"BBC viewers vent their anger at 'anti-US' bias of Iraq coverage"

Is the BBC really biased against the US position on Iraq?

A lot of their viewer think so.

And, while we’re at it, please feel free to also debate a second bias accusation:

Is the BBC biased against Israel?

I’m sure there are a few legitimate complaints against individual reporters or correspondents. The Roxborough and Loyn quotes do indeed sound very ill-informed.

However, when you challenged me in another thread for cites that the BBC does portray pro-war opinions, I found you at least a dozen in five minutes.

That 400 people, the Telegraph, and december find the BBC biased does not surprise me.

BBC tells its journalists to be alert over impartiality

My emphases.

well December, I have heard alot of people complain that the BBC are too pro-war, the truth is they are just about as impartial as it is possible for a news organization to be.

They have no editorial line forced on any of the journalists, so any bias that is there is the result of the individual journalists.

The Daily Telegraph is a pro-war paper which doesn’t have anything like the reputation that the BBC has for being impartial, especially on the Israel issue (Rupert Murdoch has extensive buisness interests in Israel, which has led to a lack of reporting on that issue). The owner Rupert Murdoch does enforce a strong editorial line.

Damn! December has caught us again! Our vast conspiracy, our total grip on media power, is once again exposed! Curses! Foiled again! All that labor and effort, duping the British public into believing that this war is unwise and ignoble, all for nothing! There are still 400, yes, that’s right, 400!!! clear-eyed and right-thinking Brits left to subvert.

As to Israel…gotta admit that troubles me some. Our joined at the hip foreign policy is worrisome. We are Israels very best friend, but are they ours? By what reasoning can GeeDubya call Ariel Sharon a “man of peace”? Whose interests are best served by a dominant US military presence in the ME? Not ours. Not by a long shot.

The fervent support of the pro-Apocalypse rabid right for Israel is a political fact but sounds like a premise for a novel co-authored by Tom Clancy and Stephen King. But it is a fact. People who long for the end of the world, crave it, dote upon it, see Israel as an instrument of Divine Prophecy. And they vote. Republican, of course.

Just because a news organisation does not express the opinion or viewpoint that you want to hear, does not mean that they are biased.

If you don’t want to hear impartial news, if you are not happy with the truth, don’t listen to the BBC, or any other similar impartial news medium.

I think adding the extra (uncited) line about alleged Israeli bias makes this one of december’s lamest OPs yet.

One example of a contentious issue as analysed on the BBC website:

Both sides of the agument equally represented.

Here’s the BBC on Arafat and the Palestinian National Authority :

Here’s the BBC on Sharon:

I dunno, you find the anti-Israel bias. Sometimes, the truth just hurts. We know both sides have committed and continue to commit atrocities, and the BBC’s reporting just reflects that.

To december that is exactly what “biased” means.

CNN and the BBC both blithly use street interviews and alleged measurements of Iraqi public opinion as though Iraqis are free to speak their minds. But, other than that and a few other ‘progressive’ affectations I find annoying, they do a pretty good job. Once you can see through the biases inherent in the system - help me, I’m being oppressed - you can get decent news from any outlet.

Actually Beagle, I’ve never seen an interview with an Iraqi in Iraq on the BBC without added commentary on the fact that the fear of Saddam could be influnecing their opinions.

This is an honest question, do you watch the BBC in Florida?

I’m not sure Beagle whether you’re trying to suggest further parallels between CNN and the BBC. If so I would caution you not to do so. At least IMO, CNN just isn’t in the same league as the BBC as source of quality journalism.

We have a couple BBCs actually. [sub]I’ve got (500) channels of shit on the TV to choose from…choose from…choose from. [/Pink Floyd][/sub]

I’ve heard all the news outlets point out that they are being monitored by the Ministry of (dis)Information. They are less consistent about pointing out that in every day life Iraqis are not free - at all - to express an opinion. It varies by correspondent and the context. I’m not saying that the BBC (or CNN, Mandelstam) is in cahoots with the Iraqis. I think they are - like every outlet - trying to balance coverage, and yet not get kicked out by their Iraqi handlers.

