BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Sunday, 21 March 2010


On Thursday, when the BBC went mad about Lord Ashcroft again, The World at One relagated news about the BA strike to second place in its news bulletin in favour of the Lord Ashcroft story. In third place came the latest government borrowing figures, which reached a new record high. Nothing was going to get in the way of the BBC's mission that day and the programme then spent many minutes discussing Lord Ashcroft.
Today, when Labour are in the mire, the news bulletin of its sister programme The World This Weekend's news bulletin was led by the BA strike - though only some remarks of Tony Woodley of Unite. Next on today's bulletin came Alistair Darling's comments about VAT, followed by a former senior army commander's important call for changes to the Ministry of Defence. In fourth place came the Labour's 'cash for influence' story. The programme thereafter ignored the Labour scandal, prefering to report from 'Derry' on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, spending a good ten minutes on it.

UPDATE. David Preiser, on the Biased BBC blogsite, has spotted this article by BBC political correspondent Brian Wheeler (who's a new one on me) on the BBC News website. It's as clear an example of the BBC playing down a story as you could ever hope to get, and it manages to get in some digs at the Conservatives for good measure:
Politicians on all sides have been falling over each other to say how "shocked" and "appalled" they are about claims former Labour ministers have been offering to influence government policy for cash.

Stephen Byers said he had overplayed his influence to an undercover reporter
With an election weeks away, they know just how bad this sort of stuff looks to voters already reeling from last year's expenses scandal.

And although it might be Labour MPs in the spotlight today, they also know that stories about alleged "sleaze" tarnish the entire political class. The Conservatives, when they were in power, also had their share of lobbying scandals.
And the clamour by lobbyists to sign up former politicians and advisers with links to the Conservative Party, in anticipation of Tory victory in the general election, suggests it is not about to go away any time soon.

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