Wednesday, August 08, 2007

At 18 Doughty Street We're a Bunch of Liberal Lefties...

I really must check out Bob Piper's blog more often. He has drawn my attention to THIS piece on CommentIsFree by someone called Ben Marshall, who believes 18 Doughty Street to be a bastion of liberal lefties. Our efforts to become moe non partisan have clearly gone a little too far! Ben, a freelance journo, writes...

18 Doughty Street, the online TV station that bills itself as 'politics for adults', will be shortly be celebrating its first birthday. Although Doughty Street calls itself a TV and news station it does not operate under the Ofcom broadcasting code which requires 'due impartiality'. On the upside this makes for riveting debates, just check out the Independent's Johann Hari talking with Peter Tatchell about the dangers of Multiculturalism, or Julie Bindel on the legacy of the Suffragettes. The downside, of course, is that as more and more people get their news from bloggers, vloggers and sites like Doughty, opinion becomes indistinguishable from fact. Doughty Street has a distinct liberal left bias; however its founders have gone on to establish two similar sites, Centre Right and Britain and America, both of which espouse highly conservative positions. Do not believe for one second that these sites are some noble attempt to redress the balance. They exist because Doughty Street leftist polemic has proven to be both popular and profitable, so if it works for the left then why not for the right? I get the slightly scary feeling that someday soon all news may look this way.

Where do I start?! Let's look at his last point. 18DS has never pretended to be a news station. We're there to provide opinionated discussion programmes, generally. We don't have a news programme as such. Maybe that may come in time but at the moment all we are interested in providing is the TV equivalent of Talk Radio. Ben Marshall has clearly only watched the more 'liberal's side of our programming. Perhaps we'd better let Donal Blaney loose on him...

Factual correction: Centre Right and Britain & America are offshoots of ConservativeHome, not 18 Doughty Street.

UPDATE: Do read the comments on Ben Marshall's piece. Click HERE and scroll down. Haven't laughed so much in years.

33 comments:

BJ said...

Proof, perhaps, that some people can detect liberal-left bias anywhere, even if it doesn't exist?

Iain Dale said...

Even if Andrew Marr admits it exists, eh, BJ?!!

But I take the point!

tapestry said...

I agree with Ben Marshall. 18DS is a cleverly fronted Liberal operation. In the guise of a pro-Conservative channel, it subtly promotes liberal values and undermines certainty in Conservative values.

Iain Dale has managed to persuade people high up in the Conservative Party that he can manage and assist with their communications strategies, while all the time he's actually a plant from the liberal elite.

Full marks to Ben marshall for spotting it. I've been thinking the same for a very long time.

But why Ben, have you given the game away? Everyone will be onto Iain Dale now. The effectiveness of this brilliant deception has been undermined.

Like Ben's picture. Wonder if I can get a download.

Newmania said...

Andrew Marr socialist long time Independent bleeding heart close confidant of Folly Toybee ( ex BBC head of social affairs).... if he admits to bias , which he did when he started to make a living for himself , you can take it there is some. Lots .

Iain I must say I think Ben has a point you have entirely failed to promote the immigrant repatriation agenda . There is a woeful lack of torchlight parades and Wagnerian music with few references to Lebensraum for the English. Ethnic cleansing of London rarely crops up and not one bloody mention of a eugenic programme of slaughter to cure the “poor” sub human problem once and for all.
I know I know ...there was the one programme when a with a beard was decapitated as you stood masked in front of a flaming back drop but too little too late .

Shape up or ship out Dale I want “How the Jews Planned 9.11” or I `m reporting you to the Party for doctrinal crimes !!

( and no more of that being gay just try not being gay for a bit )

The Amazing Toad said...

Recruiting Leftist dinosaurs like Yasmin AB and Peter Tatchell was a mistake. Both have contributed hugely to Britain's disastrous Victim Culture and they epitomise the reason I distain the mainstream media.

Si said...

Iain: care to comment on the statement that 'Doughty Street leftist polemic has proven to be both popular and profitable?' I guess the former is subjective, but 'profitable' is easy to measure. Is 18DS 'in the black'?

David Anthony said...

Any time I see Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on anything I now instantly turn over. There are only so many times one person can watch her spout and shout down her opinion over a panel and then criticise anyone who disagrees with her as being either a racist, bigot or warmonger.

