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Libruls today

I’ve never understood why we allow our print media to support a particular political viewpoint.

Words fail.

27 thoughts on “Libruls today”

  1. George Eustice said something along the lines of requiring print media to have a similar code to broadcast media. Even as someone who loathes the Mail and Telegraph for their blatant inaccuracies, I still think they should be allowed to be ridiculous.

  2. Tbe simple answer is that they aren’t remotely liberal. They like to think they are because “being liberal” is seen as a good thing to be.

    They are,of course, raving authoritarians and collectivists.

  3. The answer here is that simple truism that most people consider themselves unbiased. They take the view that they have reached the right decision, so everyone else must be wrong. We all do it.

    The nasty myth in our culture is that anyone can be “unbiased” or “balanced”. It is inherently impossible.

  4. “It is inherently impossible.”

    As the BBC, with its charter requirement to be balanced, proves.

  5. Kay Tie

    What amuses me about BBC bias is that it’s direction varies according to who is complaining about it.

    The lefty’s seem to think it’s David Cameron’s personal PR machine, and the righty’s think it’s a state-funded communist mouthpiece.

    That suggests to me that they’re doing as well as can be expected.

  6. @theboynoodle: and David Cameron is the right wing equivalent of state funded communism is he?

    Or is it true to say that DC is in fact a slightly right of centre social democrat, and thus hardly a counterbalance to (say) Ken Livingstone (a BBC favourite)?

    Anyone to right of DC is regarded by the BBC as a swivel eyed racist/fascist loon, and can be safely lampooned/libelled (as happened with the Freedom Association being described by David Baddiel on the BBC as a ‘slightly posher version of the BNP’).

    When was the last time you heard a BBC interviewer question a politician (whether government or opposition) from a position to the right of the politicians stance? When did you ever hear a BBC interviewer question whether more govt spending was really necessary, or whether new laws were required, or indeed suggest that existing laws should be repealed? That taxes should be lower not higher?

    Former managers at the BBC have admitted there is an institutional ‘liberal/Guardian view point’ bias in at the BBC. Its existence is beyond question.

  7. They’re not really biased. They follow the Establishment line, and they always have done that. It’s what the BBC was set up to do. They are “left wing” to us because we are far to the “right” of the current centre; extremism is a measure of divergence from the normative- a relative, not absolute measure.

    To be fair, if the BBC started pumping out free market neoliberal individualism, they would be wildly divergent from the current ideological hegemony.

    In my experience, it seems many people complaining about the bBC being “left wing” really want one not that is neutral but that is “right wing” like it used to be when the establishment were. Reith, no “winter drawers on” and so on. When you say to those people, “let us just be rid of the BBC”, they are aghast, and suddenly start blathering about its essential role creating quality whatever. They want an establishment propaganda organ; they just want different propaganda from a different establishment.

    I don’t really blame the BBC. They are what they are, which is what they always have been. That’s why I want them destroyed- closed down, their assets auctioned off, no privatisation rubbish. They need to be destroyed not because they’ve changed, but because they haven’t.

  8. Jim, hard to argue with what you say except that you may like to see it from a different angle, one shouldn’t give a toss whether the BBC sees it one way or another provided the BBC got its funding in the market place, I for one wouldn’t mind if the trio of the Today’s tossers began the programme with singing the Red Flag if enough good burghers in the country were willing to pay for it. Good on you, BBC, would be what I would say.

  9. Ian B is analytically correct about the BBC, although I’d disagree with his conclusions (more “it’s good to have an establishment propaganda organ, because things as they are are quite good, and the people who want to change them significantly in either direction are mostly nutjobs who deserve to be marginalised”).

  10. @Jim

    “and David Cameron is the right wing equivalent of state funded communism is he? ”

    You’d think so, the way some people go on.

    I think you’re right that there is a distinct liberal guardianista flavour to the Beeb. I say that not necessarily because of their output, but because the only people I know that don’t constantly moan about BBC bias are liberal guardianista types.

  11. Pingback: Liberty, equality, fra… what? No, not you, rich boy. | Orphans of Liberty

  12. @Baron: I concur entirely. Which is why I have got rid of my TV, no longer pay a licence fee, and watch (completely legally) as much TV as I want via streaming on demand websites.

    What does annoy me is that there is a supposition of ‘balance’ in the political coverage provided by the BBC, when in reality there is a vast swathe of political opinion to the right of David Cameron that is regarded by those who run the BBC on a day to day basis much as john b does above (‘nutjobs’).

    I do not believe that to suggest that the State is too big, does too much, taxes too much, is far too illiberal with freedom, is massively wastful and inefficient, and that all those things should be reversed, makes one a ‘nutjob’. If the BBC is supposed to be impartial, such views should receive just as much airtime (and lack of lampooning) as those from the Left do, from the likes of Bob Crow, Ken Livingstone, George Galloway et al.

  13. Jim.

    I’ve also junked the telly and cancelled the licence, however are you sure that streaming TV doesn’t still require a licence ? Not that I care but the nice lady at the TV Licencing people who rang me after I cancelled the DD certainly implied that it does. Was she just trying it on ? This is the worst aspect of the BBC to me, that we require a licence to watch TV is one of those things that are so ludicrous that you despair of the British electorate for ever tolerating it.

