LONDON, April 5, 2011 ( – The BBC operates on a “creed of political correctness” that is “all very well-meaning, and painstakingly even-handed, but often notably adrift of the overriding national sentiment” one of the corporation’s most senior newsmen has said. Michael Buerk, the long-time news presenter for the government-funded national broadcaster, slammed his employer for its monolithically leftist opinions that admit no dissent.

Reporters for the BBC – often referred to ironically as “Auntie Beeb” for its maternalistic attitude towards the British public – are uniformly “urban,” “middle class, well educated, living in north London, or maybe its Manchester equivalent” who read the far left Guardian newspaper as if it is “their Bible,” said Buerk. They have “contempt” for business and the countryside while engaging in an “uncritical love affair with environmentalism.”

“What the BBC regards as normal and abnormal, what is moderate or extreme, where the centre of gravity of an issue lies, are conditioned by the common set of assumptions held by the people who work for it.”

Buerk has been a BBC newscaster and reporter for 30 years and is best known for revealing the tragedy of the Ethiopian famine to the world in the early 1980s. He is retired from the news but still presents the Radio 4 program Moral Maze. He made the comments on the radio while reviewing the memoir of his former colleague, Peter Sissons.

Sissons made headlines in January when he attacked the BBC for its “institutional” leftwing bias that he said was “written into its DNA.” Sissons, whose memoirs are being published in series by the right-of-centre Daily Mail newspaper, said that at the BBC, “Islam must not be offended at any price, although Christians are fair game because they do nothing about it if they are offended.”

The BBC responded to Buerk’s comments, saying he was entitled to his opinion: “We certainly do not recognise the picture he has painted and nor would his colleagues. Impartiality is critical to our success as a news broadcaster and is always at the centre of what we do.”

Nevertheless, the BBC itself has admitted in the past to its anti-Christian bias. In a leaked internal memo in 2006, the BBC admitted to a marked bias against Christianity and a strong inclination to pro-Muslim reporting. The Daily Mail reported on a secret meeting of BBC executives who were said to be frustrated by the corporation’s commitment to “political correctness” at the expense of journalistic integrity and objectivity.

At that time, Andrew Marr, the BBC’s former chief political correspondent, said, “The BBC is not impartial or neutral … It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”

The BBC is the largest broadcaster in the world, with immense political influence. It has 23,000 employees and broadcasts over radio and television, and by the internet, around the globe in Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Farsi, Urdu, Arabic and Thai, among many Asian languages. It is funded mainly from revenue generated by the TV license fee which, by law, must be paid from every household, company or organization in the country that uses any type of equipment to record and/or receive live television broadcasts.


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