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28 August 2009

Is the BBC biased?

Peter Hitchens thinks I'm wrong to dismiss claims of left-wing bias

By Mehdi Hasan

I have a piece in this week’s magazine arguing that the BBC, far from having a left-wing or liberal bias, is, if anything, more of a right-wing and conservative institution. The BBC, I write, has “an Establishment bias, a bias towards power and privilege, tradition and orthodoxy. The accusation that the BBC is left-wing and liberal is a calculated and cynical move by the right to cow the corporation into submission.”

In the same issue of the magazine, Peter Hitchens, the Mail on Sunday columnist, argues from personal experience that BBC staff “are so enclosed in a world of left-liberal assumptions that they do not even understand the question”.

Peter has now contacted me by email to complain about my piece, and to suggest that I have misrepresented the right-wing argument about BBC bias. He says I am “quite mistaken” about the likes of Nick Robinson, Andrew Neil et al.

So here is my challenge to him: Peter, either here on this blog or on your own blog, try to convince me and the NS readers that you’re right and I’m wrong about the Beeb. I doubt you’ll manage it.

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