June 14th, 2012

Spinny Bob on Beeb Rampage

It seems Miliband’s normally jovial spinner Bob Roberts has had enough of the Beeb. Media Guido has got hold of his letter to the BBC Director General Mark Thompson:

Dear Mark 

I am writing to complain about the striking lack of balance on the Today programme this week. 

From Monday to Thursday, the following Ministers and MPs have appeared on Today: 

Government:  Eric Pickles, Richard Benyon, Simon Burns, Tim Loughton, Hugh Robertson, Grant Shapps, Louise Mensch, Don Foster, Theresa May, Iain Duncan Smith, Crispin Blunt, David Davis, Nicky Morgan (Total 13) 

Labour: Margaret Hodge, appearing as Chair of a Select Committee (Total 1) 

By any measure, it is neither fair nor balanced for the Today programme to interview 13 Government MPs and 1 Labour MP over the course of four days.   

Why are listeners hearing so much coverage being given to the Government and virtually none to the official Opposition? 

We have previously raised our concerns with the Today Programme Editor and with the BBC’s Westminster News Editor, but we have not received a satisfactory response, hence we are writing you as Editor-in-Chief of the BBC. 

I look forward to an urgent explanation why this unacceptable lack of balance has been allowed to occur and reassurances that it will be remedied immediately. 

Yours sincerely, 

Bob Roberts

Slightly more dignified than Craig Oliver getting caught on video ranting at a BBC hack…


  1. 1
    Yorkshire Grit says:

    Nobody wants to hear from these people who support rioters and scroungers, who wrecked the economy and lied about illegal wars, sending hundreds of troops to their death thanks to poor equipment.

    If there’s a new government policy it is up to the government to explain it and the BBC can put the questions. We don’t need these Labour berks offering up their spineless views.

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    It wasn’t a rant as you yourself said. See your previous comment

  3. 3
    JB says:

    It wasn’t a rant as you said yourself.

  4. 4
    Popeye says:

    BBC bias to the right?
    I must be on a different planet with a different BBC!

  5. 5
    Ash Ken the Question says:

    Well the Beeb has to balance the imbalance in all the other biased coverage somehow.

  6. 6
    Harry Krishna says:

    I remember on the Today programme when labour wee constantly saying ” A Government spokesman was unable to reply”

  7. 7
    paulo says:

    They probably tried to get some of them but found them all unavailable, on holiday in their champagne socialist summer homes in Tuscany.

  8. 8
    Loungelizard says:

    Clever move, Tory ministers only on to be attacked and ridiculed with leftish agenda groups and viewpoint fully supported.

  9. 9
    Throg says:

    Mainly because the Left’s point of view is already well represented by the presenters

  10. 10
    The General Public says:

    Look at any left-leaning blog – they believe that the BBC is the broadcasting arm of the Conservative party.

    It’s often cited as testimony to the Beeb’s impartiality that both Labour and Tory accuse it of pandering to the other side.

  11. 11
    Johnny says says:

    Labour are already represented by the presenters and the station…

  12. 12
    David Cameron says:

    I can now confirm that it would not be in the public interest to remove either Baroness Warsi or Jeremy Hunt from the Cabinet.

    This afternoon I am having meetings with Ministerial colleagues and others.

  13. 13
    Anonymous says:

    About time, normally the BBC leads with Balls or Millibands opinion on a Govt. announcement rather than what the Govt. has to say. Surely it is right that the BBC have Govt. ministers on to explain policy and decision making, rather than listening to Balls make more grandiose statements about how he would get it right (whilst willfully ignoring his complicity in the current state of the economy)

  14. 14
    old grumpy says:

    As a daily listener to the “Today” prog. I can understand why they didn’t bother answering him……. Its swings and roundabouts.

    Some (in fact most) weeks its all Liebour and LibDim so it makes a change to hear from the Government, first hand, for a change.

    The complaint does not acknowledge the fact that the Leftie Presenters always give their pals an easy time, while screwing the Cons!

  15. 15
    AJ says:

    The BBC really needs to give Labour a fair hearing. This four-day orgy of right-wing bias by Today is the last straw.

  16. 16
    Richard Whittington says:

    It’s because, with rare exceptions, Labour MPs are just so b-o-r-i-n-g.

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    It’s remedied every fucking Question Time. And that’s before the hand-picked audience and pre-screened questions are taken into account.


  18. 18
    Slugged in the gob says:

    What’s “Media Guido” when it’s at home?

    If you think that was a rant from Oliver, then you have lived a very sheltered life.

  19. 19
    Anonymous says:

    Given the slant that Today puts on things, just having Humphries et al present is enough to put the balance firmly in the Labour camp.

  20. 20
    annette curton says:

    Perfectly simple solution that should be acceptable to all sides, get rid of the BBC.

  21. 21
    Alex says:

    Not many ministers in the Labour Party these days, so not much point in interviewing them to explain government policy.

  22. 22
    Another Engineer says:

    I think he’s right. We should have more Labour MPs on making fools of themselves. Why give that opportunity only to the Tories?

  23. 23
    David Cameron says:

    I just can’t get enough of the video of “Mad ” Frankie Maude at yesterdays PMQ’s.

    Now that’s a real Tory for you !

  24. 24
    Terrible But True says:

    Odd. Because he must be heaving a sigh of relief that such has Newsnight, often reduced to a Prescottian ‘analysis’ of any Leveson passing of wind, has steered well clear this week in favour of more arty fare, or to indulge Mr. Mason’s ‘any protest is a storm’ addiction around the globe. Nothing to do with Mr. Brown imploding (oddly also not referred to in Mr. Robinson’s curiously unidirectional, comments disabled ‘take’ on things: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18438722 ) or Mr. Miliband mentioning media monopolies but hoping he might have got away with it.
    However, one might suspect ‘normal service’ will be resumed, well, about now.

  25. 25
    The definition of the verb rant. says:

    to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way

  26. 26
    Ah! Monika says:

    Let’s hope Guido gets a copy of the reply.

  27. 27
    late riser says:

    Couldn’t care less.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    BBC DG's Office says:

    Dear Bob,

    Thanks for your letter. Yes we will need to do far better and in the interest of balance give you more exposure.

    Happy to help.

    Yours fraternally,

    Mark x

    PS: Hopefully we’ve managed shut those moaning Tory / Biased-BBC bastards up. LOL

  30. 30
    lost 4 words says:

    But there is only so much that can be said about a blank sheet of paper.

  31. 31
    jgm2 says:

    It’s just disingenuous posturing from the bedwetters (and the BBC).

    The proof is in the reverse ‘Wisdom of Solomon’ test.

    If you remember, in the bible story, the real mother would rather give her child away to a stranger than have it cut in half. If the right suggest that the BBC be killed off then the real mother (the left) start swooning about how it must be preserved at all costs. The bedwetters know it’s ‘theirs’.

  32. 32
    Sandra says:

    This is a smoke screen – the BBC & Labour have spun this out because of the growing disquiet about the trilogy of unions / BBC / Labour all being part of the same political movement.

    We have to break up the BBC to destroy Labours propaganda arm – and the Union infested multi platform broadcast monopoly the left wing has in the UK.

    It is simply not on to continue like this – this is not the Soviet Union.

  33. 33
    ffs says:

    WTF is a “media guido”. Think you think far too highly of yourselves.

    Get over yourself already ffs!

  34. 34
    screw the lot of them says:

    Really? I couldn’t care less!

  35. 35
    Anonymous says:

    Humphries isn’t too bad; it’s Naughtie that needs a severe talking to.

    Evan Davis can be a winey tw*t but he asks good questions. Justin Webb is a smarmy git, very difficult to like.

  36. 36
    Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavell says:

    It worked Bob.

    You agreed to a 13 to 1 bias for a few days, which gives you the excuse to charge BBC with bias. Shuts Tories up for a few months and Balls et al can have free range.

    Just ask when you need further advice.

  37. 37
    misterned says:

    This letter actually demonstrates the BBC’s anti-tory bias. They are calling in Tories to attack them. It does not need labour MPs as the BBC’s own staff are far more effective at attacking the Government than labour MPs are. You only have to listen to the interviews to know that these tories are not invited in to propagandise without interruption or challenge. On the rare occasions that labour MPs are invited, they are often allowed to do just that.

