The BBC – How Did It Get So Bad?

By Adrian Morgan

This article by Adrian Morgan (Giraldus Cambrensis of Western Resistance) appeared today in Family Security Matters and is reproduced with their permission. Alexandra Palace

High up on a hill in Wood Green, north London, is a Victorian brick building called Alexandra Palace. Surrounded by 196 acres of parkland, the edifice was constructed in 1873. In 1936, it was from Alexandra Palace that the BBC made its first television broadcasts. When I was growing up in 1960s Britain, the BBC was highly regarded. There was a time when people would validate a statement by claiming that they had heard it “on the BBC”. Those days have long passed, and a once-revered institution is now being used to disseminate disinformation and political correctness.

Certain departments within the BBC seem to have their own political agenda. When BBC journalist Alan Johnston was kidnapped in Gaza this year, the head of the BBC Middle East bureau admitted engaging in secret talks with leaders of the terrorist group Hamas to secure a release. Before Johnston was freed, the journalist made a video statement in which he bemoaned the “huge suffering of the Palestinian people….” He spoke of their “absolute despair after nearly 40 years of Israeli occupation which has been supported by the West.” Johnston turned his attention to Afghanistan, blaming the Americans and British: “In all this, we can see the British government endlessly working to occupy, err, the Muslim lands, against the will of the people in those places.”

After his release, Johnston never said he had been subjected to violence to make him say such anti-British statements. After any Palestinian suicide bombing, Johnston would interview the mother and relatives of the terrorist involved, always failing to interview the relatives of the Israeli victims. Damien Thompson, a correspondent for the Daily Telegraph has noted that the BBC’s “reporting of the Middle East has been so relentlessly pro-Palestinian for so long, and that coverage is so influential, that it finds itself an actual player in the conflict, as opposed to an impartial observer.”

The Balen Report was an internal BBC document which was commissioned in 2004 to investigate complaints of anti-Israeli bias in the BBC’s coverage of the Middle East conflicts. Even though the BBC is funded by the taxpayer, the organization allegedly spent $400,000 of tax-payers’ money to prevent the report from being made available to the public. The Telegraph quoted lawyer Steven Sugar, who was using the Freedom of Information Act to have the Balen Report released. The report was widely believed to have found the BBC guilty of anti-Israeli bias.

Sugar said: “This is a serious report about a serious issue and has been compiled with public money. I lodged the request because I was concerned that the BBC’s reporting of the second intifada was seriously unbalanced against Israel, but I think there are other issues at stake now in the light of the BBC’s reaction.” On April 27, 2007 the BBC won its battle to suppress the report’s publication. In 2006, an independent review, commissioned by BBC governors, had found that the corporation’s coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict had been to “constitute a full and fair account of the conflict but rather, in important respects, presents an incomplete and, in that sense, misleading picture.” That report had found that the BBC “favored Israel” and claimed there was a “failure to convey adequately the disparity in the Israeli and Palestinian experience, reflecting the fact that one side is in control and the other side lives under occupation.”

The decision to suppress the Balen Report was condemned by Tory MP Philip Davies, who said: “This seems to be outrageous. If the BBC are embarrassed about what they are doing they should not be doing it. If they are not embarrassed they should release the information.” On October 30, 2004, on the BBC Radio 4 show “From Our Own Correspondent”, journalist Barbabra Plett had said she had cried when, in the previous month, Yasser Arafat was dying. She had said: “When the helicopter carrying the frail old man rose from his ruined compound, I started to cry.” Immediately after Plett’s radio statement, a BBC News spokesman admitted that there had been hundreds of complaints, but claimed that Plett had upheld high standards in “fairness, accuracy and balance”. In November 2005, the BBC governors ruled that Plett had “breached the requirements of due impartiality”.

The BBC runs a “rolling news” channel, called News 24. One of its frequent guests and commentators on Middle East events is Palestinian-born Abdel Bari-Atwan, editor of the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper. In June 2007, Bari-Atwan told a Lebanese TV station: “If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight… Allah willing, [Iran] will attack Israel.” Defending its decision to keep Bari-Atwan as a pundit, the BBC said that it was obliged to present “a range of views so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented.”

