Posts Tagged 'The Guardian'

A new twist in the Wolfgang Wagner resignation saga

Following on from the previous post about the Spencer and Braswell paper… In an ideal world journalists like Richard Black at the BBC and Leo Hickman at the Guardian would try to find out if there was something more to the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, which they reported in their traditionally biased fashion.

But given the BBC and Guardian acolytes, among others in the media, have an agenda  favourable to those who assert the world is warming and humans are to blame, what else can we expect? From to chairing conferences to delivering speeches and filing copy derived unquestioningly from press releases that enjoin people to accept at face value what they say, the BBC and Guardian.

Anything that raises questions about the actions of their friends in the alarmist ‘consensus’ is ignored or quietly shoved out of sight under the nearest convenient floor covering. Anything that goes beyond regurgitating the

This is why the blogosphere, so often derided by the oh-so-grand churnalists, is so important today.  This latest example of defacto censorship by the Guardian and outrageous bias exhibited by the UK’s taxpayer funded public service broadcaster, the BBC, can again be partially countered by bloggers who put the journos to shame and act in the public interest by searching for information and sharing the salient facts and background the media has deliberately omitted or tried to leave buried.

The lastest example of this can be found at the end of this post on Watts Up With That? which reveals information about a previously unmentioned relationship between Wolfgang Wagner and arch-alarmist who has been most affronted by the Spencer and Braswell paper – to the extent that Wagner issued an apology to him for publishing the paper – Kevin Trenberth.

What has been uncovered has the capacity to shed a somewhat different light on the motivation for Wagner’s resignation as editor in chief of Remote Sensing.  Yet the collective eyes, ears and mouths of the BBC and Guardian alarmists such as Richard Black and Leo Hickman will no doubt remain utterly immobile as they decide the information to be irrelevant and inconvenient to their agenda.

Dr Roy Spencer, adding to his previous thoughts on this incredible story and the reaction to the paper he co-authored, makes this comment (hat tip: Bishop Hill):

We simply cannot compete with a good-ole-boy, group think, circle-the-wagons peer review process which has been rewarded with billions of research dollars to support certain policy outcomes.

And as our focus on the media’s behaviour shows, it is an even more difficult proposition when those supposedly noble men and women of the news media – tasked with uncovering and reporting all the facts – are complicit in that group think and relay a distorted story to the general public.

More Guardian hypocrisy surfaces

Journalist Iain Hepburn writes the False Doorway blog.  He has been ploughing a lonely furrow of his own concerning the dubious activities of another part of the Guardian News & Media (GNM).

His efforts in chasing down an explanation from the Observer’s owners about breaches of data protection rules through ‘blagging’ by that paper have resulted in a response from GNM’s Managing Editor.   As Iain explains on his blog:

Regular readers of False Doorway may well remember a piece I did a few weeks ago, at the height of the phone hacking scandal, challenging Guardian News and Media to explain the breaches of data protection rules cited with regards to the Observer by the Information Commissioner in the What Price Privacy Now report, and then-editor Roger Alton’s admissions in the aftermath of the matter.

Without any sense of irony, the response Iain received yet again underlines the utter hypocrisy at the heart of the core business of the Guardian Media Group. One rule for the Guardian stable of papers, one for everyone else.  Read GNM’s response in full and Iain’s assessment of it on False Doorway.

Strange how GNM always rediscovers a sense of propriety when asked to comment about its own wrongdoing.  So much for the values of CP Scott that GMG parades on its website.  Values more honoured in the breach than the observance, clearly.

Just rename BBC Newsnight to BBC Propagandanight

A regular AM reader emails about They Who Must Not Be Named:

‘AM, No mention on BBC News at 10 of which newspaper the arrested police officer was passing information to. No mention on Newsnight even of the arrest of the police officer!!! Unbefuckinglievable.’


AM take down! Detective arrested for leaking info to the Guardian

It has felt like ploughing a lonely furrow, using this blog and Twitter to try to make people sit up and question how the Guardian was getting information about the Met Police’s investigation into ‘phone hacking’ and getting unreleased details of arrests.

But it looks like this humble little blog has helped to make the right people take notice…

Sky News is reporting that a 51-year-old detective at the Metropolitan Police has been arrested at his desk and suspended on suspicion of leaking information from the phone hacking investigation team to journalists at the Guardian.

Innocent unless proven guilty of course, but this could finally underline the Guardian’s insipid willingness to take advantage of illegal actions to get a story.  Let’s see if this is Amelia Hill, Nick Davies and David Leigh’s Met Police ‘Deep Throat’ and if they are now quite so ‘johnny on the spot’ with their phone hacking stories.

Hopefully the investigation into this Detective’s conduct will also look into any links with how David Leigh managed to trace ‘Jeff Id’ from the Air Vent blog, as covered by Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit.

Update: The BBC is reporting the story – after a fashion – without mentioning the Guardian once. Unbelievable bias and a disgraceful attempt to withhold information from their audience. It should be unbelivable, but with the relationship between the Guardian and the BBC sadly it is not. The BBC, half the story – if you’re lucky – all the time, especially when their friends are part of the story.

As for the Guardian, there is nothing about this story on their ‘breaking news’ ticker or anywhere on their home page.  I wonder why… We must find out if money passed hands here. If it did then we must be told how high up in the Guardian’s editorial hierarchy this was sanctioned.

Further Update: Despite the story of the Met Police detective being arrested for allegedly leaking information to the Guardian being all over Sky News and various news media outlets and blogs, the BBC’s update of their story, 34 mins after the last version was published, doggedly continues to omit the name ‘Guardian’.

In fact, they are even trying to focus attention on the arrest of another News of the World journalist and unashamedly are even using the NotW logo as their story image, which could give the impression the police leaks were to the NotW and not the Guardian!  Utterly incredible.

Further Update: The third BBC version of the story in an hour, and finally the Guardian gets a mention! But no, not as the recipient of police leaks from the Opertation Weeting team, only named as the paper that broke the story that John Desborough of the NotW had been arrested.

The BBC’s determination not to tell its audience that the Guardian has been getting confidential information from a police source at the Met makes the corporation look ridiculous. Strange how the BBC was happy to name the NotW as the recipient of information from a police source on the Milly Dowler investigation though... Hypocrisy? Double standards? You decide.

And another update: Quick, quick, make it seem that this was just an innocuous bit of information sharing! Enter the narrative of ‘Off-the-record sources’.

Yes, at 17:50 (missed the screenshot, so off to Newssniffer we go) the BBC made another change to its story and, finally and reluctantly, wrote the name ‘Guardian’ in connection with the detective arrest story.  But even in this, like Soviet era Pravda, the BBC maintained its disinformation effort.  It deliberately tried to make it seem as if the Guardian is just a concerned newspaper with no direct interest in the matter and is passing comment:

The Guardian has issued a statement reacting to the arrest of the police officer.

It said: “On the broader point raised by the arrest, journalists would no doubt be concerned if conversations between off-the-record sources and reporters came routinely to be regarded as criminal activity.

“In common with all news organisations we have no comment to make on the sources of our journalism.”

Amazing.  Seems like the cat has got Rusbridger’s tongue.  But even this didn’t go far enough for the BBC in its effort to ‘run interference’ for the Graun.  So the story has been changed again!  This time a wholly unjustified and laughable caveat has been applied:

If your sides aren’t aching by now at the hilarity of watching the BBC’s contortions in its effort to cover the Guardian’s backside, you’ve got no sense of humour.  The BBC doesn’t even use the whole of the Guardian’s statement, which reads:

How very coy.  Such reticence from an entity that is usually so bold…

And so the Guardian’s police scoops continue…

Another day, another Guardian scoop by Amelia Hill of an arrest of another former News of the World journalist in the ‘phone hacking’ investigation. Another example of the Guardian publishing information apparently not available to other outlets. Another failure of the rest of the media and the public to ask how this clique of Guardian journalists manages to learn about police activities before they are made public.

The give away is in the BBC’s write up of the story:

Will the Guardian reveal how police information always seems to find its way to David Leigh, Nick Davies and Amelia Hill before anyone else?  Or will they continue to hide behind the ‘we’ve done nothing illegal and we always protect our sources’ line?

Who at the Metropolitan Police are Leigh, Davies and Hill in touch with?  There is a smell surrounding this that only gets stronger – unless one puts their head in the sand.

Time for IPCC to investigate The Guardian and David Leigh’s police sources

Back to business then.  Throughout the ‘phone hacking scandal’ there was a constant and unscrutinised theme… The Guardian newspaper was accessing or being given access to information no one else but the police had about the investigation, to break new stories and run exclusives.

Update: 18 Aug – And so the Guardian’s police scoops continue

A story this weekend show the seriousness of such behaviour, with the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigating a claim that an officer on the Milly Dowler murder case gave information to the News of the World newspaper.  If it is right for the IPCC to investigate an officer feeding information to the News of the World, then surely the IPCC should also turn its attention to the raft of stories published in the Guardian that appear to have originated with police sources.

These were not discoveries, these were pieces of information supplied to Guardian journalists verbally or in documents.  When it happened, the names of two reporters in particular from David Leigh’s Guardian team working the story were nearly always on display, Nick Davies and Amelia Hill. Surely when the key recipents of the information are known it should be easier to identify the person feeding them the information.  Taking just a five day period in the timeline there were a huge number of stories published, but some are worthy of particular attention as they demonstrate the likelihood of a Guardian-friendly police mole.

For example, on 4 July, The Guardian broke the story which proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, that Milly Dowler’s voicemails had been accessed and some deleted by private investigators.  The Guardian journalists said they had seen paperwork detailing how the News of the World set about getting the personal details of the Dowlers and then accessing Milly’s mailbox. However, the information itself was contained in the 11,000 pages of notes kept by Glenn Mulcaire that was in the possession of detectives from Operation Weeting. So how did the Guardian see them?

Just one day later the Guardian revealed that police were turning their attention to examine every high-profile case involving the murder, abduction or attack on any child since 2001 in response to the Dowler revelation. Again there was nothing in the public domain about the police’s intentions. So how did the Guardian know this with enough certainty to print it as fact?  The piece included the information that the name “Greg” appeared in the corner of notes taken by Mulcaire which was believed to be a reference to the News of the World’s former assistant news editor Greg Miskiw (arrested earlier this month).  As the documents have been in Metropolitan Police hands since 2006, how do they know this?

Two days later came the next big coup for the Guardian, with the revelation that Andy Coulson had been told by police that he would be arrested on the Friday morning over suspicions that he knew about, or had direct involvement in, the hacking of mobile phones during his editorship of the News of the World. Now it’s conceivable Coulson told someone he knew about the impending arrest and that they tipped off David Leigh’s chums at the Guardian.

But how likely is it that the police will have told Coulson the other revelation in the article, that a second arrest was also to be made in the next few days of a former senior journalist at the paper? Clearly the information came from elsewhere as the Guardian stated it knew the identity of the second suspect but was withholding the name to avoid prejudicing the police investigation. Someone told them and it wasn’t Coulson’s camp, because that would have clearly undermined the police’s intention to make the second arrest.

Then a day further on the Guardian published the story that police were investigating evidence that a News International executive may have deleted millions of emails from an internal archive in an apparent attempt to obstruct Scotland Yard’s inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal. The first reasonable assumption was that a News International insider tipped off the paper.

But that idea is dispelled by the additional colour the Guardian boasted about in its piece, namely that according to legal sources close to the police inquiry, a senior executive is believed to have deleted “massive quantities” of the archive on two separate occasions, leaving only a fraction to be disclosed. The legal entity that works with the police is of course the Crown Prosecution Service.  So is there a CPS mole feeding information to the Guardian as well as a highly placed police source?

Well its possible the idea of a police mole could be challenged as mere coincidence.  But the idea of coincidence falls away very quickly when one looks outside the phone hacking saga to an entirely unrelated story that again throws up all sorts of unanswered questions about how the Guardian gets its information.  This one concerns the concerted attempt to successfully identify by name, occupation and hometown an anonymous blogger who was critical of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) over the Climategate affair.  That link is to the full story on the Climate Audit blog.

The author of the Air Vent blog, “Jeff Id” had until that time been anonymous. As the article explains, his registration at WordPress was anonymous and his gmail account was anonymous.  To Jeff’s knowledge, there was no public information that would enable anyone to identify him.  So how is it that David Leigh at the Guardian managed to identify Jeff Id as “Patrick Condon, aeronautical engineer” from Illinois and locate his telephone number too?  As the piece on Climate Audit explains:

A few days before the article, Leigh had telephoned Jeff. Jeff asked Leigh how he had located him; Leigh refused to say. Jeff expressly asked Leigh not to disclose his personal information, which were then not on the public record. Leigh disregarded the request and then proceeded to “out” him as collateral damage in their smear of Paul Dennis [employee at UEA].

A couple of weeks earlier, Jeff had been asked to answer a questionnaire by the UK counter-terrorism officer investigating the release of the emails and tree ring data. The policeman had contacted Jeff at his gmail address as “Jeff Id”. In addition to inquiring about his views on climate change, the questionnaire asked his name and address. Jeff answered the questionnaire (as did I and many Climate Audit readers). To Jeff’s knowledge and recollection, that was the only disclosure of his identity that could have led to Leigh identifying him.

Leigh’s article also quotes from an email from Paul Dennis to me, which Leigh ascribed to “police files”.

So what we have here is the team of Guardian journalists who work under David Leigh, apparently being provided with information by the police (and possibly the CPS) about the investigation into phone hacking – something Leigh himself admits he has also done – and Leigh in his own journalistic capacity being able to access information about private individuals collected by police as part of a criminal investigation into alleged computer hacking of the servers at UEA.  Only a fool would accept this as coincidence, and besides, the comments thread to this post from Bishop Hill reminds readers of various other aspects of David Leigh’s behaviour and questionable methods.

Unsurprisingly, despite requests from ‘Jeff Id’ (Patrick Condon), the Guardian (via its Environment Editor Damian Carrington – remember him?) refuses to explain how it obtained his personal information.  All Carrington will say in the replies, which can be read in the Climate Audit article, is that the Guardian did nothing illegal.  No doubt if the paper is challenged about how they came by the information concerning the ‘phone hacking’ inquiry it will say the same. What is good for the News of the World goose should also be good for the hypocritical Guardian gander.

But it is clear there is a case to answer and as the Guardian will not come clean the Independent Police Complaints Commission needs to use its powers to uncover the truth the Guardian is trying to hide.  It’s time for people to put pressure on the IPCC to do its job.

Keeping an eye on the ball

Away from the media focus on the arson and looting around the country, we should not lose focus of other issues that will still exist when order is restored on the streets. Yesterday, the always insightful Witterings from Witney reminded people of the lack of integrity of The Guardian’s ‘phone hacking’ Investigations Executive Editor, David Leigh.

For it was the message intercepting thrill seeker who was responsible for browbeating Julian Assange for six hours into publishing the US Cables on Wikileaks – an act deemed illegal in the US.  And it was Leigh who made the calculated decision to invite other newspapers to join in the leak-fest in order to reduce the Guardian’s exposure to legal action.

But of course it was Leigh who tried to give Guardian readers the impression Assange had approached The Guardian to publish the cables. Yet another piece of dishonesty in a long line of deceptions, including his ludicrous denial of phone hacking.

Tottenham shows it’s time to end the Jody McIntyre roadshow

Update: Bubbling with excitement, McIntyre enjoyed a second night of riot tourism this time in Brixton.  The journalistic giant, pride of The Independent, The Guardian and New Statesman, returned to his lair in the early hours to bash out some tweets glorifying the violence:

Those who have watched his evasive BBC TV interview from last year will be familiar with his technique of not answering a question, instead posing another of his own. Well, he does it on his keyboard too. There remains not a single word of condemnation from McIntyre of the looting, arson and criminal damage.  So will the newspapers continue to give this thug a platform?:

When this round of rioting is over we can but guess what ’cause’ he will attach himself to next as an excuse to take to the streets yet again and add to disorder and criminality.


Original Post

Thanks to The Guardian, The Independent and the New Statesman, the self promoting rent-a-protester, Jody McIntyre, has been afforded the oxygen of publicity and a platform to spout his special brand of bile.  We’ll come back these media giants further down.

Jody McIntyre describes himself as a ‘journalist’ and ‘political activist’.  The reality is he is nothing more than a trouble-seeking wannabe thug who gets a thrill from being right in the thick of violent disorder.  On his blog he tells people:

Jody McIntyre is a journalist and political activist. With a regular blog for The Independent, he has also written for The Guardian, the New Statesman, Electronic Intifada and Disability Now.

That apparently depicts journalism despite an apparent lack of payment for his ‘work’.  In reality he is trying to cover his activities in a veneer of respectability they do not warrant.  What is noteworthy is that despite his complaint that disabled people are badly treated and discriminated against he seems to think his cerebral palsy and use of a wheelchair should exempt him from being treated in the same way as other protesters.

As McIntyre lives in south London it should come as no surprise that he was present in Tottenham, north London, last night as parts of the borough were consumed by rioting, arson, looting, house breaking and muggings.  But more of McIntyre’s big night out (presumably only for the purposes of ‘journalism’…) in a minute.  First, let’s examine the legend Jody McIntyre would have us believe, then add the reality he and his band of anarcho-fans would prefer people didn’t know.

McIntyre came to prominence during the student protests in London when he was twice taken out of his wheelchair by police and moved to the side of the road.  His complaints about his treatment were quickly picked up by the media looking for a police ‘disproportionate force’ and in no time he was on Sky News and the BBC claiming he had been ‘attacked’.

However the TV interview showed Jody McIntyre up to be slippery and evasive and his story was clearly questionable as the footage was not very clear.  When challenged about his self description as a ‘revolutionary’ who believes in ‘direct action’ McIntyre sought to get off the subject as quickly as possible.  Clearly it would be inconvenient to present himself as merely a concerned citizen when the reality is he goes out of his way to get stuck into the action anytime there is a protest, no matter what the cause.  However McIntyre can be seen trying to crawl away from the police officer in the middle of the road as he resisted before being pulled to the kerb where he wouldn’t cause an obstruction.

So here we had this poor, wheelchair bound, young lad who just wanted engage in peaceful, democratic protest, being mistreated by the police. Not once, but twice.  Or did we?  Because, before this incident, McIntyre had been right at the front of violent clashes with the police.  He deliberately put himself there despite knowing violence was taking place. He actually describes it on his blog!  Here are some snippets…

As we parked up, and began walking back down the Strand, we saw a crowd emerging from Aldwych; around 2000 students had set off from LSE. However, they were only marching down one side of the road, and we were in a militant mood. Me and Finlay crossed over, into the oncoming traffic, and within seconds the whole crowd had followed.

It was an endless sea of people, but unfortunately, they had been corralled by police and NUS stewards into one lane of the dual carriageway. Me and Finlay immediately set to work, tearing down the metal barriers which separated the two lanes. Oncoming traffic drivers looked on in wonder.

The people with the music system must have had the same thought. All of a sudden, the bicycle burst out of the crowd, rushing through the pair of armed police guarding the private road of the Treasury. A group of 200 followed, including me in my wheelchair, and Finlay pushing at full speed. A dubstep tune came on, and the chanting began; “Fuck Cameron! Fuck Cameron! Fuck Cameron! Fuck Cameron!” Not the Treasury’s proudest day.

The building was occupied on the day the Browne Review was released, so here the police were ready for us. We flooded into the courtyard, but the riot cops were called within minutes. As batons began to swing, me and Finlay stood our ground on the front line. I stood up on my wheelchair, but attempts to re-take the courtyard soon fizzled out as a riot van was brought in.

In front of us, a huge glass building towered; it was the Conservative Party’s Headquarters, and it was under attack. The crowd was so tightly packed that even with the wheelchair, it was a huge effort to force our way through. Around half way we gave up. The crowd was swaying. “They’re smashing the windows…”

Me and Finlay looked at each other. We knew that we had to make it to the front. Kareem started pushing the wheelchair again, and Finlay cleared a path in front of us.

It wasn’t long before the next surge came. A Mexican wave of bodies. I fell out of my wheelchair and pushed through two cops. Finlay stood behind me, the wheelchair still in his hands.

Scores of demonstrators followed. Finlay came running in with the wheelchair a couple of minutes later. Victorious chants rang in the air; “Tory scum! Tory scum!” “When they say cut back, we say fight back!”

But then, the chants changed… “To the stairs! To the stairs!” Two policemen blocking a tiny door were soon brushed aside, and around fifty of us forced our way through before they had a chance to re-seal the entrance.

It was an epic mission to the top. Nine floors; eighteen flights of stairs. Two friends carried my wheelchair, and I walked. We couldn’t give up now.

When we finally made it to the roof, a feeling of calm descended. I looked over the edge; thousands of students, three massive bonfires and masses of passion still occupied the courtyard. The Tory’s HQ was on it’s last legs. And we were on the roof.

This is only the start.

Gentle lamb, isn’t he?  All of this activity, yet no complaints about being disabled.  Yet the moment the police moved him out of harms way on a street, Jody McIntyre was screaming blue murder and citing his cerebral palsy and seemingly sporadic wheelchair use to underline their sheer evil and lack of concern for the disabled.

Inconveniently for McIntyre, not only was his involvement in the street part of the violence photographed, but the photographer even posted a blog piece explaining what McIntyre had done and why his subsequent complaint was vexatious.  It is a must read piece.  One of the photos included in it is of McIntyre, on his feet, about to hit a police officer – known in legal parlance as assault.

Despite this the Graun, the Indy and the marxist Staggers all publish his self indulgent tosh.  Fast forward from last autumn in central London to last night in Tottenham.  By 10.00pm it was clear that the peaceful protest outside Tottenham police station had been hijacked by those bent on violence and criminal activity.  But where there is violent protest, there is McIntyre.  We know because Guardian journalist Paul Lewis tweeted a message to McIntyre earlier today:

McIntyre was also online, winding things up and revelling in the disorder on his Twitter account.  The tweets below were screen captured at 2.00pm today, putting the time of posting the first image at around 11.00pm last night, at the height of the trouble and the second one at around 5.00am this morning when looters were still destroying businesses:

So here we have a man who is given a platform in The Guardian, The Independent and the New Statesman, out in the thick of the violence until early morning and inciting people elsewhere to riot in similar fashion.  A man who went on to condemn the police as troublemakers as properties, vehicles and businesses were torched, journalists and media were attacked and robbed, bystanders were mugged, and residents overrun by thugs who broke down their doors to steal from their homes.

The question is, having fallen for his deceitful sob story last year and given this man an unwarranted veneer of respectability, will these media outlets now remove the platform they provided this violence glorifying hooligan?  Or will they show themselves (again, more on this during the week) as part of this country’s enemy within who endorse and provide assistance those who engage in pre-meditated criminality, be it as a battering ram on wheels or walkabout agitator?

It is time to end the glorification of troublemakers like McInytre. It’s time for these papers to withdraw their endorsement and put an end to the Jody McIntyre media roadshow.

Odd one out? The insipid, biased BBC

David Leigh is the Guardian’s investigations executive editor.  He is now the subject of an investigation after the Guido Fawkes blog double sourced accusations that Leigh had admitted some years ago to engaging in ‘phone hacking’.

When Harry Cole asked Leigh about his ‘phone hacking’ activities, Leigh denied it.  This is because Leigh is a liar.

If David Leigh can lie about this after making a written, public admission of criminal behaviour, what else has Leigh lied about?  The veil is being drawn back and now Leigh and his Guardian cronies are going to come under intense scrutiny – and this blog will be reminding people in the coming days of other David Leigh activities that he has denied despite evidence.

The Guardian, with its uniquely smug air of self satisfied arrogance, has eagerly pursued its agenda to undermine News International as part of the effort to stop Rupert Murdoch regaining full control of British Sky Broadcasting. That effort has been driven by a desire to protect the BBC’s utter dominance over the dissemination of news in the UK and significant presence overseas, and it has seen key members of the Guardian – including editor Alan Rusbridger – strutting around TV and radio studios to pontificate about ‘phone hacking’ outrageous.

Needless to say, other news media outlets around the world are thoroughly enjoying the delicious irony of The Guardian being put under the microscope for the very crime it has spent years pushing to the front of the news agenda, as some of the headlines reveal from a Google search.  But there is one glaring omission from the international cast of media outlets covering the story…

The BBC. (Important edit: Although the BBC did refer to Leigh’s hacking activity in piece back in April, since Leigh’s denial being reported globally it has gone very quiet)

As you can see, the BBC does not mention David Leigh in any news story anywhere on its site today, and has not done so in the past week.  And a search of the BBC site using its own internal search engine reveals the same resolute refusal to cover a story that is being reported from Australia to the United States:

This reinforces our condemnation of the BBC for outrageous bias, only selecting news stories that support the BBC’s worldview or agendas.  And one of the BBC’s agendas is presenting its close friends at The Guardian as trustworthy, authoritative and reliable.

This omission of the story, which is damaging to David Leigh and The Guardian, is not the BBC turning its attention away from ‘phone hacking’.  We have ample evidence this bias by omission in a deliberate effort by the BBC to keep its audience in ignorance of inconvenient news and information.  This is an utter corruption of the BBC’s public service remit.

At the time of writing, in the last 24 hours Google shows BBC News has published no less than 8 stories related to its obsessive coverage of the ‘phone hacking’ scandal.  This screen capture shows them:

The BBC’s relationship with The Guardian is an incestuous union devoted to the pursuit of an illiberal-left agenda, funded by taxpayers’ money.  BBC News is nothing more than a propaganda outlet that puts its own interests before its obligation to report news honestly and impartially. This is their idea of honest and transparent media.

Thus the BBC treats the British public with contempt, taking our money and using it to distort the news while behaving as an activist, advancing views and theories without any semblance of impartiality.  As such it is our duty to resist this corruption and work towards the destruction of BBC News.

The Commentator v Islamic terror apologist Seumas Milne

As this blog and others have highlighted, the freedom hating leftists are falling over themselves to smear anyone who holds right of centre or libertarian views as being soulmates of mass murderer Anders Breivik.

Notable among them in the last week was the Guardian’s associate editor and fanatical apologist for Islamist terror, Seumas Milne.  For he wrote this steaming pile of Milneshit in a deliberate effort to sully and demonise those people who write critically about issues that concern the majority of people in this country, but which of course are championed by the left because those things we oppose are the mainstay enablers of the illiberal left worldview.

In response, Robin Shepherd of The Commentator has published a post titled: Leftist attempts to smear the Right over Anders Breivik are contemptible and wrongheaded.  If you have never visited the pages of The Commentator, it is well worth adding to your bookmarks as there is some particularly good writing to be found there. And if you are wondering about the clarity of thought evident in its articles, this piece by Shepherd should put your mind at rest, particularly with observations such as this:

To say that they and Breivik shared an opposition to some of the same things, that Breivik was aware of this, and that that is therefore evidence of a continuum between them is as ludicrous as saying that shared opposition to prostitution, for example, was evidence of a continuum between Victorian moralists and Jack the Ripper since the latter would certainly have been aware of the thinking of the former.

All Milne and company are ultimately left with is the same old authoritarian agenda repackaged on the back of a modern day tragedy: the problems of a social-democratic, multiculturalist Europe which is largely the creation of the Left must never be discussed. The debate must be suppressed.

Hilarious if they were not so dangerous

The good Dr North at EU Referendum draws our attention today to two related pieces in that newsprint spattered bastion of Marxism known as The Guardian.

It seems a left wing, self appointed band of self professed worthies has announced that they are launching a campaign to hold to account Britain’s ‘feral’ elite for the series of crises which have scarred the country.

Expenses, bonuses and hacking crises share the same origins, says this campaign group, which proposes to create a 1,000-strong “public jury” that would be selected at random and ensure that power is taken away from “remote interest groups” which currently treat the public with contempt.  As North explains:

This is the view the likes of Greg Dyke, Caroline Lucas and Lord Smith of Clifton, who think we need a “people’s jury” to apply a “public interest first” test more generally to British political and corporate life. Overworked as a cliché or not, you really could not make this one up.

And he’s right.  The ‘feral elite’ they describe is comprised of figures from the establishment.  Yet without any sense of self awareness or the evident rich irony, the campaign group itself is made up of 56 academics, writers, trade unionists and politicians from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green party – in other words, left wing figures from the establishment.

A look at the list of signatories to their open letter in the Graun betrays the motivation and the objective of this little enterprise.  This is not about holding the ‘feral elite’ to account, it is about undermining their rivals in the establishment in order to secure more influence for themselves and their liberal-left worldview.  If you don’t believe that, just look at their stated priority areas for attention in the background article about the campaign:

• Media ownership and the public interest

• The role of the financial sector in the crash

• MP selections and accountability

• Policing and public interest

• How to apply a ‘public interest first’ test more generally to British political and corporate life

Quelle surprise seeing media ownership, code for ‘nail Murdoch and any opposition to the BBC and Guardian’ right up there at number one.  You can almost see the conversation where these people were asking themselves what could they do to capitalise on the current anti News Corp sentiment and solidify the dominance of the BBC on the airwaves.  This campaign is their vehicle to control the levers of power without having to share the cockpit any longer.

As if there are not enough clues as to the real aims of this campaign – oxygen of publicity by the Guardian… main figurehead the former BBC Director General Greg Dyke… supported by Media Standards Trust (deputy chair, Julia Middleton, the CEO of Common Purpose) board members Helena Kennedy QC, BBC hack Robert Peston and Amelia Fawcett who is also chair of Guardian Media Group…  – the activity is being facilitated by Compass.  Note their slogan.  The one thing absent from the campaign is any form of ideological balance.  That should tell us all we need to know.

This is nothing more than a raid.  It is an attempt to get support from unwitting people, who would reject the leftist dogma out of hand if presented to them openly, who feel concern at what they see around them.  But people who will fail to realise the state of affairs this campaign claims it wants to tackle has largely been shaped by its very signatories since 1997 because it suited their interersts in their establishment positions.

The campaign is nothing more an attempt to use people as pawns in the power games of the elite.  As North rightly concludes in his blog post:

The trouble is, you will never get the “feral elite” offer anything that amounts to the transfer of real power. If we want power, we are going to have to take it. The time is not yet, but what we are seeing here is the elites falling out. The time must be near.

That time cannot come too soon.

The Guardian’s influence is increasingly reliant on the BBC

A couple of weeks ago the Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for national newspapers for June was reported in the Press Gazette. It shows that newspapers are fishing an increasingly shallow pool as readers turn away from them.

The average drop in year on year average circulation figures across the dailies was 7.9%.  However, as you can see from the table below, some fared worse than others…

(The Up/Down figure is the year-on-year percentage rise or fall in circulation)

The New Labour supporting Times and increasingly confused Telegraph both showed above average falls in average daily circulation, reflecting their lack of relevance.  But it is the left leaning papers that are really suffering.  The Daily Star recorded the biggest drop and The Guardian saw the third largest decline.

The Guardian is firmly on track to fall below the quarter of a million average daily circulation figure.  But that notwithstanding it continues to enjoy audience reach through its broadcasting arm, the BBC, which spouts the Guardian editorial line as if it were a given truth.  Again, this raises the question of the disproportionate influence The Guardian has over the BBC.  Despite the fact readers are rejecting The Guardian newspaper in greater numbers than the industry average, it is referenced far more by the BBC than any other organ and more journalists from The Guardian are called upon to offer commentary and opinion than from any other paper.

We could hope the BBC Trust might take time to commission a review into plurality of opinion among its invited guests, but if recent ‘independent’ reviews are anything to go by they would probably maintain their incestuous relationship by asking Peter Preston to conduct it, and the outcome would likely be a recommendation that the BBC stops inviting any journalists on air except those from The Guardian, current or retired, and that Alan Rusbridger be given his own primetime TV slot to share his views on Britain, News Corporation and the world.

Without the BBC the fact is the Guardian would be sinking much further even quicker. From the advertising revenue to the visibility and platform afforded to the paper, the licence fee payer is being compelled to subsidise a declining business under pain of fine or imprisonment.  Bar the grumbling what is anyone doing to address this outrageous state of affairs?

You asked why – here is the answer

Following the revelation that the mass murders in Norway were carried out by a white Nordic man rather than Islamists, hours of radio time and a good amount of TV broadcast time were devoted to trying to make a number of people feel stupid for having initally suggested the attack had been perpetrated by Islamist terrorists.

Plenty of bloggers and media talking heads, whose worldview favours the notion of mass immigration, seized on the news that an Anders and not an Ahmed had carried out the atrocities in Oslo and on Utoya and posed effectively the same question in a range of variations:

Why do we always assume Muslims are behind every terrorist outrage?

The idea for this was to make people feel stupid and guilty for having made an incorrect assumption, to make them feel bigoted and prejudiced for jumping to conclusions.

But the fact of the matter is the reason so many people rushed to the Islamist terrorist conclusion is that in recent years so many attacks and foiled attacks have been carried out by people citing passages from the Qur’an as justification for their attempts to kill people they view as infidels. Whether it is exploding themselves on tube trains and buses, engaging in a concerted copycat effort two weeks later, plotting to blow up shopping centres, trying to kill people outside nightclubs with car bombs, attempting to denotate explosives in shoes or ignite underpants over the Atlantic, drive a car bomb into an airport terminal building or plotting to mix liquid chemicals together in coordinated fashion on a number of jets simultaneously, the common theme of this incredibly disproportionate number of attacks and attackers is Islamism.

This has been re-emphasised today with the updated news that the two German nationals arrested at Dover and charged at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court with collecting or possessing data likely to be useful in a terrorist act, Christian Emde, 28, and Robert Baum, 23, are fanatical Muslim converts.

So it should come as no surprise that suddenly all those ‘right on’ voices determined to apply the labels of racist, xenophobe and bigot to people less ‘internationalist’ than themselves seem to have gone rather quiet again. And they will remain so until there is another rare non-Islamist assault on civilians.  It is a safe bet that the phone ins on Five Live, LBC and other stations will not be editorially re-focused to ask why so many fanatical Muslims are hell bent on attacking western countries and killing as many people as possible. It doesn’t fit in with their narrative of telling us how wrong we are to rightly point out the Islamist threat dwarfs all others.

There are a number of threats this country faces, foreign and domestic, and it is not racist or bigoted to state the fact that the biggest and most determined of those threats comes from fanatical Muslims who subscribe to the Islamist mindset.  The evidence supports it.

Peter Preston blames Murdoch for a Eurosceptic public

Every so often the Guardian’s ‘Comment we approve of is free and replies we don’t like are deleted‘ section throws up a real pearl of a piece.  Today provides us one of those times as former Graun editor Peter Preston indulges his myopic Europhilia.

If you are masochistic you can read Preston’s rambling, incoherent nonsense in full.  However, if you prefer to take in a mere summary of Preston’s ludicrous opinion, we have provided it below…

There’s lots of reasons why the people haven’t bought into our Guardian-BBC pro-EU agenda.  But chief among them is the great satan, Rupert Murdoch.

Forget what the people think and what the people don’t like, we at the Guardian know Murdoch actively turned people against the EU and it was only because it suited his business interests.

But now we have managed to taint Murdoch with the smears about phone hacking, even though we still continued to associate ourselves with Rebekah Wade after she told Parliament her paper had paid the police for information, the biggest obstacle to us presenting the British people with completely biased, selective and distorted pro-EU news and information is about to be removed.

At last, politicians will be singing Ode to Joy openly in the streets of Westminster. The gold stars on fluttering blue can fly proudly across these isles. EU plans to tax us what it likes and erode any remaining semblence of democracy and political accountability can be carried without dissent. The glorious internationalism the Guardian has long advocated can come to fruition without the people being confused or agitated by Murdoch media telling the people the things we don’t want them to know.

Victory is at hand comrades.  We at the Guardian might only sell a couple of hundred thousand copies of our paper, but with our broadcast arm at the BBC we can spin our views unmolested to millions.  We have seen to it Murdoch won’t control Sky so we have no rival to our leftist narrative.  And when Murdoch has been finished through our carefully thought out campaign, the millions of papers he sold will be no more.

Without Murdoch to give voice to the views of the people their opposition to our worldview will melt away.  But at least we can talk about our true interests now, the Guardian’s interests, about fundamental choices in a tumultuous world, about not ducking and weaving from one front page to the next giving a damn about what the people think.  We will tell them what to think.

There is no one left to challenge us.  Our dream will soon be realised.

More evidence war on Murdoch is about BBC preserving its dominance

Thus when the BBC decides to manufacture a story, or ignore another, it forms reality for millions in Britain and world-wide.

