From: Gordon Lawrence, Sheffield.
ANDREW Vine demonstrates his metropolitan liberal credentials (The Yorkshire Post, February 4) in his articulate but vulnerable defence of the BBC.
After an initial “sacred cow” eulogy on the tradition and history of BBC service and achievement, tarnished though with a smearing of its critics, especially the Conservatives, the main victims of the BBC’s political line, Mr Vine endeavours to balance his vindication by listing some of the shortcomings of the corporation including the fundamental one of left-wing liberal bias.
But he makes light of rectifying the problem as if this just required some superficial rearrangement of deck chairs.
I’m afraid BBC bias is as ingrained as the cambium in an ancient oak. The staff on Newsnight, for instance, are reported to be almost exclusively of a Remain conviction.
It would be almost impossible for an interviewee to get a job in any of the BBC News departments if any right wing tendencies were revealed. When staff are fixated with hard-line political opinions, based intrinsically on a belief that righteousness is on their side, it is almost impossible to create an impartial and balanced presentation that, given that this is a taxpayer-financed institution, should surely embody some attempt to reflect a diversity of political opinion.
But cheetahs cannot turn into vegetarians, start eating grass and stop chasing wildebeests for the Islington- set political opinion will emerge at a subliminal level regardless of the will to be more politically inclusive.
The BBC needs a quiet revolution to restore its credibility – a noisy one, if necessary. Andrew Vine’s tinkering with trivial changes would not address the cardinal problem of bias – most of the corporation’s other difficult issues are insignificant in comparison.