BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Sunday, 26 July 2009


Gavin Esler's 'Dateline London', broadcast on BBC News 24 and on BBC World, is - even by the BBC's standards - a highly biased programme.

It draws together voices from the world's media. The voices it draws upon, however, lean overwhelmingly to the Left.

Very, very occasionally there may be two voices from the Right to balance two from the Left, but far more often than not there is either only one voice or no voices from the Right to face a strong Left-wing majority. And don't forget that the programme is hosted by Gavin Esler. No-one could deny that he's another voice from the Left.

In the last 6 weeks, the guests from the British media have been drawn 5-1 from the Left:

20 June - Polly Toynbee (Guardian)

27 June - Yasmin Alibhai Brown (Independent)

4 July - Janet Daley (Sunday Telegraph)

11 July - Isabel Hilton (Guardian)

18 July - Ned Temko (Observer)

25 July - Steve Richards (Independent)

For a French perspective 'Dateline' always turns to la belle dame pictured above, Agnes Poirier. She has written for a plethora of left-wing newspapers, 'Liberation', the 'Guardian', the 'Independent' and the 'New Statesman'.

For an Italian perspective, it's Annalisa Piras of the left-wing 'L'espresso'.

For a Portuguese perspective, it's Eugene Goes. She contributes to the 'Independent'.

'Dateline' draws on a whole host of contributors from the United States. I have never heard one say anything good about George Bush, and rarely heard any criticism whatsoever of Obama.

The Middle Eastern contributors - the ghastly Abdul Bari Atwan of 'al Quds', Mustapha Karkouti (a Gulf writer and broadcaster) and Ali Bahaijoub of 'North-South Magazine' - are all anti-Israeli, anti-Western, leftist types, and the Pakistani guests are hardly any better.

The exceptions, such as the excellent Thomas Kielinger of Germany's 'Die Welt', are rare exceptions and feature far less regularly.

I will be keeping tabs from now on.

This week's edition featured the omnipresent Steve Richards and the lovely Agnes (so that's two writers for the 'Independent' on just one edition!), as well as John Fisher Burns, an English-born writer for the 'New York Times' (and newcomer to the show), who expressed sympathy and admiration for Gordon Brown, and Rauf Khalid, a Western-bashing booby (who Wikipedia tells us writes Kashmir-based patriotic plays!) from the Pakistan Institute of Cultural Studies.

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