Back during the days of the OJ Simpson trial I bought myself a short-wave radio so I could feed my news habit without having to hear about OJ’s crime. Back then, of course I wasn’t visiting the ‘Net, plus I remembered fondly my uncle’s love of the BBC and the Proms, and, thanks to technology, I could listen to the BBC without any problems (albeit only in the evening) or antennae maneuvers. The BBC, however, has “evolved”, and their formerly straight-news broadcasts are peppered with editorial comments, omissions, and misapropos (for example, they never, ever call anyone a terrorist, they are activists, insurgents, militants, whatever).
BBC-America TV newscasts are as bad — I remember the morning when they dedicated an entire broadcast to Baghdad Bob’s press conference, who repeatedly told us the Americans were not in Baghdad, while at that very same moment other (American) networks had embedded reporters broadcasting live from Baghdad airport. But I’ll blog on that another day. There are a number of blogs that are on BBC-bias watch, among them Biased BBC, Samizdata, and The Daily Ablution (the Ablution’s also on The Guardian watch).
Now the Beeb is actually censoring people, not only from their country but from overseas, like John Gibson, who spoke ill of them during his commentary on Fox News Channel. BuzzMachine has the details (via Andrew Sullivan). You can read the official Ofcom report, too.
As BuzzMachine put it, “But here’s a government agency (OfCom) defending a government network (BBC). How do you spell conflict of interest?”. I also wonder if there is an issue of jurisdiction — OfCom’s making a ruling on a commentary made during a broadcast coming from another country.
As for the old short wave radio, it broke, and I haven’t replaced it.