Stephen Pollard is on the money with a terrific article in today’s Daily Mail (also on his blog).
Mr Pollard notes how the BBC has virtually ignored the Prescott story despite the obvious public interest in how the Deputy Prime Minister has behaved. He records how Jeremy Paxman concluded Wednesday’s Newsnight by saying “This being a high minded sort of programme, we haven’t focused on the third government embarrassment today…” Mr Pollard sees a great deal in the Prescott affair that should worry the nation’s broadcaster:
"Not only has he abused his office in conducting his affair at the taxpayers’ expense, using his official car, his official residence and his official country house to facilitate his extra-marital sex life, he has also abused, some might say, his relationship with a junior employee. And his behaviour goes to the heart of his character. It is a huge story, of major public importance."
The article goes on to document some of the BBC’s other biases:
"BBC correspondents can barely conceal their contempt for anything they consider to be ‘Right-wing’. During its coverage of the Canadian elections, Stephen Harper, the Conservative leader, who is now Prime Minister, was described as “portraying himself as a moderate”. The idea that a Conservative could actually be a moderate was simply incomprehensible to the BBC."
Justin Webb, the BBC’s disgraceful North America correspondent, is Pollard’s number one target:
"Last week, Justin Webb, a BBC correspondent, was being interviewed on Radio Five Live about how the US television networks were losing viewers to cable and the internet: "There are three groups of people who don’t watch the evening news any more, and they are intelligent people, young people, and right-wing people. Obviously there are some people who fall into all three categories – at least arguably [he added, laughing]. Right-wing people tend to watch Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, intelligent people tend to not bother with the telly at all, and young people get their news from the internet where they get it at all.” Clearly it is not possible to be Right-wing and intelligent, according to the BBC."
And another Webb outburst from last year:
"‘The real question – putting it baldly – is whether there is going to be a revolution. Will the American social and economic system – which creates the wealth that pays for billionaires’ private jets, and the poverty which does not allow for a bus fare out of New Orleans – be addressed?’"
And the blogosphere is supposed to be nuts? At least blogs don’t levy a poll tax on every home in Britain with a TV.
PS My favourite Webbism came in October 2004 – ahead of that year’s Bush Vs Kerry contest. On ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ Webb told listeners:
"That is why the President has held his own and might well win on November the 2nd. Because backing the President is about faith not politics. In politics when the facts change, you are free to change your view, change your strategy, if necessary. In matters of faith, when the facts change you are comforted by the knowledge that the rational world need not touch the engine that drives you forward."
The right is not only unintelligent… it’s apparently irrational, too.