What the BBC regards as normal and abnormal, what is moderate or extreme, where the centre of gravity of an issue lies, are conditioned by the common set of assumptions held by the people who work for it. These are uniformly middle class, well educated, living in north London, or maybe its Manchester equivalent. Urban, bright thirty-somethings with a pleasing record of achievement in a series of institutions, school, university, BBC, with little experience of — and perhaps not very well disguised contempt for — business, industry, the countryside, localness, traditions and politicians. The Guardian is their bible and political correctness their creed. In the Corporation's collective eye, Tony Benn is a lovable national treasure, Melanie Phillips a swivel-eyed fanatic. It's all very well-meaning, and painstakingly even-handed, but often notably adrift of the overriding national sentiment.More on Buerk's attack at the Mail, which also carried Sissons' own thoughts on the BBC's bias, and serialised When One Door Closes, including this extract on the BBC role as unofficial PR agency for the climate change lobby.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Understatement of the week: BBC 'often notably adrift of the overriding national sentiment', says Michael Buerk
Reviewing former BBC colleague Peter Sissons' memoir When One Door Closes, Michael Buerk becomes the latest of the corporation's big names to highlight the institutional left-wing bias which BBC bosses would have you believe doesn't exist: