Like many libertarians I often attack the BBC. I doubt that it is actually more statist in the opinions it supports than ITV and C4, or, perhaps, than ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN in the United States – but with the licence fee (the tax on television owners that goes to the BBC) it hurts more to experience the endless blather about Welfare State spending being the ultimate good and the solution to every problem being another government regulation.
However, the BBC does sometimes get things right. Yesterday, when reporting yet another Chinese coal mine accident, the BBC reporter said “and this makes 7,000 deaths over the last year in the state owned Chinese coal mining industry” and pointed out that there were claims that the Chinese government had cut corners on safety in order to boost production (shades of Stalin’s “war on the limiters”).
In reporting the large numbers of deaths (i.e. that the accident was not an isolated incident) and that the industry was state owned (i.e. that the deaths were not caused by wicked businessmen), the BBC showed a depth of reporting and a fairness that should be praised.