‘Biased BBC’ rumbled

There’s much talk of charts in the Blogging world at the moment, with Europundit having taken on the thankless task of compiling a weekly chart for people using SiteMeter. Tory bloggers Biased BBC have shot in at number two. Since 2002, they’ve been trying to prove the BBC is anti-Conservative. Typical accusations include that the BBC claimed the shooting of a rescued Italian hostage was deliberate. But they didn’t, of course, they reported that the hostage thought it was deliberate. Biased BBC: blogging continuously since 2002 and not one accusation substantiated.

Anyway. Rather strangely, they include two SiteMeter counters on each of their pages so I e-mailed SiteMeter’s webmaster, David Smith. He confirmed that it is ‘probably overcounting’. Oh dear. Never trust a Tory.

Meanwhile, check out BritBlog, where a rival chart is planned. This has the advantage of being automated and they plan to deploy a bot to fight cheats.

16 thoughts on “‘Biased BBC’ rumbled

  1. The Biased BBC blog makes me so incandescent with rage that I cannot read it. Can’t we do anything about these fools?
    Reply: Perhaps you could start a Biased-Biased-BBC blog, but that might give them the oxygen of publicity!?

  2. Some corrections for you:

    1) Biased BBC contributors are not Tories – none of us, as far as I am aware, are either a) disposessed Irish outlaws; b) opponents (or otherwise) of the exclusion of James II from the succession; or c) members, or even necessarily supporters, of the Conservative Party.
    Reply: It’s fair to call a Tory supporter a Tory. But I should have left open the possibility of your being attracted to UKIP, Veritas, et cetera.

    2) Our contention is NOT that the BBC is anti-Conservative. It is that the BBC, particularly in its news and current affairs output, is institutionally biased toward the left. For example, BBC news coverage of the EU is biased in favour of the EU (they’ve even admitted as much themselves), they report leftie cause-celebres prominently and rapidly, while those that aren’t right-on are either ignored or buried and so on. Read our blog if you want to see more examples of the general trend towards BBC leftishness.
    Reply: Sadly, the inquiry you cite can be spun anyway you like. The FT’s report of the same is very different. The consensus is that it finds bias to be unintentional; the FT focuses on the anti-EU bias e.g. ignorance and stereotyping. Those of us who are pro-EU obviously believe that overcoming ignorance and stereotyping will help the EU cause, while you’ll take the opposite view.

    3) Our complaint about the coverage of the Sgrena shooting incident is that the BBC reported Sgrena’s ridiculous claims uncritically and at length – without explaining her communist background (“left-wing” is how they put it) or asking reasonable questions of her story or even presenting enough evidence for BBC viewers and readers to make up their own minds – for instance, the BBC quotes Sgrena saying “the tanks started to strike against us” and “our car was destroyed”, yet they didn’t publish the pictures of the car that showed otherwise. If the car was shot to pieces you can bet the photo would have been on the front page of News Online. See: Shot to pieces for the full story.
    Reply: By implying that communist hostage’s words aren’t worth reporting, Biased BBC gives away its true agenda. We would not normally expect the BBC to report a hostage’s affiliations; a McCarthyite/Daily Mail type BBC is the aim.

  3. If you wish to question our integrity (as distinct from the opinions expressed on our blog), it would be polite (and ethical) to at least put those allegations to us for a response.

    There are two sitemeter counters shown on our homepage – each with different Sitemeter URLs. I don’t know why, but will investigate and resolve this matter.

    You haven’t published either your question to Sitemeter or their response, beyond one vague phrase – ‘probably overcounting’. Without knowing what was asked and what was stated in reply, this phrase on its own is meaningless – it doesn’t support your allegation.

    However, even without further investigation, even a cursory glance, with the application of a modicum of intelligence, shows your allegation to be unfounded and without merit.

