'They base their decisions on how frightened they are': James O'Brien slams BBC's 'bias' on impartiality decisions

13 March 2023, 12:57

BBC reacts according to level of right-wing pressure, James O'Brien says

By Abbie Reynolds

James O'Brien criticises the BBC's response to Gary Linekar saying it reveals their bias, as they only react according to right-wing pressure.

James O'Brien spoke to listeners following an announcement that Gary Linekar will return to presenting next week after a brief suspension over his tweets criticising the government's migration policy.

James slammed the BBC saying that their "attitudes and responses in these circumstances are based entirely on pressure from the outside.

"This is really important, the BBC have not got an objective algorithm for presenter opinion...there was one rule for Andrew Neil and a completely different rule for me.

"Because people would complain constantly about someone like me adopting let's just say an anti-Trump, anti-Brexit, anti-Boris Johnson, anti-Tory stance on many issues, pressure would be brought to bear.

"But if you adopt a pro-Trump, pro-Brexit, pro-Johnson stance on these issues, who's going to bring the pressure to bear?"

READ MORE: Gary Linekar 1-0 BBC: Presenter to return as corporation backs down and apologises after social media storm

James asked listeners to take a look across the UK media landscape and tell him who would be able to "exert pressure."

Referring to 'beergate' whereby Keir Starmer was investigated by police after he was reported to have ordered 200 pounds worth of curry and beer for up to 30 aides in Durham in April 2021, James added:

"If it was Johnson under the cosh who would be exerting that pressure...remember Johnson did break the law, one hundred and twenty odd people in Downing Street broke the law, nobody broke the law in Kier Starmer's company so imagine who would exert that pressure.

"If someone wanted to complain to the BBC about coverage that was perceived as to warm towards the Tories, if someone wants to complain about a presenter who tickles their tummies on a weekly basis...who would, where would it be, what front pages would it be on?

"The big problem the BBC has got, and I'm available to be the independent expert to conduct this inquiry...the big problem they've got is their decisions on objective rules or standards, they base it on how frightened they are of the person making the complaint. "

READ MORE: Gary Linekar's suspension from Match of the Day is distracting from 'disgraceful' migrants bill, Jeremy Corbyn tells LBC

James drew on his own experience: "I was once told off by the editor of Newsnight because Toby Young, I don't know if you're aware of him, he's like a thumb in spectacles.

"I think he's involved in something like the free speech union now, which is a ludicrous confection for people who aren't quite sure what they're angry about but my God they're sure that they're angry.

"I had to fend off concern from above...because Toby Young had tweeted something critical...can you imagine taking him seriously?

Someone as pathetic as that actually worries them, because he's part of that universe of weirdos."

"And yet if someone is slavishly supportive of Boris Johnson who is going to complain about that?"

BBC Chief Executive Tim Davies has apologised for the organisations reaction to Gary Linekar and has announced an independent review into its social media usage guidelines.

More James O'Brien

See more More James O'Brien

Londoners to question the Mayor at annual State of London Debate with LBC

Londoners to question the Mayor at annual State of London Debate with LBC

Sacked borders watchdog David Neal said the Home Office is 'dysfunctional' and needs reform.

'It goes to the very top': Sacked border watchdog slams Home Office and calls for reform after Cleverly row

Shahd Waleed is trying to leave Rafah with her parents and enter Egypt

'They want us to experience pain': Young woman trapped in Rafah with her parents tells of terror as Israel invasion looms

Sir Keir Starmer has defended comments he made about Margaret Thatcher earlier this month.

Starmer defends Thatcher comments as he says he ‘completely disagrees’ with former prime minister’s politics

A caller to James O’Brien’s programme has shared footage of the extraordinary destruction done to his newly purchased property just outside of Durham.

Property investor's shock at 'unexplainable level of damage' he discovered after buying new home

James Cleverly replaced Suella Braverman as home secretary on Monday

'I've spent more time with James Cleverly this week than with Suella Braverman in the last year', Sadiq Khan tells LBC

James O'Brien discusses Suella Braverman's 'destructionist' leadership style with a caller

'She's a destructionist': James O'Brien caller claims Suella Braverman governs like 'a five-year-old'

James O'Brien

'She definitely has something on him': Caller and James O'Brien debate why the PM hasn't sacked Suella Braverman yet

'A complete reset of the top' is needed says caller.

'We're being let down': There is a 'complete disconnection' between parliamentary and local Conservatives says caller

James O'Brien

'It's essential that people are able to protest peacefully against war', says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak 'almost physically moves away' from Suella Braverman in House of Commons debate, says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

'Suella Braverman succeeded - she's caused hate', claims caller after Home Secretary criticises pro-Palestine marches

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

James O'Brien on Dagestan

'It's a hatred as old as religion itself': James O'Brien analyses escalating anti-Semitism after Muslim crowd storms Dagestan airport

Carol Vorderman shocked about UK Poverty

'One million children are living in destitution': Carol Vorderman struggles to comprehend stark wealth inequality in the UK

Wes Streeting on dentistry

Wes Streeting invites the government to steal Labour's policy to solve 'dickensian' NHS dentist crisis

James O'Brien

'I think they're the loneliest voters in Britain', James O'Brien claims after Tories' double by-election defeat

JOB and caller Andy

Biden's visit to Israel is to show that the US stands 'unequivocally' with Israel says James O'Brien caller

JOB and Usman

Israel's current response will only 'strengthen' Hamas by rearing Gazans who seek revenge warns this James O'Brien caller

JOB on deaths in conflict

James O'Brien unpacks the 'controversial' feeling of being 'equally devastated' by Palestinian and Israeli deaths

JOB on starmer speech

Keir Starmer is using 'working class as the opposite of having a sense of entitlement', notes James O'Brien

JOB on HS2 promises

James O'Brien criticises Rishi Sunak's watering down of 'illustrative' Network North projects funded by HS2 cut

Sadiq Khan and James O'Brien

Sadiq Khan declares there is 'no place for anti-Semitism' in London as kosher restaurant in Golders Green attacked

James O'Brien on the challenge HS2 scrappage poses to Labour.

‘How much can Rishi Sunak knock down before Keir Starmer becomes Prime Minister?, asks James O’Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak is like an 'incontinent cat': James O'Brien slams Tories ahead of PM's Party Conference speech

JoB and Jeremy Hunt

Navy veteran deeply hurt by Jeremy Hunt's plans to clamp down on benefit claimants

James O'Brien on Tory tactics in the upcoming election.

Tories desperately seeking wedge issues is the 'only way' they will retain power in 2024, says James O'Brien

James and caller Mervin on knife crime

'I'd prefer you to go to jail than die': James O'Brien is left aghast by this caller's father's stance on knife possession

James O'Brien

James O'Brien ridicules those prioritising Labour's private school VAT plans over the cost of living crisis

James O'Brien

'I mean this is a novel': James O'Brien hears why this caller blames Labour for HS2 problems

James O'Brien

James O'Brien takes aim at uninformed 'idiots' criticising Keir Starmer for not wanting to diverge from EU rules