– Michael Gonzalez, 30 July 2003 (Wall Street Journal)

That is what the BBC is desperate to maintain.  No one looking at the current Guardian-BBC onslaught against News International should do so without understanding the historic context and the real agenda behind the fight.  But first, lets remind ourselves of the current situation.

The Guardian and BBC started its latest offensive using the years old story of ‘phone hacking’  as a pretext for renewing its war with Rupert Murdoch.  News International was nothing but a proxy in this fight.  With the fall of the News of the World, arrest of Andy Coulson and resignation from News International Chief Executive, Rebekah Brooks, the Guardian-BBC axis could have declared victory in its campaign to exact a price for the criminal behaviour of Screws journalists. But they have not done so as the real target was always Murdoch.

Never mind that Murdoch may not have known any details of operational criminality by some of the employees inside his media empire, for the Guardian-BBC cabal this was never an issue.  The aim was always to take out their biggest rival.

That is why the ‘phone hacking’ campaign quickly gave way to the carefully planned original aim of the left-liberal elite to prevent Murdoch regaining control of Sky, which this blog covered in detail.  With that objective completed far more easily than anyone expected with Murdoch announcing he was dropping his takeover bid for BSkyB, any reasonable person would have believed this story was over bar the prosecutions.  Not a bit of it.

With blood in the water and momentum established the campaign has now morphed into an effort to drive Murdoch out of the UK media sphere entirely.  Supported by their useful idiots in Parliament such as John Prescott, Chris Bryant and Ed Miliband, the left wing media machine has surrounded the Murdoch citadel and is mobilising itself for a final battle.

It is not happening because of News International wrong doing, that was just the way in, it is happening because the BBC (steered editorially by its Guardian mothership) has come very close in the last couple of years to seeing its dominant position in the UK media dismantled.  The left-liberal elite knows how close it came and is feverishly trying to destroy its only real competitor in the all important broadcast news arena.  The obsessive coverage of anything to do with News International and Murdoch in the Guardian and on the BBC is part of an agenda to protect its control of news reporting and editorial lines in Britain.

Having brought ourselves up to date, let us now take a look back to something that puts this battle into context.  Published in New York in 2003 was a piece by Michael Wolff – biographer of Rupert Murdoch, liberal media commentator, regular Guardian columnist, and a regular on BBC news and current affairs programmes – called BBC You Later.  As the by-line explained:

Never mind the battle between the BBC and the Blair government. The real nemesis of the all-powerful British broadcasting institution is Murdoch.

Prophetic words.  The piece focuses on Wolff’s visit to the 2003 Edinburgh International Television Festival – or BBC-land as he called it.  Against the backdrop of the Hutton Inquiry, Gilligan resignation, Dr David Kelly suicide and so on, the article included observations such as this…

It may just be more accurate to say that the BBC is Britain. Certainly, the legions of BBC defenders and partisans all but argue that there may not be a Britain without the BBC.

The fight, therefore, to protect the BBC or to dismantle the BBC is a fight for something like the soul of Englishmen everywhere.

and this…

And then in Edinburgh, in spirit if not in person, there was the BBC’s other blood enemy: Murdoch. (Murdoch’s papers, the Sun and the London Times, seemed to conclude every day in their coverage of the Hutton Inquiry that the BBC had, for all intents and purposes, killed David Kelly.)

The historic polarity in British society has been upper class/lower class, Labor/Tory, Thatcher/anti-Thatcher. The polarity was now more precisely BBC/Murdoch.

The whole piece is worth reading in full.  But by far the most important section is the conclusion back in 2003 which positions today’s Guardian-BBC war with Murdoch perfectly:

The BBC now derives much of its identity, along with its justification for constant expansion, from its implacable fight against the Murdoch beast; likewise, Murdoch derives much of his purpose from opposing this most egregious of liberal bureaucracies.

This may just be some quaint, hard-to-understand British rivalry, an artful balance of interests as opposed to our own Hobbesian media anarchy. On the other hand, it may really be a genuine fight to the death (you might even argue that the death of David Kelly has as much to do with the Blair-Murdoch grudge against the BBC as it does with the war in Iraq).

It could be the final Murdochian win: taking the BBC down.

But I’m not sure I’d bet against the BBC. It could be the last unassailable state.

Once again, based in historic record we find more evidence to demonstrate the Guardian-BBC campaign is nothing to do with public service or public interest, but about domination of the news, information and editorial line fed to the British public.  Far from the plurality the Guardian and BBC claim to hold dear, they are doing everything possible to make themselves the sole source of news in this country.

Is there no end to The Guardian’s self serving hypocrisy?

So, she has finally bitten the bullet and resigned. Rebekah Brooks’ long standing career with News International is over.  With the way The Guardian and the BBC have been pursuing Brooks and the Murdoch boys one might be forgiven for assuming a personal antagonism exists between them.  But not everything is as it seems to those of us outside the bubble.

For despite The Guardian’s incitement to mouth foaming outrage and faux moralising over the interception of phone voicemails, its own conduct in its past dealings with Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade) is worth noting.

Back in January 2003, the then Rebekah Wade returned to become editor at The Sun newspaper after a spell at the News of the World.  While at the Screws Wade had demonstrated her tabloid pedigree having been responsible for the campaign to ‘name and shame’ convicted child sex offenders after the murder of Sarah Payne.

But this didn’t stop The Guardian from inviting Wade to sit alongside editor Alan Rusbridger as a judge on the Guardian Student Media Awardsand announcing it on 10th March that year…

On 12th March 2003, just two days after this announcement ran in the Graun, another piece in its media section that reported:

The editor of the Sun yesterday admitted paying police officers for information.

Rebekah Wade, giving evidence to a committee of MPs, also said journalists were entitled to use bugging devices and other covert methods if there was a strong public interest in the story under investigation.

It was the first time that the editor of a tabloid newspaper has publicly admitted using such techniques, and raised questions about journalistic standards at a time when press self-regulation is under close scrutiny.

Now given it was such a major story at that time, and considering the Guardian’s current sensationalist reaction to allegations in the last week that police officers were paid by News International for information – not withstanding that Andy Coulson desperately countered Wade’s assertion – what do you think the Guardian did?  That’s right, it did nothing and left Rebekah Wade on the judging panel to preside on the Student Media Awards that were to be announced in November 2003.  Fellow judge, Jon Snow of Channel 4 News similarly had no problem remaining on the panel with Ms Wade.

There was plenty of time to replace Wade and find someone with whom the Guardian would be comfortable being associated.  But evidently Rusbridger and friends were perfectly happy to continue rubbing shoulders with someone who had just voluntarily admitted illegal activity in front of MPs.  Strangely enough there was no in depth investigation by the Guardian to expose ‘the truth’.  Fancy that!

In any case, if that incident had not done enough to raise question marks over the suitability of Wade to have her name on the Guardian’s judging panel, Rusbridger and his comrades had another golden opportunity to dispense with La Wade’s services before the showcase awards.

This time it was over the infamous headline in the Sun in September 2003 ‘Bonkers Bruno Locked Up’ in reference to Frank Bruno mental breakdown and institutionalisation.  The Sun was forced to edit the headline in its later edition.  Strangely enough The Guardian’s write up of the story, and swipe at the Sun and Wade, made no mention of the fact she was judging the Student Media Awards for The Guardian alongside editor Rusbridger.  Wade remained on the panel and News International was unmolested.