In 2002 the then-head of BBC News, RIchard Sambrook, warned his journalists that they needed to be more concerned about “impartiality” on contentious issues such as the Middle East, the European Union and the gap between those living in the countryside and those in towns. Sambrook would later commission the Balen Report. His warnings were not heeded. In January 2005 an independent review commissioned by BBC governors found that reporting on the European Union was riddled with ignorance. Presenters were described as “ill-briefed” and there was lack of knowledge about the EU “at every stage” of the news gathering and presenting process. The report claimed that BBC reporting of this subject needed to be “more demonstrably impartial”, but stopped short of stating that the BBC was “pro-EU”.

Even though the BBC’s governors are appointed by the government, a poll revealed in July 2005 that four out of ten Labour party members of parliament (from the same party that has selected governors since 1997) claimed that they did not think the BBC was “free from influence and bias”. The figure amongst Tory MPs was higher, with six out of ten believing this.

In 2005, the BBC advised journalists to be cautious in the use of the word “terrorist”, as the term was deemed to be “judgmental”. In October 2006, a senior executive at the BBC, Richard Klein, admitted at a conference that the corporation was “ignoring” mainstream opinion and was out of touch with the British public. A month earlier the BBC held an “impartiality” summit. Alan Yentob, head of BBC Drama, admitted that he would not air a Koran being thrown in a garbage can, lest the act offended Muslims, but he would allow a Bible to be shown being thrown in a bin. The impartiality summit found that there was an anti-Christian bias within the corporation, as well as an anti-American bias.

A former political editor for the BBC, Andrew Marr, announced in the 2006 impartiality summit that the BBC was “a publicly funded urban organisation with an abnormally large proportion of younger people, of people in ethnic minorities and almost certainly of gay people compared with the population at large.” Jeff Randall, a former business editor at the BBC, gave damning testimony. He said that he had complained about the “multicultural stance” of the BBC to a top news executive and was told: “The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it.” When Randall wore cufflinks into work, which bore the Union Jack (the national flag) he was told: “You can’t do that, that’s like the National Front!” The National Front is a racist political group. To Americans, the notion of being accused of racism for wearing an item carrying the Stars and Stripes would be unthinkable, but not so in the Britain of the BBC.

The issue of the BBC’s liberal and left-wing bias was brought to a head earlier this year. In June a BBC-commissioned report authored by John Bridcut was published, which stated that the corporation was existing in a “left-leaning comfort zone”, and that it had an “innate liberal bias”.
The full report, entitled From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel can be found in a pdf document.

In July 2005, after the 7/7 Muslim bombings in London, which killed 52 innocent people, the BBC had a discussion show entitled “Questions of Security: A BBC News Special”. The corporation admitted that it had deliberately stacked the audience with Muslims. As a proportion of the audience, there were five times as many Muslims as the proportion of Muslims in the national demographic.

During the 2006 Lebanese/Israel conflict, one BBC report by Orla Guerin, wrongly claimed that the Lebanese town of Bint Jbail had been “wiped out” by an Israeli bombardment.

Fiona BruceIn October 2006, while the BBC was discussing plans to introduce news anchor women wearing Muslim headscarfs, it was noticed that an existing news presenter, Fiona Bruce, had been wearing a crucifix. She had worn this on BBC News for a few years. A discussion among BBC heads included suggestions that she should not be seen to show religious bias.

The PC and leftist bias has extended to the BBC Drama Department. The popular drama “Spooks” is known in the US as “MI-5” and is entertaining hokum. In November 2006, the BBC was facing complaints ofo anti-Christian bias, after an episode of this show featured religious terrorists murdering people from another faith. The terrorists were evangelical Christians, and the victims were Muslims. The show again foundered on the banks of realism and showed political prejudice with the first episode of its fifth series. This involved Al Qaeda terrorists taking control of the Saudi Embassy and murdering people inside. Except the Al Qaeda terrorists were not Muslim terrorists – they were dastardly Israeli agents, posing as Muslims. Jew-hating Islamists across the country must have been pleased.

