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Tony Grist

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News Trivia [Dec. 14th, 2010|09:34 am]
Tony Grist
Jeremy Hunt- the Culture Minister- was complaining the other day about left-wing bias at the BBC. I've been thinking recently- mainly in relation to the reporting of the student protests- that the BBC has been bending overmuch towards the right. This is good, isn't it? If both extremes think the BBC is prejudiced against them then the BBC must be doing exactly what it's supposed to do and steering a course straight down the middle.

Hunt is the one whose name James Naughtie committed a spoonerism on. I guess he's smarting from that.

I've learned that Charlie Gilmour, the silly young toff who swung on the flag, is an old boy of my school- Lancing College. I'll bet they don't mention that in any of the glossy magazines they send me. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2010-12-14 12:45 pm (UTC)
This is good, isn't it? If both extremes think the BBC is prejudiced against them then the BBC must be doing exactly what it's supposed to do and steering a course straight down the middle.

That's a common fallacy. News organizations should pursue the truth. It may be that the truth lies straight down the middle between the extremes, but it may also be that one side or the other actually is closer to the actual facts. So, "straight down the middle, pissing off both sides", isn't necessarily the right place to be.

But it might be.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-14 12:49 pm (UTC)
Ah, but as jesting Pilate remarked, "What is truth?"
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2010-12-15 01:46 pm (UTC)
Epistimological concerns should be secondary to a news outlet. A news outlet can safely use a fairly naive definition of truth -- that there exists an objective universe in which actions take place, and that "truth" is simply the factual and accurate description of said actions and conditions. Plenty of news organizations fail at that point.

In the United States, at least, news organizations with a conservative slant tend to fail on that criterion more frequently than news organizations with a liberal slant.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-15 05:28 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. The very word "liberal" implies a certain open-mindedness.

Here in Britain all our news channels are committed to an ideal of balance. Our newspapers (many of them owned by Rupert Murdoch) are a different matter.

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