The Right-Wing’s BBC Bias?

Last night I watched an episode of Panorama about the tragic story of the 219 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by the Islamic militants Boko Haram. It’s now over a year since they went missing.

While watching the disturbing report I noticed the presenter, Tulip Mazumdar, refer to ISIS as “the so-called Islamic State”. This reminded me of David Cameron’s words on Sunday. He specifically criticised the BBC for referring to the organisation as Islamic State and not “so-called Islamic State”, ISIL or even Daesh. I did find it a little suspect that he’d singled out the BBC for criticism, and yet here was the BBC doing exactly what he’d claimed they weren’t. Being broadcast only the day after his comments, I find it hard to imagine that the Panorama episode was influenced by his words.

I was intrigued as to whether he was justified in singling out the BBC. I decided to do my own unscientific poll of other news organisations to see how they’ve been referring to the group. I looked up articles about the Kurd’s taking of Tal Abyad a couple of weeks ago. Sure enough the Telegraph, Daily Mail, Guardian and the Mirror all referred to them as Islamic State. Only the Independent didn’t. The Sun didn’t’ have an article about it that I could find (it’s only focus appears to be celebrities). The Daily Express also didn’t have an article about it, but published an article today with Islamic State in the headline.

I wonder why Cameron decided to single out the BBC for criticism? Was it simply an off the cuff remark? Or was it something more insidious? Could it be that when he recently said “I’m going to close them down after the election” he wasn’t joking after all? Is this simply the early stages of a campaign to discredit, undermine and ultimately destroy the BBC? I hope that by the time we have a conclusive answer it isn’t too late.

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About lanceleuven


4 responses to “The Right-Wing’s BBC Bias?

  • Quieter Elephant

    Yegods… say it isn’t so! Aunty is far from perfect, but she’s still better than the alternatives.

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    • lanceleuven

      I couldn’t agree more. There’s plenty to criticise about the BBC, but no corporation of such size could be flawless. I really do believe that it helps set the bar at a certain level and without it the desperate bid for ratings would result in a race to the bottom in terms of quality. Many people criticise the BBC, but, as you say, Aunty Beeb is better than the alternatives.

      Who knows what Cameron is really thinking? If he was gunning for the BBC, it wouldn’t surprise me. An establishment like the BBC is certainly at odds with the market-driven Conservative ethos. And he has close ties to Rupert Murdoch, and we all know how much Murdoch despises the BBC.

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  • suzykewct

    Sorry I haven’t kept up with all this. I assume that any public utterance by money-supported politicians anywhere on the planet is either blowing smoke to the 99% or code to the top saying “we’ve got your backs, boys”. Or am I being too cynical?

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    • lanceleuven

      Too cynical? Unfortunately not methinks! Particularly where the Tories are concerned.

      The situation has moved on somewhat from this post. It’s become much clearer to see that they are indeed gunning for the BBC. They’re trying to weaken it. It’s a transparent ploy to later use it’s weakened state as justification for eradicating it on the grounds it’s no longer relevant. It’s all very underhanded.

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