So given all this a reasonable person would be minded to ask why such behaviour by a newspaper under control of Rebekah Wade (Brooks) in 2003 was perfectly acceptable to The Guardian and its smug, morally superior editor, but in 2011 results in the closure of the News of the World, is cause for demands for Press Complaints Commission investigations, fit and proper person assessments of the Murdochs, false allegations of illegal news gathering activity, Parliamentary inquiries and so on.

Of course, it’s because Murdoch wants to regain full control of Sky and Sky News, and The Guardian recognises its BBC puppet could suddenly find its left-liberal news agenda being challenged by a potentially right-leaning broadcaster.  So, as always with the hypocritical Guardian, it is all about vested self interest rather than the public interest.

A case in point

In the last post, explaining the real reason behind the Guardian-BBC’s concerted and sustained attack on News International, we sought to explain how despite an element of ‘due impartiality’ applying in broadcasting it is easy to get around the rules and achieve genuine bias in media news coverage through news selection:

Today we may have a case in point where coverage may be distorted to the detriment of people’s understanding of events.  This concerns the Guardian’s extensive reporting and propaganda in respect of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The blog CiF Watch draws our attention to news reports in Haaretz and on AFP, suggesting a United Nations report into the Israeli boarding of a Gaza-bound flotilla last year states the boardings were a legal act.  The Guardian’s editorial line has consistently described the Israeli action as being against international law and therefore an illegal act.  After an lengthy investigation the UN seems to believe otherwise.

So where does this leave the Guardian?  Or for that matter the BBC, whose follow up report of the incident now contains a number of ‘updates’ in brackets that have been designed to appease the Guardianista’s demands to adjust the story.  Rusbridger’s organ can either report this finding and admit it was wrong, or it can do what CiF Watch thinks is more likely:

I’m willing to bet that the Guardian simply will not report this story, as it goes against volumes of Guardian stories, and CiF commentaries, since the May 31, 2010 incident, attesting to Israel’s guilt, but I’m even more confident that the countless number of contributors who were so quick to pass judgement on Israel’s blockade of weapons to Hamas will not apologize for their morally irresponsible rush to judgement.

If this is what transpires it will be another clear example of the way news selection can be used to distort coverage and ensure a biased viewpoint is pushed upon the audience.

Now consider this.  Suppose there was a conservative minded broadcast news channel in the UK.  While the BBC-Guardian axis keep the story low key by pretending it isn’t out there and ITV and Channel 4 follow suit, the conservative broadcaster runs the story on each of its news bulletins to a large audience throughout the day.  The impact would be significant.  A public that had previously only received media reports that the action was illegal would learn otherwise and would be able to question why this new development had not been reported.  It would be educational and it would serve the public interest.

Having considered the scenario above, one can see why the News of the World phone hacking stakes are so high for the Guardian led media and why there is such a determined onslaught against News International, currently the only realistic prospect of such a conservative news outlet being brought to fruition.  The left-liberal media is engaging in a fight for control of our minds by doing all it can to control the news we hear.  Far from upholding media plurality they are actively striving to restrict it.

This is something we should all be mindful of and should all strongly oppose.

The real reason for the Guardian-BBC assault on News International

The churnalists are up in arms.  The carefully constructed media narrative has it that the News of the World, and by extension the entire Rupert Murdoch empire, has singlehandedly ruined the reputation of journalism.

We are witnessing manipulation par excellence at play, as reports that personal details of families of war dead and serious crime victims were found in the possession of Glenn Mulcaire are spun to suggest their phone messages were intercepted – despite there being no evidence (as yet) that such actions happened.  Emotions are running wild and large tracts of the British public are being herded like sheep into a mind numbing mantra against not just those who may be responsible at the News of the World, but also its owner and his future business ambitions.

Make no mistake, I carry no brief for Murdoch.  But I cannot stand seeing the British people being misled by his opportunist opponents who have a self serving agenda that is not in the interest of the public.

The hypocrisy and double standards at play here are incredible.  The Guardian has not pursued this story for the noble aim of getting at the truth, but in a desperate effort to undermine Rupert Murdoch, with the full connivance of its broadcast arm, the BBC.  The phone hacking scandal, while criminal and disgusting, is nothing more than a rider for a campaign where something far greater is at stake – maintaining the left-liberal media consensus that holds sway in this country, ably laid bare by this 2009 column by Stephen Glover in the Mail in which he refers to this ‘intellectual tyranny’.

There is a cosy left leaning consensus in the UK media which sees reporters easily slip from the BBC to Channel 4 to ITV because they are all members of the same exclusive club.  It is the same in the newspaper broadsheets, Guardian journalists are just as comfortable at the Telegraph and there is interchange between them despite the supposed politically partisan nature of two organs.  The reality is the UK television media is not only part of the establishment, it is grouped firmly on the left.

There is no right-leaning television counterbalance to the output in this country.  But as Fox News in the US has shown, reporting of stories from a small ‘c’ conservative perspective puts a very different gloss on things and offers viewers an alternative to the media discourse broadcast on the established channels.  Fox is routinely sullied by the leftists, but it appeals to a significant audience that is no longer forced to rely on CNN or MSNBC’s liberal output, and as such it has become the dominant cable news network in the United States.

Imagine if such an alternative was to emerge in the UK, an alternative that resonates with ordinary people who can see the bias but whose only choice is to listen in or hit the off button. Sky News has the capacity to become that kind of news outlet if it is wholly owned by a conservative – even though Sky would have to spin off the channel from the rest of the BSkyB group.  Sky itself could play host to current affairs and documentaries coming from a conservative viewpoint.   The BBC don’t want that and the Guardian, which influences so much BBC output, doesn’t want that either.  Which is why the phone hacking issue has been transformed by the Guardian and BBC into the campaign it really is – stop Murdoch from owning Sky.

The cynicism is sickening, but the stakes are the highest.  This is about exerting influence over the British people.  The propaganda broadcast on any number of issues, from climate change to public spending, is designed to underpin the ‘progressive’ agenda.  That influence will weaken if a conservative leaning alternative is available for viewers to choose.  Love him or hate him, Murdoch has the capacity to deliver that alternative which is why he is being assailed.

In the US the other media spend an inordinate amount of time attacking Fox because they recognise it as a threat to their influence.  Viewers are not being served an exclusively diet left-liberal menu which omits stories or information from a conservative viewpoint.  Here in the UK we now see the media attacking Murdoch because they see him as a threat to the British people continuing to be served the current diet of left-liberal output.  But it was not always the case.  Indeed there was no outcry against Murdoch in 1989 when Sky News was the only exclusive news channel in the UK.  A trawl of the Guardian’s archives doesn’t throw up a single article criticising Sky when it was wholly owned by Murdoch in its early years.  There was nothing suggesting Sky was partial and certainly nothing about media plurality.  Perhaps that is because Fox was still seven years away had yet to make its breakthrough and challenge the consensus which up to then had felt unassailable.

In 1990 the left-liberal tactic of refusing to provide a spread of facts and opinions was finally challenged by the Broadcasting Bill which pushed the concept of ‘due impartiality’.  What could be less benign than ensuring broadcasters are impartial?  Clearly there was something because the Guardian railed against it and even called for due impartiality to be scrapped altogether – and when it passed Labour vowed to repeal it.

How things changed by 2003…

You couldn’t make it up, could you?

Sensing how Murdoch’s plans for Sky News could break the stranglehold of the left-liberal media consensus, we now see the Guardian championing due impartiality and using it as justification for rejecting Murdoch’s attempt to re-take control of Sky.  However Murdoch wrong footed them by stating he would abide by due impartiality.  This is when the Guardian and its leftist allies seized upon the notion of media plurality, arguing that the power to influence opinion and shape public debate must be in the hands of a diverse range of organisations that compete with each other.

