July 30, 2003

OLIVER KAMM ON BIAS AT THE BBC:

The BBC does make pretence at balanced accuracy in its coverage of the issues he cites. That’s what’s so pernicious about its output.

Overt political bias can be anticipated and corrected for (though of course is still in breach of the BBC’s charter). The BBC, however, internalises a set of consistent, even monolithic, assumptions that it can’t correct because it can’t conceive of any other way of looking at the world. The BBC’s problem is not bias so much as an institutional incapacity for critical examination of the cliches that it dispenses. Whereas Lord Black believes the BBC ‘is a virulent culture of bias’, it’s more accurately a culture of obtuseness and intellectual idleness. BBC News is less like a virus than a soft cushion bearing the impress of whichever pressure group sat on it last; its correspondents, being mentally ill-equipped for the tasks of independent research and critical examination, instinctively and invariably reach for bromides in place of analysis.

Read the whole thing.