BBC bias and the case of Roe v Wade

Jun 28, 2022 by

by David Baker, Christian Today:

We hear many complaints these days that the BBC is biased.

[…] What concerns me, however, is less an overtly political bias than the subtle use of language to promote or deny – knowingly or unknowingly – various different viewpoints. And this should be of particular concern to us as Christians, concerned as we are about the truth, values and justice that are revealed to us in Jesus.

There has been a particularly interesting example of this linguistic bias in recent days. Reporting on the landmark overturning of Roe v Wade in the United States, the excellent Amol Rajan on Radio 4’s Today  programme talked – twice – of “pro-life” campaigners. All well and good, you might think.

Except apparently not. The first thing that happened was that it generated a wave of hysteria. The Guardian, with the self-righteous outrage of those who proclaim objectivity on the one hand while stoning blasphemers with the other, observed with wide-eyed horror (in a news report) that the term “is considered partisan”. My darlings, reach for the smelling salts!

A representative of the Women’s Equality Party said that “anti-choice campaigners” had “long tried to hide behind the façade of being ‘pro-life’ when the reality is that they are anything but…” Oh, those unenlightened zealots who believe in protecting unborn children! Meanwhile someone from the group Abortion Rights, claimed (hilariously) that “pro-choice” was the “neutral” position. Spiralling off completely into an alternative universe, she continued: “We know from the strong connections between the gun lobby and anti-abortion activists that they are not pro-life. Pro-life for who?” At which point we all hear Homer Simpson saying: “Doh!”

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