    Additionally, attacks on the Government by labour MPs are largely ignored by the public as partisan politics. The BBC do not want attacks on the government to be ignored, so if they, an impartial beacon of unbiased public service broadcasting, attack the government, the attack will be far more effective than if the same attack was coming from labour MPs.

    Then it also gives labour an excuse to claim anti-labour bias, thus the BBC are being attacked by both tory and labour for bias which “must mean that we are getting the balance about right”

  38. 38
    English Grammar Fool says:

    Sorry? You read a blog entry demonstarting ovewrwhelming pro government bias on the Beeb and still miantain it is an arm of soem sort of pinko conspiracy?

  39. 39
    BBC Spokesbag says:

    Dear Bob,
    We at the BBC do sympathise but we feel that if Labour want to win the next election we should keep Labour party MP’s exposure to a minimum.
    Rest assured our ‘impartial’ journalists will give Government politicians a good grilling.
    Also the BBC News department graphics team have pulled out all the stops in respect of imagery via a spidersweb, linking Cameron,Osbourne,Hunt,Milly Dowler and Habbo Hotel all with Murdoch.
    It would be a shame to undermine this good work by having Ed Milliband coughing and snorting his way through an interview thus reminding the public why they voted Labour out.
    Keep the faith Brother.


  40. 40
    Rage Against the Politcal Elite says:


  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    You are not seriously suggesting the BBC isn’t left-leaning?

  42. 42
    Ah! Monika says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    June 14, 2012 at 11:56 am
    David Leigh ‏@davidleigh3
    (Westminster) village idiot P au l St ain es seems the only one disappointed that I shan’t be prosecuted for practising journalism.

    Make that 2

  43. 43
    Ash Ken the Question says:

    Got a link one can use?

  44. 44
    jgm2 says:

    If Labour are really so upset with the BBC then why don’t they do what would make everybody happy and shut it down? For sure the T*ries are sick of its lefty bias. If Labour are too then an obvious 3bn quid a year saving presents itself in these times of austerity.

    But of course Labour don’t want it shut down. They want it kept just as it is. This is just disingenuous arse-gravy to keep alive the big lie that if Labour and the T*ries are both unhappy with the BBC then it must be ‘balanced’. Labour are only pretending to be unhappy in an attempt to shoot the T*ry fox on their accusations of bias.

  45. 45
    Ah! Monika says:

    I have a feeling that G in receiving and publishing this may have been a patsy.

    A set-up.

  46. 46
    Anonymous says:

    As a listener to LBC radio at the weekends and in the evenings I have often been struck by the fact that the hourly and half-hourly news bulletins very often lead with what Labour shadow ministers and Labour backbench MPs have to say on issues of the day.

    Radio news bulletins are very short, so time is at a premium; yet space is almost always found to replay a Labour soundbite recorded earlier that day.

    Government ministers, who actually are the ones with the responsibility of running the country, get second or third billing – if at all.

  47. 47
    jgm2 says:


    An utter load of shite.

    If Labour feels the BBC are biased then they should join with the T*ries and vote to take away its annual 3bn quid subsidy. Then it can be as biased as it likes.

  48. 48
    Pip says:

    Exactly. Perfectly put misterned.

  49. 49
    Nina says:

    Dear Bob

    Let me assure you that we are firm supporters of the Bruvvers and are doing all we can to skew content of all our programmes in the direction of the Red Flag.

    You are correct in noting the overwhelming majority of Tory talking heads that have paraded through our studios in the last week or so. Let me be frank, Bob, we’re doing you a favour. Most Labour front bench spokespeople are an electoral liability. We have found them unable to string coherent sentences together, or make a convincing case for their side. Many, including the leader, sound like pre-schoolers or left over Daleks. Our aim is to give the Tories enough rope to hang themselves verbally.

    Hope you’re still up for the cava and canapes do at the weekend.


    Comrade Mark

  50. 50
    Sandra says:

    You really do have to step outside of your obvious tribalism – for any wing in the spectrum of a so called democracy to control the State broadcaster is dangerous & wrong in a democracy.

