BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Monday, 26 April 2010


Bupendra at B-BBC (good man!) picked up on some more biased behaviour on the Today programme:
Same old, same old on The Toady Programme.

Justin Webb interviewing Tory Nick Herbert and a couple of others I'd never heard of about The Countryside.

Webb straight into Nick Herbert with...

Can I ask you first of all, Nick Herbert, are you the party of the hunt?

And how important is the reinstatement of hunting with hounds to that general picture?

Ok. We'll come to those things
(reviving the rural economy, rural unemployment and rural services, which Mr Herbert had brought up) in a second. Let's get hunting out of the way out of the way first of all.

It is a fact, isn't it Nick Herbert, that your party leader wants to bring it back. He's not going to force his party down that road, but he wants it back?

But he personally wants it back...

Yeah alright, Justin, we get it. The Tories are very bad people who want to kill foxes. Now if you want to talk about the countryside how about the economy, housing, education, services, farming etc. You know, relevant, important stuff rather than stuff you can use (you think) as a stick to beat the Tories with.

Credit to Nick Herbert who swatted Justin away.
A spot-on analysis.
This debate on rural policy lasted 9m 33s. The first 3m 28s were spent on fox hunting.
After this interruption-filled probing of Nick Herbert and a lesser grilling for the 'third way-over-fox-hunting'-advocating Lib Dem David Heath (one of my favourite Lib Dems - as I've mentioned before. He was one of the few Lib Dems to go against his party and honour his election pledge on a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty), Justin Webb turned to Hilary Benn (who had already had his chance to slag off the Tories over fox hunting).
What searing question did he ask Wedgie Jnr?: "Ten thousand homes, Hilary Benn, ten thousand homes in rural areas and homes coming soon. This is what you're promising?" Reading out a manifesto pledge is hardly a demanding question!! Nick Herbert gets grilled on fox hunting; Hilary Benn gets a Labour manifesto pledge read out! Amazing!
What happened next was scarcely less amazing. Did Justin return to Nick Herbert and read out one of his party's proposals? No he didn't. He read out another of Labour's lovely promises to bring sunshine and smiles to the nation: "Nick Herbert, two things. The homes and the broadband. Labour promising a potentially large-scale home buildings (sic), as Hilary Benn says, which in a sense has already started. But also the idea that in rural communities it is just no acceptable in the future for you not to have access to high-speed broadband."
What do the interruption coefficients tell us? Things are bad enough already for Justin, surely they can't show any further bias, can they? Oh yes they can!
Nick Herbert - 1.2
Hilary Benn - 0.8
David Heath - 0.7

1 comment:

  1. Susan Wade Weeks4 May 2010 at 09:09

    I agreed to take part in a radio breakfast show for Radio York about hunting this morning at 815. When I agreed they caught me mid doorknocking away from my diary. My campaign Manger then reminded me I was not available at that time and tried to cancel. The message I received on my mobile this morning is, and I quote:
    " please give us a call on that at 8.15 otherwise I am afraid it is going to reflect quite poorly on the Conservative Party"
    They objected to my cancelling the day before, yet on the same day cancelled a pre-record that all three main candidates had agreed to do at 12 today. The bias is palpable.Earlier in the campaign when disuccing education I was attacked on air for saying that I did not think small children should do sats. The presenter quite viciously suggested that I was out of line, yet our policy is to remove sats for young children and replace them with a simple reading test. I was right. But on air the impression given was that I was unaware of Party policy.

    The insistence on discussing hunting so close to an election with a candidate in an urban seat where there is no hunt is quite bizarre.
    Interestingly, as a teenager I belonged to the League Against Cruel Sports. That would not have fitted the stereotype. But I will not be forced. The BBC do not run the country.

    Susan Wade Weeks
    York Central


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