    The figure that is shown by Sitemeter, and the figures in which people are most interested, are based on the number of ‘visits’. Sitemeter defines a visit as “a series of page views by one person with no more than 30 minutes in between page views”. Thus, even if having two links generates two hits on Sitemeter, they would both be within 30 minutes of each other, which would only count as one visit, by Sitemeter’s definition.

    That notwithstanding, if your accusation were correct, our visitor numbers would always be either odd or even (based on the idea that two links adds two counts). This is not the case – sometimes our total is even, sometime it is odd. Similarly, entries in our Details and Referrals logs would always be in pairs – again, this is not the case.

    The figure that might be susceptible to double-counting is ‘Page Views’ – but again, if you look at our graph of Visits and Page Views, double counting would mean that our Page Views would always be double or more than our Visits – this again is clearly not the case. Even if it were, the figures that people quote and that are used by those who seek to rank blog popularity are Visits, not Page Views.

    Please either substantiate your allegations properly or publish a correction at the bottom of your post. Thank you!
    Reply: Oh dear a nerve has clearly been touched. As the blog entry says, I thought two counters was suspicious, asked SiteMeter for a view and they said it was probably over counting. I’ve nothing more to add, beyond that if I were you I’d claim it was a mistake and correct the situation. Here’s the e-mail exchange:
    ‘Hi SiteMeter is being used to inform a chart of European blogs here: http://www.europundit.com/archives/000364.html The number two blog has two counters showing: http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/ Are visitors double counted? Many thanks Stephen Newton’
    ‘Yes, it is probably overcounting. David Smith SiteMeter.com’
    I’m happy to forward the e-mail on request.

  4. >The Biased BBC blog makes me so incandescent with rage that I cannot read it. Can’t we do anything about these fools?

    You can use Biased BBC *itself* to earn money to fund your fight against them. Simply hire yourself out as a light. All you have to do is take along your laptop and read Biased BBC, thus making yourself incandescant with rage and so providing a useful pool of extra light, just perfect for those dark back alleys where more lighting is sorely needed.

  5. >Typical accusations include that the BBC claimed the shooting of a rescued Italian hostage was deliberate.

    Stephen, stick to knifing old friends in the back. I never said in my post that the BBC *itself* claimed that. In fact, I’m at a loss to understand how you could think that. I can only think you got that impression from this paragraph:

    “BBC stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; claims that the shooting was deliberate here, interview here.”

    As anyone who read the whole of my article and actually clicked on the link to that story would know, the phrase “claims that the shooting was deliberate here” wasn’t to be interpreted as “The BBC claims that the shooting was deliberate in this BBC story”, but “there are claims that the shooting was deliberate to be found in this BBC story”.

    Don’t you think that if I believed that the BBC had itself claimed this that I would be making a far bigger fuss? As is usual, though, the BBC put on its air of neutrality while giving anti-American propaganada a lot of air-time.
    Reply: I think you make the biggest fuss you can about anything that doesn’t conform to a McCarthyite/Daily Mail world view, but that none of accusations ever stand up to the lightest of scrutiny. Collectively, you have been blithering (to borrow your chosen descriptor) about bias in the BBC since 2002. In all that time, you have achieved nothing.

  6. >>BBC news coverage of the EU is biased in favour of the EU (they’ve even admitted as much themselves)…
    >Reply: Sadly, the inquiry you cite can be spun anyway you like. The FT?s report of the same is very different.
    Huh? The FT report is damning:
    Reply: Of course the FT report is damning: I cite the FT’s mention of ‘unintentional bias’.

    “The BBC was accused yesterday of ignorance, stereotyping and unintentional bias in a damning report on the broadcaster’s coverage of Europe.”
    The FT reported that there was no systematic bias, but otherwise it was a story that was very unfavourable to the BBC. How on earth do you think it’s justified that one could spin this report “Any way you like” on the basis of this? Do you think it could be spun as a “BBC cleared” story?
    >the FT focuses on the anti-EU bias e.g. ignorance and stereotyping.
    No, that FT article did not focus on any anti-EU bias.
    Reply: As I say here, while you see the bias as pro-EU, I regard stereotyping as anti-EU.

