BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Friday, 19 March 2010


Has The Sun paid me a visit? I do hope so.
As Andy C. notes, the paper has just launched a powerful attack on BBC bias. Tom Newton Dunn, its political editor, and Kevin Schofield, its political correspondent outline the case against the broadcaster, under a banner a little like my own:

Biased against
The article runs as follows:

A SUN investigation has unearthed an alarming BBC bias against the Tories in the run up to the Election.

Covert smears on David Cameron's Conservatives are being made right across the state-owned network - sparking hundreds of viewers' complaints.

News coverage, chat shows and even kids' TV are guilty. We found:

BBC News gave disproportionate coverage to the row over Tory donor Lord Ashcroft's tax status;

LABOUR panellists were given more time to speak on flagship political show Question Time;

A POLL on The One Show ignored issues with Gordon Brown to ask only, Is David Cameron too much of a toff to be PM?

THE Tory leader was stitched up when footage of him adjusting his hair was sneakily fed to all broadcasters;

THE Basil Brush Show featured a school election with a cheat called Dave wearing a blue rosette.

Tory backbencher Douglas Carswell said: "The BBC is in the hands of a left-wing elite. They're a privileged organisation run for the interests of the few not the many - which is why their views are closer to a broadcast version of the Guardian rather than a popular paper."

Watchdog Mediawatch-UK director Vivienne Pattison stressed: "Under the BBC charter they are required to be neutral. It's important - after all, we fund them."

The BBC's Lord Ashcroft coverage alone triggered 104 complaints.

When the row over his "non-dom" status broke three weeks ago it led the Beeb's TV and radio bulletins for up to six days - long after commercial broadcasters dropped it.

But controversy over the similar status of up to eight Labour donors got just a fraction of the coverage.

One listener to Radio Four's Feedback programme emailed: "You have fallen for Mandelson's spin again."

A total of 219 viewers complained about The One Show poll, which followed a five-minute piece about Mr Cameron's "posh" upbringing.

Dozens more wrote on the show's blog.

One said: "The BBC should be ashamed of its blatant electioneering."

The Sun's analysis showed Labour politicians on Question Time were allowed to speak for a full minute longer than Tory counterparts.

On March 11 ex-Labour minister Caroline Flint got SIX minutes more than Tory Justine Greenings

And on February 18 Labour veteran Roy Hattersley spoke for nearly three minutes longer than Tory Rory Stewart.

Last week bosses tried to make Mr Cameron look a laughing stock by putting out footage of him checking his hair in the wind before making a serious statement on Northern Ireland.

Party chiefs complained.

Then last Sunday BBC2's Basil Brush Show featured nasty "Dave" - complete with blue rosette.

He beat nice Rosie, with a purple rosette, by promising free ice cream but was arrested because it was out of date.

Last night the BBC admitted the One Show slot was "not as good as it should have been".

But a spokeswoman insisted: "The notion that the BBC is biased in is palpably not true. Our news coverage scrutinises all parties with rigour and impartiality."
As Not a sheep observes:

"OK I didn't know about the Basil Brush incident but the rest have been covered here, at Biased-BBC and at Beeb Bias Craig. The latter site being quite possibly also responsible for this section:

"The Sun's analysis showed Labour politicians on Question Time were allowed to speak for a full minute longer than Tory counterparts.

On March 11 ex-Labour minister Caroline Flint got SIX minutes more than Tory Justine Greenings.

And on February 18 Labour veteran Roy Hattersley spoke for nearly three minutes longer than Tory Rory Stewart."

Like Not a sheep, I'm inclined to believe that 'the Sun's analysis' in particular suggests that they have passed through this site and not left empty-handed. The figures used for 'Question Time' are exactly the same as mine (as they would be, of course, if The Sun did the analysis itself - which they could easily have done. All you need is a little patience, a spreadsheet and the ability to do some basic arithmetic).
Here are the links to the relevant posts:

And if they they have 'borrowed' my findings, I couldn't be happier! For as Not a sheep goes on to say "Well who cares who broke the stories so long as the news about BBC bias gets spread beyond us bloggers and into the real world."
Indeed, if they are only at the beginning of a determined campaign against BBC bias they will need as much ammunition as they can get. I have plenty here, Not a sheep has plenty more and, of course, the Biased BBC blogsite is crammed to the rafters with countless more examples (covering a much broader field than I could even think of covering) We would all be willing to help.
So, if anyone from The Sun (or anywhere else) wishes to use anything here, they have my full blessing to do so. They can even pass it off as their own work too if they like! I really don't mind in the least! This is a cause dear to my heart and if anyone can help further the cause, let them raid away to their heart's content!!
Of course, The Sun might not have been this way,Italic and might have come up with all this entirely independently. If so, keep at it lads and lasses!


  1. A pity none of the Sun's analysis is remotely objective - picking up on a handful of Question Time shows without giving an overall summary is biased in itself, and frankly I'd expect labour to get more time to speak as the government should be answering questions

    Same with the one show, they focus on Cameron and get called on it - no mention whether Brown has ever been featured - as usual, criticise the right and it's 'left-wing media elite', criticise the left and it goes uncounted

    Not that I'm even left-wing, Brown's an arse, I just hate sloppy, biased journalism

  2. Interesting how The Sun has cropped the picture of Cameron touching up his hair. I suspect because it would show the Sky News logo from where the clip originated.
    As for Basil Brush well the episode was a repeat. "Dave" has been a character since the new series began in 2002 and this particular episode was first broadcast in 2004. It's hard to see how the programme team could have had any agenda since Mr Cameron only became conservative leader in 2005.
    Unless the BBC are both biased AND psychic?

  3. So if the BBC had a repeat of an old children's programme which had a political character in it called, say, 'Gordon the Ruiner', do you think no-one might have spotted that it might have had a political meaning not apparent when it was filmed?

  4. Indeed, and the producers of the programme were surely conscious of the significance of sticking a blue rosette on the cheating candidate. The significance of that hasn't changed with time.


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