Ed Driscoll

Is the BBC Liberal? Of Course It Is

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Coming clean in a somewhat similar fashion to former New York Times Ombudsman Daniel Okrent’s admission in 2004, Mark Thompson, the BBC’s director general admits to the Daily Mail that his network swings to the left:

BBC Director General Mark Thompson has admitted the corporation was guilty of a ‘massive’ Left-wing bias in the past.

The TV chief also admitted there had been a ‘struggle’ to achieve impartiality and that staff were ‘ mystified’ by the early years of Margaret Thatcher’s government. [See also: Epistemic Closure — Ed]

But he claimed there was now ‘much less overt tribalism’ among the current crop of young journalists, and said in recent times the corporation was a ‘broader church’.

He claimed there was now an ‘honourable tradition of journalists from the right’ working for the corporation.

His comments, made in the New Statesman magazine, are one of the clearest admissions of political bias from such a senior member of its staff.

Gosh, who knew?

Similarly, “This Just In: Washington Post’s Milbank Admits He’s a Lefty.”

Elsewhere in the annals of strange doings at the Post, “Washington Post sportswriter suspended for Twitter hoax,” AFP reports:

A Twitter experiment that went awry has landed a sportswriter for The Washington Post with a one-month suspension.Mike Wise, a respected Post columnist, was suspended by the newspaper on Tuesday, a day after he posted a fake report on his Twitter account.

“Roethlisberger will get five games, I’m told,” Wise wrote on his Twitter feed, @MikeWiseguy, on Monday in a reference to the length of the suspension handed down to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

In fact, Roethlisberger’s penalty for an offseason incident in a Georgia nightclub has not yet been determined.

Wise told the Post that he “tweeted” the made-up report as a social media experiment to to see how widely it would spread in the media, a move he said later was a “horrendous mistake.”

“I’m not a journalism ombudsman,” Wise told the Post. “And I found that out in a very painful, hard way. I need to take my medicine and move on, and promise everybody this will never happen again.”

Think of it as a miniaturized version of the Janet Cooke story, done in Twitter-style, in 140 characters or less.

Didn’t we learn anything from the Mary Tyler Moore Show?