    The BBC is too big & too powerful – & with its left wing fellow travellers has just about destroyed its private sector opposition. I am no fan of Murdochs empire – but by equal measure if Sky has to be taken down because it owns to many outlets on too many platforms then surely we have to take a serious look at dismantling the BBC too?

    Yes – I do see a conspiracy – the evidence for it is obvious & if it was a right wing conspiracy to contrl the state broadcaster on all its platforms no doubt we would see violence on the streets already from the left wing.

  51. 51
    Ah! Monika says:

    See yesterday’s threads. Somewhere there.

  52. 52
    Donal Uck says:

    Are they being selective about a few days?

    I can recall loads of Labour duffers on air and if not, then someone from the Greens or a leftist think tank or a union stooge.

  53. 53
    Ah! Monika says:

    Obviously I agree !!

  54. 54
    Chipping Norton Set says:

    Dave seems to be in a spot of bother. Mr Jay has got hold of the texts between Dave and Rebekah. LOL

  55. 55

    The propaganda arm of the Labour party is not doing enough to make Little Ed look Remotely electable

  56. 56
    Ash Ken the Question says:

    Ta muchly

  57. 57
    Paxman says:

    We tried to get some seventeen Labour ministers or officials to come on newsnight and defend Gordon Brown, but it seems they feel their time would be better spent running repeatedly into an electrified fence.

  58. 58
    Loungelizard says:

    Craig Oliver’s reaction was ‘Heat of the moment’ stuff…a genuine reaction….Spinney Bob’s effort looks like it’s part of a planned manipulative campaign.

  59. 59
    Raving Loon says:

    End the licence fee, then the BBC can be biased as they like. The guardian has a left wing bias, but it’s not a problem because:

    1) You don’t HAVE to pay for the grauniad if you don’t want to
    2) Nobody outside trendy Islington coffee shops and new age green health grocers actually reads it

  60. 60
    Aunty Matter says:

    The Toady show is presented by left wingers.

    Radio 5 cheerleads for Nu Liebore, Nicky Campbell, Victoria Derbyshire and Richard Bacon are card carrying lefties.

    Newsnight is so anti Tory it makes Radio5 look right wing.

    Questiontime always has at least 4 lefties (including the presenter)

    The BBC slant the news in favour of Labour on a daily basis.

    Ed Balls is never off the BBC.

  61. 61
    Islington bum bandit says:

    I do

  62. 62

    WoW ! Cameronn really struggled to answer that one
    “How many other people did you see for the Coulson job” ?

    he went purple

  63. 63
    JH says:

    In a nutshell, the BBC complaining about the ‘media plurality’ of a too-big Murdoch empire is frankly taking the piss.

    I’ve never had a letter off Murdoch threatening me to take up a Sky subscription, or else.

  64. 64
    ReefKnot says:

    It’s a set-up.
    BBC arrange for a number of Tory MPs to be interviewed on radio show so that Labour can write and complain. BBC can then say ” oh dear, next time let’s have equal numbers of Tory and Labour MPs, so then there are not only BBC attacking the Tories, but Labour also”. Guido has fallen for it.

  65. 65
    Not surprised says:

    Surely the beebs job, in particular the Today programme, is to report the news.

    Could it be the labour party are simply not news?

    Bring back Brian Perkins I say. The news, read by a man in a dinner jacket. No British people were involved.

  66. 66
    JH says:

    Thought for the day jgm2. Thanks.

  67. 67
    Norfolk's Finest says:


    Labour trying to ‘gerrymander’ the BBC output so that they can add their own weight to its already vast institutional bias.

  68. 68
    ReefKnot says:

    Yes. Patsy indeed.

  69. 69
    "Comrade" Francis Maude says:

    This is all a storm in a teacup

  70. 70

    Perhaps it should be pronounced Mweedia Gweedo?

  71. 71
    Peter Grimes says:

    Too fucking right! For the first week in about 15 years there may have been more Government spokespeople on the Toady programme. No wonder the ZaNuLieBor c unts are up in arms – the Toady programme is THEIR mouthpiece for attacking the Tories, and nothing else!

    Given their bias Al JaBeeBa may well have done it deliberately and encouraged the ZaNuLieBor c unts to complain so that a dialogue can ensue about Al JaBeeBa impartiality!

