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[political] What is the deal with the BBC?

Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
...Begin Rant...
The twits at the BBC organized a televised debate (and associated online content) with other equally esteemed news organizations (such as Al-Jazeera) to give themselves a voice to tell Americans just exactly what it is that is wrong with us. Failing to see the irony in regards to their own actions, their basic conclusion is that we are arrogant.
Equally ironic was that the program was not broadcast in the US. So what's the point? If the people they are attacking don't see the program and aren't generally allowed to participate in the discussion, what effect will it have other than to make them feel good about themselves? In that case, it's just bitching and moaning isn't it? I'm wondering why there wasn't a counter discussion about how interested Americans are in what these people think about us? For that matter, where was the discussion about what we think of them?
I would think this pre-occupation, or obsession if you will, with us borders on the unhealthy. Can you imagine any US news organization bothering to host a 1 or 2 hour televised debate about "What the US thinks of France" or whatever? Nobody would waste their time.
I think we're all aware of the political bent involved, but damn fellas, get over it already.
...End Rant...
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Aren't you flattered with all the attention? Didn't you think it was interesting?
Considering the amount of pies the US has its fingers in, I couldn't really see a problem with non-US citizens discussing the most powerful nation on the planet and putting it on the Internet.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Considering the amount of pies the US has its fingers in, I couldn't really see a problem with non-US citizens discussing the most powerful nation on the planet and putting it on the Internet.

It just seems a bit sad and obsessive is all, not to mention often hypocritical.
...more ranting...
And then some of it is just plain pathetic. Take that hideous joke Clare Short for example.
But many in the US hate the UN.
The fanatical Right - represented by people like the Oklahoma bomber - think the UN is a conspiracy to create a world government and destroy America's freedom.

So "the fanatical right" [in the US], which is presumably anyone to the right of her socialist clingings, is represented best by the Oklahoma [city] bomber? And these "fanatics" hate the UN because of some conspiracy theory (and she knows conspiracy theories as a Google search will indicate)? Maybe I'm reading more into her words, but they could easily be interpreted as saying that the "many in the US" who hate the UN are all fanatics on par with the Oklahoma city bomber. This is of course a ridiculous statement coming from a ridiculous woman (She is female right? It's hard to tell from the pictures.).
Anyway this is just par for the course for her and her ilk, falling all over themselves to get any amount of press coverage they can, while their supporters, like the BBC for example, do their best to accord them some sense of credibility.
...end more ranting...
Here's some pages dedicated to the BBC if anyone is interested:
Biased BBC
BBC Watch
Global Britain
Media Resource Center - An interesting site focusing on bias and untruth in American news media
[ June 23, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
John Dunn
slicker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 30, 2003
Posts: 1108
I'm going to have to check these sites out now, b/c I have a large group of European buddies and they love the BBC. They do show different news then we get. But the links might give me some good ammunition


"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
I find all this obsessive BBC Bashing a little perverse
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
To be honest I did watch the first five minutes of "What the World thinks of America" and I dont think it was one of the high points of the BBC's history. I remember turning over from BBC2 to Ch4 probably to watch Big Brother (if it was on) or just something else entirely.
First of all, the eleven countries that were surveyed (including the US) hardly represented the majority of the worlds population; noticable in the abscence for example were China and India. There were also no representatives from Africa at all.
Secondly watching the show, it smacked of that old saying (roughly paraphrased) "80% of statistics are made up". There were a whole bunch of questions ranging from what people thought of George Bush, the handling of the Iraq conflict, etc etc. I didnt really hold any meaning to the results, its clear that in general countries such as the UK were going to hold the USA in a positive light wheras France would be the opposite. But more importantly I felt that the results had little or no meaning because the majority of the worlds population were excluded from the survey.
If from Jason's links he is trying to infer that the BBC has some kind of political bias, then Id agree with that as well. As a payer of the license fee and having watched and listened to the BBC's output for most of my life, I agree that the BBC has leanings to the left. However I dont believe that the BBC are bunch of "tree-hugging hippies", nor do I believe that the BBC's bias is as strong as Jason would have you believe. Heck you only have to watch Jeremy Paxman setting about on Labour MP's on Newsnight as proof;-)
The Media Resource Center is quite an interesting link on media bias in the US because gosh blimey, it looks like right wing media bias is non existent in the US! Thank goodness that Fox News represents the political middle of the road in the US!!
At the end of the day Jason, if you dont like the BBC, dont go to the BBC News site, stay away from the World Service, and choose the media that suits you best.
I suspect that when the license fee is scrapped, and Rupert Murdoch buys out the BBC, "BBC Fox News" will be "liberated" of the "liberal media bias" that you clearly dislike.


Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
SJ Adnams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
I suspect that when the license fee is scrapped, and Rupert Murdoch buys out the BBC, "BBC Fox News" will be "liberated" of the "liberal media bias" that you clearly dislike.

I can't wait for the day. The BBC has got to be on this list of "Top 10 things wrong with the UK"
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Originally posted by Simon Lee:

I can't wait for the day. The BBC has got to be on this list of "Top 10 things wrong with the UK"

The problem with a list called the "Top 10 things wrong with the UK" is that its a very subjective list considering the cultural diversity of the UK.
For example the average Scotsman is sure to list the top 10 items as:
1) The English,
2) The English,
3) The English,
4) The English,
5) The English,
6) The English,
7) The English,
8) The English,
9) Tbe English,
10) Jimmy Hill.
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
The BBC is a different devil for every person.

Known as the Bash Britain Corporation by a certain right wing politician over here , and
said to be broadcasting on behalf of the Conservative Party by A famous left wing comedian.
Compared to the garbage that passes for impartial news coverage in the US, it is very reliable.
If it's criticised by everyone it must be doing something right!


"....bigmouth strikes again, and I've got no right to take my place with the human race...."<p>SCJP 1.4
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:
If it's criticised by everyone it must be doing something right!

"Left", not "right".
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
If from Jason's links he is trying to infer that the BBC has some kind of political bias, then Id agree with that as well. As a payer of the license fee and having watched and listened to the BBC's output for most of my life, I agree that the BBC has leanings to the left. However I dont believe that the BBC are bunch of "tree-hugging hippies", nor do I believe that the BBC's bias is as strong as Jason would have you believe.

There are many in the US, including the US media, who believe that the BBC have been showing quite an anti-American bias of late. I do agree with you that this has not always been the case, but something seems to have changed somewhere along the line. And with this in mind, it seems they are riding the coat tails of the stellar reputation (well deserved) they gained during the cold war era and perhaps they are not as impartial as they once were. The fact that Al-Jazeera was started with a bunch of former BBC journalists also seems somehow relevant.
The Media Resource Center is quite an interesting link on media bias in the US because gosh blimey, it looks like right wing media bias is non existent in the US! Thank goodness that Fox News represents the political middle of the road in the US!!

I'm not sure if five left leaning news networks and only one right leaning news network represents a balance, but I do not disagree that a network political bent can influence its reporting, be it towards the left or right. That doesn't change the validity of the MRC's claims however.
But since you mentioned Fox, I've heard from several people overseas that they don't particularly care for that news network. I find that dislike interesting particularly because in contrast it is the most popular cable news network in this country. This is noteworthy I believe in a sea of left leaning media (I don't think centrist media exists). So what is the explanation overseas for this? I've heard the tired "Americans are a bunch of propaganda fed brain-washed zombies", but that is of course ridiculous.
At the end of the day Jason, if you dont like the BBC, dont go to the BBC News site, stay away from the World Service, and choose the media that suits you best.

Actually I've listened to BBC World News since I was fairly young. I remember lying in bed at night listening in on my short wave radio. The BBC was by far my favourite, but not as entertaining as Radio Moscow's English broadcast. But that said, I check out all sorts of media outlets, not simply ones that suit me best.
I suspect that when the license fee is scrapped, and Rupert Murdoch buys out the BBC, "BBC Fox News" will be "liberated" of the "liberal media bias" that you clearly dislike.

Honestly it's not their liberal bias I find distasteful, it's their obsessive seemingly anti-American leanings that I find distasteful. (see here for a piece about one of the most glaring examples)
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Hoo Boy!!!
Jason, Jason, Jason!! You had to pick my favourite topic.. didn't ya?
Here is a
link to a previous discussion on FOX!
I despise that network, not because of its conservative leanings. But because of one man! Rupert Murdoch. I still can't believe it that this man is allowed to control mainstream American media (or for that matter in any country) after the Chris Patton fiasco in England. This guy's reach is dangeours.. he control Indian media, American media, Australian and British. Damn! I cant think of any place other than the middle east which is out of his reach. I have a feeling that "Tommorow Never Dies" was based on him.
Anyway, more later .. am at work right now!


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Can you imagine any US news organization bothering to host a 1 or 2 hour televised debate about "What the US thinks of France" or whatever? Nobody would waste their time.

