Yesterday ConservativeHome drew attention to the fact that Robin Aitken, author of an insider’s account of bias at the Corporation, had not been granted a single interview by his former employer. Five national newspapers and many blogs have focused on Mr Aitken’s powerful expose of the BBC’s failings but the Corporation has arrogantly chosen to ignore this champion of the licence fee payer. Shadow Culture Secretary Hugo Swire has come to Mr Aitken’s support, however. Mr Swire has issued this very welcome statement:
"It does appear that the BBC is determined to expose bias and prejudice in society, but is not so keen when the accusations are levelled against them. Because the BBC is paid for by the taxpayer, we have a right to expect and demand fairness and impartiality in their broadcasting, but there have been numerous examples where this has simply not been the case.
At a recent BBC seminar attended by senior presenters and reporters the problem with the prevailing views held within the Corporation was openly admitted. However, the BBC management admitting they have a problem with bias is like an alcoholic admitting they have a problem with drink. The admission is the first step. The next step is to do something about it. The BBC should look closely at what Robin Aitken is saying and then answer his points honestly and fairly.
It seems astonishing that Robin Aitken can compile such a comprehensive assessment of impartiality within the BBC, yet it fails to get a single second of debate or discussion on the BBC itself. If the BBC is confident and clear about it’s impartiality, we should expect it to be able to defend its record robustly. Why don’t the BBC want to defend themselves against such serious allegations?"
The 18DoughtyStreet video below brings the Aitken issue alive…