Pesto’s got it: the BBC is too right-wing, obviously

9 June 2014

At last, someone has put their finger on the problem, got right down to the real nub of the issue. In an interview, the BBC’s Economics Editor Robert Peston, in a flash of brilliance, defined exactly what is wrong with the corporation – it’s way too right wing. Yes, yes, I know, you’ve been saying the same thing for years and thought nobody was listening. Well, maybe Robert was. Here he is…

“If we [the BBC] think the Mail and Telegraph will lead with this [a story], we should. It’s part of the culture.”

Next week, David Cameron reveals: “The problem with the Conservative Party is that we have way too few public school-educated people in positions of authority. It’s got to change.”

RodBook2Rod Liddle’s new book Selfish Whining Monkeys is available from the Spectator Bookshop for just £12.99. Click here to buy now.

Show comments
  • Gina

    I need to add that no other News media is totally unsubmissive. They usually take side.
    فیبر نوری
    Thanks for reading!

  • Doorsan

    BBC has got its audience, who cares if it’s right or left wing.
    کرکره برقی

  • آچیلان در
  • poran

    I will spell out Richard Evans is an odious creep who will bend any information to his propaganda ends .otomatik kapı Otomatik Kapılar

  • shiva

    I wonder how many didn’t go at all?
    تست خاکتست جوشدرب اتوماتیک

  • Lungfish66

    splutter, phorgh, eh what, grunt-

  • Terry Field

    The Guardian is the paper that informs the BBC dcisions. It is a proselytising left wing source as blatant as anything Goebbels could have achieved. I have lost count ot the insults and aggressiveness shown to any right wing or even middle of the road views by the Beeb’s stupefyingly partisan thought managers.
    Nobody I know who listens to the Beeb considers its political coverage other than absurdly managed and nuanced.

  • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

    Maybe he means the BBC are so left-wing that they are right wing…… What’s right wing again, isn’t that code for badness?

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Pesto and his mushed up and mumbled words – there just isn’t anyone more suited for his job.

  • suzy61

    Tonight the lovely, cuddly Aunty Beeb reported on Cameron’s objection of the inevitable appointment of Juncker as the new EU Czar. It was always my understanding that Cameron objected to Juncker because he was a federalist of the highest order and would not support reform of even the mildest sort.

    Not a bit of it! It seems, according to Aunty, he only opposes the appointment because he and other EU leaders have not been allowed to ‘choose’ the next leader.

    Bloody ‘ell. I’ve got it all wrong! Thanks Aunty XX

  • gelert

    In the link to the Grauniad story he looks like a Rusbridger clone.

  • Neil Saunders

    Good old Robert “Common Purpose” Peston – never “off message”!

  • JC

    Another serious example of BBC bias is the BBC’s failure to report the IMF’s retraction of its criticism of the government’s austerity measures. Despite the fact that Christine Lagarde’s admission on Sunday that the government’s austerity measures were in fact responsible for the UK’s economic growth, and her apology to George Osborne, were made during a BBC interview with Andrew Marr, nowhere has this retraction been reported on the BBC News website. This is particularly striking given how many articles on BBC News Online were devoted to the IMF’s original predictions criticising the austerity meausres. It is hard to see this as anything other than clear left-wing bias on the part of the BBC.

  • William_Brown

    So long as some think the BBC too right wing and others think of it as a cabal of liberal, leftie gays, they can rest assured that they’ve got it just about right….

  • Fenman

    The BBC is the only national broadcaster that does not show a full euchrist service on television on Sunday morning in Western Europe(even republican France does this), hence depriving those who cannot get to church, due to age or infirmity. It was in Belgium the mainstay of my wife’s grandmother’s week for the last 20yrs of her life. The reason they don’t is not because it is right wing or even impartial (after all over 60% of the pop. describe themselves as christian, and they are the state broadcaster), it is becasue the management is riddled with 3rd rate intellectually, politically correct lefties like the idiot in charge of TV, Danny Cohen, who despite the easy interview came over as appalingly smug and patronising on Points of View last week. Endless interview programmes are in reality packed with the metro liberal establishment, i.e their pals. The whole organisation is no longer fit for purpose, bloated, wasteful and institutionally biased to the politically correct.

