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7 October 2013

Why the BBC is on Murdoch’s side

...even if he doesn't think they are.

By media mole

Rupert Murdoch has taken a break from offering Republicans advice on the US governmental shutdown on his Twitter feed (favourite of last week) and started off his week with a dig at the apparent left-wing bias in the Beeb.

It’s not the first time conservative types have insisted on the existence of a Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation in our midst – so we came prepared. Contrary to Rupert’s angry tweets, Mehdi Hasan has pointed out in the past that the BBC routinely employs those with a known right-wing bias:

Can you imagine… the hysterical reaction on the right if the BBC’s political editor had been unmasked as the former chair of Labour Students? He wasn’t – but Nick Robinson was chair of the Young Conservatives, in the mid-1980s, at the height of Thatcherism. Can you imagine the shrieks from the Telegraph and the Mail if the BBC’s editor of live programmes had been deputy chair of the Labour Party Young Socialists? He wasn’t – but Robbie Gibb was deputy chair of the Federation of Conservative Students in the 1980s, before it was wound up by Norman Tebbit for being too right-wing. Can you imagine the howls from the Conservatives if the BBC’s chief political correspondent had left the corporation to work for Ken Livingstone? He didn’t – but Guto Harri did become communications director for Boris Johnson within months of resigning from the Beeb…

The BBC’s bias is… 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.

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And only a few months ago, Cardiff University lecturer Mike Berry crunched the numbers to see where Auntie’s leanings really lay, concluding that “the BBC tends to reproduce a Conservative, Eurosceptic, pro-business version of the world.”

Could it be that the Beeb has been on Murdoch’s side all along?