Friday, September 26, 2003

The Beeb's pro-war bias

I always thought that it was odd that the Beeb is singled out for being excessively anti-war. One left winger told me that she knew how I felt about the BBC and Europe, while some others could not watch the BBC and would prefer to watch the more reliably anti-war Channel 4 News. (The reactions of listeners to the World Service, it must be said, was different and opposite.) So this report that broke before Gilligan and Hutton were ever heard of is quite interesting. The BBC were more consistently pro-war than any other British broadcaster.

I believe that reporting impartialy is impossible, which is one of the reasons I think that the BBC should not be maintained by the state - lying about your impartiality will not help. However, the BBC was not a hotbed of antiwar commentary in comparison with other broadcasters.

If the war had been fought by a Conservative government then matters may have been different, and it was probably New Labour loyalism that kept the Beeb less critical than the near-Trots in the Channel 4 team. However if Gilligan had been under attack by a Conservative government would he have been left out to dry by his managers? I can't think of a similar example. Which makes it all rather funny when thieves fall out and Campbell goes insane, and that could be literally mad with Campbell's history, and attacks one of his more friendly outlets. Perhaps he thought they'd fall in line.

Surely Blair knew that the Beeb has been quite good to him over the last six years. Why did he allow Campbell ruin this cosy relationship. What power does Campbell have over Blair or has Blair simply abdicated on home affairs? The same could be said about naming Kelly. If Blair truly was against the naming of the man (and this is a bit of a stretch if we're relying on simply Campbell's word for it) how did it happen?

I've said it before but the hardest thing in the whole Hutton business is deciding who you want to lose the most.


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