Who would have guessed when I wrote the first of these threads that there would be such a furore over the BBC and bias? The BBC’s award winning Panorama program has been accused by the so-called Church of Scientology of producing a biased report. I watched the program in question last night and, hand on heart, can say that my views on the BBC remain unchanged. It was as unbiased and balanced a report as you can get when dealing with an organisation who’s obsessive secrecy and paranoia makes normal reporting impossible. The reporter, John Sweeney, was followed by Scientologists who kept turning up and interrupting his reporting.
The biggest example of bias, quoted by the Scientologists is the reporters loss of temper and shouting at the rather scary Tommy Davis, who is a senior Scientologist and seems to model himself on Agent Smith from The Matrix! The reporter had just spent 90 miniutes in a grusome Scientologist exhibition that blames psychiatrists for the Nazi Holocaust and then was harangued by Tommy Davis over an interview he was filming with a critic of the CoS earlier. John Sweeny, lost his temper and ended up shouting over Tommy Davis, apparantly just to make himself heard. The reporter apologised at the time, and subsequently.
The BBC News even ran the story yesterday, detailling the reporter’s loss of temper, his apology and the background to the story. There was no cover up. And I have to say again, no real examples of bias. You can ever view the footage of the incident on the BBC website. The CoS has put it up on You Tube. As you might expect the BBC’s pictures of the incident are actually better. They even have a link to the You Tube footage and an interview with a Scientology Spokesman.
So, accusations of bias? Absolutely not, but as to whether Scientology is a Cult or Religion? I leave that up to you!