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BBC Faces Legal Challenge Over Bias

July 9, 2019

GWPF brings news of a new legal challenge against the BBC for bias:

The BBC is facing a legal challenge over the way it monitors its impartiality amid accusations of biased coverage.

Image result for GWPF BBC bias

Crowdfunding group Stop BBC Bias is close to raising the £30,000 needed to seek a judicial review into the way the BBC meets its statutory obligation.

The case is being brought by ex-BBC producer and executive David Keighley. His News-Watch group has analysed the corporation’s coverage of issues such as Brexit for 20 years. The challenge comes as MPs urged viewers outraged at plans to scrap free licence fees for the over-75s to speak up.

Image result for GWPF BBC bias

People have until Friday to lodge their opinions with a group of MPs who will hold a public hearing this month.

Mr Keighley’s challenge is based on the fact that the BBC ensures impartiality by merely using two surveys of viewers.

“The idea that a small group of viewers in a survey thinks the BBC is impartial is different to it actually being impartial,” he said.

The BBC said: “The first [survey] is an ongoing monthly nationally representative survey by Kantar Media for the BBC that allows us to gauge public opinion on a regular basis.”

The second is a “nationally representative face-to-face survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, designed to understand the range of scores the public gives to news providers in terms of trust and impartiality”. Bias complaints are probed by the BBC, but can also be referred to regulator Ofcom. News-Watch wants a new independent body to monitor the BBC.

bbc
The BBC is facing a legal challenge (Image: Carl Court/Getty Images)

Mr Keighley said: “This is a publicly-funded organisation and we need an organisation outside the industry – so not Ofcom.

 

39 Comments
  1. ianprsy permalink
    July 9, 2019 10:42 am

    Talking of the BBC, I listened to their “Today in Parliament” podcast for yesterday, where climate change issues were featured. In a debate in the Lords, I think, the minister was defending the smart meter roll out and when asked about the expected savings, replied £1.2billion. Compared to the cost of implementation, I’d say that’s not a very good return, but it’s too much to ask that any of the Useful Idiots (UI) challenge it

    UI2# – Talking of useful idiots, in that same podcast it was mentioned that that well known UI, Sir David, will be in front of the CC and Energy committee tomorrow and it’ll be broadcast on the Parliament channel to share his expertise and wisdom. i can hardly wait.

    UI 3# – in a recent piece on WUWT, this video was mentioned, where the phrase “Useful Idiot” came up time and again. Puts all recent politics into perspective:

    • ianprsy permalink
      July 9, 2019 10:49 am

      BTW – contributed to the Stop BBC Bias fund, though it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      July 9, 2019 4:13 pm

      Talking of smart meters: I’ve just had the E.ON meter reader at the door, and she mentioned something about smart meters being marked on my records – I’ve told them repeatedly that I’m NOT interested. I launched into my spiel, and showed her the “NO Smart Meters” stickers I have next to both the gas and ‘leccy meters. I also pointed out that a smart meter will only show the total power usage, whereas the £15 plug-in meter I bought from now defunct Maplin allows me to build up a picture of consumption for each device. She clearly agreed, and I got the distinct impression that I’m not the first of her customers with such views…

  2. Adrian permalink
    July 9, 2019 10:45 am

    The BBC will disappear – IF people will stop using and paying for it.

    Or is that what I ALWAYS say?

    Yup !

  3. Peter F Gill permalink
    July 9, 2019 12:47 pm

    I was one of the signatories of a petition on BBC bias. This is what I said to the government Petitions Committee after signing:

    “I did as requested and put a comment on the Facebook site you have established following the petition. However, someone has pointed out that Facebook itself has blocked people with certain views on contentious issues. In consideration of this I am below reproducing two of my sets of comments. The second one being rather more contentious is a test to see if the comment survives on Facebook. After all the media in general and the BBC in particular have been very keen to avoid any connection between energy policy and the disaster that we all know about.

    First set of Facebook comments:
    BBC biases include (1) not allowing any view to be aired seriously challenging anthropogenic global warming now called (understood human) climate change (2) not allowing any view to be aired seriously challenging government energy policies depending on the set of hypotheses forming the overall anthropogenic global warming hypothesis. (3) weighting of views about Brexit in favour of remain – many examples including the usual single person (just occasionally two) supporting Brexit on Question time with the rest supporting Remaining (4) BBC is anti -Trump and consequently under reports his successes and gives biased coverage of other aspects of his Presidency. (5) BBC is a Boris basher probably largely but not exclusively because Boris supported Brexit. (6) The Guardian is the BBC’s newspaper of choice which perhaps explains some of its biases. Of the above the most serious in terms of effects on the economy and the direction for the future by far are items (2) and (3). It is a pity that BBC’s main reporters on these issues are qualified in subjects like English Literature rather than Science or economics.