    • itdoesntaddup

      That gives me an idea. A MODERATE Islamic sermon to be broadcast on BBC3 on a Friday evening – in ENGLISH? (definition of moderate – one that might even be accepted by the Pope)

  • Robertus Maximus

    Waiting for Peston to formulate each sentence and then voice it in that droning tone, as the cogs of his brain barely turn, is one of the most excruciating experiences television has yet devised to inflict upon the audience.

  • John Sydenham

    Right and Left are ancient history. The BBC is postmodern and Postmarxist. See Postmodernism – Postmarxism

    • Neil Saunders

      A good point. The left-right dichotomy is a misleading one, if (mis-) understood in terms of the UK’s party politics of 30 or 40 years ago. As I’ve remarked upon elsewhere on this thread, our new elite’s default ideology (irrespective of party labels) is situated economically somewhat to the “right” of Margaret Thatcher and socioculturally somewhat to the “left” of Peter Tatchell, glossing those terms in the traditional sense suggested above.

  • Picquet

    Wishful thinking. Or is it….?

  • Liz

    He’s probably referring to the economics programming. That is quite right wing.

  • K BB

    ABL lunacy matched by BTL lunacy: unbalanced balance.

  • The Elderking

    Be fair. Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao & Castro probably thought anything to the right of them was “too right”

  • Kennybhoy

    Ceterum censeo BBC esse delendam!

    • William_Brown

      Well I don’t!

  • The Masked Marvel

    “If we [the BBC] think the Mail and Telegraph will lead with this [a story], we should. It’s part of the culture.”

    You spelled ‘Guardian’ wrong.

    The BBC journalists – as LIddle and Peston both know all too well – are far more concerned about setting the agenda than following along meekly. Peston’s just reacting to the recent round of moaning that the BBC is too left-wing. He’s also probably one of those who thinks the BBC ought not to report certain things if it might give the public permission to have a few unapproved thoughts. It’s not simply what they report, but how and when, and from what angle that’s important. Peston and Liddle both know this as well.

    And Peston probably thinks he’s demonstrating that he’s the perfect man to be the next Chairman.

  • Max07

    In my opinion Pesto’s finest hour was telling us to ignore David Starkey … by tweeting that he was best ignored. There you have it. Everything that is wrong with the Tw@tosphere in one self-important, ridiculous little tweet.

  • Eyesee

    Every time you see Peston on the TV (thankfully rare), he seems to have absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Not aided by the strange, brain-injury way he chooses to deliver his irrelevant pearls in.

    • ButcombeMan

      I do not like your expression “brain injury” but I understand the point.

      Peston is an utterly incompetent verbal communicator, it is a disgrace the BBC employs him as such.

  • DaHitman

    “the BBC is too right-wing, obviously”

    Are you on drugs, if you think that you don’t want Question Time and it’s other shows which spent time knocking anything Tory or UKIP

    • rodliddle

      What sort of Hitman are you, Da?

      • DaHitman

        One that goes after pretend right-wingers who’d be better suited at the BBC or Guardian

        • rodliddle

          Good, good. A sort of freedom fighter, then. Keep at it!

          • Kennybhoy


            Ceterum censeo BBC esse delendam!

        • Wessex Man

          er, I think you will find that Rod liddle is mocking you because he was mocking the Beeb himself do keep up.

          • DaHitman

            The BBC does that with the biased content they keep spewing out and you pay for it if you have a BBC TV Licence

            • Wessex Man

              yes I think we all know that.

            • Kennybhoy

              Can you read…?

              Ceterum censeo BBC esse delendam!

              • DaHitman

                How old are you little boy. Does mummy and brother know you’re still up?

    • Kaine

      Which is why Nigel Farage has been on more than any other politician in Britain.

    • Kennybhoy

      Och ya numpty! lol

      Ceterum censeo BBC esse delendam!

  • rtj1211

    The problem with the BBC, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and all the rest of them is that they replaced journalism with propaganda over a decade ago.

    On Ukraine: pure unadulterated propaganda across all media. Orders issued from Brussels, Washington and the CIA/MI6/Mossad axis of who know’s what.

    On Russia: never ending lies suggesting that an organisation with 8% of the defence spending of NATO is seriously going to precipitate global war through maniacal first-strike warfare. Mental illness/special needs in cognitive development doesn’t begin to approach the description of what editors, senior scribblers and government ‘press officers’ should be badged as.

