Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dismantle the BBC

Tech Central Station has an outstanding article about Robin Aitken who worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation for 25+ years and rose to be an on-air personality on their flagship "Today" program. Aitken has written a book entitled Can We Trust the BBC?

Unsurprisingly, we can't.

Some excerpts:

What is the BBC's worldview? "I think the BBC, by and large, lines up behind what I would term the progressive consensus on whatever issue one happens to be talking about," Aitken recently told me. "So for instance, during the era of the Soviet Union and the Cold War, the BBC was too willing to find excuses for Soviet misdeeds and excesses; was too sympathetic for the notion of unilateral nuclear disarmament; was too hostile and suspicious of the motives of the US.
A few years ago, Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post gave this sort of leftwing American hatred of President Bush its name: "Bush Derangement Syndrome," or BDS for short. But what's the BBC's excuse for BDS? Aitken believes that Bush's strong religious faith is one reason. "His overt Christianity is something that BBC by and large, finds intolerable in politicians. Certainly no British politicians would open themselves up to the accusation that they were religious. Tony Blair has felt the backlash from the BBC. The BBC hates any hint at all that politicians have some sort of religious hinterland. It despises that as a sort of superstition."

Aitken believes that the Bush=Hitler poster and the mindset that finds it acceptable to hang in newsroom that prides itself on objectivity is the mark of "a powerfully corrosive internal culture in the BBC, which acts upon individuals." Aitken adds that "I know my colleagues, or my ex-colleagues, I should say, well enough that they are honest people, and I would never say differently. I don't think that they are lying or conniving at telling untruths. I just think that there isn't enough heterodoxy in their political viewpoint to make for a healthy political balance in the output."
"My view is that the Palestinians and the Palestinian leadership is the architect of its own misfortune in many ways. Whereas, what comes across from the BBC's presentation of events in Palestine and the Middle East generally, is that in some ways, the Palestinians are a put-upon victim minority, and it's the beastly Israelis who are doing the dirty to them.

"And you know, that is not a fair presentation of the position. Because the Israelis are militarily strong and successful, and the Palestinians aren't, I think the BBC allows that too much to play at its judgment, so that what comes across is too much sympathy, if you will, for the Palestinians, too little appreciation of the rights of Israel, and also too little recognition of the fact that Israel is a functioning democracy in a way that Palestine isn't, and nor is any Arab-dominated Middle Eastern state, and not enough credit is given for that in my view."

The BBC, an independent corporation, is publicly funded. And the valid point made is that it has undue influence over a large portion of not only the British population but the Anglosphere as well. To wit:

How powerful is the BBC's influence? When the Tory-oriented Internet TV channel 18 Doughty Street interviewed Aitken in February, host Tim Montgomerie began the show by asking "Which is the most powerful and important institution in Britain? Is it the Royal Family? Is it Parliament? Is it the National Health Service? Well, you could make a good case for the BBC being certainly one of the most important institutions in our country."
But in terms of broadcast media, BBC's radio and (particularly) television programs virtually draft the single tone for the news that the vast majority of English viewers receive. Aitken describes it, "a vast 24/7 propaganda machine, churning out a set of views on moral and social issues, and that has its effect over time. The fact that Britain is, in many ways, a very liberal society, I think a lot of that is due to the influence of the BBC, which has undoubtedly molded public opinion on a lot of these issues."

And all the lefties complain about Fox News.

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