    Second set of Facebook comments:
    One of the unforeseen consequences of the strong link between the governments belief in the causes of the current warm period and energy policy is the Grenfell Tower disaster. The BBC will not report that the reason for the replacement of the building’s cladding with the material that caused the disaster was the thrust towards reducing the “carbon footprint” of buildings. In other words, insulation was paramount. Another main factor is that EU rules rather than UK rules were applied making the cladding acceptable. Chris Booker twice in his Sunday Telegraph column covered this but was perhaps alone in British Journalism. So, there are three BBC biases working together for human induced climate change, for EU and against Brexit and for decarbonisation energy policy. By the way, if we continue with the latter, we will find it economically crippling as well as wholly pointless.”

    Today (9 July 2019) I received an email including the following about a “survey”:

    “We learnt a lot from a recent online discussion about what petitioners think, and we’d now like to ask a few survey questions before the debate. Your responses to this very short survey will also help to inform the debate.”

    When I clicked on the survey link I found three questions about the BBC (1) How important is an independent, impartial news service? (answers permitted Very, Quite, Not very, Not important, I don’t know) (2) How important is it that we have a non-commercial national broadcaster? (same permitted answer set to Q(1) and (3) Should the BBC continue to be funded through the TV licence fee? (Answers permitted Yes, No & I don’t know.

    And this is what I sent in reply:

    “Following my signing of the petition about BBC bias today I received a short survey. So short indeed that by clicking to the one page survey itself I was already 50% complete. Sadly the survey itself assumes that the BBC is independent and impartial. If I answered “Very important” to questions (1) and (2) then naive analysts would no doubt conclude that all is OK. The only impact possible to register would be to answer question (3) with “No”. This of course is very much secondary to the purpose of the petition. I conclude that the Petitions Committee do not want genuine arguments to be brought on the subject.”

  4. Andre Blackburn permalink
    July 9, 2019 1:46 pm

    I’ve just made a contribution though I suspect the BeeB would take a lot more notice if their funding was significantly reduced by a mass refusal to pay the licence tax or if it was cut off entirely by Nigel Farage achieving a position of legislative influence.

    I also received the same somewhat puzzling “survey”. I answered “Very”, “Not Important” and “No”. My perception is that we no longer have any impartial media; that being the case we should be in a position to make our own decisions on what we choose to pay for.

    • mjr permalink
      July 9, 2019 4:49 pm

      agree it is an very bad survey with very badly worded questions. Are these people incapable or are the questions deliberately woolly so that they can interpret the answers as they want. I also answered Q1 yes – an impartial news service is important. Q2 Not important (although really what i want is an impartial national broadcaster and Q3 = no (but again i would be happy to fund an impartial BBC that wasnt full of Metropolitan lefty luvvies pushing their own agenda )

  5. Tom Carr permalink
    July 9, 2019 1:55 pm

    The BBC also acts as a P.R. agency.
    The most notorious example of that was the day — 9 .11 — that we were told on the Today programme what the Prime Minister was going to say in a speech later that day. For reasons you will recall the speech was cancelled.
    Too often nowadays the BBC repeats press releases about future events , forgetting that if they have not taken place they are not news.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 10, 2019 1:49 pm

      Some of the blame must lie with the politicians handing out copies of their speeches in advance to presumably get favourable coverage.

  6. igsy permalink
    July 9, 2019 2:27 pm

    On a related note, the Grauniard’s Tweedledee to the Beeb’s Tweedledum isn’t even bothering to hide the agenda now:
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jul/09/molly-scott-cato-wealthy-causing-climate-change-green-mep
    Basically this is saying we must, by law, have Marxism by 2050.

    • tomo permalink
      July 9, 2019 2:47 pm

      Mad Molly the Looney cat woman?

      The sooner the addled old bat relaunches her career as a “B Ark” erm … academic (calls herself a professor… ) the better.

      A profoundly disappointed that the electorate in my neck of the woods voted her back in.