Sometimes, time constraints on television preclude any intelligent commentary at all. A particular story might only have 15 seconds of actual commentary.

I chafe at the term “obective.” Can we all agree that every single journalist in the world has a bias? That, to me, is the most important point.

I agree that every journalist has some kind of bias and also that organizations such as the BBC or CNN or The New York Times also not bias-free. But I also feel that there are varying standards of journalistic integrity. A high standard tends to offset individual and institutional bias–to whatever degree possible. Low journalist standards lead to little more than punditry dressed up as journalism. I think the BBC tries very hard to meet high standards of journalism.

CNN doesn’t really serve the same purpose as the BBC–which is a much larger organization–and doesn’t have the same high standards. Though they’re far from terrible IMO.

Sigh… Bias is part of what makes us human. Evryone has a Bias, this debate is now over.:wally

Certainly BBC reporter Jon Simpson has been a very strong advocate for the “Iraqi in the street” (as distinguished from Saddam Hussein and the rest of the Iraqi administration and military, of which he’s no fan), and has complained about the effect that both the last was and the sanctions have had on them. The Beeb in general, however, has been more circumspect in its approach; if there’s anything I dislike about their news coverage, it’s the movement towards less in-depth reporting they seem to be exhibiting in order to compete with the other UK TV channels. The World Service, OTOH, continues to do their job well.

The Daily Telegraph, however, is well-known for its right-wing bias (and is sometimes referred to as the “Torygraph”), much in the same way that the Guardian has a clear left-wing bias. Furthermore, all of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers in various countries have been toeing the pro-war line pretty strongly editorially, following His Rupertness’s lead. I recommend taking anything related to the impending war with a large grain of salt.

Of course it isn’t. The wording is strictly neutral - possibly too much so. But as stated before, the BBC is always accused of bias by any offended party.

how’s this for anti-Israel bias?It was reported about 2 years ago, at the beginning of the current violence.
The Israeli air force assassinated an Arab political leader by bombing his car from an attack helicopter while he was driving to political meeting in the West Bank.

At least, that’s how the BBC reported it. They “forgot” to mention that his car contained two 30 caliber machine guns and a lot of explosives, and the the “political leader” was a wanted terrorist who PROUDLY circulated pictures of himself in the local press wearing full combat gear, with belts of machine gun ammunition draped over his shoulders.

You might be ignoring regional issues here. There’s a state in India where anarchy reigns (almost literally). I wouldn’t be surprised if ALL politicians there carried ammunition and detail with them .

It’s entirely possible that the terrorist/leader was infact, going to a political meeting. And the “protection” was a part of daily life.

What verb would you use for firing on another State’s politician from a helicopter?
I remember the BBC reporting that the Israelis also blew up a building to execute an opponent (killing civilians in the process).
(I am well aware of the surrounding violence, but democracies should not sink to the level of their terrorist opponents.)

The BBC regularly come under attack from UK political parties, but since the BBC is independent, that is to be expected.

P.S. Do you think December shows any bias? :eek: :confused: :rolleyes: :smack: :wally

Just a small aside - MC Master of Cermonies, and perhaps also jr8, seem to be suggesting the The Daily Telegraph is a Murdoch paper - NO it is in the Conrad Black stable. It is The Times and The Sun which are Murdoch rags.

That does not change the fact that the Telegraph holds a right wing stance and is indeed highly biased on the issue of Israel and the Middle East generally. Ultimately the reason I switched to the Independent despite missing the Sports coverage…

Sometime I must find out what Conrad’s beef with Zionism is, unless it is just honest conviction rather than cynical business reasons…

Finally my two cents worth on the OP - the BBC are not biased as far as any western conservative (with a small “c”) organisation is - although individual reporters may seem to be (OK - are) from time to time.

Has the Telegraph had anything complementary to say about the BBC since about the appointment of Hugh Carleton Greene ? In 1960.