BBC Biased in Transgender, Immigration Debates, Says Former Host

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City. The group gathered to speak out against the Trump administration's stance toward transgender people. Last week, The New …
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Veteran broadcaster John Humphrys had said the BBC’s liberal bias had resulted in sympathetic, rather than neutral, reporting on transgenderism and open doors immigration.

The former host of the Today programme said during the Cheltenham Literature Festival the BBC’s natural position on transgenderism and “that sort of social development is to be immediately sympathetic, not entirely detached as it should be”.

The BBC is funded by Britons through an enforced television licence and is bound by its charter to be politically impartial — an obligation its critics claim it fails to uphold.

Mr Humphrys said there were parallels between the way the BBC handled discussions on transgenderism in recent years and the way it managed the debate on increased immigration in the 1990s. He said the broadcaster had “lost sight of the concern many people had at that time”.

“We didn’t address it as we should have done, we didn’t acknowledge it as we should have done,” Mr Humphrys said.

“The BBC probably always has had an institutional bias,” he told the literary festival on Sunday, explaining that most of the BBC’s bosses had gone to universities with strong, left-wing biases and were out of touch with public feeling.

The recently retired broadcast journalist criticised the “BBC Thought Police” last month, revealing his former employer’s “fear of the politically correct brigade and the most fashionable pressure groups — usually from the liberal Left, the spiritual home of most bosses and staff”.

Recounting Remain bias during the 2016 EU referendum, he said the BBC bosses “could simply not grasp how anyone could have put a cross in the Leave box on the referendum ballot paper”.

Mr Humphrys, who voted Remain himself, said of the reaction to Brexit vote: “Leave had won — and this was not what the BBC had expected. Nor what it wanted.”

Speaking at the literary festival, the veteran broadcaster said: “If you take something like transgender, their [the BBC’s] mindset is such that we must kind of accept what the prevailing view is, except that their idea of the prevailing view and perhaps mine and some other people’s might be slightly different.”

The 76-year-old added: “I happen to believe, personally, that there are not an unlimited number of genders. I believe we are born men and women.

“[I] feel slightly worried when large numbers of children are being told, ‘You think you might be a girl or you think you might be a boy? We’ll go and get you medical attention.’

“I’m uneasy about that and I’m uneasy about children being told in schools there are more than 100 different genders and it’s possible for someone to change gender overnight.”

An increasing number of schools in the UK have replaced girls’ and boys’ toilets with ‘gender-neutral’ facilities. This week, parents told British newspaper the Daily Mail that their daughters avoid using the school bathroom all day because they feel too embarrassed or unsafe.

Schools are also subjecting their pupils to male-only uniforms — described as ‘gender-neutral’ — and banning girls from wearing skirts to accommodate transgenders.

The founder of a de-transitioning advocacy group told Sky News that there are “hundreds” of young people who regret having surgically changed gender and want to return to their birth sex.

Despite the concerns raised by campaigners and politicians about the progressive-left’s eager acceptance of transgender ideology, a spokesman for the Conservative government said it was “committed” to following through on a consultation on whether to make it easier to change gender legally.

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