    • Barbara Elsmore permalink
      July 9, 2019 5:53 pm

      By reading this Guardian article on Molly Scott Cato – now we can see how all those gullible local councils, who signed up to declare a climate emergency, are going to be leaned on in future just as there are plans to lean on central government:

      “The positive side is that every time they come forward with a proposal, whether it’s Heathrow, or another road-building scheme, we can say, ‘Well, you said zero carbon by 2050, you said there was a climate emergency’.” – MSC

      I had to smile when I read of a Winchester City Councillor at a parish council meeting in one of the nearby villages who reported problems with the contract for refuse collection but then went on to say that top of Winchester City Council’s list of priorities is the climate emergency – how I wonder are they going to influence the climate when influencing their own refuse collection contractors is causing them such difficulties!

      • bobn permalink
        July 10, 2019 12:15 am

        Our District council just went from Conservative to LibDem/Green control in May elections. First change Ive noticed is the recycling bins are not being emptied. I now burn weekly all inflamables – paper, card, fabrics and plastics since the greens cant recycle them. And so the world regresses.

  7. Stonyground permalink
    July 9, 2019 3:19 pm

    David Attenborough has been pontificating again I see. I am now starting to thoroughly dislike the man. Thinks that air travel needs to be taxed to stop the prolls being able to afford it. Feels a bit guilty about how much flying he has to do for his job. How about retiring then you deluded hypocritical old <u~t.

  8. Colin Brooks permalink
    July 9, 2019 3:23 pm

    My honest opinion of the best way forward would be to use half the license fee and use it to set up a new broadcaster which supported right wing policies. I do not think the BBC can be reformed so let it stand as a left wing channel and give it some competition.

  9. donald penman permalink
    July 9, 2019 3:28 pm

    All censorship by the BBC is wrong, they are wrong to deny “climate deniers” a chance to give there views and the same with “euro sceptics”. What is wrong with the BBC? The public can make up there own minds as to who is right or Wrong on these issues without the BBC deciding this for us. Climate change sceptics pay a tv license fee too.

    • mjr permalink
      July 9, 2019 6:14 pm

      don’t be silly.. we are all too stupid to make up our own minds. That is why we need the clever people at the BBC to do it for us

  10. tom0mason permalink
    July 9, 2019 5:57 pm

    Break-up the BBC, sell all the assets that do not directly function to inform, educate, and entertain (IN THAT ORDER), and reduce the standard household ‘license’ tax to £25 + discretionary amounts viewers/listeners considers applicable. Everyone on means-tested support and/or over 75 years old allowed to pay ONLY a discretionary amount that the means-tested and OAP householder considers appropriate!

  11. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 9, 2019 7:34 pm

    Did you notice at the bottom right hand corner of one of those lying Smart Meter adverts a POLAR BEAR? Why? Because it’s fraudulently pretending that smart meters will save the planet. And the idiots don’t realise that POLAR BEARS are so last year- at Crockford’s 25,000 and counting, the Left have dropped Polar bears as an issue. Defeated.
    As regards Complaints, mine down on this website to 22April 2016 where there is a massive 162 page study of bias with references. Excoriating. I cannot understand why it went no further. Chapter 8 fortastes ‘Climate Change The Facts’ BBC travesty by destroying Attenborough’s ‘science’
    Chapter 10 deals with BBC complaint responses ‘a mixture of sophistry, ignorance and disdain’. Read it

  12. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 9, 2019 7:48 pm

    Golly, UK wind has gone up to 4%

  13. Huw Thomas permalink
    July 9, 2019 8:18 pm

    The BBC has been the mouthpiece of the green movement for years. I have made many complaints about this and the only response I get is “we are not biased”. They seem quite comfortable with telling lies to license fee payers. The only way to destroy their evolution into a political movement is the abolition of the license fee.

  14. July 9, 2019 9:28 pm

    Since 4pm I have spotted that BBC have been promoting Greta Mark2
    The girl and her dad that travel around putting thankyou cards on pure-Electic cars
    .. It smells of GreenBlob PR
    The BBC presenter acted as if it was a new thing
    yet I spot a June 2018 new story about her
    https://www.explorelearning.co.uk/blog/one-girls-mission-help-save-planet/
    That post is dated June 28, 2018

    • July 9, 2019 9:45 pm

      So Mr Rich Fake-Green has a second car which is an EV
      He’s had a £4,500 subsidy +a road tax subsidy
      and has a £40K ecological footprint from the construction of the EV
      and the mining of it’s material
      He then gets A SINGLE-USE-PLASTIC laminated card from EV-PR-girl

      Whilst his neighbour Mr Real-Green has never owned a car
      … or kept his old car going ages
      gets no praise from her.
      #GreensAreNotGreen

  15. Athelstan. permalink
    July 10, 2019 12:00 am

    It is perhaps a forlorn pursuit, the beeb will remain unmoved, imperiously arrogant as they are and ever have been.

