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Melanie Phillips’ sanctimonious bullshit

Posted By Sunny On 8th October, 2007 @ 6:48 pm In Media | 67 Comments

Oh look what [1] we have here:

BSkyB, Channel 5 and the Daily Express are each to pay “substantial” damages after apologising over incidents of libel in the high court yesterday. BskyB and Channel 5 have paid substantial libel damages after linking a family to a terrorist plot. In February Sky News and Five News ran a story that five men had been charged with offences under the Terrorism Act and that one had been charged with plotting to kidnap and kill a member of the armed forces.

None of the family was under suspicion for having any involvement in the alleged plot and none of them had been arrested, charged, detained or questioned in connection with it.

Separately, the Daily Express has issued a public apology and paid substantial libel damages to Yorkshireman Kala Khan after an article wrongly identifying him as being linked to alleged Muslim extremism.

Instead of asking which heads will roll in light of this appalling journalism, the media is obsessing over the BBC’s [2] ‘Crowngate’. I can understand why the Media Guardian is obsessed over a non-story where the [3] only crime the BBC seems to have committed is to not have made a statement clarifying what happened in video footage of the Queen because of a request by the Palace.

What annoys me is this kind of sanctimonious bullshit by [4] Melanie Phillips today:

The Wyatt report highlighted a sorry catalogue of ‘misjudgments, poor practice and ineffective systems’ that led Mr Fincham to make the false claim about the Queen. But systematic incompetence - the hallmark of the BBC’s sclerotic management structure - is merely a symptom of a much more profound crisis.

In recent months, the BBC’s reputation for integrity has been hit by a slew of revelations of fakery and frauds that it perpetrated upon the public by such iconic shows as Blue Peter, Children In Need and Comic Relief. But even those do not provide the full story.

Oh yeah, they renamed a cat on Blue Peter ’socks’ instead of ‘cookie’. The world is coming to an end. She blabbers on:

As its own impartiality review concluded earlier this year, the BBC operates in a ‘Left-leaning comfort zone’ and has an ‘innate liberal bias’, dictating what issues it chooses to cover and how it does so.

It is institutionally and viscerally hostile to America, Israel, conservatism, big business, religion, the countryside and family values; it supports multiculturalism, environmentalism, European federalism, human rights law and ‘alternative’ lifestyles.

It’s rubbish. The report [5] said nothing of the sort and the second paragraph is merely Phillips own froth tacked right behind a mention of the report to give an impression all of it is fact.

It’s at times like these I envy bloggers who freely launch into expletive-filled tirades at people.

Postscript:
There are two further points to make. Firstly that Ms Phillips is too much of a sanctimonious hypocrite to avoid commentating on and getting paid by the same corporation she detests so much. And the editors from the Beeb keep inviting this mad woman for some reason.

Secondly, last time I checked criticising America or Israel isn’t racist, any more than criticising Islamist organisations is racist (as Phillips keeps clarifying for us). So why does she keep saying it as if it’s some sort of a form of racism? Doesn’t she believe in [6] free speech? Let’s have equal standards for everyone eh?


67 Comments To "Melanie Phillips’ sanctimonious bullshit"

#1 Comment By ZinZin On 8th October, 2007 @ 7:01 pm

“It’s at times like these I envy bloggers who freely launch into expletive-filled tirades at people.”

No ones stopping you. Fire away.

#2 Comment By Don On 8th October, 2007 @ 7:08 pm

The BBC is hostile to the countryside?

I think Mel may be confusing ‘the countryside’ with ‘The Countryside Alliance’. Easily done, I suppose, if your capacity for coherent thought has slipped its cables.

#3 Comment By El Cid On 8th October, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

*Muffled chortle*
Maybe Sid can assist, or The Dude.

#4 Comment By Leon On 8th October, 2007 @ 7:45 pm

It’s at times like these I envy bloggers who freely launch into expletive-filled tirades at people.

If you want me to play dizzy to your iain dale just say the word. I would relish the opportunity to tear these idiots a new asshole on here.

#5 Comment By PFM On 8th October, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

do you want me to swear on your behalf sunny, swearing seems alot more vicious in northern tones.

#6 Comment By Natty On 8th October, 2007 @ 11:45 pm

It is part of a long term strategy by Murdoch et-al.

Control investigative jounalism, reduce news down to issues news makers want to discuss and local issues and make massive profit.

You fool the public into thinking that it is being done for their benefit and away you go.

It has worked marvellously well in the USA.

[7] http://www.outfoxed.org/

The problem is here it is harder as people are more used to good journalism. However it has been done with things like The Times.

It is interesting you picked this up but a few years ago around the time of Ken and the Reporter, well the Evening Standard did pretty much the same and wouldn’t apologise.

The Beeb doesn’t have any truely enlightened Editors, after the David Kelly enquiry white-washed the government and Blair.

Greg Dyke mentioned US Jounalism which is creeping in over here:

[8] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3232852.stm

“News organisations should be in the business of balancing their coverage, not banging the drum for one side or the other,” he said.

Telling people what they want to hear is not doing them any favours. It may not be comfortable to challenge governments or even popular opinion, but it’s what we are here to do.”

Mr Dyke said TV channels had a “responsibility to broadcast a range of voices”.

Dyke also highlighted the danger of foreigners buying UK Media:

Greg Dyke, the BBC’s director general, has accused “a small coterie” around Tony Blair of putting British television at risk by opening the gates for foreign multinationals to buy up ITV.

In an extraordinary outburst, which shook delegates to the Royal Television Society’s convention in Cambridge, Mr Dyke added that it is “bullshit” to claim - as the Government does - that the introduction of US managerial skills would mean better programmes on British television screens.

In my opinion you should shout and scream otherwise UK News Media will go the way of the US without objective analysis.

What I hate about Mel when she is on the BBC is that reporters are not as tough on her even Paxman. She has them where she wants.

Personally I don’t think Mel does Israel any favours as she is a bad representative for Israel. I find it strange that a country with such a well run PR machine fratinises with her.

Unless people speak up them Mel wins and that would be a disaster for jounalism.

#7 Comment By Random Guy On 9th October, 2007 @ 9:28 am

Well, since any criticism of Israel and its supporters can be twisted into accusations of anti-semitism, is this really surprising?

And the ploy is brilliant. Keep accusing a right-leaning news corporation of left-wingism, and (esp. if the accusation is from an allegedly ‘prominent’ right-wing individual), then credibility of some sort is constantly retained.

Mel is part of the empowered new breed of racists. Get used to it because people like her have GUARANTEED face time in the media.

#8 Comment By Sofi On 9th October, 2007 @ 9:56 am

very worrying but true. objective analysis flew out of the window perhaps long before the iraq war but that was the turning point for people like myself. what is mel on?? and why is she given so much credit and coverage?

#9 Comment By Sofia On 9th October, 2007 @ 10:03 am

“It is institutionally and viscerally hostile to America, Israel, conservatism, big business, religion, the countryside and family values; it supports multiculturalism, environmentalism, European federalism, human rights law and ‘alternative’ lifestyles.”

Scary eh? alternative lifestyles..yeh I was really shocked by this piece they did on knitting…totally unnecessary in this day and age…

Let’s all turn off the beeb and switch to an alternative..Maybe Ms Philips would be happy if we all watched Fox?

#10 Comment By Morgoth On 9th October, 2007 @ 10:17 am

Let’s all turn off the beeb and switch to an alternative..Maybe Ms Philips would be happy if we all watched Fox?

I think merely we’d be happy if we weren’t threatened with jail for refusing to pay the BBC Poll Tax.

The BBC is largely left-wing. That’s a fact, no matter how many times Sunny tries to deny it, as even the BBC itself now admits.

Being a left-wing broadcasting corporation is fine, but NOT when people are FORCED to pay for it, on threat of JAIL.

But then, as the fate of Air America shows, the left cannot complete on equal ground. BBC Poll Taxes, “Fairness Doctrines”, the anti-Murdoch hysteria, it just shows that the left are only interested in shoving themselves down the throats of everyone at the taxpayer’s expense because no one would be interested in listening or watching them otherwise.

