Author Topic: The Daily Mail condemns the BBC  (Read 1144 times)


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The Daily Mail condemns the BBC
« on: 31 Jul 2013 04:21PM »
Today's front-page headline article in the Daily Mail (AKA Mein Kampf: The Partwork Edition) is something I think we should all read, because (to me, anyway) it shows just what it thinks about any news organisation that dares to be less vicious towards the poor and the vulnerable that it is itself.

I've done a cut-and-paste so you don't have to visit the paper's own site and generate advertising revenue in doing so.

Most disturbing of all are the readers' comments calling for Government control to curb the BBC's 'left-wing bias'.

Here's the article, rendered as best I can using Windword's 'paste special' command:

PLEASE NOTE: The paragraph breaks in the version here can't be taken as gospel, because the article was a very difficult one to copy - it had sidebars, photographs, and a even video clip. I've taken the best part of an hour to do the copy and prepare this post, because I feel this is a very sinister article indeed. It shows just how much the Right Wing Press is capable to vilifying ANY media outlet that dares to depart from the agenda of mercilessly persecuting the most vulnerable in our Society.

I'm sure it's obvious to everyone just how right wing the BBC has been with regard to the Government's war on benefits - how much it's been prepared to turn a blind eye to ATOS deaths, suffering caused by the bedroom tax and a host of other things. In other words, just how far under the Government's thumb the BBC is these days.

Yet it departs from this pattern JUST ONCE, and this is what the Press are capable of doing to it.

Just one last thing: spot the truly vile Jimmy Savile reference.


BBC attacks John Humphrys for telling the TRUTH on welfare: Corporation bosses accused of Left-wing bias after criticising respected Today presenter

The BBC was accused of ‘blatant Left-wing bias’ after bosses attacked one of their most respected journalists for a programme exposing the truth about the bloated welfare state. The BBC Trust concluded that the TV show examining the Government’s welfare reforms, written and fronted by Radio 4 Today presenter John Humphrys, breached rules on impartiality and accuracy.

The ruling criticised the programme for suggesting the welfare state was in crisis and that there was a dependency culture in which some claimants preferred life on benefits to working.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith reacted angrily to the ruling, telling the Daily Mail last night that the programme had been ‘thoughtful’ and ‘intelligent’.He contrasted it to most of the corporation’s ‘biased’ and negative coverage of his attempts to cut the benefits bill, the subject of frequent complaints by the Government.

The programme, The Future of the Welfare State, featured Mr Humphrys going back to his working-class birthplace in Cardiff, where one in four working-age people is on some form of welfare handout. The BBC2 production suggested Britain was going through an ‘age of entitlement’, and featured claimants, including a couple on £1,600 of benefits a month, who thought ‘living on benefits an acceptable lifestyle’.

In a newspaper article to accompany the programme, Mr Humphrys wrote about evidence of a ‘dependency culture that has grown steadily over the past year’ and a ‘sense that the State owes us a living’.

But following a complaint from a poverty charity and an unnamed individual, the BBC Trust launched an inquiry into the documentary.It complained that viewers would have concluded that the Government was targeting benefits that were responsible for leaving the ‘welfare state in crisis’ and creating the impression that ‘despite the anecdotal testimonies of jobseekers heard in the programme that there was [a] healthy supply of jobs’ that claimants could have taken.

The Trust warned that ‘judgments reached or observations made are still required to be based on the evidence and should not give the appearance of presenting a personal view on a controversial subject’. Its report claimed that because of ‘the absence of sufficient complementary statistical information to underpin contributors’ accounts, viewers were left unable to reach an informed opinion and the accuracy guidelines had been breached’.

Mr Duncan Smith condemned the ruling, complaining about the corporation’s coverage of a court ruling yesterday against opponents of cuts to housing benefit to people in social housing with spare bedrooms.

Coalition MPs were dismayed when the BBC devoted almost half an hour of a radio phone-in programme with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to complaints about what Labour has misleadingly called a ‘bedroom tax’. Presenters read out messages from listeners saying Mr Clegg was ‘finished as an MP’ and condemning the coalition as a ‘betrayal’, and put through a caller who asked how he slept at night.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said: ‘We are now in the disappointing position where we are frequently compelled to complain to the BBC about the biased nature of their reporting of government reforms. ‘Watching the reporting today about the Government winning a High Court judgment on the spare room subsidy has once again left me absolutely staggered at the blatant Left-wing bias within the coverage.

