Why BBC audiences are always Left-wing

The groupthink of the BBC and wider media/political establishment means they find it impossible to understand what the wider public thinks or why their views should be represented. That's what Nigel Farage was on about over the biased BBC audience in Thursday's debate. He was absolutely right

by Westminster shrink on 17 April 2015 09:06

The mainstream media, not just the BBC itself, has been clear about one thing following Thursday night's election debate: UKIP leader Nigel Farage made a huge tactical mistake by calling out the BBC audience for its alleged Left-wing bias.

The consistent narrative this morning on Sky NEWS -- which increasingly resembles the BBC's default political positions -- could be summarised in three words: "Tut, tut, tut".

Two points to make in this quick blog item:

First, the incredulity of the mainstream media over allegations of BBC bias is evidence in itself of how it and the liberal-Left political establishment are largely inseparable from each other in terms of their underlying assumptions.

While it was plain to everyone outside that Westminster bubble that the audience was way out of sync with public opinion on a whole range of issues -- not just immigration -- the mainstream media is so cocooned in its own groupthink that it quite naturally assumes that anyone who challenges that groupthink must be either barmy, or an extremist, or both.

The second point follows from the first. Even when the BBC tries to be fair, either under its own efforts or, as in this case, via a subcontracted polling group, to select an audience genuinely representative of public opinion, it finds itself completely unable to accomplish the task.

It simply never occurs to them that there is an inbuilt bias to be confronted in the first place. And the reason for that is that the BBC and other establishment organisations, including subcontractors, assume that their worldview represents the objective centre-ground.

In fact, it wouldn't be all that difficult to overcome the challenge. Potential audience members could be grilled on core issues to determine their real affiliations. Alternatively, and much more simply, the panelists -- in this case the party leaders -- could be allowed to bring in their own supporters, on the understanding that the audience reflects a 50-50 divide in terms of Left and Right.

Admittedly, in the absence of the Conservatives, that would have to have meant that Nigel Farage was last night allowed to nominate half the audience. But, if you're serious about having an ideologically representative discussion, that is the sort of positive discrimination you'd have to contemplate.

Obviously, this is all pie in the sky. The BBC regards itself as the ideological guardian of the nation. It employs a fig-leaf approach to objectivity and would never countenance serious moves to give the political Right, let alone UKIP, a fair crack of the whip.

That's the problem of having a state broadcaster with old-fashioned statist assumptions. It is highly unlikely that the BBC can truly be reformed. Abolition is the only way forward if the British mainstream media is ever going to properly reflect public opinion.

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