#11 Comment By Sofia On 9th October, 2007 @ 10:37 am

anti murdoch hysteria…now now Morgoth…let’s not get into a frenzy…I’m not shoving anything down anyone’s throat. I’m just saying that in all that preachy preachy article on how awful the beeb is for it’s embracing an alternative, multicultural blah blah..Ms Philips sounds a tad off balance..

#12 Comment By Philip Hunt On 9th October, 2007 @ 10:40 am

Mad Mel does have some use however, it’s enjoyable making fun of her.

#13 Comment By douglas clark On 9th October, 2007 @ 10:53 am

Morgoth,

On the other hand, if advertising didn’t work, Fox wouldn’t exist now, would it? So either we subscribe to the notion that we pay for our own brainwashing through advertising or we pay a licence fee.

What I find irritating about your ‘libertarian’ arguement is that it simply surrenders the terms of debate to plutocrats, who, lets face it, have their own agenda, including news manipulation. Getting folk to pay a ‘tax’ (i.e. via the profit made on the products sold through advertising) whilst also controlling the news agenda is quite a trick if you can pull it off.

#14 Comment By Sofi On 9th October, 2007 @ 11:09 am

>>the anti-Murdoch hysteria

care to elaborate on this? it kind of reminds of the term “conspiracy theories” - anything which goes contrary to what the state or official story is, is deemed a conspiracy. lol.

#15 Comment By bananabrain On 9th October, 2007 @ 11:29 am

personally, i see far more evidence of the left-wing bias mel phillips suggests than the right-wing bias people here seem to notice. i suspect there may be an obvious reason for this.

now, clearly, i’m not a terribly big fan of her positions, or opinions, but i think describing her as “racist” is rather too much - i mean, who’s she racist against? you could perhaps describe her as islamophobic, although i think she’s of the school of thought that prefers to fight back (by fair means or foul) rather than get marched passively into the gas chambers, as she sees it.

this all feels rather tired and hysterical from all concerned.

b’shalom

bananabrain

#16 Comment By newmania On 9th October, 2007 @ 11:30 am

You are living in a world of your own if you think there is nothing in what Mz. Phillips has to say about the BBC which , in common with most Conservatives wish to be broken up.
Take the choice of Andrew Mar for Gordon Brown’s first major interview. A socialist, fellow Scot , Independent editor and long time friend of Polly Toynbee and previous Editor of Social affairs herself ( staggeringly ). He was duly given his doggy biscuit in a quite appalling act of manipulative lobbyism taking Brown’s announcement as an exclusive. Oddly enough it was Andrew Marr himself whoa admitted that the BBC was the Guardian at play and he is only one of many as were documented in Robin Aitkin’s excellent book , “ Can We Trust The BBC”.

It is quite unsupportable for the population to be subjected to a Poll tax whereby faux-gressive opinions are shoved down our throat twenty four hours a day. It is astonishing that we tolerate state control of the media to this degree.

There is ample market for left wing views . The printed Press Independnent , Guardian , new Statesman and Mirror reflect the country pretty well but for other points of view to be forced out of the picture by edict is an outrage .

TO all those lefties who respond with the weak suggestion that they also do not always like what they see I repeat /……Good , then let us get rid of it . It is at this stage theta the truth is revealed that actually they would rather cut their own legs off than stop taking my money to propagate their views .

…and you know it is true .

#17 Comment By Sofi On 9th October, 2007 @ 11:37 am

since we’re having a field day slating Ms Philipps, you may find this interesting (titled : Melanie Philipps is a terrorist)

[9] http://www.thebadrash.com/2006/09/01/melanie-phillips-is-a-terrorist/

#18 Comment By ChrisC On 9th October, 2007 @ 11:46 am

On a previous BBC-related thread Sunny asserted something along the lines of “the majority of the country is to the left of the BBC”!!

On which issues would that be??

#19 Comment By Natty On 9th October, 2007 @ 11:59 am

bananabrain - she attacks any Jewish person or organisation that doesn’t advocate her position. Forget her attacks on Muslims. I’d be interested to know how well she is regarded within the Jewish Community.

But a number of leading commentators have branded some of her work as over the top.

I refer you to Jonathan Freedlands response to her following her hysterical attack on Independant Jewish Voices - calling them Jews for Genocide. Slightly over the top wouldn’t you say?

