By Hilary White
LONDON, September 8, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – With just days left to the visit to Britain by Pope Benedict XVI, the cardinal archbishop of Edinburgh has blasted the BBC for what he says is its “consistent institutional anti-Christian bias.” Cardinal Keith O’Brien told the Daily Express this Sunday that the BBC is pervaded by “a radically secular and socially liberal mindset.”
The outspokenly pro-life cardinal warned that a planned documentary by the BBC on clerical sexual abuse, would be a “hatchet job.” The documentary, “Benedict –Trials of a Pope” is set to air the night before the pope’s arrival to “humiliate the Pontiff on the eve of his visit to Britain,” the cardinal said.
“Our detailed research into BBC news coverage of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, together with a systematic analysis of output by the Catholic Church, has revealed a consistent anti-Christian institutional bias,” he continued.
“This week the BBC’s director-general admitted that the corporation had displayed massive bias in its political coverage throughout the 1980s, acknowledging the existence of an institutional political bias. Senior news managers have admitted to the Catholic Church that a radically secular mindset and socially liberal mindset pervades their newsrooms. This is utterly at odds with wider public attitudes and sadly taints BBC news and current affairs coverage of religious issues, particularly matters of Christian belief.”
A spokesman for the BBC denied the claims, saying, “The BBC’s news and current affairs coverage of any subject is approached in an objective and impartial way, reflecting the different sides of the debate.”
The cardinal was referring to comments by BBC Director General Mark Thompson who told the strongly leftist New Statesman magazine last week that “in the past” the BBC had held a “massive” left/liberal bias in its political reporting. Thompson said that during the Thatcher years, the broadcaster had experienced a “struggle” to achieve impartiality and that staff had been “mystified” by the early years of Thatcher’s Tory government.
Thompson insisted, however, that more recently, there is a more “honourable tradition of journalists from the right” working for the BBC.
But this is not the first time high-level employees of the BBC have admitted to an almost unbreakable, pervasive culture of leftist bias. In 2006 a document was leaked to the independent press showing that a secret meeting of executives and high-profile newscasters had admitted that the corporation was dominated by leftist ideology.
Andrew Marr, a journalist, political commentator and political editor of BBC News between 2000 and 2005, said at that meeting that the BBC “has a cultural liberal bias.”
The leaked document showed that the BBC’s highest placed news stars and executives believed that the network’s news coverage is overly dominated by a bias against Christianity and in favor of “multiculturalism” and Islam. The executives admitted that this had led the broadcaster to heavily slant its reporting on religious subjects as well as on the global threat of Islamic terrorism.
The document quoted Marr saying, “The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”
The revelation caused a scandal when it was shown that BBC executives admitted that they would rather allow the Bible “to be thrown into a dustbin” on a TV comedy show than the Koran and that they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden if given the opportunity. The BBC, the document said, is dominated by homosexuals, heavily favors hiring non-white ethnic minorities, and is anti-American and anti-countryside.
An unnamed executive told the Mail that it seems the BBC had “gone too far” in its devotion to political correctness, but added, “Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it.”
Recently, the BBC was criticized for hiring a Muslim, Aaqil Ahmed, as commissioning editor of religious programming. Don Maclean, one of Radio 2's most popular religious presenters, called Ahmed’s appointment “worrying” and said the corporation treats religion like a “freak show.”
He also said BBC executive programming chiefs routinely take a “negative angle at every opportunity” for Christianity, focusing only on homosexual clergy and clerical sexual abuse, a treatment that does not extend to other faiths like Islam.
The BBC is funded through individual users paying a license fee, about £145 per year, which is legally required for all United Kingdom households, companies and organizations using any type of equipment to record or receive live television broadcasts. Total levies from the license fee were £3.45 billion in 2009–10. As the UK’s main multi-media broadcaster, the BBC is the largest media network in the world.