"And no, he insists, the audience isn’t biased. How can it possibly be when it is carefully selected to represent as broad as possible a cross-section of society?Let's examine that defence quite carefully.
For the 150 places on each programme there are an average 500 applicants. These applications are then vetted by a ‘professional woman’ who spends an entire week sifting through them.
First, they are divided on party political lines; then by age, by sex and by ethnic make-up (the last weighted according to the broadcast location: for example, more blacks and Asians for an inner-London programme than for one in Cheltenham). "
"the audience isn’t biased. How can it possibly be when it is carefully selected to represent as broad as possible a cross-section of society?" - On what basis is it selected?
"For the 150 places on each programme there are an average 500 applicants. These applications are then vetted by a ‘professional woman’ who spends an entire week sifting through them." - Just one woman, what information is she in possession of in order to select the chosen 150?
"First, they are divided on party political lines" - On what split? On basis of seats in the House of Commons at the last election? This seems unlikely with the composition of audiences during the years of Conservative government when the audience was clearly anti-Conservative and pro-Labour. On the basis of the percentage of the popular vote cast at the last general election? Again seems unlikely for similar reasons to above. On the basis of votes at the last major elections? This seems unlikely as otherwise there would be a strong Conservative/UKIP majority in the audience. On a 30% Labour, 30% Conservative, 30% Lib Dem and 10% other basis (or similarly ad-hoc percentage split)? If so why? This guarantees a majority left of centre audience; oh hold on that might be why. If the audience is meant to be representative then how many UKIP and BNP supporters are invited as compared to Greens?
"then by age, by sex and by ethnic make-up" - Based upon what factors? The last census or what?
But what of the man himself, where do David Dimbleby's political loyalties lie?
"Does this mean that over the years he has managed so perfectly to hone his position of neutrality that he no longer has any political views of his own?Whilst I do not know how David Dimbleby votes, I think it safe to assume that he either doesn't vote Conservative or is desperately over-compensating for doing so.
‘I do have very strong political views,’ he says. ‘But as with most people, I’m a muddle of opinions, with views that don’t tally precisely with those of any particular party. I never tell anyone how I vote. Not my children. Nor my wife.’"
Here's some video of the great Question Time presenter being controlled by a Labour cabinet minister and obeying almost immediately...