    On oil and gas: never ending lies suggesting that Europe can replace Russia tomorrow morning in terms of gas supplies. Only America benefits from this and everyone knows McCain should be told to shut up. Which ‘free press’ outlet reports the truth?? None in the UK.

    On sport: which outlet reports the endemic gambling plays being triggered through Press articles?? None of course. That would reveal those ‘media outlets’ as being party to fraud, which of course those self-righteous people aren’t, are they?? Yeah right……I wonder how many layers hedged Mercedes in Montreal yesterday??

    On climate change: which mainstream players have consistently told the truth? Few. Booker at the DT is about the only one. Maybe Melanie Philips. The rest are a bunch of hot-air pumping wordsmiths.

    Etc etc etc.

    This is not a BBC thing.

    This is a journalism thing across the whole industry.

    Face it: you’re ratings and click-thru whores now.

    Maybe you always were??

    • Wessex Man

      how cynical! which is why I’ve given you an up tick because I agree with every word and am just as cynical!

    • bobby_r

      You’ve missed the point. Every news source is slanted somehow by the choice of words and story, it’s unavoidable. In print, it doesn’t matter so much, you don’t need to buy the Sun in order to enjoy the Mirror.

      But in TV, you need to fund the left-wing BBC in order to enjoy ITV or Sky. This is disgrace and the cause of much ignorance and brain-washing in the UK.

      • Kaine

        Except no one on what might be called ‘The Left’ in Britain thinks the BBC is on their side. Considering it’s main political commentators are a former Murdoch editor, an ex-chairman of the Oxford University Conservative Association and a member of the Bullingdon Club, they might be on to something.

        Of course, if you take the position that anyone who doesn’t think David Cameron is a socialist is’left-wing’ then of course the BBC will appear to be so.

        • bobby_r

          Let’s assume you’re right: overall, the BBC shows no bias in either direction.

          The point remains that each individual news item contains bias in the form of the amount of coverage, health warnings, weasel words, tone of voice, unbalanced talking heads, who gets the last word, and other methods. Is it right to force the public to pay for one type of bias in order to watch other channels with other biases, which they might prefer and actually choose to pay for?

          • Kaine

            It depends on whether you view the BBC as a public good. If a majority of people do, then in a democracy it’s perfectly reasonable for everyone to have to make a contribution.

            Personally, I think the BBC does a better job of spreading British values and influence around the world than anything the diplomatic service does.

            • bobby_r

              Well ok, but are you able to make the case that it is an essential public service, needing to be funded by a compulsory tax? Can anyone?

        • The Masked Marvel

          Those three people do not decide on the news agenda for any of the BBC news and current affairs programmes. Nor do they do any of the actual reporting. Nor do they do any of the hiring. Nor do they set company policy. Nor do they send directives to staff about how to report on certain issues. If you think three people balance out thousands of others, there’s no telling what other fantasies you believe.

          There are quite a number of people on the Left who believe the BBC is on their side. You must not have noticed the reactions from various Labour politicians and Left-wing members of the chattering classes every time the BBC gets in trouble. Lots of people line up to defend the BBC from their alleged enemies on the Right, dutifully, every time. They know the BBC is on their side.

          Those on the Left who don’t believe it are usually extremists who think the BBC is biased to the Right or run by Zionists, or simply can’t tell the difference between not being openly, virulently partisan for the Left and being biased in favour of the Tories.

          • Kaine

            So when you say the BBC is biased, you’re speaking the truth, but when someone else does they’re an extremist?

            You’ve unwittingly highlighted the problem with determining bias in a nutshell.

            • The Masked Marvel

              No. I’m saying the BBC is biased to the Left based on years of hard evidence, and those who say it’s biased to the Right generally do so based on their own extremist perspective of what the BBC ought to be doing. There is no preponderance of evidence that the BBC is run by Zionists or the Conservatives, but there is plenty of evidence that, for example, they deliberately infuse Progressive ideology into their programming – viz 28-Gate – or hire a succession of very Left-wing people as political editor of Newsnight, or make sure historical re-enactments of the Tudor period feature at least two black people in the village scenes for no reason other than to continue the drip, drip, drip of the notion that Britain has always been as diverse and multicultural as London is today. BBC personal Twitter feeds are loaded with evidence to back up Rod Liddle’s assertion that the place is 90% Left-wing.

