People often ask me “What IS your problem with the BBC”?
The BBC is a long established and supposedly cherished national institution. It has an heraldic coat of arms with 2 eagles supporting a shield, helmet and globe, with the motto “Nation shall Speak unto Nation” in scroll across the bottom. Laudable indeed and no doubt well intentioned in the third decade of the 20th century, but I would imagine, though I cannot be certain, that this is viewed as somewhat passé by the great and good now in charge of the organisation. More apposite are the organisations founding principles which are encapsulated in the phrase “To Inform, Educate and Entertain”.
So, we have an organisation, funded mainly by a legally enforceable tax that only exists to deliver the above. It is bound, by its own charter, to do so without bias or favour.
Any right thinking person would say, at this point, so far so good. Why wouldn’t a civilised nation, a nation that has given the world so much in terms of language, sport, education and generally civilised behaviour continue to give, not only its own citizens but to all the citizens of the world, an unbiased news service designed to inform, a range of documentary and factual programmes designed to educate and a broad range of drama, comedy, light entertainment and human interest for the purposes of entertainment?
Part One; To Inform
In my limited and naive way I understood the phrase “to inform” meant, so far as is humanly possible, the delivery of a clear and precise factual account of events. Never did I believe that news would become a form of entertainment verging on voyeurism, full of lies, half truths and sensationalist celebrity pap. Neither did I think, again in my naivety, that the “news” would be used, more and more frequently to push forward the global liberal agenda. Surely, even given its institutional left wing liberal bias the BBC would be bigger than that. How wrong can I be?
Only last weekend I was informed, by BBC news, that Oscar Pistorious may have injured himself falling out of bed, they then went on to tell me, because I am obviously too stupid to remember, that Mr Pistorious is serving “life” for murdering a woman call Reeva Steenkamp. That his whole trial and re-trial were endlessly broadcast in the “news”, as they happened, matters not. I still need reminding.
During the same bulletin I was informed that a mentally ill Norwegian man was being charged with the murder of an American tourist and the serious assault of 5 other people. This attack was carried out, spontaneously and without motive, in an area of London some miles from where the perpetrator lived and it had nothing whatsoever to do with Islam or terrorism. You see what they did there, the murder of Ms Steenkamp was, and continues to be “news”, a frenzied machete attack in London is only “news” so long as the BBC deems it to be so and only on the BBC’s terms.
During the rest of this week, all courtesy of the BBC (I know, I’m a glutton for punishment) we have been treated to the UKIP leadership candidate Bill Ethridge appearing on R4 Today, ostensibly to talk about his policy stance, being browbeaten because he once praised Hitler’s ability as a speaker and the fact that he once posed with a golliwog. Mr Ethridge tried, with all good grace, to get the interview on track but he simply wasn’t allowed, serious journalism? You be the judge.
We were then given the full BBC treatment in regard to the innocuous remark made by Donald Trump regarding the US Second amendment. Only someone suffering from serious levels of paranoia or stupid could have construed what Mr Trump said as incitement to assassinate but the liberal US media and the Democratic machine promoted this view. The BBC, god love them, were only too happy to promulgate it. By the end of the day they were more or less saying that Donald Trump had ordered Hillary Clintons murder. Clever though, having planted the seed they then dropped the story, never look back, never apologise is the motto de jour.
Today (Thursday 11/08/2016) they bring us the “news” of a Brexit induced housing crisis of epic proportions based on the fact that mortgages have never been cheaper or more sought after for first time buyers, price inflation is slowing down and it is July, the slowest month in the calendar for house buying. Again, put it out there, blame Brexit, hope some of it sticks and move on to the riveting “hula hoop challenge”
For me though, this week’s truly telling example of the BBC approach toward “informing” was the news that because the Remain campaign had not discussed immigration Leave had been allowed to take the popular ground in the referendum. This had led to the stupid and ill informed voting “in the wrong way”. This “news” turned out to be nothing more than a commercial to “inform” me that yet another “documentary” about Brexit was to be aired on the BBC and, because this viewer is stupid, they ran the 52%/48% graphic in case I’d forgotten the result.
In coming weeks I want to take a look at the Educating and Entertaining bits.
News and current affairs, excluding presenters spends over £53 million on its senior and middle management, cheap at half the price if you ask me.