A couple of tweets on my Twitter feed reminded me of Radio 4's The World This Weekend, which I've long thought took itself far too seriously and fell into bias with great regularity as a result.
Austin Williams, director of Future Cities: First ten minutes of The World This Weekend is an uncritical stage for an environmental lobbyist.Repeat ad nauseum.Does anyone at the BBC worry about journalistic standards and open enquiry? Clearly Jonny Dymond doesn't, but anyone?
Tim Montgomerie, pundit: Just listened to R4’s World This Weekend and struck again at the self-loathing running through BBC News. Yes, The West has polluted too much, but that same industrialisation road has given the whole world the medicine, tech, wealth etc that makes solutions and progress possible.
I've given it a listen myself now and I can see what they mean.
The opening headlines quoted two women reacting to the outcome of the latest Bonn climate climate conference. The first quote said:
It really feels like the richer world has decided to abandon those who are facing devastation to deal with thing on their own.
The second quote then reinforced the first quote:
The world's economy is very dislocated, on the back of Covid, on the back of an inflation crisis, and so can we continue to negotiate the things that have to happen from a climate perspective? That's the big test. Can we walk and chew gum at the same time?
Those quotes came from people interviewed later, and when the main segment of the programme came we heard from three likeminded people in total: the UN's climate change chief, Patricia Espinosa; someone the programme introduced as 'an environmental lawyer' but which Wikipedia also calls a 'climate activist', Farhana Yamin; and an academic and climate change negotiator who sounded no less of a climate activist, Rachel Kyte.
This is typical of BBC bias on subjects of this kind, where everyone says the same thing - including the presenter.
Tim Montgomerie's point holds up too. Here are two comments/questions from presenter Jonny Dymond that show what Tim calls 'the self-loathing running through BBC News':
But Bonn broke up without the agreement the countries most vulnerable to climate change had hoped for, for assistance from the rich world - which has, after all, fed the fires of global warming - in dealing with the rising seas, floods and droughts that now batter those most vulnerable countries ever more regularly and fiercely.
How big a deal is it? I mean, is it a more important deal, to be brutal about it, that poor countries get shafted? - which is probably something we've known about for decades now.
The BBC certainly knows how to hector. Why can't it just report the news and keep its opinions to itself?