[10] http://www.thejc.com/home.aspx?ParentId=m12s114&SecId=114&AId=51460&ATypeId=1

When she was on Newsnight to discuss IJV, Paxman pretty much let her have the floor.

So how can she complain of leftwing bias at the BBC when he drooled all over her and when she dictated the entire interview and the IJV person faced much harsher questioning and in some cases wasn’t even allowed to answer questions.

Also about her book Londonistan:

“It’s all black-and-white

Melanie Phillips writes beguilingly well, but she has gone over the top.

Of course it is true that there are some, perhaps even significant numbers of, radicalised Muslims in the UK. It is right to be deeply shocked about the young lads from Bradford who were prepared to be suicide bombers (their parents also were shocked).

Of course it is right to say that much of the antisemitic literature in Muslim bookshops is disgusting. But none of that adds up to the hotbed of horror she is portraying.

Nor is it wise to use opposition to the Iraq war as an illustration of Islamist influence. Some of us have a reasoned objection to it. When she says, “Britons believe that they were lied to over his [Saddam Hussein’s] weapons of mass destruction,” having already said that “they do not believe Saddam Hussein was ever a threat to Britain and the West,” she forgets that we were right. We were lied to; Saddam was no threat to Britain. He was a threat to his own people, but that is not why we went to war.

She also castigates government and police for not being tough enough against extremists. Indeed, but they also need to be accurate. The unedifying spectacle of a house being raided in Forest Gate, two brothers arrested and held for a week then released without charge, would have made Jews angry if it had been Jews, not Muslims, involved. Where is Phillips’s empathy? Where is her horror at the demonisation?

There is no grey in her vision. Her lack of knowledge of what goes on in Muslim circles is depressing. If Peter Oborne (in the Evening Standard of June 12) can praise the new leader of the Muslim Council of Great Britain for his

acceptance of blame for what has gone wrong and his pride in what has gone right, why can she not do the same? More clarity, more charity, would have made for a better, more balanced, book.

Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger is the Liberal Democrat health spokesperson in the House of Lords”
Review in the Jewish Chronicle.

There is a pattern here. She will howl left wing bias to get her views across. Frankly for the Jewish Community she is a disaster as her views are not in line with most other people but she gets the media coverage.

#20 Comment By Sofi On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:14 pm

its perhaps all part and parcel of media sensationalism . she articulates her views very well (however wrong or misinformed they are) whilst being very controversial too. incites alot of interest/anger/debates. this entry is just an example.

#21 Comment By ChrisC On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

“So how can she complain of leftwing bias at the BBC when he drooled all over her”

She is a bit of a nutter I agree, and not the most articulate arguer.

But “leftwing bias” does not mean no non-left views ever admitted. It means a preponderance over left-wing views over others. Difficult to argue against that IMO.

#22 Comment By ChrisC On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:17 pm

Ooops - I mean a preponderance OF left-wing views…

#23 Comment By Rumbold On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

Morgoth:

“Being a left-wing broadcasting corporation is fine, but NOT when people are FORCED to pay for it, on threat of JAIL.

But then, as the fate of Air America shows, the left cannot complete on equal ground. BBC Poll Taxes, “Fairness Doctrines”, the anti-Murdoch hysteria, it just shows that the left are only interested in shoving themselves down the throats of everyone at the taxpayer’s expense because no one would be interested in listening or watching them otherwise.”

Well said Morgoth. BBC supporters refuse to accept that Murdoch thrives because people choose to pay ofr his products, whereas people are forced to pay for the BBC. Imagine if the Conservatives proposed a right-wing, publically funded channel- there would be outrage.

#24 Comment By ZinZin On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:38 pm

Rumbold not you as well. I am sick of Right-wingers banging on about left-wing bias at the BBC. The truth is that neutrality doesn’t exist, everyone makes a judgement/interpretation. Evidence to support your viewpoint is what matters.

#25 Comment By ZinZin On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

Are you lot watching a different BBC? Is Jeremy Clarkson a KGB agent?