              Let’s see your evidence, then.

    • Kennybhoy

      “… they replaced journalism with propaganda over a decade ago.”

      It had been coming for decades but Yugoslavia was their Rubicon…

      Ceterum censeo BBC esse delendam!

  • Pootles

    Rod, I’ve made a little shrine to you in my house, and I offer up thanks (Mars bars etc) to it every day. Also, I’m now concerned that I’m a selfish, whining monkey, even though I was brought up respectable working class.

  • Alison

    I never had any reply from the BBC as to why they would not mention that Meriam Ibrahim is a doctor. Every time they mention ‘Trojan Horse’ they reiterate that it is now thought to be a hoax, yet we have these real names and people banned from working in schools now. Whatever the BBC’s agenda is, it is not in favour of the simple neutral reporting of facts. I gave up paying my licence fee 15 years ago, but I am still reliant on radio 4 news. I can’t be bothered with conspiracy theories but my trust in these institutions has just about evaporated. I grew up without a telly so radio 4 has felt like part of who I am, I can’t bear to think it has become so worthless.

    • MikeF

      Much the same with Radio 3 for me.

      • Alison

        The concert of Debussy on now is more beautiful than The World at One. The concerts generally are good, and Composer of The Week, the programmes on Saturday morning are usually informative, but of course it is fairly awful in the mornings and I’m not a fan of jazz. Still if pressed I would say R3 is worth the licence fee, just, by the skin of its teeth.

        • MikeF

          Some parts of it remain OK but much of it – especially the mornings – has been debased by the present, though soon to depart, Controller. You wonder if the new DG, who has come from the world of the arts, will appoint a successor with a brief to restore the station to its previous status and purpose. Interesting you mention Saturday mornings – I agree that the record review programme there has maintained previous standards but did you hear it interrupted just a couple of weeks ago by an utterly arbitrary promo for a prorgramme on Radio 4 a couple of days later by some ‘radical’ economist?

          • Alison

            No, I didn’t hear that, although if it was a trailer for Deidre Mc Closkey on R4’s Analysis, I’m afraid I am a big fan of hers. However, they do seem to trail other programmes elsewhere on the beeb rather a lot. Still getting to know the music of Weinberg last week made up for a great deal of other rubbish. The worst thing that happened recently on R3 for me was a couple of weeks ago when they played an old recording of Serenade to Music and followed it without so much as a gnats crotchet of a pause by a string quartet playing an arrangement of a Beatles song. It was so naff I nearly hurled the radio to the floor.

        • The Red Bladder

          And then there’s the Proms, now if ever a crown had a jewel..

        • Ron Todd

          A bad tax is a bad tax; how ever little it is or however much we get in return the television tax is a bad tax.

          • Kaine

            There’s no such thing as ‘the television tax’.

            • Ron Todd

              What am I paying every year to be allowed to own a television?

            • Damaris Tighe

              In that case I’d love to know what it is I’m paying to view tv (rarely BBC) out of an annual income so tiny that it’s less than a metropolitan elitist’s monthly take-home.

        • Foxy Loxy

          If you want it, you pay for it. Don’t expect me to – Radio 3 can go the way of the dinosaurs for all I care.

          • Alison

            At the moment one doesn’t have to pay one’s licence fee for BBC radio, it is still better than Clsssic FM and some of the foreign internet classical music stations. Of course it is broadcasting to a minority interest group, but it always did, and was better when it seemed to understand that we didn’t want it dumbed down and we didn’t want to be chatted to. It was always perhaps a little paternalistic, in that it presumed to know what was best, but often it did, now it is patronising.

            • Foxy Loxy

              Radio 3 is better than Classic FM, agreed. If it weren’t for the licence fee, Radio 3 would cease to exist. I’ve heard the argument from others that without paying the licence fee we’d lose Radio 3 and 4 – and that this would be a ‘cultural disaster’.

              Not to me it wouldn’t be.

              • Alison

                Well, fortunately, we are not facing that awful prospect quite yet. I haven’t had a television for 15 years and I don’t miss it, but there is something about being informed, in passing (as happens when the radio is chuntering away in the background) about subjects you would not normally look up, that is enriching.

