The Sun has reported today that a cross-party group of MPs held a meeting with James Harding, Head of BBC News, earlier this week to discuss the corporation's anti-Brexit bias. Amongst those MPs attending were Kate Hoey, Philip Davies, and Ian Paisley Jr. I looked at BBC bias in this post last week, so it is welcome news that some MPs have voiced their concern in a private meeting. It is shocking that BBC Radio 4 listeners are two and a half times more likely to hear a pro-EU speaker than an anti-EU one. The BBC has issued a statement following the meeting, saying: “BBC News listens to and reflects all points of view and remains committed to covering developments in a fair and impartial manner.” In other words, no change.
It is not the first time that Jeremy Paxman has criticised his former employer. In 2014 he said that Newsnight was made by 'idealistic 13-year-olds' who 'think they can change the world.' He certainly went much further, though, in an interview for yesterday's Sunday Times Magazine. He said the BBC was 'biased and politically correct'. As for the licence fee, he described it as 'antediluvian'. He said that 'if Amazon and Netflix can do it, so can they.' Continue reading
In an excellent article for City A.M. yesterday, Brian Monteith, a Freedom Association Council Member and a former MSP, described the BBC's coverage of Brexit as "bias on stilts". He also said: "Recently, we were subject to a BBC report of a decline in nurses coming from the EU, when the truth is that applications have climbed. Last week’s anniversary of the Brexit vote was marked by a Question Time panel that had four Remainers against one Leaver, and an audience dominated by Remainers in Plymouth – a constituency that voted overwhelmingly to Leave." There are numerous other examples, and quite often bias shows itself in different forms. As Brian has noted, it's not always what is said or done, but rather what is omitted. Continue reading