    What it does though is, seed unease and coalesce resentment. I wish it, hopefully if, the campaign gains a modicum of publicity, it all adds to the very real suspicion and digested in minds of the UK public at large, that, the bbc is some very, very rum organization and even, clearly, thoroughly anti Brit.

  16. Ben Vorlich permalink
    July 10, 2019 7:51 am

    I did an FOI to the BBC to ask for the amounr of air travel this year for environmental reports for all BBC staff. Just had the reply,which, as expected, said they didn’t have to tell me because of some get out clause or other.

    I’m going to appeal citing the sainted Attenborough as an example why they should make it public, they broadcast more of his wittering to parliament yesterday saying how wrong it was.

  17. bsides2015 permalink
    July 10, 2019 12:46 pm

    The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
    You can watch David at this link

    BEIS or maybe they got the letters mixed up and it should be BIES an evil spirit or demon.
    Or maybe BIAS would be a better acronym.

    There were only soft ball questions.
    A slight recognition that The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy should be promoting business and prosperity rather than shutting it down.
    But all those green jobs will be wonderful.
    Recognition that what China and America do is a bit more important than the UK.

    David did not think that sceptics/deniers should be shut out.
    That they should be included in a debate about climate change.
    Well maybe he should of been asked why that is not happening on the BBC

    Climate Change is going to cause mass emigration. So not wars and economic hardship caused by the IMF and exploitation by the West then.

  18. Mack permalink
    July 10, 2019 1:36 pm

    O/T, but more climate catastrophe nonsense in both parliament and Manchester today, what with opposition MPs decrying the government for not rushing us headlong back to the Stone Age fast enough and Mancunian councillors jumping onto the ’emergency’ bandwagon and wanting to plunge their citizens back to the year zero even quicker. It’s hilarious to watch these lemmings in full cliff flying mode, just a shame their actions splatter the rest of us.

  19. Gerry, England permalink
    July 10, 2019 1:53 pm

    Jo Nova reporting this and saying that lots of Australians are contributing as they see the benefit worldwide of taking down the BBC.

  20. Dodgy Geezer permalink
    July 10, 2019 5:15 pm

    This is a good initiative by Conservative Woman. But it is not well advertised. Readers here can best help, not only by contributing, but by pulling a link on any site they feel might be a useful source of contributions…

  21. yonason permalink
    July 10, 2019 6:08 pm

    Bias? What bias?
    https://bbcwatch.org/

    Once the gold standard of journalistic excellence, now just another fake news farce – what Monty Python used to mock, they have become.

  22. donald penman permalink
    July 11, 2019 5:00 pm

    I would expect the BBC to have a left bias that reflects the people who pay the tv license fee it is a flat rate fee for everyone so the poorest pay more of their income .Why should it favour those who have wealth? I seem to get attacked by some just for putting my own left wing bias ,sorry. The debate in the HOC which takes place on the 17th July because of a petition that I signed asks if the BBC offer value for money for the money they take from everyone regardless of there income. I would say no because the people whose views are represented by the BBC are left wing academics. who think there opinion is more important than the views of the rest of us who pay the tv license. I doubt if anything will come of this debate but I have already cancelled my tv license if it means anything to those who have money then they should also do the same but I doubt if it is any more than loose change to them and are looking for bigger tax cuts than this.

  23. Peter F Gill permalink
    July 11, 2019 5:27 pm

    DP: I haven’t checked but I suspect that there were a number of questionnaires/petitions doing the rounds. I don’t think the one on BBC Bias is the one you signed. Perhaps it was one about the licence fee and whether the over the hill folks like me should get it free? Or maybe there is another one about.

    • donald penman permalink
      July 11, 2019 5:53 pm

      No

  24. Trevor Shurmer permalink
    July 13, 2019 9:14 am

    What about this for bias, McGrath’s comments at the end of the piece, commences ‘there is no definitive link’ then goes on to explain why, of course, climate change is the cause.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-48964553

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