James O'Brien Explains Why The BBC's Balance Simply Doesn't Work
27 March 2018, 12:36
"Comforting fibs" get just as much time and attention as "uncomfortable truths" during a debate on the BBC, warns James O'Brien.
In what James described as a “really urgent issue”, he talked about how this new idea of balance on the BBC is ruining the chances of reporting news accurately and holding the right people to account.
His monologue follows his article in the New Statesman, where he complained about how there is too much focus on turning televised debates into entertaining television rather than facing individuals with the "proper levels of scrutiny" they deserve.
"You get Chris Patten on to simply state some facts... and then you'd have to invite Jacob Rees-Mogg on to tell you when the unicorns arrive. That is what the BBC mistake for balance."
James criticised how the BBC will go to great lengths to invite individuals to a debate to prove certain facts to be false during a debate.
“They’d bring on a guest to say yeah, “the earth is flat I believe” and they’ll get just as much time and attention as the fellow on the other side with pictures taken in space to show the Earth is round.”