Daily Mail, Paul Revoir, Oct. 23, 2006
BBC executives have been forced to admit what critics have known for years — that the corporation is institutionally biased.
The revelation came after details of an ‘impartiality’ summit called by its chairman, Michael Grade, were leaked.
Senior figures admitted that the BBC is guilty of promoting Left-wing views and an anti-Christian sentiment.
They also said that as an organisation it was disproportionately over-represented by gays and ethnic minorities.
It was also suggested that the Beeb is guilty of political correctness, the overt promotion of multiculturalism and of being anti-American and against the countryside.
During the meeting, hosted by Sue Lawley, executives admitted they would happily broadcast the image of a Bible being thrown away — but would not do the same for the Koran.
Muslim leaders later condemned this approach.
Ishmail Farhat of the Muslim Association of Britain said: “We don’t support this kind of action or abuse. If they are respecting all religions — then they should treat all religions the same.”
The BBC executives also agreed that the BBC should broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden, despite the offence it would cause.
Even one of the BBC’s most senior journalists, political pundit Andrew Marr admitted that the corporation was unrepresentative of British society.
He said: “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.”
BBC ‘diversity tsar’ Mary Fitzpatrick claimed women newsreaders should be allowed to wear what they liked on air and went on to say this should include a Muslim veil.
She spoke out after criticism was raised of TV newsreader Fiona Bruce wearing a necklace with a cross on it.
‘We may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness’
The BBC’s Washington correspondent Justin Webb also accused his own employers of being anti-American saying they treated it with scorn and derision and “no moral weight”.
He revealed that he had got deputy director general Mark Byford to secretly help him to “correct” it in his reports.
Business presenter Jeff Randall said he complained to a senior executive at the BBC about the corporation’s pro-multiculturalism stance.
He claimed he was told: “The BBC is not neutral in multiculturalism, it believes in it and it promotes it.”
He told how he once wore Union Jack cufflinks to work and was rebuked with: “You can’t do that, that’s like the National Front!”
One senior BBC executive admitted that the summit had opened people’s eyes to how biased the BBC had become.
He admitted: “There was a widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness.
“Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC’s culture, that it is very hard to change it.”
The BBC is believed to be taking a more critical look at itself because it fears if it does not, its regulation could be removed from its board of governors and handed over to the independent regulator Ofcom.