Sunday 7 January 2018

Is this a biased BBC report I see before me?


This lunchtime's The World This Weekend was lacking the glamorous, globe-trotting Mark Mardell. 

Instead of Mark reporting (Lord Brett Sinclair-like and at the BBC licence-fee payer's expense) from some sun-soaked, glamorous continental European location like Barcelona or Lisbon or Lake Como  - or for that matter the even-more-glamorous British seaside - poor old grey, depressing Radio 4 SJW Matthew Price (no offence! lovely chap!) got packed off instead to the knife-crime-infested swamps of London. (Hope he wins his award!). 

The World This Weekend special on knife crime was the result. 

By chance, I was wanting to hear about that very subject after reading a fascinating piece (a couple of days ago) at Spiked by Luke Gittos entitled There is no epidemic of knife crime

Luke argued, with lots of statistical support, that the evidence just isn't there to support the contention that there's an unprecedented epidemic of knife crime. Knife Crime has been with us for decades, fluctuating up and down, spiking here and spiking there. 

He also argued though that there's a nihilistic culture among young black men which is the underlying problem, especially in London, and that this is the problem that dare not speak its name, and that the "tiptoeing" around it does more harm than good.

Well, today's The World This Weekend, strongly going with the 'epidemic' contention, most certainly did tiptoe around the 'nihilistic culture among young black men' issue. We heard lots of talk about 'the community' and 'communities' but nothing about which community or communities.

Also, as noted on the Open Thread, Matthew Price avoided many other issues, such as "lone parenting and poor parenting, incentives to lone parenting, poor school discipline...and message sent by repeat offending let-offs" as well as the influence of BBC-acceptable-and-promoted musical genres like violence-friendly grime.

(Honestly, why doesn't the BBC get as worried about grime as it does about 'insensitive' tweets?) 

Matthew did ask one question (to the lady who thought that a 'holistic' approach was needed to tackle the issue) about some listeners possibly thinking that a 'lock 'em up' approach was needed to deal with knife crime, but that was the single concession to the idea of balance in this overwhelmingly left-liberal take on the issue. 

Please listen for yourselves and see what you think (if you've a spare 25 minutes or so).


  1. This is an example of the stuff Radio 1 Xtra put in their playlist:

    Full of glamourising references to drug dealing, shooting people, objectification of women, machismo, racism,bravado, threats, online bullying and the's not written with any ironic distance "Mac the Knife" style, it's written as though the performer is a participant celebrating his lifestyle.

    We all know the BBC defence will be "this is people from deprived backgrounds telling us how it is, urban reality"...not something that they would ever use to defend playing of music by fascist or (white) racist bands from poor deprived backgrounds. J

    Just as they do with their TV news, in this dark entertainment they are creating a "reality" that they are eager to create. Just how "deprived" are these people. The reality is that most of these young people have free education, huge opportunities for training and self-improvement, access to a wide range of sports and leisure facilities (often free), free health care and subsidised housing which is well heated, reasonably spacious and free from damp. The negative elements in their lives are either the result of poor parenting or are self-inflicted, through actively seeking to become involved in crime and drug use. But the BBC deliberately seeks to create a reality of victimhood which then justifies a range of anti-social behaviours.

    This is the BBC at its very worst.

  2. That's identity politics for you: attain victimhood status and get a free pass on everything.


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