Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Ex-BBC Director: Media Probe Was Biased

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
 
Loonman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-04 02:56 PM
Original message
Ex-BBC Director: Media Probe Was Biased
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=518&nci...

By JANE WARDELL, Associated Press Writer

LONDON - The former head of the BBC said Friday a judicial inquiry that sharply criticized its standards in reporting on Iraq (news - web sites)'s alleged weapons of mass destruction was biased in favor of Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites)'s government.


Greg Dyke, who resigned Thursday over the inquiry, said the unfairness could have damaging implications for the entire media industry.


Though the BBC apologized, Dyke said he and other British Broadcasting Corp. officials were shocked by the extent of the criticisms made by Lord Hutton, whose inquiry found that the network was wrong when it quoted an anonymous source as saying Blair's government had "sexed up" intelligence on Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s arsenal to justify war in Iraq.


Hutton, the senior judge investigating the suicide of arms adviser David Kelly shortly after he was identified as the BBC source, cleared Blair and his government of wrongdoing in connection with the death and called the network's report "unfounded."


"I and others at the BBC, certainly our legal team, were all very surprised by the nature of the report," Dyke told BBC radio Friday.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
tkulesa Donating Member (556 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-04 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Of course it was biased.
There is far less freedom of press there than there is here (even though we don't really get to use ours). My understanding is that the press is vulnerable to charges from Government over there and has to officially kow-tow to keep from getting charged with publishing the truth.

It is absolutely relevant that people are feeling pressure to resign over a bogus government report that clears the government and says the media was absolutely wrong. We all know this is a government snow-job. We all know the BBC was correct. But the government has the power to coerce and punish. The press has no protection.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-04 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. facts? details?
There is far less freedom of press there than there is here

That's a pretty categorical statement, and one I'd expect anyone making to be able to back up with some pretty solid evidence.

For crissakes, the medium in question in all this is state-owned. The issue in such a case (as those of us who have actual public broadcasters, like the CBC in Canada, know, and as I suspect even USAmericans familiar with PBS/NPR know) is the extent to which the state and the broadcaster operate at arm's length, which the UK and Cdn governments have made a political commitment to do with their public broadcasters.

And that is a political issue. The state could simply shut down the BBC, or the CBC here, and that would not be a freedom of the press issue, any more than it would be if Rupert Murdoch shut down all his newspapers in the US.

(Yes, it might be a sad day for the public in terms of access to information, but it would *not* be a violation of freedom of the press, because the governments are not under an obligation to fund television networks any more than Murdoch is under an obligation to print newspapers. Corporate convergence in the media is a sad thing for the public's access to information too, but it isn't a violation of freedom of the press either.)

I would think that this was why there was a judicial inquiry in the first place -- because the BBC is state-owned, and to preserve (appear to preserve, in this case, perhaps) the arm's length relationship and prevent the government from simply stomping in and sending heads rolling, there had to be an "independent" inquiry.

Obviously, it wasn't particularly independent. But that's a political issue, and that is how the employees and public there seem to be treating it -- as government interference in an agency that it is supposed to keep its distance from, for political purposes.

I doubt that they would greatly appreciate sweeping indictments of their desire or competence to acquire rights or protect their rights.

.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Briar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-04 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. The government chose the referee....
Yes, it was biased. Nobody seems to have picked up on the corollary to Gavyn Davies' footballing metaphor in his resignation speech. He said he had learned you could not pick the referee and had to accept his decision. However, though the BBC had not picked the referee, the Government had. It had also set the terms of reference. Davies, Dyke and Gilligan have no need to accept Hutton's decision, because he was appointed by one of the parties and so cannot be seen as impartial.

Let's hope this is the last time vital matters of state are decided by some crusty old judge stuck in times of extreme deference and only partial democracy and appointed by the government he is supposed to be examining. At the very least, we obviously need juries to keep such judges in line.

If you want to see what the Hutton "jury" thought, look here:

"The view from the public gallery

Huge queues formed outside the Hutton inquiry in the summer as the public listened to the evidence and tried to make up their own minds. We tracked down some of the regulars to find out what they thought of the final report."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1134649,00.ht...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-04 05:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Then why the hell did he resign?!
Why capitulate to an obvious pro-government commission? I don't understand this at all!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-04 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Some have said he resigned in order to be free to speak out
I don;t enough about the partioculars to say whether I agree with that, but it's what people have said.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Monkey see Monkey Do Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-04 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. One version (from Jon Snow)
is that the Governers were piling pressure on him to issue a complete apology (as the current acting DG did) & he refused. The Governers were themselves being pressured from No. 10 (speculatively with threats related to the BBC Charter renewal)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Briar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-04 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Actually...
the abject apology came from the acting chairman of the governors, a nonentity in a grey suit called Lord Ryder, who has been arguing against the BBC pursuing investigative journalism since May. It's just possible the acting DG will have a bit more backbone.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Monkey see Monkey Do Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-04 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. tks. my bad. (nt)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Dec 17th 2014, 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC