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I always thought that the BBC had it in for Israel. Their reports are always so biased against the Jewish State. As it turns out I was wrong. The BBC is biased against Israel the United States and anyone else that does not support their liberal agenda. They don’t even care about the issue if it came out of a conservatives mouth they hate it. The”Beeb” as it is called, does not allow any “outsiders’ to participate in discussions/ review of its coverage policy…there is a strict code of silence. Robin Aitken, who worked for the BBC for 25 years has broken that silence, and blows the lid of this publicly supported news organization, that has no regard for telling the public the truth

The Beeb’s Bias Britain’s public broadcaster is a major source of anti-American propaganda. BY ROBIN AITKEN Sunday, July 1, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT I experienced a sense of vindication recently when I read that the BBC was about to publish a document admitting a pervasive liberal-left bias in its output. As this was the theme of my recent book, “Can We Trust the BBC?,” it seemed I would be able to indulge in a spectacular bout of I-told-you-so-ing. Alas, that brief, heady moment proved premature. For while the report is a careful piece of research, it pulls its punches when it comes to bias within its own News and Current Affairs department–where it matters most. Richard Tait, chairman of the BBC’s “Impartiality Steering Group,” point-blank denied that there is any bias in its news output. The Beeb has never been distinguished by a culture of robust self-criticism. The reaction was a studied indifference from everyone up the command chain. In a way, the BBC’s attitude makes sense. The most important asset for any news organization is credibility. It is the mortal fear of “brand contamination” which in the past persuaded BBC executives to keep a lid on any discussion of the organization’s failure to live up to its obligations to fairness and impartiality. And there has been wide-scale failure. On every issue of public policy and political controversy, The war in Iraq? Opinion within the London newsrooms was overwhelmingly opposed to military action from the start and has never wavered since. Man-made climate change? The BBC has jettisoned all semblance of impartiality on the issue; it now openly campaigns with a constant stream of scare stories. The Arab-Israeli conflict? The BBC’s sympathies are firmly on the side of the Palestinians, who, having achieved the status of permanent victims, escape skeptical examination of their actions and motives. The same biases color attitudes on moral issues. Abortion? BBC reportage invariably starts from the premise that it is an unquestioned social good, and the company has close links with pro-abortion groups like the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Multiculturalism? The BBC enthusiastically embraces a relativism that treats all cultures, no matter how backward, as equally valid and gives our own democratic traditions no special weight. Homosexuality? The BBC has consistently pushed the agenda of gay-rights activists on issues like same-sex marriage and the adoption of children by gay couples. The reverse of the coin is that the BBC has its own in-house pariah groups: the “Christian Right,” neocons, climate-change skeptics, “homophobes,” George W. Bush. These people will never get the soft interview or helpful publicity. The BBC reserves special venom for its portrayal of the Superpower. Little details betray underlying attitudes. I once spotted a poster of President Bush as Hitler in the large, shared radio current affairs newsroom; no one else seemed to mind this sophomoric but revealing prank. A much deeper anti-Americanism was at work in the reporting of the New Orleans hurricane disaster: BBC correspondents demonstrated unholy relish in dwelling on the failures in a way they would never have done had the event occurred elsewhere. The murder spree at Virginia Tech this spring was an opportunity for moralizing reports about U.S. gun laws. Reporters conveniently forgot that such tragedies happen the world over. All these biases arise naturally from the type of organization the BBC is and the sort of people who work there. The BBC is a public-sector entity, paid for by what is essentially a universal poll tax levied on everyone with a television, and thus has an instinctive suspicion of the private sector. This colors its judgment in debates about, for instance, public health care and education. The general view is that the public sector is always superior, at least in intention, to the priv>ate. In terms of staffing, BBC editorial people are overwhelmingly university graduates, usually in the liberal arts, and young; the official retirement age is 60, but the ranks of the over-50s are very thin. Not surprisingly there is a strong “group think” mechanism at work. It is striking how quickly the “BBC position” on any news story emerges. I know from personal experience that expressing dissent in BBC editorial meetings can be an intimidating and uncomfortable experience. What can be done? Some argue that the BBC should be scrapped entirely. That would be an overreaction and an act of cultural vandalism. Some of its radio documentaries are excellent, its classical-music station a national treasure. British life would be immeasurably poorer without it. In any case the U.K. needs more, not less, media competition. A British Fox News, for example, would be a welcome development. Yet the BBC’s dominance means it can stifle the competition at birth, and the liberal establishment would fight tooth and nail any government that contemplated licensing the likes of Fox. Certainly there are many thinking individuals within the BBC–including, I believe, Director General Mark Thompson–who know internal reform is needed. The new report deserves at least one cheer from the company’s critics, as the pack-ice may finally be cracking. But producing meaningful change will not be easy. It’s difficult to see how altering the BBC’s ingrained bias can be achieved without getting rid of some people and hiring others of a different political stripe. Not the work of an afternoon. Meanwhile, as continued denials of bias show, the BBC’s instinctive code of omertà (keeps the debate within the family at all costs) is still largely intact. The Beeb’s reaction to my own book was telling: Not a single BBC outlet has seen fit to interview me, even though the accusations it contains are serious, detailed and sober. As a publicly funded body, the BBC has a duty to engage with its critics, especially on the vitally important issue of impartiality and overall fairness. Until it does so, it will not be prudent to trust the BBC. Mr. Aitken’s “Can We Trust the BBC?” was published by Continuum this year

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