Batting for Biden: the BBC and the US election

Oct 17, 2020 by

by Robin Aitken, The Critic:

The BBC has been wholly partisan in its coverage of Donald Trump ever since he was elected.

There’s a little acronymic game played by critics of the BBC which involves finding other words to fit those familiar three letters. Leavers dubbed the Corporation “The Brussels Broadcasting Corporation” because of its clear bias in favour of Remain. In advance of the US election next month I’m joining in the game: to me the BBC is now the “Biden Broadcasting Conspiracy” because of the way it has mounted a concerted campaign to help ensure that Trump doesn’t win again.

I know, I know – it’s not really very clever – but it is a tiny revenge that gives a little satisfaction whenever I contemplate the sheer extent of the BBC’s departure from its professed commitment to “impartiality”. For the plain truth is that the BBC has been wholly partisan in its coverage of Donald Trump ever since he was elected. There is something about the 44th president of the USA (some say 45th because Grover Cleveland won two, non-consecutive terms) that has aroused in the BBC’s corporate breast the deepest animosity. The fact that this time round his opponent is a man who is plainly in his dotage doesn’t matter; for the BBC it has become “anyone but Trump”, and that has coloured its news coverage in a way that makes a mockery of its claims to be even-handed.

[…]  These media, including the BBC, distort the truth by pumping out only negative stories about Trump. And here is the real, underlying, truth: you can be strictly accurate and factual in your journalism and yet still be unfair, and in a larger sense untruthful, if you weight your stories in a negative direction. It is, if you like the difference between calumny (a lie) and detraction (a truth told to do harm to another’s reputation) as defined in the old Catholic catechism; the BBC has mounted a sustained campaign of detraction against the president by presenting only those facts which are to his discredit.

And that is the real charge against the BBC in advance of this important election.

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