Leave the BBC alone

In my (occasionally humble) opinion the BBC is one of the very best things about living on this island. The news coverage is second to none; radio, documentary, drama and comedy output is far superior to the British commercial networks; the website is just about the best there is, and you only have to suffer five minutes of Clive Tyldesley’s infuriating, moronic football commentary (“remember that night in Barcelona”) to know that the quality of sports coverage on the BBC is unrivalled, even if the other networks wield a greater budget.

You wouldn’t think that, of course, if you had endured regular exposure to the right-wing press over the past few decades. In the world of Murdoch, the Telegraph and the Daily Mail, the BBC is nothing short of a subversive plot to overturn everything that is decent and traditional in Britain; it’s a hotbed for raving left-wing homosexuals who spend their every waking hour plotting to giftwrap our freedom and identity and hand it all over to those sinister imperialists on mainland Europe and the international Islamic conspiracy.

The BBC is constantly under assault from these quarters and there seems to be an eternal stream of spineless politicians who are more than happy to play along. There are never-ending accusations of bias against the BBC, ludicrously from all sides of the political spectrum. Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw recently accused the BBC of “feeble” coverage of planned Tory spending cuts only to be ticked off by Jeremy Hunt, his Conservative Shadow, for “interfering in the BBC’s day-to-day political coverage”. Hunt, of course, had conveniently forgotten his own call a few weeks earlier for the Corporation to recruit more Tories to their news-gathering team, but who said you had to be fair when sticking the boot into the BBC? The truth is that the BBC is soft on everyone these days for the simple reason that, as an institution, it is terrified.

Murdoch has been circling for some time now, and he has a willing accomplice in David Cameron, a man who gives the impression of being so desperate for a favourable mention in The Sun’s ‘Page Three Briefs’ that he is more than happy to oversee the carving up of the BBC into bitesized chunks. (Anything to help his fairweather friend have his wicked way with Britain’s media.) You get the impression that the BBC don’t want to give the – essentially empty – Tory project a hard time because they fear what may be on the way.

Of course, the BBC isn’t perfect. It’s had its difficulties (Ross/Brand, Gilligan etc) and it’s a struggle to justify the continued existence of BBC Three, but do I think the licence fee represents value for money? You bet I do. Compare the expense of Murdoch’s Sky (which still comes with adverts, yet demonstrates no gain in quality in spite of all the extra revenue) to the TV licence and there’s only one winner.

The BBC is easily Britain’s strongest overseas ‘brand’, a name known and trusted all over the world, yet we are constantly taught by the press barons that we should hold it in contempt. So switch the BBC off for a week and see how you get on. Enjoy Murdoch’s “fair and balanced” FOX News or the rather sneakier Sky News, revel in the sporting insight of Tyldesley and Beglin, or maybe you’d enjoy an afternoon diet of adverts for consolidation loans and ambulance chasers. After seven days of such mediocrity it might become a touch clearer that perhaps the BBC isn’t so bad after all.

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9 comments

  1. Radio 4 is the pits on political bias.
    Have you heard anything on radio 4 on Baroness Udin or the Glasgow fiasco with Purcell?
    No of course not and if you listen to The Toady Programme you get loony bias from James Naughty and on later programmes from Caroline Quinn.
    Our media people run down American TV but I have heard more sensible balanced political debates on their services in the last 6 months than I have heard in the last 5 years of bbc.
    This morning Caroline Quinn cut off the leader of the UKIP party who was giving more wisdom in 2 minutes than Clegg gave in 4.
    What did she put on? A poem about David Beckham – Stalin would be proud of her.
    What the UK needs is its own Tea Party and take to task the 3 incompetent or mediocre party leaders that we currently have.
    We do not want a Left Wing BBC, and we do not want a Right Wing BBC – What we want is a factual and balanced news reporting service which is what the bbc is supposed, by its mandate, to provide.
    It is not doing this, and if you believe otherwise then all I can say is that your own bias is showing.

  2. “Our media people run down American TV but I have heard more sensible balanced political debates on their services in the last 6 months than I have heard in the last 5 years of bbc” – You clearly haven’t been watching Fox News in that time.

  3. I agree so much with this but I also think the BBC is often is own worst enemy. It is far too quick to react to criticism rather than follow the course it appears to believe in. Far too many heads have rolled at the BBC because of this type of knee-jerk decision making. Those in charge need to look at their critics. They are often taken to task by those working for media outlets that are far inferior to the BBC’s standards of journalism and entertainment. I must say that I’m with you to a certain extent about US TV. However, balance is achieved in the US by the raging debate between rival networks and programmes of a kind that we don’t get in the UK. Perhaps a few more independent news programmes might lead to more incendiary political debate. I love the to and fro between “Fox News” and “The Daily Show”.

  4. While the BBC continues to sustain accusations of bias from all sides as it does right now – you know it gets it right.
    One of the few things about this country of which I am truly proud.

    1. I remember Churchill’s comment “that the Americans’ always get it right – after failing so many times”

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