Feature

The brilliant subtlety of BBC propaganda

The week's news at a glance.

United Kingdom

Tom LeonardThe Daily Telegraph

The BBC’s liberal bias extends beyond just the news coverage, said Tom Leonard in London’s Daily Telegraph. Britain’s publicly funded television station is always being accused of skewing its reporting against Israel and against the U.S., and it “has become very adept at fighting” those charges. It simply commissions some researchers to comb through transcripts and pronounce Beeb reporting to be the epitome of objectivity. But it can’t hide the slant in its dramas. Just look at Spooks, “BBC1’s flagship series about impossibly right-on MI5 agents.” The villains in the first episode were pro-life fanatics out to bomb abortion clinics. Episode two featured “racist extremists in league with right-wing politicians plotting mass murder of immigrants.” And then there’s my favorite episode, the one “about homegrown al Qaida terrorists taking over the Saudi Embassy and murdering innocent people. Except that they weren’t British Muslims at all but undercover Israeli agents!” It would be ridiculous if it weren’t so “insidious.” We expect BBC news to be slanted. What’s creepy is “embedding a liberal agenda in programs where people’s bias antennae may not be so finely tuned.”

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