Ironically Murdoch would actually add to media plurality because as we have seen, BBC, Channel 4 and ITV all sing from the same hymnsheet.  But plurality is not the issue, for the left it is all about maintaining their dominance and biased news selection and broadcast and ability to exclude or omit news, facts or opinions that undermine their ‘progressive’ agenda.  We know they do this because Labour’s Ivan Lewis, writing in the Guardian, confirmed it when he said:

While News Corp asserts that Britain’s impartiality rules mean Sky News could never adopt a political agenda akin to Fox News, there remains a real concern about the selection of news, which in itself can significantly distort coverage.

Heaven forbid some other media player should use the same techniques employed by the BBC and others to distort coverage the other way.  They know full well that even under the ‘due impartiality’ laws, a Sky News with a genuinely conservative management and staff will have no problem whatsoever in justifying the broadcast of endless genuine news stories that favour the conservative perspective.  Which is why Lewis was pleading for former Labour man Vince Cable to refer Murdoch takeover bid for Sky to Ofcom.  You know, Ofcom, that ‘independent’ media regulator that could not possibly do anything other than make an impartial decision…

For the Guardian-BBC axis, Murdoch represents a clear and present danger to their grip on national thought.  Therefore their objective is to create such widespread hostility to News International that it will become simply impossible, politically, for the Competition Commission to allow Murdoch’s plans to go through – and politically impossible for the Secretary of State to do anything about it.

This is the reason for the saturation coverage of the phone hacking story.  This is the reason for the rabble rousing and concerted effort to play to people’s emotions.  It is inconceivable that the Guardian, Mirror Group, Mail, Star et al, have not behaved in similarly appalling fashion to dredge up stories.  But as we have seen the Guardian and BBC are maintaining a tightly focused campaign to undermine Murdoch and resisting all efforts to widen enquiries into journalistic practices in general.

Perhaps some people will finally read between the lines, consider the history to this spat, and see the Guardian and BBC’s campaign for what it is.  That doesn’t mean letting journalists and editors from the News of the World get away with illegal and intrusive actions, but recognising there is something much more vital at stake, control of the messages broadcast to the public.

Update: John Coles in the comments sums it up when he says: ‘Phone hacking is a disgrace but these events must not end in the stifling supremacy of the liberal-left media.’  That is their desired endgame and that is the point of this post in a nutshell.  It is exactly the reason this issue is being covered so disproportionately why stories of far greater importance and relevance are being shunted out of sight. Whose interests are they serving?

Lies, damned lies and statistics

The Guardian seems rather pleased that its broadcast arm, the BBC, appears to have increased its radio audience.  It prompted a news story in that paper that has been picked up by our friends at EU Referendum and used to draw a comparison between radio listening and newspaper sales.

Dr Richard North’s piece opens with the part of the story we want to focus upon:

According to The Guardian, BBC Radio 4 has just recorded its biggest-ever audience of nearly 11 million listeners in the first three months of 2011. The station had an average weekly audience of 10.83 million listeners between January and March, up eight percent on the same period in 2010. Radio 4’s Today programme also had a record audience of 7.03 million listeners, 600,000 up on the previous year.

As is so often the case, things are not what they seem.  These figures are pretty much meaningless. Radio listening audiences are collected by asking people to keep diaries of their listening habits for one week.  Helpfully, the BBC describes the process on its website.

An organisation called the Radio Joint Audience Research Limited (RAJAR) is responsible for going out to households across the country, and asking people to keep a diary of listening for seven days. Approximately 130,000 diaries a year are completed. Respondents are asked to record which stations they listened to at what times, and also where they were listening.

So from 130,000 diaries RAJAR concludes that the Today programme now has a ‘record audience’ of over 7 million listeners. But then this begs the question, who are RAJAR?

Would it suprise you to learn that the company is part owned by the BBC?  What we have here is a BBC company compiling listening figures that suggest the BBC audience is rising to record levels.  But even then, setting aside the haphazard diary methodology, the ‘official’ figures that are being headlined do not add up, as North points out:

However, we must nevertheless look at the BBC Today Programme figures with a pinch of salt. For the last three months of 2008, it was applauding an average weekly audience of 6.6 million. This was supposedly up nearly half a million on the previous three months and its largest audience since the final three months of 2001.

In August 2010, it was then rejoicing in “a record 6.98 million weekly listeners”, which is now 7.03 million listeners, “600,000 up on the previous year”. But when you think that, at the start of 2004, it was claiming 6.2 million listeners, and in 3 August 2006 the audience was reported as falling from 6.12 million the previous quarter to 5.87 million (against an all-time low of 5.6 million), these figures are looking like Soviet tractor production statistics.

Either RAJAR statisticians are innumerate or someone is spinning us another pile of bullshit. Scratch beneath the surface of a mainstream media piece and figures issued to the public that cannot in any way be considered impartial, and we inevitably find cause to distrust what we are being told. Tractor production statistics seems almost too kind a description.

Another fishy climate change story lovingly told by BBC/Guardian

We hear lots of politicians speak of ‘opportunism’ by their opponents, but opportunism is not limited to the political class. Environmentalists also never fail to take full advantage of any opportunity to further an agenda – particularly when the agenda concerns climate change.

Listening to BBC Five Live Drive this evening I was left laughing out loud as my climate change bullshit meter was sent off the scale by the story of a rare fish – the vendace – being transported in containers carried by llama to a new location in an attempt to stop them dying out. As I listened I was thinking ‘Is this going to turn out to be tonight’s dose of climate change propaganda?’ and moments later it proved to be so as the story reflected a piece on the BBC Cumbria website which explained:

But the Environment Agency said the species needed to be protected from the warming effects of climate change and its impact on rivers and lakes.

You really could not make this crap up, but clearly the Environment Agency can.  There must be another bid for government funding in preparation.  Now, some of you might be thinking that ridiculing this nonsense is a tad unfair.  But you see the BBC has shot itself in the foot and cut the legs from under the Environment Agency by linking to an almost identical story from just five years ago.  However that previous story gave very different reasons for the move of the vendace fry:

The move was prompted by fears that poor water quality and pollution could wipe them out.

Of climate change there was not even a hint of a mention.  But of course it’s a very different story today. For a start, we have an opportunist political non entity in the form of Lord Chris Smith sitting as Chairman of the Environment Agency and he knows how to set and pursue an agenda.

When the latest chapter of this vendace story first emerged a couple of months ago in the Guardian a reference was made to the vendace in Bassenthwaite dying out back in 1991 due to ‘agricultural pollution, increased sediment and the illegal introduction of new fish species’.  The story went on to say that:

Hopes that the small herring-like fish could be reintroduced once Bassenthwaite had been restored to health have now been abandoned because of predictions of rises in future water temperatures.

Presumably the pollution has gone, the sediment has disappeared and the new fish species that had been introduced have all been caught and deported.  But interestingly there is no mention if that is the case so we don’t know.  Instead the opportunity to force feed readers and listeners with another tale of environmental meltdown due to climate change (which they still insist is caused by humans despite an absence of proof) is seized with both hands and played for all it’s worth.

Anything and everything has some kind of climate change connotation attached to it in order to condition us into accepting the hype and swallowing every self serving and costly measure that will be foisted upon us by those with financial and ideological interests in providing us with ‘solutions’ that combat this faux threat.  This is just the latest piece of spin in that long litany of propaganda.

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