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BBC accused of being 'secular church' preaching climate change, Brexit

by Tola Mbakwe

The BBC has been accused of becoming a secular church.

Conservative peer Charles Moore made the comment as a guest editor on Radio 4's Today programme, saying the national broadcaster has a liberal bias, specifically on Brexit and climate change.

“What I am objecting to is preaching,” he said.

“The BBC has decided to be a secular church and it preaches and tells us what we ought to think about things. So it tells us we shouldn’t support Brexit and we should accept climate change alarmism and we have to all kowtow to the doctrines of diversity.”

Mr Moore’s comments come after he said he faced “obstacles” within the BBC to get a climate change sceptic onto the show.  

“The difficulty I have had trying to get all this stuff about climate change onto this programme, even though I am the guest editor,” he said.

“[The] obstacles come in every single time because of rulings and bureaucracy and the fact that Roger Harabin, the environment editor, is so biased.”

Today host, Nick Robinson, defended his colleague and said the BBC reported the "global consensus" on climate science. He added that the BBC is regulated by Ofcom and the law when it comes to its news coverage.

Graham Nicholls, director of Affinity, which is a network of UK churches, told Premier he has “a lot of sympathy” with what Mr Moore had to say, especially when broadened out to other issues than Brexit and climate change.

“I think it's an unquestioning acceptance of a number of things, whether it’s to do with moral issues or to do with what climate change. There's no longer… an acceptance that some things are tentative, some things are untested.

“I think the problem with that is you then become intolerant of any other views, so your whole questioning and framing of questions becomes based on a number of presumptions.”

Giving an example, Nicholls said: “You would say ‘this is true, so here's a set of questions’. You would never say ‘here's a set of questions that says the consensus seems to be the climate change exists. But let's listen to a contrary view and then our listeners can make up their own minds as whether this contrary view is ridiculous’.”

Opposite to Nicholls’ statement, Robinson said the broadcaster has fair news coverage.

When responding to a claim the BBC told people not to eat to help the environment, Robinson said: “We report people who say you shouldn’t eat meat and we interview people who say you should. We are not telling people to do anything."

Nicholls told Premier there's the danger that news media is “no longer objectively” bring news, “but actually bringing a whole set of biases and presumptions and everyone, Christian or non, is the worst for it”.

Nicholls added that because of this, the Christian voice is “a bit” lost in national mainstream media.

“On national media, an evangelical, orthodox view is very rarely expressed. If it is expressed, it's kind of given as a sort of setup for ‘here's a bunch of very strange people who have quite strange views’.”

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