The BBC’s director general has admitted that the corporation has avoided speaking about the problems of ‘taboo’ subjects such as immigration.
Mark Thompson said ‘sensitive and difficult issues’ like immigration were ignored because the broadcaster was ‘anxious’ about appearing to have a right-wing agenda.
In an article for the New Statesman magazine, he admitted: ‘There have been occasions, I believe, in the past, when the BBC has had limitations.
‘For example, I think there were some years when the BBC, like the rest of the UK media, was very reticent about talking about immigration.
‘There was an anxiety whether or not you might be playing into a political agenda if you did items about immigration.’
He went on to justify the BBC’s behaviour by saying that in the 2010 election campaign, ‘none of the parties was talking about immigration’, despite the fact that immigration was one of the main issues of the election, with the LibLabCon party making continual transparent promises on the issue to try and steal votes from the British National Party.
The less-than-shocking announcement is just the latest in a series of admissions of anti-British bias by the corporation.
– In 2006, a leaked report from a BBC ‘impartiality seminar’ found that BBC executives would broadcast a Bible being thrown into a bin, but not a Koran.
– In the same report, the station’s political editor Andrew Marr said, ‘The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.’
– Former BBC business editor Jeff Randall was quoted in the report as saying he complained to a ‘very senior news executive’ about the BBC’s pro-multicultural stance but was given the reply, ‘The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism: it believes in it and it promotes it.’
– In 2007, a BBC Trust report criticised the corporation for coming late to several important stories, including Euroscepticism and immigration, which it described as ‘off limits’ in terms of a liberal-minded comfort zone.
– In 2010, again speaking to the left-wing New Statesman, Mark Thompson accepted that the BBC had been guilty of a ‘massive bias to the left’ and ‘struggled with impartiality’.
– In January 2011, ex-BBC newsreader Peter Sissons went further by stating that left-wing bias was written in the corporation’s very DNA.
Mark Thompson has been the BBC’s director general since 2004, taking over from Greg Dyke, who infamously bemoaned the company for being ‘hideously white’.
In the interview, Mr Thompson also defended the large numbers of journalists the BBC sends to events such as Glastonbury and the Olympics. The BBC was criticised last month for sending 407 people to the Glastonbury festival – at a cost of £1.5 million.
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