Guardian spinning it for the BBC. Two sides of the same pc coin?

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    2nd January 2011

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    Why no mention of the BBC’s 40% by The Guardian?

    If you were a Guardian journalist writing on this news coverage comparison story and chart, wouldn’t you have thought there was something more noteworthy than that Sky’s ‘Murdoch media to control over a fifth of UK news consumption’?

    For instance, the small matter that the BBC has currently almost 40% of news consumption?

    Well? Wouldn’t you?

    The so-called guardian of press impartiality and the so-called public-supported broadcaster of impartiality don’t seem to reckon that fact is at all noteworthy.  This article is one of the worst I can recall for spinning. And I can recall a lot of Guardian spinning. (This site counters Guardian spinning against Israel/Jews)

    Before I continue, can I say that like 4 in 10 of us I look, or more often listen, to the BBC for my news coverage. I wake up to ‘Today’ on Radio 4 and I am quite a fan of the World Service on R4 from 1:00am. I am even quite impressed by many of the BBC news broadcasters though some fill me with a certain feeling that they have an agenda. For that reason, where the agenda is clear, I no longer watch or listen to Question Time or Any Questions. I find their panel members mind-numbingly blank, uninteresting, often dull intellectually and certainly not representative of many of my own thoughts on current affairs. The same usually applies to their average mix of audience. There seems little balance in their determined pc-ness.

    And I certainly saw nothing on these news coverage numbers at the BBC News 24 hour website. They tend to fill their rolling news site with repetition of the same few news stories, seldom updating the screen r-e-e-l   f-o-r   s-l-o-w   r-e-a-d-e-r-s across the bottom. Like Sky News they start the day with several stories and generally regurgitate them all day, as though nothing new has happened. The BBC seldom mentions anything detrimental to the BBC itself or even detrimental to the very left-leaning Guardian.

    Dominic Grieve, British Conservative politician.

    Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General (Image via Wikipedia)

    ASIDE: I have never seen such television coverage for a murder story as there has been over the last two weeks or more on the tragic fate of the young woman who was found strangled on Christmas Day. To be fair Sky News has been just as repetitive on this.  The media  and those who write on the internet have been warned about this chatter and hearsay, by Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General.

    (listen to Mr Grieve on World at One reference the Contempt of Court Act.)

    I know I’m moving off the main point of this post, but did it not strike you as odd that the broadcasters all dwelt on the hunt for Joanna Yeates and her killer(s) in a way which seemed out of all proportion to its newsworthiness? Almost to the point of building it into a larger story than just another murder? Almost to the point of filling their slots so that they wouldn’t have to look at other items in any depth?

    No? Not odd? Must be just me, then.

    And tonight the much publicised suspect in the Yeates case has been released on police bail.


    Perhaps I am unusual in thinking there must have been more than one newsworthy murder in the last week or so.

    Perhaps I am being unfair to suggest that there is a “let’s keep Little Britain’s eyes on the domestic” approach, so we don’t burn our fingers (again) internationally.

    Perhaps I am also unusual in being more concerned about international issues which impact on us than on dwelling on the mystery surrounding an unfortunate young landscape architect’s death.

    But it seems that the Beeb has decided that even in this global world all news is local.

    I do realise that being a journalist abroad can be very dangerous.  I have great respect and a high regard for most journalists, especially those who report and do not opine. Old-fashioned, aren’t I?

    But I can no longer force myself to read much in The Guardian, especially since their Comment Is (NOT) Free articles  have banned me from contributing there. (Don’t ask me why! I suppose they don’t like my alias, or the fact that I think some Jews are OK!) Therefore I am in no position to say how much coverage the Guardian gave the Yeates murder story.


    From the BBC we might have expected more on its main slots and on its main text pages on for instance, issues surrounding Turkey and its ambition to join the EU, given their attitude to the IHH and Palestinian issues and their relationship with Iran.

    Is the Israeli/Palestinian issue really of no interest to our news broadcasters? There is seldom any in-depth reporting from all sides in this conflict, or at least little from the Israeli side. There is reportedly another Gaza-bound ship – this time full of women on its way and so far we haven’t even heard about that from our broadcasters, including a look at the reasons given that mostly women are on board.  We did hear about the guilty verdict on Israel’s rapist former president, which confirms that there is justice in Israel under the law.

    But what about an in-depth look at the repercussions for Britain of the guilty verdict on Mikhail Khodorkovsky in Russia especially following the Wikileak on the Mafia state of Russia and the likelihood that Putin wishes to stand for the presidency again? And of course Russia is attempting to muscle in as some kind of ‘honest broker’ in the stalled Middle East peace process. Perhaps these matters should be mentioned if not debated at length on our news programmes. These matters do or will concern all of us, given Russia’s relationship to Iran (the latter country having just declared that it will “definitely” put on trial its opposition leaders!)

    Russian Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov says Moscow highly values Iran as an independent country and regional backbone. […] Salehi added that Iran’s international and regional standing is quite clear and over the past 32 years the country has proved it can resist pressure through reliance on God and the Iranian nation’s resilience.

    Back to the Attorney General. Mr Grieve is right to raise the issue of too much press coverage and angled, clever-dick, look what I’VE found commentary on sub-judices cases. But he may be talking after the horse has bolted, or after the internet has spoken. He will be bearing in mind such contempt of court issues when he decides on whether to call for an inquest into the death of David Kelly. After all we ALL KNOW, don’t we (?) that those who call for this inquest also wish to see Tony Blair in court for some crime or other; their other agenda. We know too that conspiracies and mind-bending on anything around the name of Blair has been well planted, fed and nurtured over the last several years. There is no putting that particular genie back in the bottle. Mr Grieve will be aware of this.

    At the Guardian’s ‘news coverage’ story there was no headline message about the BBC’s ALMOST 40% news story control.  In fact no mention of the blessed BBC in the article at all. It was as though it doesn’t exist, is immaterial to the story or is otherwise untouchable, though 4 out of 10 of us get our news from the Beeb, daily. Astounding.


    H/t to Guido Fawkes, as below at If you want media plurality break up the BBC

    The Guardianista campaign against Murdoch, Coulson and all their works is spearheaded by Dan Sabbagh, a former Labour councillor and campaign manager for Oona King, who now covers media and technology for the Guardian. He produced a chart yesterday based on industry data showing that the Sky/News Corp. group controls 22% of our news consumption.

    This is a threat to something called “media plurality”. This is, we are told by Dan Sabbagh and all their less successful media rivals, a bad thing. Look down that list and you’ll notice that the BBC controls 39.3% of our news consumption.

    The BBC must therefore be an even worse threat to “media plurality”, particularly when one considers that it is protected from fair competition by a state subsidy via taxation. Somehow this doesn’t worry the Guardian, which is hardly surprising because BBC News often feels like the broadcast arm of that paper. When one considers that the BBC overwhelmingly recruits from its pages the Guardian-BBC axis is abundantly clear.

    The monolithic BBC is too big and the news weltanschauung is only one of many inherent problems. The Beeb’s size is a result of the massive over-funding that we’re forced to provide for it, it is as if we had to pay a state detergent manufacturer a tax on owning a washing machine.

    One example problem out of many is that the BBC undermines regional competitors, we would have a thriving local commercial TV/radio culture if the BBC didn’t crowd out competitors and make them unfeasible – it is hard to compete with a business that doesn’t have to make a commercial return.

    The BBC should not have a monopoly on public service broadcasting – if the licence fee has to continue funding public service broadcasting it should be distributed to other providers besides the BBC.

    The decentralisation of our broadcasting culture would really create a more plural media.


    The Guardian just can’t get the staff these days. Somehow or other their honest journos managed to miss the REAL headline in the story of this chart on news consumption of the media. The spinning of the story in favour of the BBC is so blatant, you’d almost conclude that the Guardian and the BBC are stablemates. As if? Eh?

    Also from Guido – Public backs kettling and water cannon for students


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    4 Responses to “Guardian spinning it for the BBC. Two sides of the same pc coin?”

    1. Peter Reynolds Says:

      Happy New Year tae ma Scots boyo and his family.

      I confess that I am sorely tempted to call you a racist and thus excuse myself from the obligation to comment, debate and joust for another year but, regretfully, I cannot accurately describe you as such.