  72. 72
    Aunty Matter says:

    Spot on, the Labour scum do this occasionally, especially as there’s been a lot in the media recently about the BBC’s anti Tory bias.

    This letter was probably suggested by the BBC to Labour, it gives the BBC cover, “you see we get complaints from both sides, so we must be balanced”

    It’s utter bollocks, we know the BBC is up the arse of Labour, they enjoy being there.

  73. 73

    Pеrhаps іt shоuld bе prоnоuncеd Mwееdіа Gwееdо? :-P

  74. 74
    Andy Coulson - Call me Dave's toxic m8 says:

    I’ve still got a squeaky bottom.

  75. 75
    Storm says:

    I’m fed up with tea cups.

  76. 76
    Memory says:

    How come these paper editors have copies of texts from years ago? I rarely keep mine for more than a week.

  77. 77
    annette curton says:

    Ah, those were the days.

  78. 78
    Peter Grimes says:

    Guido isn’t always person grata at press conferences, apparently. Presumably his attaching himself like ivy to the dead tree press (the Sun) is to give him the legitimate access that he didn’t have before. Just a thought.

  79. 79
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:


  80. 80
    bergen says:

    True . Jim Naughtie’s interviewing technique for Labour politicians seems to be to feed them lines.

    In fairness, John Humphreys will give everyone a hard time and Evan Davis will let everyone have a chance to have their say. Webb and the women presenters are rather poor .

  81. 81
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

    Anything to do with the article in the Telegraph about the overwhelming left-wing bias at the BBC? Or just a coincidence?

  82. 82
    BBC Waste says:

    Labour hacks don’t need to appear on the BBC as the BBC already represents their views every hour of every day.

    Moreover it’s wonderful to see this 13/1 “bbc balance” < just need 12 more years of this to compensate for the time Labour spent in office.

    The BBC line of course will be that they strive for balance over time rather than a day or a week.

  83. 83
    Bled White Taxpayer says:

    The Today programme still sounds left wing and biased even if they have 13 Tories. The problem isn’t the guests, it’s the hosts and their editors.

  84. 84
    Grrr says:

    Dear Sirs,

    As Chermain of the Foxes Chicken Care Alliance, I am shocked to learn that some question our qualification to look after Chickens.

    Obviously, there are no more qualified carers for Chicken Coups than Foxes in our group. Our concern for the wellbeing of Chickens is well documented.

    I await your response.

    Labour Party

  85. 85
    Pickled Wizard says:

    Well put Misterned. I wonder also, if someone at the toady program has finally realised the Balls is such an irritating c*nt, that their listener figures fall to virtually nil every time he is on, ahich would account for him not being invited recently.

  86. 86
    Fish says:

    And they can start to redress the issue today…outside Leverson.

  87. 87
    Grrr says:

    >The BBC is too big & too powerful –

    It is the nature of Socialism to take over, control, destroy opposition, destroy democracy and satiate its leaders in wealth and power.

    Hitler didn’t get where he was by being a good democrat or a bad National Socialist.
    Mao didn’t kill 60 milllion without Socialism.
    Stalin didn’t kill 40 million wihtout good Socialist tactics.

  88. 88
    jrand says:

    When boot is on other foot they don’t like it up em! Ratio is exact inverse of when Liebour held power. Boo hoo.

  89. 89
    Jimmy says:

    The beeb has worked out that the best way of attacking the govt is to invite their idiot MPs on to embarrass themselves.

  90. 90
    My Comment is Awaiting Moderation says:

    Good point.
    Scrap the licence fee.

    The lefties will scream blue murder.

    Conservatives (real conservatives) will cheer.

  91. 91
    Backwoodsman says:

    That and the general level of disgust expressed over their risible coverage of the Jubilee. However for this tactic to have worked, it would have had to have been slightly plausible.
    Mark it down as a fail !

  92. 92
    Double Tap says:

    Sure it weren’t a pasty?

