear anything quite like it elsewhere on the BBC at the moment.
So, 'balance' achieved. This will be brought up after a few more years of non-stop Leftoid panels when someone complains they never have it the other way.ReplyDelete
We've seen this many times with the BBC. After enough complaints - usually it takes more in the public sphere than in submissions from the general public - they will make an obvious effort to shift. For moment. They will even take it too far to the other side, just to prove the point. Then, having achieved the few minutes of proof they think is required, it's back to the usual biased output.
Justin Webb used to have regular episodes like this back when he was the BBC North America editor. He'd be obviously biased for weeks - especially on his blog - and then would say he'd heard the complaints and would try harder. A ham-fisted shift to appear biased the other way would follow, as if he agreed with so many defenders of the indefensible who would tell us we didn't really want impartiality, we just wanted the BBC to be biased on our side.
Having gotten it out of his system for a day or so, it would then be right back to the usual sneering bias. They do it on Today, Newsnight, and the News itself.