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« Cranmer on Buerk | Main | The Heretic - a review »

A pivotal moment for the BBC

Hat tip to several readers who have pointed out Michael Buerk's comments on the BBC Radio 4 show, the Moral Maze:

“not long ago, to question multiculturalism…risked being branded racist and pushed into the loathesome corner with paedophiles and climate change deniers“

I will not respond in kind to this kind of thing. It looks to me like a calculated attempt to provoke a violent reaction. What it really does is to show that Buerk and the BBC are devoid of any integrity. They condemn themselves out of their own mouths.

I hope they continue with this kind of thing. It makes the BBC look like it is staffed by zealots and nutters. It will win them no friends.

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Reader Comments (63)

Simon said earlier:-

"I'm reminded of the Harry Potter books when the Ministry / Daily Prophet presented Harry Potter as a liar (to hide Voldermort's return). They wouldn't directly attack Harry, but would drop in snide comments here and there suggesting he was mentally unstable, a liar etc...

Of course real life is not a childrens story, but art has an uncanny knack of reflecting life (and vice versa).

Feb 12, 2011 at 10:29 AM | simoncm"


I came to exactly the same thought.

Well said

Feb 12, 2011 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterCVH

This latest foray by the BBC into Orwellian smearing is sly, witty irony and dry humor the same way the 10:10 'no pressure' video was sly, witty irony and dry humor: not at all.

Feb 12, 2011 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

[snip- too strong]

Feb 12, 2011 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn in cheshire

This is nothing new.
In an interview on the September 22nd., 2010 edition of The World At One, on BBC radio 4, Nick Clegg (now Deputy Prime Minister), referred to the Conservative Party as "clubbing together" with people who are shown to have "extremist views", "homophobic views", "anti-Semitic views", and who "deny the existence of climate change".
I cannot understand how apparently intelligent people can't distinguish between an opinion based on scientific evidence (or othewise) and criminal activity.

Feb 12, 2011 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterRay

I would hope that it was intended as irony, or as a challenging statement to stimulate debate in the Moral Maze.. but no one commented or queried it.

I would like to hear exactly what was meant by it though....
As there are groups that would not see 'any irony' and would be nodding along with it.
Whatever it's intent, I see it as inappropriate. All too easy for it to become common useage

I would also, like them to stop using man made climate change, and climate change interchangeably.

In a week where the Prince of Wales says:

"I would ask how these people are going to face their grandchildren and admit to them that they failed their future; that they ignored all the clear warning signs," he said.

"I wonder, will such people be held accountable at the end of the day for the absolute refusal to countenance a precautionary approach for this plays a most reckless game of roulette with the future inheritance of those who come after us?"

there seems to be very little tolerance or pause for thought by those that should no better..

I have questioned the use of wind farms as a big problem for this country, that may result in an energy gap in the future, fuel poverty and potentially blackouts. And, have publically been called a climate deniar, by activists in my town for just questioning energy policy/solutions, let alone AGW theory..

Feb 12, 2011 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

"A pivotal pitiful moment for the BBC."

Feb 12, 2011 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

At the risk of belabouring the point....
The "alarmist" side is besprinkled with professional offense-takers. Please let us not join them on account of a joke that was a bit too subtle / weak/ ill-placed.
Can someone who is likely to be answered (i.e with a bit of clout in the blogosphere) please ask Mr.B. (bearing in mind that if his "little joke" WAS at the expense of the BBC hive-mind he is putting the rest of his career at risk) what he was thinking when he made the comment?
If it turns out we should all be offended, I will offended then, doubled in spades.
People feeling offended now and going off like choleric Colonels will feel very embarrassed if it turns out they were wrong, and I will feel embarassed with them.
To mix a proverb or two...Hold your horses, keep your powder dry and look before you leap!

Feb 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

I have already made a formal complaint to the BBC although I don't expect it will do much good.

Feb 13, 2011 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

Did you listen to the whole programme? It was very balanced and interesting. Buerk did what he wanted to do. He got your attention. And you responded rather quickly!

Feb 13, 2011 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Holdaway

Trolling, BBC style ?

Feb 13, 2011 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterCG

This story in the Telegraph seems to be, deja-vu.

'There comes a moment in the media cycle when a story is past the point of correction. We have reached that moment in the reporting of the “Tory cuts”.

The Treasury statistics are unambiguous. Total public spending has risen in every month since the coalition was formed. During the seven months that followed the general election, spending was £23.3 billion higher than during the equivalent period twelve months previously, an increase of seven per cent.

Say so, though, and you will be treated as a madman, as I discovered on a BBC phone-in over the weekend. When I recited the figures, the presenter, Stephen Nolan, broke in with incredulous rage: “How can you say there have been no cuts? What are you talking about?”'

There wouldn't be any political bias on a BBC program now, would there?

Feb 14, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

I agree with Saul Jacka and Jack Savage that Buerk was probably having a dig at some of his colleagues.

Feb 14, 2011 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Bagley

I believe such remarks, offensive as they are, just go to show that the Warmists realise that they are losing the argument and are getting really desperate. The best course is for Realists to put their case logically, without resorting to insults.

Feb 16, 2011 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterTelegorp

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