26th November 2010
UPDATE 15th Feb 2011: Regular commenter here, Stan Rosenthal, OUTS Jeremy Paxman’s Bias
UPDATE, 3rd Dec: John Rentoul links here with his ‘BBC Bias on Iraq’ article. Notice how the usual “Blair haters” never respond to the actual point of the story. They just regurgitate their own prejudices. The WE ALL KNOWERS are alive and well (sort of) and still after the best of us, never the worst.
COMPLAINT TO THE BBC: ‘Jeremy Paxman has broken the BBC’s impartiality rules by writing a piece for the Guardian which clearly reveals his own negative views about the Iraq war.
The off-air guidelines state that BBC presenters on BBC news or current affairs programmes must not express a view in any newspaper article an matters of current party political debate or political controversy.’
PAXO – EVEN-HANDED JOURNALISM? NO! NO! NO!
100 TIMES NO, Mr Paxman.
This article by BBC 2’s Newsnight’s main man Jeremy Paxman is a travesty of anything approaching the balanced journalism required under the BBC rules.
WE ALL KNOW, DON’T WE?
Of course, WE ALL KNOW by now that the rights and wrongs of the Iraq war had nothing to do with the decision-making political reasoning of democratically elected politicians. WE ALL KNOW that it was unadulterated persuasion by the irresistible charms/shared religiosity/bribery of the leader of the EVIL Empire (aka the USA in Guardianisto/BBC lingo) that drove our wide-eyed boy into the arms of Satan.
Or if we don’t know that – WE ALL KNOW that the blue-eyed wide boy himself was the Evil One and probably still is. That’s why he lied to us all. WE ALL KNOW that, don’t we?
And if we don’t know that WE ALL KNOW that all he ever wanted was the money, honey. WE ALL KNOW that, FGS! And to top it all, it was his wicked wife who in her money-grubbing fashion pushed him to throw away all his sanity in a moment of political madness!
And WE ALL KNOW anyway, that Robert Harris was right – they’re both CIA agents and always were.
And they killed David Kelly. Probably with their own fair hands. WE ALL KNOW that, now, don’t we?
We’ve been told often enough by the KNOWING press. If you don’t know by now – why not? Are you dumb or sumpin’?
Now it is becoming quite obvious that our esteemed, impartial BBC is following the same agenda.
A friend has just sent me this complaint over Jeremy Paxman’s Guardian article which he has submitted to the BBC. There are several others who have recently complained to the BBC over their anti-Blair bias. The BBC has become peculiarly lax about even acknowledging that it has received such complaints, and even more so about doing anything about them. So my friend might have to wait several months before his complaint goes through the full complaints process.
It is clear from this article that contrary to the BBC rules he has expressed clearly negative opinions on Iraq, Tony Blair and George Bush. Perhaps he is to be congratulated for managing to keep that bias (sort of) secret for so many years. Secret under his general cloak of sneering, seemingly impartial superiority against all comers from his throne of unquestionable righteousness on the Newsnight set.
Having said all that he IS good at his job. But after publicly joining the Guardianisto Band of Brothers, he has let his mask slip and let himself down. He has also let down those of us who used to look to Newsnight as one of the few BBC outlets providing something approaching balanced reporting.
THE FOLLOWING COMPLAINT IS NOW WITH THE BBC COMPLAINTS DEPARTMENT
Jeremy Paxman in breach of the off air editorial guidelines
Jeremy Paxman has broken the BBC’s impartiality rules by writing a piece for the Guardian which clearly reveals his own negative views about the Iraq war.
The off air guidelines state that BBC presenters on BBC news or current affairs programmes must not express a view in any newspaper article an matters of current party political debate or political controversy.
In a piece written for the Guardian Review of 13 November 2010, headed Blood, Smoke and Rubble, Mr Paxman clearly expressed views on the Iraq war which are associated with those who oppose the war. In particular he writes about” the Iraq war hanging over this decade like a very bad smell; images of poor David Kelly leaving the House of Commons before he killed himself; grinning American guards posing with their hooded, humiliated prisoners; little George Bush strutting on the deck of an aircraft carrier with that “Mission Accomplished ” banner”. More importantly he refers to “the initial lies that took us to war” to “Tony Blair striding around with his new best friend”, in his “excruciating balls-crushing jeans” and to the “dodgy dossier”.
He goes on to talk about the “truth of the war” that “the most powerful nation on earth had destroyed a fly-blown tyranny” and had disguised the fact by replacing the American flag with the Iraqi flag when the statue of Saddam was toppled. He concludes with this paragraph: “we shall probably forget the Iraq war in much the same way as we have forgotten the humiliation in Mesopotamia in the first world war. But it ought to make us a lot more wary about everything we see and hear when powerful states decide to pursue “vital interests”.
If all this is not expressing a one-sided view on a politically controversial matter I do not know what is. Mr Paxman has focused almost exclusively on the negative features related to the war, making disparaging remarks about the Americans, Tony Blair, George Bush in the process and comparing the war with the humiliation in Mesopotamia. There is of course another view of the war that sees it as a noble and successful endeavour to uphold UN resolutions, liberate the Iraqis and remove any possible threat of weapons of mass destruction being used in the region again.
You may possibly defend Mr Paxman’s article in terms of it just being a description of what actually happened but the way it has been written clearly reveals Mr Paxman’s attitude to the war. Apart from anything else his references to “the lies that took us to war” and to the “dodgy dossier” obviously chime with the key strands of the anti-war argument.
Mr Paxman should therefore be severely reprimanded for breaking the BBC Guidelines on this matter and if it emerges he had had the approval of his Head of Department as required by the rules then his Head of Department should also be reprimanded for allowing such a one-sided piece to appear in the name of a prominent BBC presenter.
- Christopher Hitchens on his ‘living’ cancer (news.bbc.co.uk)
EARLIER POSTS HERE ON BBC BIAS
- BBC BIAS 2 – on poppy burners & arrest of EDL member
- BBC BIAS 1 – Remembrance Day 2010, Cenotaph, Whitehall, London
- BBC’s Iraq Inquiry Coverage (& Impartiality Rules) Under Scrutiny
- BBC APOLOGISES TO BLAIR. Oh, sorry, I meant GELDOF. Well, it’s a start
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
“All countries need a leader who isn’t afraid to fight terrorism. I believe Mr. Blair did a necessary job in helping his allies. Are we all just supposed to lie down and wait for them to come for us, I don’t think so.”
And – “Mr. Blair is one of the finest politicians to have had the privilege of serving the United Kingdom, and Britons are fortunate to have had him as their Prime Minister. Time will show that Mr. Blair’s approach to affairs in the Middle East were and remain correct. From a member of the Commonwealth, thank you, Mr. Blair, for your continued service to legitimate and lasting (and not convenient or politically expedient) freedom.”
AND – “Tony Blair was the greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill and the only regret I have he didn’t get my vote as I live in Canada.”
AND – “I am sick and tired of television and radio interviewers asking the same old questions over and over, regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq, presumably they hope Mr Blair will let slip some secret information which they would then use against him. History will show if the decision was the right one, (I believe it was) but people must accept that Tony Blair is an honourable man, and made his decision based on the known facts and not with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.”
Tags: BBC, BBC complaints department, BBC News, COMPLAINT to the BBC, George Bush, Iraq, iraq war, Jeremy Paxman, John Rentoul, Journalism, newsnight, Paxo stuffed, Robert Harris, Tony Blair, United States, we all know don't we