Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday 23 January 2011

Mindset, He Wrote – a BBC newsreader confirms Al Beeb’s ideological love-in with The Guardian

We're all too familiar with the BBC's slanted anti-Israel reportage and commentary, courtesy of such incorrigible types as the unlamented Orla Guerin (now based outside the Middle East) and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen and his acolytes.

Well, retired BBC newsreader Peter Sissons, who fell victim to the otherwise oh-so-politically-correct Al Beeb’s obsession with “yoof” and beauty and consequent compulsion to discard those on-air presenters (especially the female of the species) who refuse the hair tint and the Botox, has written his memoirs. Today’s Daily Mail gives a preview. (Hat tip: Brian of London)

In them, Mr Sissons – certainly one of the most respected and least prima donnarish of Al Beeb’s presenters – writes:

“For 20 years I was a front man at the BBC, anchoring news and current-affairs programmes, so I reckon nobody is better placed than me to answer the question that nags at many of its viewers — is the BBC biased?
In my view, ‘bias’ is too blunt a word to describe the subtleties of the pervading culture. The better word is a ‘mindset’. At the core of the BBC, in its very DNA, is a way of thinking that is firmly of the Left.
By far the most popular and widely read newspapers at the BBC are The Guardian and The Independent. Producers refer to them routinely for the line to take on running stories, and for inspiration on which items to cover. In the later stages of my career, I lost count of the number of times I asked a producer for a brief on a story, only to be handed a copy of The Guardian and told ‘it’s all in there’. [My emphasis]
I am in no doubt that the majority of BBC staff vote for political parties of the Left. But it’s impossible to do anything but guess at the numbers whose beliefs are on the Right or even Centre-Right. This is because the one thing guaranteed to damage your career prospects at the BBC is letting it be known that you are at odds with the prevailing and deep-rooted BBC attitude towards Life, the Universe, and Everything. [My emphasis]
At any given time there is a BBC line on everything of importance, a line usually adopted in the light of which way its senior echelons believe the political wind is blowing. This line is rarely spelled out explicitly, but percolates subtly throughout the organisation.
Whatever the United Nations is associated with is good – it is heresy to question any of its activities. The EU is also a good thing, but not quite as good as the UN. Soaking the rich is good, despite well-founded economic arguments that the more you tax, the less you get.  [My emphasis] And Government spending is a good thing, although most BBC people prefer to call it investment, in line with New Labour’s terminology.
All green and environmental groups are very good things. Al Gore is a saint. George Bush was a bad thing, and thick into the bargain. Obama was not just the Democratic Party’s candidate for the White House, he was the BBC’s. Blair was good, Brown bad, but the BBC has now lost interest in both.
Trade unions are mostly good things, especially when they are fighting BBC managers. Quangos are also mostly good, and the reports they produce are usually handled uncritically. The Royal Family is a bore. Islam must not be offended at any price, although Christians are fair game because they do nothing about it if they are offended. [My emphasis]
The increasing tendency for the BBC to interview its own reporters on air exacerbates this mindset. Instead of concentrating on interviewing the leading players in a story or spreading the net wide for a range of views, these days the BBC frequently chooses to use the time getting the thoughts of its own correspondents. It is a format intended to help clarify the facts, but which often invites the expression of opinion. When that happens, instead of hearing both sides of a story, the audience at home gets what is, in effect, the BBC’s view presented as fact.
And, inside the organisation, you challenge that collective view at your peril. In today’s BBC only those whose antennae are fully attuned to the corporation’s cultural mindset – or keep quiet about their true feelings – are going to make progress."
Read more:

Mr Sissons doesn’t mention Al Beeb’s hostility to Israel, but of course it's part and parcel of that mindset that he describes.

He doesn’t tell us what we hadn’t already worked out for ourselves. But it’s empowering to have confirmation from an insider.

And I guess we now know why even Al Beeb's Jewish journalists – at least some of whom are surely more sympathetic to Israel than their egregious employer is – don't challenge Al Beeb's  bias against Israel.  In that insecure environment, they have to look after Number One.

More fool Margaret Thatcher and the Tories, for not privatising Al Beeb when they had the chance.


  1. Is it just me, or does this remind you of "our" ABC???

  2. It's very similar, Rita - they even talk of "your BBC".
    I heard the ABC had improved somewhat, though, after John Howard appointed Keith Windschuttle and other conservatives to its Board.
    The BBC has a kids' section (CBBC)and a kids' news programme, Newsround, and I feel they need monitoring for anti-Israel bias. I know for a fact that Newsround has shown pro-Palestinian and also anti-monarchist propaganda in the past, but rarely look at it.
    What makes the BBC propaganda so damnable is that its Charter and Producers' Guidelines demand objectivity - and every household in Britain with a television has to pay a whopping licence fee to Al Beeb whether the household watchs its programmes or not.
    That fee should be abolished and the BBC made to compete in the marketplace with other channels - raising its own revenue with which to fund its own leftist propaganda.
    As things stand, it is wasteful, arrogant, and effectively "above the law".
    Also, though it no deoubt deplores the hereditary principle in monarchy and aristocracy, it has a lot of family dynasties among its staff. Nepotism, pure and simple.

  3. Two of the most far-reaching manifestations of the BBC-Guardian axis are covered in this video:
    Top-rated comment:
    "This is a video that every blog should share with their readers to underline the outrageous bias at the heart of the BBC, and the propaganda it thrusts upon its viewers, listeners and readers."
    (Autonomous Mind)

  4. Thanks, Jonathan.
    I know Melanie Phillips is extremely dubious about the whole global warming thing.
    I hadn't seen that video before.

  5. interviewing BBC Egypt correspondent Jon Leyne this lunchtime about the Alexandria bombing being by an Al Quaeda branch in Gaza, TV anchor Nicholas Owen said that Egypt has a long tradition of Muslim tolerance to Christians, just one more example of BBC pro-Muslim bias flying in the face of facts!

  6. Thanks, Miranda, it's absolutely scandalous that they can get away with their alternative worldview.
    The Conservatives should have abolished the licence fee.
    What wimps the Conservatives have turned out to be.

  7. Who was that Johnson character from the bbc who was 'kidnapped' by hamas. He seems to have escaped unscathed. Compare Daniel Pearl. And Gilad Shalit. Seems the bbc don't do empathy. The next time one of their kind is taken, they can rot in hell as far as I am concerned.

  8. Alan Johnston, John - the BBC gave thye game away by admitting he was there to report essentially pro-Palestinian progaganda

    I've blogged about Al Beeb before, including here
    and this post is one that mentions Johnston

  9. An interesting take on Al Beeb's bias towards Islam here:

  10. See for the Guardian's release of the "Palestine Papers" that have also been released by Al Jazeera's Transparency Unit.

    Al Beeb has been having a field day, getting the spin on them from Al Grauniad's ME editor, Ian Black ...

    Meanwhile, Al Beeb's Jon Donnison has been reporting less than fairly about the verdict of the Turkel Committee re the Mavi Marmara incident.


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