RacerDon said...

"Iain Dale has managed to persuade people high up in the Conservative Party that he can manage and assist with their communications strategies, while all the time he's actually a plant from the liberal elite."

To be honest that sounds more like a description of David Cameron than Iain Dale.

Tony said...

"Although Doughty Street calls itself a TV and news station it does not operate under the Ofcom broadcasting code which requires 'due impartiality'. On the upside this makes for riveting debates, just check out the Independent's Johann Hari talking with Peter Tatchell about the dangers of Multiculturalism, or Julie Bindel on the legacy of the Suffragettes."

It is precisely because Doughty Street fosters genuine impartiality and abides by the spirit of the Ofcom code, moreso than the mainstream media, that it facilitates the sort of riveting debate that the mainstream media should offer.

I am guessing Marshall has never watched the programming, saw the names Tatchell and Alibhai Brown and decided Doughty Street is leftist. This is the kind of unresearched garbage that shows the writer up for being sloppy and lazy. He richly deserves the ridicule that ensues.

The Huntsman said...

CentreRight.com says at top right of home page "This is an 18 Doughty Street website".

"Centre Right and Britain & America are offshoots of ConservativeHome, not 18 Doughty Street."

I am now deeply confused....resolve please!

Iain Dale said...

Huntsman, it did start life as an 18DS blog, but when Tim Montgomerie left in March it went with him to ConservativeHome. I guess the logo has never been removed.

fairdealphil said...

Ben Marshall accuses 18 DS of liberal-left bias.

He works for the Mail on Sunday.

Why are we surprised...?

vanfuertes said...

Haven't you heard, there is left liberal bias everywhere. The BBC a clear example...That's why they have True Blues Andrew Neil and Nick Robinson presenting all things politics.

Give me strength.

The Amazing Toad said...

Vanfuertes,

If Andrew Neil and Nick Robinson are your definition of "True Blue", you can consider yourself beyond reasoning.

Hughes Views said...

Bob Piper's blog is listed as one of "DALE'S DAILY READS". It’s a fine site but do you really need to check it out "more often"? Borderline obsessive some might opine....

Staying with the checking out of blogs topic, have you seen Leighton Andrews’s today? Interesting apology from Paul Morris, Chief of Staff, Welsh Conservative Group in the National Assembly about: - the Welsh Tory defector; - subsequent allegations made against Mr Andrews and - threats to report him to the Commissioner for Standards. All of these were exciting you a few days back. One should never pass on gossip...

vanfuertes said...

Amazing toad,

You don't think Union-buster extraordinaire Neil and Macclesfield's finest ex-Young Conservatives President Robinson are firm Tories?

I can't see how they're anything else.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

"Like Ben's picture. Wonder if I can get a download"

Looks a bit weird if you ask me.

Newmania: less of the Jews and 9/11. Some idiots think it's true.

C4' said...

Iain Dale isn't a socialist plant as David Davis wouldn't let a leftie be his Chief of Staff, ever.

chatterbox said...

Iain, forget the leftie tag but wear the liberal one with pride.
Doughty Street allows its guests the time to express their opinions in a relaxed environment and it is all the better for those who enjoy a real debate.
These days the news is just 5 minute slots of confrontational interviews and sound bites.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Now I really am confused. I thought you were Dick Cheney's ho.

You CIA paymasters have cleverly decided to give you a "liberal left" veneer just to subvert and disemminate one more level.

I discovered the truth about your master plan embedded in a crop circle.

Beware, Dale, we are onto you.

C4' said...

Is weasel one of those fruitcakes that believe they can predict the future from looking at feces?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

C4 lol.

As I write this, I stink of chicken poo because I have been removing caked shit from the bottom of one of my hens. I had difficulty discerning anything apart from the fact that I am in need of a bath.

I hope you realise I was being satirical.

C4' said...

Yes weasel, I do!

David Lindsay said...

There is nothing "conservative" about support for Britain's subjugation to the United States.

Hypothetically (because I don't now expect that it will ever happen, thank God), if Australia became a republic (a move which would have the strongest possible American support), but one or more of the staunchly British-descended rural states declared UDI in order to keep the monarchy, then which side should a "conservative" be on?

