Agonising over Auntie

19 Jan

When a regime as odious as that headed by the serial liar Boris Johnson declares war on the Venerable Bebe, I get why so many are up in arms to declare – HANDS OFF, BOJO!

We can discuss the licence fee – a regressive tax – another time. Only the incurably credulous would take at face value this “let’s-help-the-aged” tweet by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries:

This licence fee announcement will be the last. The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over.

With Auntie being sized up for assassination, you may say, this is no time for progressives to be giving her a kicking of our own. All lovers of sport – and globally acclaimed drama, and those stunningly shot nature documentaries – must leap to her defence.

Er, hang on a mo. The BBC also puts out news and political analysis. How does it acquit itself on those fronts? Yesterday, Media Lens applied its customary diligence and forensic reporting in a post dedicated to answering just that question. Here’s a taster …

…  we have provided endless examples of deep BBC bias, distortions and omissions. On our 20th anniversary last year, BBC News featured heavily in our round-up of ‘propaganda horrors’: see Part 1 and Part 2.

Time and time again, we have shone a light on the nonsensical BBC claim that ‘we don’t do propaganda’; on the arrogance and ignorant boasts of BBC News; and on the serial propaganda by omission in BBC News coverage, covering for the crimes of ‘our’ governments ...

… here’s another …

supporters are currently wringing their hands at the prospect of Rupert Murdoch or some other nefarious billionaire getting their hand on the BBC. We are now all supposed to come to the aid of the state broadcaster. Kerry-Anne Mendoza, founder of left-wing news website The Canary, noted the irony:

‘BBC pundits pleading with the left to back them after a half decade campaign smearing us as antisemites’

… and another …

The BBC played a central role in the propaganda blitz [on] the prospect of moderate socialism under a Corbyn-led Labour government … The concerted effort to destroy [it] was McCarthyism on steroids … inside the plush offices of BBC News, senior editors and journalists seemingly never had the tiniest doubt that they were being objective and impartial in working so blatantly to limit democratic choice.

Read the Media Lens piece in full …

March 2018. A BBC Newsnight backdrop to an interview with Labour MP Chris Williamson (expelled the following year for “antisemitism”) has Corbyn in photoshopped Russian hat against Kremlin skyline. Topic? Salisbury poisoning. The BBC rejected viewer complaints

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3 Replies to “Agonising over Auntie

  1. Looks like a mistake by a Conservative administration that is running out of road (and logical thinking) to me.

    Surely The Tories, more than anyone, need to keep the BBC going to a) do it’s dirty work in ensuring that left of centrers don’t stray outside of the overton window and b) at the same time give it a regular kicking for being too left of centre.

    The loss of TV without tiresome adverts would be a blow though.

    • Re your first para, Bryan, it might be a mistake. My finger just isn’t close enough to this pulse to call it. But there’s no shortage of folk pissed with the Beeb. Alas, in most cases that’s not a political thing (except when from Mail readers). Rather, it’s from folk sick, and rightly so, with licence fee and door-knocking Gestapo. (I’m sure the ABC down-under is just as dire on news and political analyses, but it’s funded by state grant so at least dodges the regressive tax and goon squad elements.)

      Re your second, I doubt whether even the mediocrities currently in office would be daft enough to drop all semblance of “public service” broadcasting so (para 3) I guess we’re safe from ads for a while to come.

      Apropos of nothing, save the Beeb’s capacity for edge-of-seat drama, everyone should see the mash-up of Line of Duty’s AC-12 “interviewing” Boris re that party. At time of W it’s had 7.3 million views and climbing:

      https://twitter.com/ByDonkeys/status/1483418498944671746

  2. I too have a dilemma with the “threats” to the BBC. I absolutely agree with the Media Lens view and the vast amount of evidence (see also some coruscating articles by Mark Doran which are worth a read for the use of language alone) they produce. This is supported by my own listening and viewing which has encountered a non-stop barrage of bias and selectivity – most egregiously when dealing with the issue of Palestine. I expect the “state” broadcaster to put forward the establishment view, and especially when it comes to stories about international events. What really angers me is how they ignore the blatant mistreatment, oppression, harassment and quasi-enslavement of a people that we as a nation have a real responsibility for and who we outrageously betrayed. That I can’t forgive.
    That said, what I want is reform and removal of the licence fee – a regressive tax as you say. I want the BBC to be responsible to a representative citizens overview board where it will have to justify and explain its framing, selection of what it covers (and what it doesn’t) choice of opinion voicers and “expert” guests, and publication of who they represent and who funds them before they speak. These are so often lobbyists from murky “think” tanks (so called because their thinking is encased in an armoured shell with no apparent access to the fresh air of evidence or alternatives) but this is rarely explained to the viewer.

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