BEN Pile’s recent report ‘Clean Air, Dirty Money, Filthy Politics’ lifts the lid on how a few super-wealthy individuals influence public policy, and how the Guardian newspaper, in spite of repeated declarations to the contrary, receives funding from billionaire Gates to the tune of £92 per reader.
The BBC, while constantly boasting about its public service role via the licence-fee funding model, is a beneficiary too – a nice £46million sub from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Since its first Charter in 1927 its primary Reithian mission to ‘inform, educate, and entertain’ is still asserted, as is its claim to be the most trusted source of news in the country. To this now comes an added mission, to ‘counter disinformation’, something it opines that ‘now so often proliferates in national and international debate’.
This is what we are paying for. Two thirds of its £5.7billion income comes from the licence fee, the remainder generated off the back of its preferentially publicly funded status – commercial income (for example BBC Worldwide), and Grant-in-Aid income (for the World Service).
And all this guaranteed largesse based on the BBC claim that it is ‘recognised as a provider of impartial, independent and trusted content the world over . . . overwhelmingly seen to be the most trusted source of news for people across the UK . . . one of the most trusted news brands in the world’, a view neither shared by its critics nor borne out by analysis.
The 2002 Wilson report raised serious doubts about the BBC’s journalistic standards and impartiality on its unquestioning pro-EU stance and dismissal of Euro-scepticism. News-watch’s 2014-21 Bias Archive provides a catalogue of 200 separate reports which reveal the BBC’s institutional bias and often abysmal editorial standards.
This is shamefully evident in its reporting of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Behind a recent catalogue of ‘mistakes’ ranging from the refusal to describe Hamas as a terrorist group, to reports that the IDF was ‘targeting people including medical teams as well as Arab speakers’, to its instant response that the explosion at Al Ahli Hospital was caused by an Israeli air strike, is a systematic anti-Israel bias going back years. The Balen report was commissioned years ago to investigate coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian issue (of the type which has been so current these last weeks). The BBC refused to publish it and spent almost £330,000 to keep concealed.
It is little wonder that a former BBC director, Danny Cohen, has called for an urgent review citing one example of the social media feed of the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, Caroline Hawley, which ‘reads like a series of press releases from Hamas central command’. For those who no longer have a TV licence, Melanie Phillips’s recent reports, here and here, provide further equally appalling examples of the BBC’s contribution ‘to the current climate in Britain of reasoned, informed and civilised debate so vividly illustrated on London’s streets last Saturday and ever since the Hamas pogrom in Israel on October 7’.
The BBC’s promotion of its political agenda stretches beyond the news. Take BBC Media Action (BBCMA), described as ‘the BBC’s international charity’, which though not directly funded by the licence fee, trades off the BBC’s name and has generous donors in the unwitting UK taxpayer, as well as other foundations, corporations and individuals. These include the UK FCDO (ie the taxpayer), several UN agencies, the Gates Foundation, government organisations in Sweden, Canada, and Norway, the EU, and MBM Mott MacDonald – corporate partners who contribute ‘cash and in-kind support’ while the BBC itself provides ‘gift-in-kind and grants’ such as the FCDO Global Grant, which running from 2011 to 2017 totalled just under £90million, as last reported in 2019, and serves four goals – supporting democratic governance, improving reproductive and child health of people living in poverty, improving resilience to humanitarian crises and strengthening the evidence base on the role of media and communication. This reads more like an advertisement for a left-wing NGO than a public service broadcaster. Carrying the UKaid logo, it’s targeting 14 countries at the moment including Myanmar/Burma and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Ukraine, where the BBCMA led a study into how (it claims) the war has resurrected ‘old gender stereotypes’. That women still are seen as guardians of the home while men are elevated in the media as defenders and heroes, would be laughable but for the appalling irony of the male death toll in the conflict with Russia.
Meanwhile in Myanmar the BBCMA’s journalist there, one Htet Htet Khine, was convicted of incitement and sentenced to three years in prison with hard labour, plus a further three years subsequently added to her sentence. This is a country where, since the 2021 coup, more than 120 journalists have been detained, with more than 50 still in custody. So much for the BBCMA’s ‘better health and greater social inclusion’ projects.
As with most other ‘charities’ these days, you may think you have a choice as to whether you support their political activities or not but you don’t.
When it comes to the super charity that is the BBC, you’re not just down for millions supporting reckless bias, but the imposition of its woke ideology world wide.