  14. Thornavis, expect constant harrassment from now on from the licensing stasi. They love to come and tramp around your home looking for contraband tellies.

    As to streaming, I think the BBC are trying to gradually nudge the definition of Television around to “any kind of video, in any form, anywhere”. They certainly consider that you need a license to watch that stupid fucking “iPlayer” thing, so I’d advise against that so they don’t get your IP address in a database.

    For me, the fact that the great British public in general are so fond of “Auntie” just reminds me that I live in a nation of retards.

  15. Ian B

    Yes I’ve had experience of the licensing goons before, they just refused to accept I didn’t have a TV at the time, so I’m fully prepared for their little visits. I’d already decided to be wary of iPlayer, crazy isn’t it but I expect Arnald or someone will say we’re being paranoid and it’s all about the spirit of the law anyway.

  16. @Thornavis: You do NOT require a TV licence to watch on demand TV streaming services such as iPlayer. The BBC admit as much themselves.

    You do need a licence if you use your PC to watch any live broadcast TV – ie watching something on your PC as it is broadcast at the same time on normal TV.

    Given the amount of streaming sites out there, you can watch pretty much whatever programme you like, when you want to, just not when its broadcast. I can live with that, if it saves me £145 and stops me funding the biased BBC.

  17. Jim

    Yes that’s what I thought but the woman who phoned me asked if I had a computer which could receive TV, no mention of what kind. The BBC may accept that you don’t need a licence to watch iPlayer but I suspect the licensing authorities don’t share that view, anyway I told her I didn’t have a computer so I don’t know for certain. What made me suspicious was that at the end of our brief conversation she suggested I claim a refund and asked if I’d like to do it online, maybe I’m paranoid but that seemed like a trick question, either that or she has a poor short term memory.

  18. @Thornavis: I suspect what the woman meant was did your PC have a card that allows you to plug an aerial into it. Because if you did that would require a licence, as it would be considered ‘receiving equipment’. The link I posted is from TV licencing themselves, so next time you get a call, quote their own website at them.

    Whereas an ordinary PC, with internet connection, does not need a licence, even though it has the potential to watch live TV via the internet.

    Technology is outrunning the BBC’s ability to keep up with it. Its not 1970 any more, we don’t all have to sit around a box in the sitting room to watch what the BBC and ITV decide to give us. You can watch Sky TV on your phone nowadays, how on earth is anyone going to catch someone doing that? Or watching a live TV broadcast from a foreign country, via website in a third country, on your laptop with a wireless connection?

    Unless the BBC try to criminalise all computer/laptop/notebook/mobile phone owners in the country, the licence fee is toast.

  19. Unless the BBC try to criminalise all computer/laptop/notebook/mobile phone owners in the country, the licence fee is toast.

    Indeed, which is why in the fullness of time the BBC will replace it with an internet tax collected by ISPs, and that will be that; no more vans, no more inspections, just billions of quids “streaming” in to the BBC’s coffers. And there’ll be no way to avoid it without staying forever offline.

  20. Internet tax – not going to happen, at least not in the favour of the BBC. They got the TV licence because they were the forefront of technology 60 odd years ago, so the benefit was there for the tax payers. Pay the TV licence, watch TV as provided by the BBC. The alternative was sitting round the radio (which you had to pay for too), or listening to Mother play the piano in the parlour.

    The internet is too broad, too universal to be taxed for the benefit of one poxy little broadcaster. They are struggling to justify the poll tax licence fee as it is, there would be no political will to impose a tax on all internet users just to benefit the BBC.

  21. @Ian B:smoking ban – I’d agree with you, if the internet was used by only a third of the population, and actively annoyed a good amount of the remainder.

    By definition, when the use of the internet gets to affecting the BBC licence fee revenue, the numbers using it will be such a large % of the population that any attempts to control and tax it will be very unpopular.

    What argument could the BBC employ to defend their being funded via a tax on the internet? Record companies, newspapers, the movie industry, independent TV channels and many other businesses could claim that the internet is a massive loss of revenue for them, why should just the Beeb get its snout in the trough?

    The internet is destroying business models left right and centre, and the BBC better realise the licence fee isn’t going to last forever, and the old days of ‘Pay us, or else’ may be over sooner than they think.

  22. You’ve got your analogy wrong Jim. Since most of the population (a) like the BBC for divers reasons and (b) pay the licence anyway, transferring it over to an internet tax will be no big deal for them. In fact most of them will feel it is easier to have their net connections pay for the BBC than to have to buy a separate license.

    There is no groundswell against the BBC. There are grumbling conservatives complaining that it’s too left wing, but that’s all. Most people react with horror at the thought of it not existing, since to this retarded widespread belief that you need a state television channel to “keep up standards” and make Doctor Who.

    Loathsome as it is, John B is far closer to general public opinion than anyone else on this blog. So is Arnald, in fact. The BBC aren’t going anywhere. If the licence fee becomes impractical, the public debate will entirely be framed as “what other way should we pay for this fine Institution?”, and the most likely answer is an internet tax, collected by ISPs. Nobody will seriously discuss closing them down, or even significantly reducing their size.

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