    >Those of us who are pro-EU obviously believe that overcoming ignorance and stereotyping will help the EU cause, while you?ll take the opposite view.
    N, we don’t take the opposite view. We have said all along that the BBC should provide more in-depth coverage of the EU debate.
    Reply: My point is that I believe less ignorance and stereotyping will aid the EU cause, while anti-EU propagandists believe it will damage it.

    >By implying that communist hostage?s words aren?t worth reporting
    No, I never said that either. My, how you presume. Perhaps this is why your readers are incandescant with rage, always readings things that aren’t there.
    Reply: What a tiresome game. You deliberately imply something, rather than state your case clearly, so as to be able to deny it later. In this case you get in a lather over the BBC reporting the hostage’s words and now you say they were right to publish them. Whatever.

    >We would not normally expect the BBC to report a hostage?s affiliations
    Why not? The BBC is usually happy to do so.
    >a McCarthyite/Daily Mail type BBC is the aim.
    Oh come on. Is this supposed to be serious?
    Reply: That Biased BBC has a right-wing agenda, is something you (or your colleague Andrew Bowman) have acknowledged, but perhaps you do foam a little too freely to make it on the Daily Mail.

    >I think you make the biggest fuss you can about anything that doesn?t conform to a McCarthyite/Daily Mail world view
    There’s that McCarthyite/Daily Mail world view again!
    Reply: Indeed!

    >but that none of accusations ever stand up to the lightest of scrutiny.
    You made an accusation that I had accused the BBC of claiming what in fact I said Sgrena claimed. Yet you still think you’ve shown something, even though your claim was false? You haven’t even admitted your mistake!
    Reply: I refer the dishonourable gentleman to my earlier reply. Here you emphasise that the BBC has carried several reports that include the hostage’s words (words you would rather not see published at all), in order to present the false view that that is the only perspective offered on the issue. Whatever.

    As for the Sitemeter point, I put up a second Sitemeter icon on my site yesterday, and so far my Page Visits figures have been at their normal levels (if anything, they’re a bit down).
    Reply: Asked to side with you or with SiteMeter’s webmaster in this debate, I’ll side with the webmaster.

  7. >As I say here, while you see the bias as pro-EU, I regard stereotyping as anti-EU.
    You can see it how you like, but the reality is that an enormous amount of EU legislation is being passed which affects Britain, and the BBC chooses to ignore this.
    Reply: …which lets the EU down badly. If people knew the EU better, it would be more popular.

    >What a tiresome game. You deliberately imply something, rather than state your case clearly, so as to be able to deny it later. In this case you get in a lather over the BBC reporting the hostage?s words and now you say they were right to publish them. Whatever.
    I didn’t deliberately imply this, and I certainly didn’t say anything unclearly so that I could withdraw it later. You’re talking out of your ass. You might find it tiresome to defend your smears against me. If you find it tiresome then I suggest you refrain from talking crap in future.
    Moreover, I never said the BBC shouldn’t have reported Sgrena’s allegations. The complaint is that the BBC gave them far more weight than they deserved, and left the impression in the minds of many viewers and listeners that there may well have been something in them, when in fact they were the unsupported ravings of a woman who was under considerable stress, and had a considerable anti-American animus.
    Reply: Whatever.

    >perhaps you do foam a little too freely to make it on the Daily Mail.
    Foaming? You and your commentators are the ones who are going incadescant with rage. You can’t stand it when anyone with alternative views wants to be heard.
    And on the one hand you’re denying that there’s any bias at the BBC, but on the other hand you’re making it perfectly clear that you don’t think the right should be heard. So you’ll understand why we take your claims that there’s no bias at the BBC with a grain of salt.
    Reply: I think you’ll find I’ve consistenly agreed that ‘unintentional bias’ was found, but belive it to be anti-EU. Nobody’s stopping you venting your spleen or saying the right shouldn’t be heard… but maybe you should lie so much.