I would watch that program!!
I like totally bizare comedy shows.
And I read every single link you guys post about France. Its so mad.
[this posting is just about this american-french thing . not about americans in general]
[ June 24, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Honestly it's not their liberal bias I find distasteful, it's their obsessive seemingly anti-American leanings that I find distasteful. (see here for a piece about one of the most glaring examples)

I read the story and couldn't find anything anti-American. Maybe you can point something out that I missed?


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
I've never watched Fox news. We don't get it here. I remember having watched some Fox Sports in Chile (a good book and some strange baseball match on Fox-TV, that's first class relaxing.)
Europeans tend to think that it stresses more the emotional part of news, things like patriotism and like that (has nothing to do with left and right).
Agree that this is sometimes like "those stupid, burger-mumphing americans do not understand no other but with emotions.
Ha. And I remember that you, Jason, in a weak moment have posted before the no-politics-moratorium during the war the following:

I don't know if they do it on purpose or not, but often when there is somebody being interviewd on Fox who represents one of the anti-war/protest organizations, they come off looking like nut cases. Now that could be because Fox specifically looks for those people, or that the ones representing these organizations that I've seen interviewed really were nut cases.

its here: Truth about Fox by Jason... :mrgreen:
And this left and right issue. Currently in France and Germany there is a huge, paralel debate if female muslim school teachers should be allowed to wear scarf in public school. There are right and left on both sides.
Axel
[ June 24, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I read the story and couldn't find anything anti-American. Maybe you can point something out that I missed?

I wasn't specific. I'm not really talking about in your face anti-Americanism in the same way that the NY Post has been anti-French. I'm more or less trying to fathom the motivation behind what seems to be a prevalent editorial policy. I've read stories (sorry no links right now) that say it is mostly the type of people they now have working in their news bureau rather than anything necessarily institutional.
Regarding this particular story, I just find the premise and purpose behind the story absurd. They went out of their way to fabricate an issue that didn't exist with the intent of making us look bad. Anybody who has even the slightest clue about the US military can get a chuckle out of their take on the story, but they don't make their news for those who have a clue obviously.
The basic allegation is that the US military took a bungled operation in which troops who should have been nowhere near the danger zone were ambushed and either killed or captured and turned it into a PR triumph by manipulating the facts and stage-managing an unnecessary rescue to boost morale at home. One BBC presenter, Nik Gowing, claimed that the media had fallen for a piece of "gross manipulation" and that no-one would ever trust the Pentagon again.
The BBC�s Correspondent programme branded the rescue "one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived". It questioned the nature of her injuries, cast doubt on the claim that there had been Iraqi forces guarding the hospital when the US troops went in, suggested that the rescuers were firing blank ammunition and concluded that she had been well-treated by Iraqi doctors.
The columnist Brian Sewell demanded to know: "Would so many men and so much expensive machinery have been risked for the rescue of a jar-head marine of 19, a black boy of 19, a homosexual boy of 19 or a poor white boy of 19 from the same incestuous hills of West Virginia among which Jessica was born?"

What a bunch of unfounded speculative crap. Is this what passes as journalism at the BBC? Maybe it's just me, but that final paragraph seems particularly gratuitous and insulting.
- US forces do not use blank ammunition in combat zones. To intimate otherwise is laughable to anyone with even half a clue. There was video of this incident. Despite the absurdity of carrying a rifle full of blanks while combat is possible, if they had used blanks, the muzzle plugs that are used with blank ammunition would have stuck out on film.
- US forces going into such situations use overwhelming force to maintain their advantage. This is what was done in this case and is textbook.
- The US never stated there were Iraqi forces in the hospital at the time the troops went in. A diversionary raid was being staged in another part of the town in order to draw off enemy combatants.
- The sources for the story are Iraqi doctors. It should be kept in mind that it is this educated class that was privileged under Saddam's rule, and there is no love lost between them and those who have stripped them of this status. What does anyone think they would say? That they treated her like crap? That the US forces were totally justified in their forceful attempts to secure the hospital?
Again though, I'm talking about general editorial tendencies of the BBC. There is a section on their web page called Have Your Say where viewers of the site can send in their thoughts on a particular topic. The responses are screened by BBC staff, who choose which ones get posted. If you were to take the responses just from Americans as representative of the attitudes in this country, you would be led to believe that GW is extremely unpopular, the people here can't stand him, and that most of us are in lockstep with the Europeans on every issue from Isreal/Palestine to Iraq. I've been following this section for quite some time and it never ceases to amaze me. I've even sent in my own responses on several occasions although none have ever made it past their editorial purview.
God Save the Blokes (Google cached version)
BBC apologises to envoy for anti-American abuse
BBC viewers vent their anger at 'anti-US' bias of Iraq coverage
Trying America: The closest British media gets to �fair and balanced.�
BBC Rabble Rousing
Reporter hits out at BBC war coverage
andrewsullivan.com (some good stuff in here if you scroll through it, including mention of BBC journalist taking on job as editor for Al-Jazeera's English language web site)
This could go on forever, but you get the point.
[ June 27, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
Ha. And I remember that you, Jason, in a weak moment have posted before the no-politics-moratorium during the war the following:

its here: Truth about Fox by Jason... :mrgreen:

Now that was a good thread! I think you may have possibly misunderstood me though. I think I was trying to say that amongst those Fox chooses to interview that they are idiots and have been chose for this reason alone, that they just happen to be idiots, that they are representative of their group who is only made up of idiots , or that to me they simply appear to be idiots. Most likely some combination of all of the above.
[ June 27, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Eleison Zeitgeist
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Me thinks BBC might need some old fashion, "Shock and Awe"!!!
(remember when people where making fun of THAT saying -- oh, well, see how the naysayers cower :-)

Totally agree with Jason's assement of the situation. I also thought its "what the world think of american" as very bias, piece of cr*p. Did you happen to notice that they censored their reader's feed back... Hey, if you want a balance discussed, there should not be censorship.... Oh, well, just REALLY disappointed because I use to regard the BCC as being fair and neutral - obvious not; their almost like foxnews :-( however, insteading of bad mouthing liberals, they bad mouth americans....
Just like "shock and awe"; i really think the us is doing good; wait a few years from now, and we will see where all the naysayers are......
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

What a bunch of unfounded speculative crap. Is this what passes as journalism at the BBC? Maybe it's just me, but that final paragraph seems particularly gratuitous and insulting.
- US forces do not use blank ammunition in combat zones. To intimate otherwise is laughable to anyone with even half a clue. There was video of this incident. Despite the absurdity of carrying a rifle full of blanks while combat is possible, if they had used blanks, the muzzle plugs that are used with blank ammunition would have stuck out on film.
- US forces going into such situations use overwhelming force to maintain their advantage. This is what was done in this case and is textbook.
- The US never stated there were Iraqi forces in the hospital at the time the troops went in. A diversionary raid was being staged in another part of the town in order to draw off enemy combatants.
- The sources for the story are Iraqi doctors. It should be kept in mind that it is this educated class that was privileged under Saddam's rule, and there is no love lost between them and those who have stripped them of this status. What does anyone think they would say? That they treated her like crap? That the US forces were totally justified in their forceful attempts to secure the hospital?
Again though, I'm talking about general editorial tendencies of the BBC. There is a section on their web page called Have Your Say where viewers of the site can send in their thoughts on a particular topic. The responses are screened by BBC staff, who choose which ones get posted. If you were to take the responses just from Americans as representative of the attitudes in this country, you would be led to believe that GW is extremely unpopular, the people here can't stand him, and that most of us are in lockstep with the Europeans on every issue from Isreal/Palestine to Iraq. I've been following this section for quite some time and it never ceases to amaze me. I've even sent in my own responses on several occasions although none have ever made it past their editorial purview.
God Save the Blokes (Google cached version)
BBC apologises to envoy for anti-American abuse
BBC viewers vent their anger at 'anti-US' bias of Iraq coverage
Trying America: The closest British media gets to “fair and balanced.”
BBC Rabble Rousing
Reporter hits out at BBC war coverage
andrewsullivan.com (some good stuff in here if you scroll through it, including mention of BBC journalist taking on job as editor for Al-Jazeera's English language web site)
This could go on forever, but you get the point.
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
More ammo:
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,986017,00.html
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Bull, Baloney and Crap
B .B . C
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
A further example....
Notice the difference in headlines from different media outlets for what is essentially the same story:
Guardian: Dossier report clears Campbell
Telegraph: MPs clear Campbell
Reuters, UK: UK Lawmakers Clear Govt. of Misleading Over Iraq
News 24, South Africa: Probe clears British govt over Iraq dossier
ABC Online, Australia: Blair cleared of misrepresenting Iraq evidence
BBC: Iraq weapons claims criticised
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1390
I don't have much respect for the BBC. I'm not going to burden you with my views, except to say that I generally agree with whatever Mark Steyn has to say. He's a Canadian who writes for England's _Daily_Telegraph_.
 
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subject: [political] What is the deal with the BBC?