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The Noble Liar: How and Why the BBC Distorts the News to Promote a Liberal Agenda

The Noble Liar: How and Why the BBC Distorts the News to Promote a Liberal Agenda

Robin Aitken
ARRSE Rating
4.5 Mushroom Heads
The Noble Liar is a study of the role of the BBC in changing the very society which pays for it. Written by a former BBC journalist, the book argues convincingly that the BBC reports on everything through a prism of left leaning, liberal, socially permissive bias. Aitken charts the gradual change of the National broadcaster from trusted informant, with a mission to “Inform, Educate and Entertain”, to a campaigning arbiter of what we should think and who we should be.

The book is divided into nine chapters, with the specific topics of Brexit, religion, feminism and Islam each getting one of their own, where the BBC attitude and coverage is forensically dissected. The evidence of BBC bias is well documented throughout with copious footnotes (and in the Kindle version links to websites and data) and puts the lie to the often claimed excuse of “If both sides are complaining we can’t be biased”, giving example after example of unfair and uneven reporting of issues.

This is most definitely not an unbiased book. It is the author’s heartfelt cry of rage at the changing world, the redrawing, erosion and erasure of old societal norms and their replacement with what in his view are far less worthy standards and moral frameworks. He is damning of the liberal establishment’s complicity and duplicity, viewed through the lens of the BBC’s role, in enacting many of the changes.

Aitken is a socially conservative Christian (we’re not talking Branch Davidian sect here, he writes from a “low church” C of E standpoint that would have been unremarkable and unremarked only a few decades ago), and if he were still working for them, he would be an insurgent in the serried ranks of the liberal intelligentsia which rules the BBC; a God-fearing Tory voter who is anti-gay marriage, not to mention sceptical about the continual march of feminism, gender politics and victim worship as promoted by the BBC. Aitken makes the case convincingly that these are views that none of us are supposed to have nowadays by the lights of the liberal establishment of which the BBC is a key bulwark, and woe betide any in the public eye who deviate from approved thinking. The societal supplanting of Aitken’s own core beliefs which used to be a fair reflection of the “establishment” position, with the new atheist, liberal intolerance is well argued.

That acknowledged bias, however, does not detract from the central truth of The Noble Liar. Whilst I do not agree with the author’s personal opinions on all topics discussed (for instance, religion and abortion), it’s impossible to deny the mountains of evidence he provides that the BBC has an almost evangelical agenda on these (and all the other areas), and that it uses its position unfairly to further its liberal, multicultural view, whilst all the while claiming that it is scrupulously fair.

I must admit, this book does cater in many ways to my own personal bias, and no doubt another more liberally minded reviewer might not rate it so highly. However, looking dispassionately at what is written (and backed up with well referenced evidence), it would be difficult for any reader to honestly deny that Aitken has a point. This is an excellent book, and I heartily recommend it.

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