'It was as if the BBC thought the High Court had made a terrible decision, instead of effectively upholding the status quo. It’s almost an insult to the courts. ‘And yet here we have the BBC Trust criticising John Humphrys – one of the organisation’s most lauded and respected journalists.
I watched John’s programme and found it to be thoughtful, intelligent and quite clearly borne out of the real-life experience of the individuals he encountered. ‘John is undoubtedly a robust broadcaster, as I have encountered many times myself, and I don’t know anybody who thinks he is in any way biased.’

Mr Humphrys was unavailable for comment.

But one BBC source said the ruling was a telling indication of how the corporation reacts ‘when one of its own dares to suggest this was not precisely what [founder of the welfare state William] Beveridge might have intended’.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, which complained about the programme, said: ‘These are major issues of public interest deserving of robust debate and challenging media coverage but which, crucially, also require journalists to speak truth to power, rather than speak untruths about the powerless.

‘If they don’t, television audiences and the public at large will continue to be denied the debate they deserve.
‘This programme, like too many media stories, failed the public by swallowing wholesale the evidence-free myth of a “dependency culture” in which unemployment and rising benefit spending is the fault of the unemployed.’

A BBC Trust spokesman said: ‘A number of allegations were made about the programme, and we have not upheld all of these. We have not upheld a complaint suggesting John Humphrys was personally conflating opinion with objective facts.

‘The Trust considers each complaint with considerable care and on the basis of what was broadcast. In this case we found no evidence that The Future State of Welfare was advocating government reforms and we judged John Humphrys’ presentation to have been based on professional judgment, not personal opinion.

‘Although we found that the programme did include an appropriately wide range of voices, some statistics were omitted which we believed ought to have been included to help viewers to reach an informed opinion.’

The spokesman added: ‘We are satisfied that our coverage of today’s housing benefit ruling was fair, balanced and impartial.’



The editorial standards committee which condemned John Humphrys’ programme comprises five BBC trustees:

David Liddiment: Was head of BBC entertainment from 1993 to 1995 – overseeing the last 18 months of Jimmy Savile’s Jim’ll Fix It show. He went on to take a senior job at ITV before building his multi-million-pound fortune by establishing the UK’s largest independent TV production company All3Media, which turns over £500million a year thanks to programmes including The White Queen.

Richard Ayre: A long-term BBC man who started at the corporation as a news trainee and rose to become Deputy Chief Executive of News. Among his more controversial acts was his support for the 1995 Panorama programme in which Martin Bashir interviewed Princess Diana about the breakdown of her marriage. He went on to become a founder member of the Food Standards Agency.

Sonita Alleyne: Named as one of the ‘100 most powerful black Britons’, she has built up a multi-million-pound fortune through her role as a founder and director of the UK’s largest independent radio production firm Somethin’ Else. Appointed an OBE for services to broadcasting, she sat on the board of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as the 2012 Olympics bid was mounted.

Bill Matthews: With a background in both business and ‘public service’ rather than broadcasting, he is the BBC trustee for Scotland. Possibly best known for being chairman of NHS National Services Scotland, he is also on the boards of Network Rail, the Security Industry Authority and the Scottish Police Services Authority. Previously an executive in engineering firms.

Alison Hastings: A former editor of the Newcastle Chronicle evening newspaper, she has since established a media consultancy which has taken on roles including advising Liverpool’s Labour city council. She lives in Birkenhead, Merseyside, with her husband David Fleming, a museums director, and their five children. Pushed hard for the BBC’s controversial and costly move north to Salford.


John Humphrys’ programme The Future State of Welfare - shown on BBC2 in October 2011 - would have seemed to most viewers a typically even-handed documentary about the vicious cycle of benefit dependency. Here is a taste of what it said:

Beginning with a visit to his native Wales, Humphrys said: ‘This is where I was brought up – Splott in Cardiff. Poor, working-class district. Respectable poor, I suppose you could say. This is the house where I was born.
‘In those days everybody, if they could, was expected to work. And they did. We knew only one family where the father did not work, never had a job, and he was regarded as a pariah. It was a mark of shame.
‘Today, one in four of the working-age people in this area is on some form of benefit.’

