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Is it? Does the choice of the Vicar of Dibley example dilute the argument? Is Andrew Marr right about "innate liberal bias" in the BBC?
I think the BBC is at the top of the tree when it comes to journalism.....occasionally slipping because it (the BBC) thinks it's at the top of the tree too, a form of complacency.
How can anyone get annoyed by a show that supports the 'Make Poverty History' campaign? That is ridiculous - that campaign has done nothing but good.
If it helps feed one starving mouth then the BBC can be run by the Osama Bin Laden Supporters' Club as far as I'm concerned. The weather maps having a bias towards the South East...oh puhleeeeze! Whichever numpty wrote this report needs to be dragged back from their fantasy world PDQ. Unbiased reporting is a) impossible for normal humans and b) extraordinarily dull.
It took a report to find the BBC had a liberal bias!!!
Next we will be questioning whether the Pope is a Catholic.
are able to differentiate between out and out bias,and a reassuring sign or two that a broadcaster is a human being. All of us have inbuilt bias detectors, and we're capable of making the intellectual leap required to overcome it.
The BBC is not the impartial broadcaster that so many fondly believe, much as I would wish it to be.
However, as the FE states, most people can differentiate a level of bias without too much difficulty.
Such as, for instance, about three years ago, when Newsnight featured a story about some particular New Labour proposed innovation.
It invited five people onto the programme to discuss the merits or otherwise of the proposal - every one of them had an allegiance to New Labour.
For some reason I took all their comments with a very large dose of salt.
In fact the FE said, "I think that most intelligent people are able to differentiate between out and out bias"
The difficulty is not everyone can be seen to fit into that definition, indeed if it was possible it would not be necessary to draw the distinction.
Even here on occasions links are posted to newspaper articles with the assertion the article must be factually accurate because it's from a newspaper. The media are opinion forming but some do not see it as opinion, rather it is seen as truth.
Andrew Marr and his comments are interesting, his views perhaps shaped by his own predisposition.
His new series, The History of Modern Britain, is in my view a very balanced, almost "a plague on all your houses" perspective of our modern history and a credit to him and the BBC.
At the end of the day its a comedy and its entirely possible that if it was a real life situation that a vicar might decide to get involved in something like this. But its fiction, its a comedy, its not real life. Its not as if the episode was proposing supporting Bin Laden. And its a fictional program not the news, I can't see what all the fuss is about.
Ok so he wrote the episode without the editorial guidelines, naughty, tell him not to do it again, but if this is the best they can come out with as proof that the BBC is not impartial or not impartial enough then I for one am not worried in the slightest.
>>In fact the FE said, "I think that most intelligent people are able to differentiate between out and out bias">>
For all intents and purposes the meaning is the same...:-)
I think it's impossible for any media to be completely free of bias: by definition, as Stuartli notes, the media are opinion-formers. The BBC is made up of largely Oxbridge-educated youngish urban types, who are probably more likely to be liberal-minded, so therefore there is more likely to be a liberal bias. Personally I don't think that's a bad thing: much of the press is fairly rightwing. And it's not absolutely the case that the BBC is exclusively stuffed with lefties: I know a very senior person at Newsnight whose brother is a Tory MP and who himself is definitely somewhat to the right of Genghis Khan.
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