“Casualty” is a long-running hospital drama, where patients get injured, brought into an Emergency Room, and then all their emotional problems are solved by the improbably intrusive staff. Recently, the show was to have featured the aftermath of a suicide-bomber blowing himself up in a bus station, with all the consequent mayhem and social hand-wringing amongst the caring, sensitive hospital staff. The suicide bomber was originally written as an Islamist. By the time BBC executives had got their hands on the script, the bomber had changed his allegiance to become an animal rights activists. Animal rights campaigners in the UK have set off car bombs, sent letter bombs, and have even indulged in grave-robbing, but none has so far been a suicide bomber.

Lord Tebbitt, who served in Thatcher’s government and whose wife was paralyzed in an IRA bomb attack in 1984, condemned the decision to change the Casualty storyline to avoid offending Muslims. He said: “People were perfectly free during the violence in Northern Ireland to produce dramas about terrorism for which presumably they might have been accused of stereotyping IRA terrorists or even suggesting that all Catholics were terrorists. What is the difference here? The BBC exists in a world of New Labour political correctness.”


The BBC produces international radio shows on its “World Service”, in the manner of “Voice of America”. These are produced at Bush House near Piccadilly. The reports from the BBC World Service used to be influential – so much so that in 1978 Bulgarian dissident and World Service broadcaster Georgi Markov was assassinated by a Bulgarian communist in the street outside Bush House. A device disguised as an umbrella was used to inject Markov with a pellet of ricin, as he stood at a bus stop. Markov died four days later. Now, the BBC World Service has succumbed to the leftist climate. In March this year, Professor Frank Stewart claimed that the BBC’s Arabic language service, which began in 1938, was “anti-Western and anti-democratic”.

Professor Stewart claimed that the Arabic BBC service spoke of Saddam’s 2002 election victory as if it was “straight” news, and said that Assad of Syria also received favorable coverage. When a member of the US State Department referred to Assad’s Ba’athist regime as a dictatorship, the interviewer “immediately interrupted and reprimanded him”. Stewart wrote that “authoritarian regimes and armed militants of the Arab world” had received “sympathetic treatment”.

The bias which exists on the BBC has been so frequent that blog sites have been created to document its transgressions, such as Busting BBC Bias and Biased BBC. As an institution connected with government, and considering the current Labour government is obsessed with “spin” and propaganda, bias is to expected within the institution. But the extreme examples of its bias, as presented to innocent children, are shocking.

The BBC has a strong presence on the internet, which rarely mentions the word “Muslim” when dealing with Muslim terrorism or crimes. The word “Muslim” appears mainly when Muslim “victimhood” is described. The BBC has a show called “Newsround” which purports to present news in a way that young people can understand. Two BBC internet articles connected with this Newsround show were subsequently re-edited after they initially appeared. Tom Gross, writing in The National Review presented the original content of one recent article.

Published this month to coincide with the sixth anniversary of 9’11, the article was entitled “Why did they do it?”. This gave an “explanation” of 9/11 from an Al Qaeda perspective: “The way America has got involved in conflicts in regions like the Middle East has made some people very angry, including a group called al-Qaeda – who are widely thought to have been behind the attacks. In the past, al-Qaeda leaders have declared a holy war – called a jihad – against the US. As part of this jihad, al-Qaeda members believe attacking US targets is something they should do. When the attacks happened in 2001, there were a number of US troops in a country called Saudi Arabia, and the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, said he wanted them to leave.”

Remember that this was aimed at children. And of course, Al Qaeda are “widely believed” but not explicitly stated to have carried out the 9/11 attacks, opening the door for leftist and lunatic conspiracy theories. The BBC later amended the text, but still maintain that “Al-Qaeda is unhappy with America and other countries getting involved in places like the Middle East.” The amended text still tries to justify terrorism and thus implicitly blames the victims of 9/11. Another recent Newsround article aimed at kids begins: “Al-Qaeda has been accused of being behind a series of attacks and bombings since its formation in the late 1980s.” Al Qaeda is not just “accused” of terror attacks, it admits and actively glorifies its involvement in terrorist atrocities.