      I would be rather surprised if the Beeb had not achieved the 40% share of news consumption that you quote. In fact you seem to fall squarely into that average shaped hole. I am pleased to see that you now realise Dougie “Babyface” Murray for what he is: “… mind-numbingly blank, uninteresting, often dull intellectually…”. I am delighted to see you making such progressbut I thinky you are unfair to Question Time which in recent months has reached new heights of interest and topicality.

      The BBC continues to be the only news organisation obliged to provide balance and, as such, a national treasure. It is up to all of us to hold it to account through the complaints process. On the Joanna Yeates murder story, I understand why there has been such public interest but I was appalled at the treatment of her landlord, who has now been released, and am proud that two days ago I made a complaint thus:

      “The BBC treatment of teh landlordof Jo Yeates has been very, very badly judged. If he is innocent then it is a disgraceful slander on him. If he is guilty the coverage has been so extreme as to endanger his conviction. Either way it is an example of the very worst in journalism”

      I also had cause to complain twuice over the Chrustmas period about the BBC prosyletising for the Pope,particularly when it sought to promote his “Christmas message” as equivalents to our Queen’s. Mark Thompson has got to go and his replacement appointed on half the salary.

      I agree with you on the dearth of international news coverage.

      I have stopped commenting at The Guardian becaue all my posts are premoderated and it takes so long fro them to appear that it is meaningless. Also, its faux “progressiveness” is just that – false. It is as much part of the politcian/media oligarchy as anyone else.

      I am totally opposed to Murdoch gaining any more media holdings.

      Guido? His disgusting and illiterate commenters say all that is needed to be said about him.

      Aha! It seems that 2011 has started!

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Happy New Year to my witty Welsh buddy and his family too! You are always welcome here, Peter. There was one particlar lying and self-serving piece of **** that that block referred to. He knows who he is. Of course if he really knew what he is he’d disown himself.

        Now on to serious matters.

        You and I will no doubt continue to have differences on various things and people. As you can imagine I quite admire Douglas Murray, since he speaks the truth as he sees it and is not intimidated by the pc-brigade of both left, right and centre. Murray is not abusive or personally insulting. It’s the blind extremism of the so-called liberal thinkers that gets right up my nose. They move any argument against their position to a personal attack on others’ values and integrity. I think that is unfortunate. If we are mature we should be able to accept that others can think differently from us and not be somehow less than human for doing so. It’s what happened to Blair over Iraq etc. He was not a politician who thought differently from some of us (only some, not all), he was “an evil **** -licking, money-grubbing, murderer who” etc…

        Reference BBC complaints. I should really write about this, and given time I may, but the BBC does NOT always respond to complaints. I know because some weeks ago I made such a complaint and received not even an “automated” response.

        So although I too actually think of it as a national treasure, oddly, yes, I still do, it has taken a certain political position on certain matters and individuals and will brook no complaints on any of those. That is wrong, imho.

        Can you tell me, Peter, did you receive an automated response the other day when you complained about the coverage around the (now released) landlord? Or on your other complaints re the Pope’s message? I’m interested to know. If you did was it immediate? Did it seem ‘automatic’?

        Many years ago I wrote a paper for a political party against Murdoch’s owning an unfair section of the media. In principle I still stand by that. However, seeing the alternative as it has developed – the BBC’s major control and its limitations on the news agenda (at present Sky just runs to keep up with it) I am no longer as certain.

        The Guardian’s political pieces are generally awful rants of unvarnished bias. Against America, the west, Israel, Britain, Blair – just about everything I believe in. I’m surprised anyone out of their teens reads it any more.

        Guido, the anarchist seems to be moving away from anarchism now that the Tories are in power, more or less. He himself is not always disgusting, imho, though he comes perilously close at times. But his commenters are generally as illiterate and misinformed, unbalanced and biased as the Guardian’s or the Mail’s. Guido has great numbers for readers though, so plenty of people are interested. If that means anything.

    2. Stan Says:

      Peter, how is it that you felt moved to protest to the BBC about their treatment of Jo Yeates’ landlord but have said not a word about the BBC’s disgraceful treatment of Tony Blair and the Iraq inquiry as revealed here in the recent post headed “Press Release: BBC Trust ruling confirms anti-war/Blair bias on Iraq inquiry coverage”?

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