    >Here you emphasise that the BBC has carried several reports that include the hostage?s words (words you would rather not see published at all), in order to present the false view that that is the only perspective offered on the issue. Whatever.
    I never said said that these words should not be published at all, as though I wanted the BBC to censor them. Nor did I say or suggest that this was the only perspective that the BBC was offering. Where do you get these ideas from?
    What I did think was that the BBC should not take them so seriously. There were even other leftist media outlets that didn’t take them all that seriously; for example, the leftist Melbourne Age ran the headline “A ludicrous case of Italian agitprop”.
    Sgrena’s story is still changing daily, and she’s now seems to have toned down her accusations. So why did the BBC give them such prominence when they were always dodgy?
    Reply: Whatever.

    >Asked to side with you or with SiteMeter?s webmaster in this debate, I?ll side with the webmaster.
    You seem to think this is so important, yet you ignore empirical evidence? Ah, of course, we’re McCarthyites, so we can’t be trusted!
    Reply: A failed blog — ranting at the beeb since 2002 and still nothing’s stuck — isn’t that important and neither is its silly attempt to look big by faking its visitor stats.

  8. Note: Thanks to Andrew Bowman for this, which is apparently amusing. I rather rashly edited the fake replies first time, but here it is restored to all its glory. As you can see Andrew is rather upset, because his Biased BBC blog has been caught out faking its visitor numbers.

    Scott, Mr. Newton is obviously utterly convinced of his own smug rectitude, never mind the arguments or the evidence.
    Reply: Yes, yes I am.

    And what’s with his silly Reply: affectation in each comment? The whole world does it one, logical, way, Mr. Newton does it another. Still, I guess he knows who’s right…
    Reply: Yes, yes I do. Right again.

    At least we’ve doubled his hits this week – as you’ll be able to see if/when you find the publicly visible Sitemeter link on his shite.
    Reply: Yes, yes you have. A bit more than doubled actually. Thank you.

    Notice also that, despite smugly stating “…and I take ethics seriously…”
    Reply: Smug? Moi??? Of course I take ethics seriously – if it wasn’t for ethics the North Sea would flood London…

    …how he sidestepped the issue of his making allegations about Biased BBC’s Sitemeter without putting the allegations to us for comment first before going public – hardly the epitome of journalistic standards – even by the standards of his own union.
    Reply: Yes, yes I did sidestep it. But didn’t you see my vicious hatchet job on my old friends Jonathan Lockhart and Ailis Ni Rian? You should be thankful that I don’t know either of you.

    Real reply: Sadly for Biased BBC, despite all your efforts you can’t deny that SiteMeter has confirmed the cheat.

  9. Funny how the ‘left’ slag off the ‘right’…

    … when they are both as bad as each other.

    Wakey, Wakey, … the BBC just like Rupert Murdoch’s ‘empire’ are just spin, lies, and something we all drop out of our backsides at least once a day.

  10. Katie’s comment has been removed as it is a reproduction of this article from the Daily Mail:
    The BBC supports Islam and attacks Christianity, claims Radio 2 stalwart Don Maclean
    Poor old Don Maclean is upset that the BBC has appointed a Muslim to head up religious programming and reckons they over report the church’s debate on gay clergy and Catholicism’s battle with paedophilia.

    Maclean seems to be saying that certain BBC jobs should be only be open to Christians and anything else would be biased.

  11. Doesn’t the BBC now accept it used to be biased during the Thatcher years ? Do you accept that ? If not your hardly going to be able to face up to what’s going on right now.

  12. ‘Can’t we do anything with these fools!’ Yes of course, ban them. We can’t have anybody disagreeing with our entirely subjective opinions, can we?

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