Is the BBC biased to the left? Yes, undoubtedly – see Peter Sissons’ revealing, and funny comments.
Is this new? No.
As Sissons elegantly phrases it:
“In my view, ‘bias’ is too blunt a word to describe the subtleties of the pervading culture. The better word is a ‘mindset’. At the core of the BBC, in its very DNA, is a way of thinking that is firmly of the Left.”
The Knife thought that this sort of thing arose primarily after Alastair Campbell and Mandelson started their threats and seductions after Blair’s landslide in 1997. On reflection though, the bias for Blair was pretty obvious in the declining years of the Major government. It was also pretty clear that there was a general distaste for Maggie, partly offset by the fact that her principle enemies included a fascist junta in Argentina, and the ugliest faces of trade unionism.
However, go back further. The great Bernard Levin has the revealing passage in a piece available in one of his compilations, I Should Say So, from June 1993. This refers to Solzhenitsyn’s expulsion from the Soviet Union in 1974, initially to West Germany:
“The Germans came up trumps, treating their unexpected visitor like the hero he was; so did the French, more surprisingly and thus more commendably (Sartre was still – not that he ever stopped – eager to lick any boot worn by any Soviet criminal); so, from afar, were the Americans. Only our country was shamed; the ranks of fellow-travellers, not least in Parliament, took to sneering at the giant, and the BBC shamed itself as well as Britain. When Solzhenitsyn was interviewed on Panorama, the conditions of secrecy surrounding the broadcast meant that only a small number of people saw it; there was no trailer. But, almost unbelievably, there was a strong faction in the BBC arguing against a repeat, lest more people should see and hear the terrible truth. (The faction did not prevail, and the repeat was seen.)
Whatever the in-fighting in the BBC, the people – the ordinary people, who know the difference between right and wrong, and prefer right – made clear that the giant’s message was understood. Unvarnished, it said that we, the West, were responsible for the evil in the Soviet Union, because we never had the courage or indeed the wish to se the enemy eye to eye”
Well, who would have thought it? And that was 36 years ago, the Director General being Sir Charles Curran, described as “lacking the personality needed for a troubled time”.
Take Levin’s last sentence, and substitute “the evil in the Soviet Union” with either or both of the following phrases:
“..the senseless spending of money we didn’t have“, or more importantly “the evil inherent in militant Islam“
Same old same old.