  93. 93
    Anonymous says:

    Agreed with comment re Question Time, and what about the BBC’s use of selective camera shots during political discussion programmes? Every time a Conservative speaker attempts to make a statement, somebody controlling the cameras immediately switches to the Labour mouthpiece and shows the viewers an animated picture of the said mouthpiece gurning like mad, or alternatively switches sound and vision to the said mouthpiece, leaving the Conservative speaker out of camera shot and practically cut off from their response.

  94. 94
    Extra virgin Olive Oyl says:

    My first thought too. Just HOW did he happen to come by this letter? An accidental leak/deliberrate plant? Too many coincidences and this “revelation” is just one too many for the camel’s back to take.

  95. 95
    Extra virgin Olive Oyl says:

    Rest assured you are not alone in noticing that approach.

    Next time some BBC berks ask a tory if someone is “poor” if he can afford a Sky sub, the reply should be something along the lines of maybe not, but he would be an extra 3 quid a week better off if he didn’t have to pay for the BBC licence exortion subvention .

  96. 96
    Extra virgin Olive Oyl says:

    Of course you do – you live in Islington. Have you ever had an original thought in your head?

  97. 97
    misterned says:

    Correct. the labour party need their tax-payer funded propaganda wing. They would never even consider breaking up the BBC into voluntary subscription only services.

    Sadly, neither will the conservatives. But they should.

  98. 98

    This is just another spin operation that shows the close relationship between Labour and the BBC. If anyone out there thinks this is a genuine complaint then you don’t know how devious the Labour/BBC/Guardian axis really is. Strange isn’t it that this comes out after a week of media stories about the Beeb’s left wing bias.

    What really annoys me is the BBC and Labour’s contempt for the general public’s intelligence.

  99. 99

    It gives the Beeb to show it as evidence they get their political coverage ” just about right.”

  100. 100

    Typing too fast again. I should have said ” It gives the BBC the chance to say they are getting their political coverage “just about right” .

  101. 101

    Jimmy, could be that the Beeb have realised that every time some Labour arsehole such as Bryant, Harman, Prescott or Abbott appear, the drivel they spout to the masses sets back the Beeb’s Labour agenda.

  102. 102
    Anonymous says:

    I agree, for ages now an anouncer has talked about a government initiative, and then invariably we have ED 1&2, Hat,Yvette, or Jack systematically pulling it to pieces. I know they are the opposition but it was only Labour we heard from ! they really need putting in their place !

  103. 103
    Anonymous says:

    You have hit the nail on the head ! whenever Ed M, Ed B, Hattie etc speak radios are being switched off all over the UK. A more unpleasant group of whingers i have yet to hear, they all seem to be living in a time warp !

  104. 104
    Jim says:

    The BBC is the offical opposition!

  105. 105
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

    I see the phone-hacking Guardian journalist David Leigh has called Guido an idiot on Twitter today. As you say, they are full of contempt for anyone who dares to question their so called ‘moral superiority’.

  106. 106
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

    Or because they really have nothing new or relevant to say to the general public? They present no real alternative, and are therefore not furthering the cause. Maybe the BBC have realised they are doing a better job than the Official Opposition.

  107. 107
    Biased Broadcasting Corporation says:

    Edited to convey the message the BBC wants, not the politician who’s speaking.

  108. 108
    PC clitoris says:

    This guy is bang on the money the BBC should be disbanded their reporting is a absolute disgrace they only report what their green euro bastards want to!!!

  109. 109
    Nogbad the Bad says:

    In 2005, he referred to the Labour government as “we” in an interview with Treasury minister Ed Balls. “If we win the election, does Gordon Brown remain Chancellor?” he asked, before quickly correcting himself and saying “if you win the election”.

    Tories pounced on the comment as evidence of Naughtie’s pro-Labour sympathies.

    Lord Tebbit said: “How often a slip of the tongue betrays the true thoughts in the mind of the speaker. We could all see the shape of the cat in the bag, but Mr Naughtie has now let it out for all to see.”

    By Anita Singh, Showbusiness Editor The Telegraph

    2:25PM GMT 06 Dec 2010

    Bet he doesn’t make that mistake again, but it’ still not as good as Jane Garveys “the corridors of Broadcasting House were strewn with empty champagne bottles – I will always remember that” after Labours GE victory.

  110. 110
    Bill Bell says:

    The problem is their listeners that believe the crap they bleat out

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