Later in the programme Humphrys spoke to benefit claimants who risked losing out under proposed reforms.
Among the interviewees was Pat Dale from Cardiff, who appeared resigned to a life on benefits, saying she would be ‘working for nothing’ if she took a job on the minimum wage.

Humphrys observed: ‘Obviously she sees herself as a victim, and maybe she’s right. A victim of the benefits system, the benefits culture that we have created over the decades.’

In Middlesbrough he had the following exchange with benefit claimant Steve Brown:
Brown: ‘I wanna work but I can’t afford the minimum wage work.’
Humphrys: ‘You don’t think that working is better than not working, whatever the financial outcome?’
Brown: ‘No, no, no, no not at all, like, no. I don’t wanna be going out to work for 40 hours and missing my kids, if I’m only going to receive a few quid extra for it, do you understand? I’m missing my kids growing up. I can’t see how the minimum wage is, is good enough, that’s all.’
Humphrys: ‘Well, a lot of people do work for the minimum wage.’
Brown: ‘Well, the way it worked out for me, like I say, it was just not worth going to work for it.’
Humphrys (voice-over): ‘So what Steve Brown has done is make a straightforward calculation – go out to work for very little extra, or stay home and enjoy his children. He’s chosen the latter. And that presents politicians with a massive dilemma.’

Humphrys then spoke to the Mayor of Middlesbrough.

The presenter said: ‘One in ten are out of work here, the highest unemployment rate in the country. You might think the reason for that is simple: no jobs. But talk to the Mayor of Middlesbrough, Ray Mallon, you get a very different explanation.

Mr Mallon: ‘When you look at Middlesbrough, out of an 88,000 working population, 18,000 people are on some form of benefit. I mean, 18,000 people out of an 88,000 working population on benefits, that’s a big issue.
'At the moment you’ve got a large cohort of people that are not even applying for jobs.

‘This just isn’t on. It’s almost a lack of hope, it’s almost a lack of engagement – that the State have looked after us, and they’ll continue to do it.’

For balance, the programme featured a strong attack on welfare cutbacks, with Humphrys travelling to New York to meet Aine Duggan at the New York Food Bank, who talked of ‘the atrocity of welfare reform’.
Centre for Social Justice executive director Gavin Pool said: ‘I think there’s something wrong with a system that enables part of the population who could work, to choose the option to live life on benefits.  'A lot of people are trapped on benefits. They’re worse off by going into work and that simply isn’t right.’

Prof Paul Gregg of Bristol University said: ‘We are now in a situation where the support of a child, in terms of the cash payments received, is broadly equivalent to that for an adult. ‘This was an attempt to reduce child poverty. The other side of this kind of argument is that the very creation of that kind of a safety net encourages people to perhaps exist on welfare payments longer than they otherwise would do.’

*                                         **************************************
EDITORIAL: Proof positive that the BBC is biased

Viewers who watched John Humphrys’s thoughtful BBC2 documentary, The Future of the Welfare State, may well have been struck that this was an unusual programme for the corporation to broadcast.

For instead of the BBC’s habitual shroud-waving over spending cuts, the veteran presenter dared to ask whether the ‘age of entitlement’ to benefits might have had unintended consequences, some of them bad.

He even gave a hearing to ordinary people’s views about the morale-sapping effects of welfarism, while drawing on his experience of the erosion of the work ethic since his Welsh working-class childhood, when idleness was seen as wrong.

Indeed, the parody-defying ruling from the trust puts beyond question that it is institutionally unfit for its role of guarding against bias. Far from ensuring balance, the committee is effectively saying that opposition to welfare cuts should be compulsory for all BBC presenters.

What is so chilling is that the monolithic corporation is the chief source of news for the overwhelming majority of Britons, reaching 86 per cent of current affairs consumers through TV, radio and the internet.

This cannot be healthy for British democracy. And as the printed Press faces demands for draconian statutory controls, the truth is that the giant BBC has no regulatory controls – the politically correct, supine trust apart.
Yesterday, Culture Secretary Maria Miller suggested the BBC could be included in future moves to limit the share of the market that any one media organisation may command.

The trust’s crass ruling against Mr Humphrys – one of the corporation’s most distinguished and fair-minded presenters – makes her case unanswerable.


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Re: The Daily Mail condemns the BBC
« Reply #1 on: 31 Jul 2013 04:42PM »