Rather more pressingly, in a tradition stretching all the way back to the foundation of the American Republic, which was intended to include all British possessions in the Americas, the neoconservative movement speaks of a single North American nation (indeed, rather a lot of neocons are closet Canadians), and also intends, on Castro's death, not merely to press America's 200-year-old claim to maintain a subject client-state in Cuba, but then to move on to the rest of the West Indies, eight of which are sovereign states headed by the Queen, while several more are actually British Oversaes Territories.

That was the tradition which expressed itself in the invasion of Grenada, and, to say the least, it has not gone away. When it next asserts itself in earnest (any day now, when Castro dies), which side should a "conservative" be on?

One would have thought that the answer to these questions was obvious, and decidely non-"Atlanticist".

And I note that 'Britain And America' is anti-Saudi. You can't be pro-American and anti-Saudi: Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world with which the US has a real "special relationship".

That relationship, though of very long stnading, is now but one of the neocons' strikingly strong ties to "militant Islam" (the only kind that there can ever be). Other include 1980s Afghanistan, 1990s Yugoslavia, and today's Pakistan, Chechnya, Kosovo, and Turkey, as well as the removal of one of the Arab world's two principal bulwarks (in Iraq) against both Wahhabism and its Shi'ite twin, and the threat to remove the other such bulwark (in Syria).

Praguetory said...

This is very old news. I find telling people about the activities of Bob Piper is a good way of persuading them not to support Labour.

James said...

I appreciate the sanctity and wisdom of the Ofcom rule regarding impartiality. The hypnotically seductive qualities of the flickering televisual image cannot be overrated. How else to explain the last New Labour victory? The number of times I have had to ring up the next day to cancel an inexplicably enthusiastic (I dont drive and I am gay) order for a Renault Clio after seeing That Couple in That Ad I am suprised my local Renault dealer takes my calls anymore.

bgprior said...

Once again, this is about one's definition of "liberal" and of the nature of the left-right spectrum. I suspect Ben means socially liberal, which many authoritarian, social-conservatives (e.g. typical Daily Mail readers/writers) regard as dangerously leftish. To many others, including myself, "liberal" and "right" means freedom from government intrusion, whether into one's personal or economic affairs. To us, Ben's comment sounds absurd.

I really wish we could finish off this semantic confusion (and the strange alliances it produces) once and for all. If only the bloody socialists hadn't hijacked the term "liberal", and the social- and economic-conservatives would recognise that they belong together on the authoritarian left, we could have proper debates of political principle, rather than mere tribal blatherings.

Phil BC said...

Since when have the left hijacked the term 'liberal'? I think you'll find it's the paleo-conservatives who've tried to associate the two.

Incidentally, as a proud red, being associated with the yellow bellies in the LibDems is very annoying!

Johnny Norfolk said...

I can see where they are comming from 18DS plays it safe and does not challenge the left as I thought it would. It reflects Camerons softly softly approach and is dissapointing.I watch it less and less. If it was doing its job we should have had outrage from the left. I have heard nothing

Newmania said...

He works for the Mail on Sunday.


A Paper assiduously cultivated by one tooth whitened glassy eyed freak name of Brown

C4' said...

I find telling people about the activities of Bob Piper is a good way of persuading them not to support Labour.

Bob Piper looks like Ronald Reagan in comparsion to the infamous Scottish Labour 'mascot' Terry Kelly. There is no insult in the English language sufficant to described just how bad and mentally retarded Kelly is. If Kelly had an 30-minute comedy show on ITV, the Tories would win the next general elction with 95%+ of the popular vote.

Josh said...

I suspect the guy may only have seen Talking with Tatchell and instantly jumped to extreme conclusions.

On a similar note, I do think that 18DS has gotten much better since it broke involvement with ConHome.

David Lindsay said...

Yes, Iain, why do you give airtime to a man who wants to lower the age of consent to 14? Would you, or the Guardian, or the BBC, or any of Tatchell's many other outlets give a platform to a heterosexual man like that?

And could such a man expect to become an endorsed Green Party parliamentary candidate? The Greens, after all, are one of those middle-division parties, like UKIP or Respect, rather than fringe nonentities. They have quite a few Councillors, as minor parties go. They have MEPS. Yet they are they are going to put up Tatchell for Parliament. What say they?