BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Sunday, 13 December 2009


I'm still catching up on my weekly round of BBC programmes & have a couple of short observations to make about this week's run of PM.
When you have separate interviews with spokesman from various political parties on the same day, with the same interviewer, and on the same subject, bias is most easily spotted. Wednesday was Pre-Budget Report day & representatives of the two main parties and the Liberal Democrats were interviewed by Eddie Mair. Compare the amount of time each got, & you'll see bias:
Liam Byrne (Labour) - 5 minutes 22 seconds
Vince Cable (Lib Dem) - 3 minutes 37 seconds
Phillip Hammond (Conservative) - 2 minutes 36 seconds
Check out the interruption coefficients too and you'll find more evidence:
Phillip Hammond - 1.7
Liam Byrne - 1.1
Vince Cable - 0.3
Eddie characteristically redeemed himself - though not his producers - (retrospectively) by also giving Labour's evasive David Lammy a good going-over on Tuesday edition (I.C. of 1.3) as he tried passing the buck (in classic Labour fashion) over a bungle over student loans. That is why, almost alone among the regular BBC interviewers, I still have some time for Eddie Mair.*
Worse was a report on Friday's edition into TV satire/drama about Westminster politics, presented by Becky Milligan. The three talking heads in the report were all Labour Party people - retired Labour MP Joe Ashton, writer (and friend of Mandelson) Robert Harris and Hazel Blear's former advisor Paul Richards. There was absolutely no reason for this, as the report was not about how Labour was represented in such programmes but about how Westminster politics in general has been represented over the years. Why the Labour Party monopoly then?

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