    • Wessex Man

      The BBC Agenda has always been slightly to the left of the Communist Party, the time has come to cut them free from the subsidies given involuntary by us all.

      Lets have an end to the Licence Fee and let Aunty become dependent of advertising and subs from those who wish to watch or listen. I guarrantee that they would go bust in three or four years.

      • Kaine

        The existence of BBC America would indicate that your ‘guarrantee’ (sic) is more wishful thinking than based on any evidence.

        The most likely result of an abolition of the license fee would be the end of the decent radio stations, the collapse of its exceptional international news coverage, and the crippling of so much home-grown talent which the BBC nurtures.

        Also, if the BBC is so ‘left’ why did they fake footage of Orgreave to make it look like strikers attacked the police first, rather than the other way round?

      • Kennybhoy

        “… slightly to the left of the Communist Party…”

        Nope. If this were the case they would be a lot easier to fight. They are left-liberals.

        • Neil Saunders

          The BBC merely articulates the default ideology of our post-Blair elites: anyone who is economically to the left of Thatcher and socially to the right of Tatchell is a bigot to be demonised and shouted down.

      • Picquet

        The BBC’s agenda has always been that of an organisation independent of any real requirement to police a budget, as the cash just keeps coming in nregardless. It’s the law. And a socialist’s dream.

    • Lungfish66

      so whats the gist of your point ?

      • Alison

        A renewal of two ideas, I suppose, is what I would like to see. One, that the audience is highly intelligent and capable of making up its own mind, if facts are reported neutrally. Two, the almost opposite idea: paternalism as a positive thing, manifesting itself in some very intelligent people feeding us what is good for us, in terms of culture, not dumbing down to ‘our level’ but believing we are already raised up and wishing to raise us even higher. I think that is not impossible, would not cost more money and would keep it significantly different from commercial channels. Admittedly the second one sounds ghastly, but it was what the BBC used to do best, and what we all remember about it, fondly.

  • Shazza

    Obviously Pesto and the BBC have been taking Taqiyya lessons – what next – Leftiephobia?

    • JB_1966

      Precisely although, in this case, they’re already back on the old Communist track of defining rightish views as being symptoms of mental illness.

      • LunarCity7

        what I hear more often from Lefties is a sad, pitying and melodramatic sigh that anyone to the right of them needs to be “educated”.

        We’ve seen what their lot mean by “education”. No thank you…

    • Neil Saunders

      Oh, don’t be such a cynic! They’re merely “consensus building”, NLP/Delphi Technique style.

  • sarahsmith232

    LOL agreed, this lot have got to be strong contenders for title of Best of British Small Minds. Liddle luvie, you had to battle your way through one of their an interview with a great e.g of it last week, prob’ deserved a medal for that.
    Your witnessed another e.g of it just 1/2hr ago. This school in Birmingham have just shoved out some extremely un-Islamic and un-religiously fanatical seeming English to passionately and angrily reject these accusations against them. BBC male after they spoke said something like ‘well, this will leave people feeling confused about all of this’. Zero confusion in my mind, was able to recognise exactly what these kinds of a social type were, been around it, and they will believe that what was taking place in those schools was acceptable and justifiable.
    Why was the BBC male, on the other hand, left feeling confused? ‘Cause when he watched the vice principal speaking he could recognise one of his own, an educated, Left-wing idealist that believes in a set of ills in society that if eradicated can create ‘the good society’. At the BBC they also believe themselves powerful members of the sections of society ‘fighting the good fight’ against the backward, the ignorant, ‘rancid’ to use a word from Liddle’s BBC radio endurance test, rancid wrongly thinking. The vice principal will believe their actions in the school were acceptable for the exact same set of reasons – they were protecting their pupils from the barbarian, racist masses when leading them to believe that separation is justifiable because they as Muslims are superior to that.
    It’s extremely arrogant, ignorant and very dangerous group think. At base it’s class based arrogance and snobbery. Today is a day to show how important it is that we become a society with a free media (not one with just a free print media). This insular pig ignorance needs to be wiped out.