Tom Gross has pointed out that in 2005, the same children’s section of its internet site described the Holocaust, but astoundingly failed to mention the fact that Jews were victims, let alone that six million Jews died. The original text merely stated: “Most of the victims died because they belonged to certain racial or religious groups which the Nazis wanted to wipe out, even though they were German citizens. This kind of killing is called genocide.” The article failed to mention the Jews in France, Poland, the Netherlands and elsewhere who were not German citizens, but still were sent to Nazi gas chambers.

It is bad enough for the BBC to be blatantly anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-Christian and pro-Islamist. But recently in a series of scandals the BBC has been exposed blatantly lying to the public. To compound their guilt, they have lied to the nation’s children. The problems began in March this year. “Blue Peter” is a children’s magazine show which has been on air since 1958. It frequently invites child viewers to take part in competitions. When I was a child, the competition entries were sent by mail, but now premium rate phone lines are employed. It was revealed that a phone competition to raise money for Unicef had failed to select a winner, so a child who was visiting the studio was asked to “phone” the show. She was awarded the prize. TV regulator Ofcom ruled that the BBC should pay $100,000 for the deceit.

socks/cookieMost recently, the same show was involved in a similar incident. “Blue Peter” has a menagerie of “pets”. The first of these was a mongrel called Petra who was introduced in 1963. The latest in the line of pets for children with no animals at home is a cat who first appeared in January 2006. The nation’s children were given a vote, and chose the name “Cookie”. For some reason, a producer decided to ignore the viewers’ (expensive) phone votes and claimed that they had chosen the name “Socks”. Perhaps a lover of Bill Clinton, whose cat bore the same name, the producer has since been fired. The BBC refuses to comment on its deception.

Though the story of Socks aka Cookie made front page news this weekend, one should not be surprised. I remember the lies they told about “Petra”. On Friday November 22, 1963, aged five, I was waiting to see Blue Peter. The week before, the show had announced that the nation’s kids had voted to name the new Blue Peter pet “Peter”. Peter was a male puppy, but shortly before the show went on air, the creature had died. Rather than confront kids with the truth, presenters Valerie Singleton and Christopher Trace claimed that they had “made a mistake” and said that Peter was in fact a girl. Fiery producer Biddy Baxter had substituted a female puppy, as it was the closest look-alike for the deceased TV pet. This substitute animal was “Petra”. Despite such deception, aimed at protecting children’s feelings, the show was interrupted with the news that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Which is why I remember my father (who was in the room at the time) fuming about the “nonsense” of the BBC being unable to ascertain the gender of a puppy.

In July this year, Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, admitted that at least six BBC shows had involved rigged competitions. As a result, he cancelled all subsequent phone-in competitions. More recent revelations of BBC deception involved a further five faked phone-in shows.

The BBC has come a long way since it began broadcasting radio shows in 1922, under its original title the “British Broadcasting Company”. It began TV broadcasting in 1936 from Alexandra Palace, though these broadcasts were suspended for the duration of WWII. In 1937, the company became nationalized as the British Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC still produces good natural history documentaries, but its dramas are hackneyed. With a few rare exceptions its comedy fails to raise a titter. Its news output is still biased, and every UK citizen with a TV is expected to pay $270 per year to be patronized and lied to by the BBC’s mandarins.

Is the BBC worth its license fee? If it cannot present the truth, and deliberately misinforms both adults and children, it short-changes the nation in more ways than one. What was once a great British institution is now a club for the commissars of political correctness. Alexandra Palace, where BBC TV began, is no longer used by the BBC. The last “Open University” shows were made there in 1981. Alexandra Palace was built when Britain had an empire. That empire was given away after World War II. In a symptom of the times we live in, Alexandra Palace still has a purpose. In 2006, while London marked the first anniversary of 7/7, Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood held an “Islam Expo” at the site. Last month, the terror supporting Hizb ut-Tahrir held its annual conference at Alexandra Palace.