The Guardian newspaper is the BBC’s bible and political correctness their creed, one of the Corporation’s veteran presenters has said.
Michael Buerk also said the BBC has a collective left-wing mentality which views Tony Benn, a socialist, as a “national treasure” while conservative commentator Melanie Philips is a “swivel-eyed fanatic”.
Describing the Corporation’s employees Mr Buerk said: “These are uniformly middle class, well educated, living in north London, or maybe its Manchester equivalent. Urban, bright thirty-somethings with a pleasing record of achievement in a series of institutions”.
Mr Buerk, who now presents the Moral Maze on Radio 4, also warned that the BBC was often out of touch with common sentiment.
Writing in Standpoint magazine he said: “What the BBC regards as normal and abnormal, what is moderate or extreme, where the centre of gravity of an issue lies, are conditioned by the common set of assumptions held by the people who work for it.”
However, a spokesman for BBC News said: “While Michael is entitled to his opinion, it has been some time since he has worked for BBC News so it’s interesting he feels in a position to comment.
“We certainly do not recognise the picture he has painted and nor would his colleagues. Impartiality is critical to our success as a news broadcaster and is always at the centre of what we do.”
Earlier this year Peter Sissons, another of the BBC’s former news anchors, warned that Christians are “fair game” for insults at the BBC whilst Muslims must not be offended.
Mr Sissons, whose memoirs were serialized in the Daily Mail, said: “Islam must not be offended at any price, although Christians are fair game because they do nothing about it if they are offended.”
The former presenter also said that staff damage their careers if they don’t follow the BBC’s mindset.
He said: “In my view, ‘bias’ is too blunt a word to describe the subtleties of the pervading culture. The better word is a ‘mindset’.”
He added that “the one thing guaranteed to damage your career prospects at the BBC is letting it be known that you are at odds with the prevailing and deep-rooted BBC attitude towards Life, the Universe and Everything.”
In 2010 Radio 2 host Simon Mayo warned that religion was “increasingly driven to the margin” on the BBC.
And in 2009 Jeremy Vine, another of the Corporation’s radio presenters, said he believed it had become “almost socially unacceptable to say you believe in God.”
Also in 2009, the Bishop of Manchester accused the Corporation of treating people of faith like an “increasingly rare species”.
And former Radio 2 presenter Don Maclean claimed that the BBC is keen on programmes which attack churches, and that there was a wider secularist campaign “to get rid of Christianity”.
In 2008 Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC, said that Islam should be treated more sensitively than Christianity because Muslims are less integrated and more of a minority group.
In 2006 Andrew Marr, the BBC’s former chief political correspondent, said: “The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly-funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people.
“It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”