    • MikeF

      Nice to see you back Sarah – been wondering how you are. As for the BBC it is as entrenched in its ‘left-liberal’ worldview as it ever was – the new DG has made no difference. The bottom line is that a self-sustaining oligarchy has taken over the institution and is using the ‘independence’ from external political interference that was once the guarantor of its impartiality as the bulwark for what is now sheer undisguised sectarian preference. As a news reporting organisation the BBC has become unfit for the purpose for which it was founded. How this situation can be resolved I don’t know but if it isn’t then there is simply no point in its continued existence.

      • sarahsmith232

        Hello MikeF, nice to hear from you dear.
        Like the ‘self-sustaining oligarchy’ line, I’m going to have to try and nick it sometime.
        They surely have to be cut back down to size at some point, privatise them, tell them to see how far their ‘self-sustaining oligarchy’ will last when they can’t fall back on their legally obligated licence fee. Never going to happen under Cameron though, might lose him 2% of the vote, the focus group feedback might tell him to proceed with caution, so his own personal view (if he even has one) will count for nothing.
        Enjoy you day dear.

        • MikeF

          Thanks Huenchen – the term is partly inspired by George Orwell. In 1984 the official ideology of the ‘Party’ that rules over a proletariat it despises (now what does that make you think of) is ‘oligarchical collectivism’. Oddly the building that houses Ministry of Truth in that book is supposedly based on Broadcasting House.
          Amazing how relevant Orwell still is – little wonder that a lot of the left still hate him in the proper sense of the word. Come to that Orwell actually nailed them on that very word as well – there are official ‘hate’ sessions in which the minions of the ‘Outer Party’ have to excoriate the image of the ‘enemy of the people’ Goldstein. Of course the contemporary left would doubtless say that they are not the ‘haters’, but Orwell’s real insight was to identify the reality of their motivation and attribute it to them. Just what we have to do today.

          • sarahsmith232

            Hello dear, had a quick look for the Huenchen, couldn’t find it though.
            Agreed, def’ they need some kind of a mirror held up to them, it’s not happening though. Too frustrating. In a BBC doc’ about immigration Blunkett justified their open-door using this statement – ‘we were right, we were on the side of the angels’. Can’t see any other opposing views as relevant, can only see evidence of a far-right evil still stalking society, something that an even wider open-door could eventually eradicate, so of course, it’s an unquestionable fact that their open-door was holy. They need to be yanked, pulled by the hair, slapped about a bit by reality but they’re existing in their sectioned off from society bubble, mainly BBC fortified bubble, so they can’t connect with reality. So can make this kind of a deranged statement about immigration and honestly believe in it.
            Just watched Channel4’s Dispatches last night on ‘Breadline Kids’. The politicians, apparently even the journalists, have zero idea of just how faked all these things are. The people in the doc’ were fictitious characters, about real as a Disney cartoon, but they allow themselves to believe in these set ups. The Spec’s editor Fraser Nelson described ‘Benefits Street’ as an important piece of investigative journalism!!!!??? Blunkett and the like will not bother to think on, they’ll be only too happy to be brainwashed, come out the other end believing themselves the saviour figure, ‘on the side of the angels’, an especially powerful person put in government to save us all. If I know owt about owt, Miliband is one the worst offenders, extremely dangerous people because of it.
            How to get something done about their ignorance, the whole thing is so frustrating, have no other option but to have to be so frustrated from the sidelines. Oh well, at the least the Ukip vote can give them a jolt.
            Enjoy your day dear.

            • MikeF

              Now the question is do they see unlimited immigration as a way of stifling the ‘far right’ or as a way of provoking it – and a rather a lot of other people as well – in order to provide a pretext for legislation intended to stifle free speech and democracy? We might differ there.
              As for ‘Huenchen’ if you change the ‘ue’ to a ‘ü’ you should get it.

            • Adam Carter

              Your comments would be better understood if you wrote complete sentences. On a number of occasions you omit the subject of the verb. This makes your wting difficult to read. You also use truncated words.
              If you believe you have serious points to make you should not take the risk of writing without clarity.
              If your style is an attempt to introduce conversational shortcuts it is not working.
              When Wodehouse does it, it works, but he’s a humorous writer.
              In your case, it’s not working.

    • John Clegg

      Still wordy!!! but I do agree with you all the same. LOL.

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