#26 Comment By newmania On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

Chris …You are right and , for example , there was a study of the amount of pre EU and opposed to anti EU interviews done which shows an astonishing lean to the pro EU position by the state Broadcaster9 I have it at home )

This is a telling fault line as the left are , in parts as divided as the right . It shows that the BBC bias is not strictly speaking pro Labour but more pro “Liberal” as they see it . On Iraq hey portray the ” Coalition of the willing ” as an occupying foce ( rubbish)and ruthlessly purge good news including many Iraqi voices supporting their democracy vehemently. This springs from default anti Americanism.

To further back Chris up , this is not to say there is nothing to criticise about the US but the extent to which they come in for criticism is disproportionate when numerous other worse regimes are off the menu

Prospect this month has a balanced article looking at what the war has achieved as well as the problems . You will never see this on the BBC . I have to admit that they are getting better , only because their licence is up in 2016 ( I think) and the squeeze is already on. they are aware that the next Conservative Government will be after blood after the 90s in particular when almost every main current affairs name went on to work for the Labout Party at some point. This is incontrovertibly true .

Sunny , who is a super Blogger who I recommended on Doughty Street last night , is noticeably off beam on this subject. The BBC have realised they are undermining any remaining credibility they have and the cookie scandal is only symptomatic of the larger problem.
If they are to continue at all , it has to be by listening to the broad consensus which deplores their institutional bias They have to re establish camp firmly in the centre.
Then we will see how much the left like impartial analysis of their muddled nostrums and half truths

#27 Comment By Rumbold On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

ZinZin:

“Rumbold not you as well. I am sick of Right-wingers banging on about left-wing bias at the BBC. The truth is that neutrality doesn’t exist, everyone makes a judgement/interpretation.”

Of course everybody is biased. That is fine, it is just that the taxpayer should not be funding those beliefs. I do not expect anyone to fund the Daily Telegraph, so I do not see why I should fund their sources of news.

#28 Comment By Natty On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

If as you say Murdoch thrives as people pay then why does he run Sky News for free?

It is as a rival to the BBC.

Murdoch thrives because Govts give him a lot of leeway in return for good publicity. Most Blair leaks were made to the Murdoch Press. Blair went to his corporate do’s. Blair answered to Murdoch first and the electorate last.

Murdoch does not produce the quality of product that the BBC does nor the special interest programmes. Complain as much as you want but under Murdoch you wouldn’t have the educational and documentaries that the BBC provides, nor the dramas.

Compare the quality of programming on Sky One to the BBC! What has he produced The Dream Team, hardly a great worldwide export.

The BBC provides a major service across the community with some very good programmes. Murdoch doesn’t do that.

Murdoch is a smart man and on some of his news media he leaves well alone knowing that people don’t like his views.

Everyone pays a Murdoch Tax as he has cornered the market in TV and as Branson said it is a danger to democracy. The Blair decision tolet him buy into ITV has been shown for what it is - namely a danger to the public good. This also shows the dangerous reach of Murdoch that PM’s will take decisions that are not in the public interest to keep him happy.

#29 Comment By Rumbold On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:46 pm

Natty:

“If as you say Murdoch thrives as people pay then why does he run Sky News for free?

It is as a rival to the BBC.”

But he can only do that because people pay for his other programmes.

“Murdoch does not produce the quality of product that the BBC does nor the special interest programmes. Complain as much as you want but under Murdoch you wouldn’t have the educational and documentaries that the BBC provides, nor the dramas.”

Like Eastenders, The national lottery show, reality TV shows, hidden camera shows, unfunny BBC3 shows, the pretentious Newsnight review. I would really miss all these.

“Everyone pays a Murdoch Tax as he has cornered the market in TV and as Branson said it is a danger to democracy.”

I would put it in capitals if I thought that it would help- you do not have to pay for Murdoch’s programmes. You have to pay for the BBC’s.

#30 Comment By sonia On 9th October, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

well, you seem to think there is a right-wing bias at the BBC and she seems to think there is a left-wing bias.

She may well be talking rubbish, but why get so irked about it? why are her opinions sanctimonious? they may be annoying, but then.. after all, she’s a journalist/media commentator isn’t she, she’s got to get worked up about something, and do some commenting.

#31 Comment By ZinZin On 9th October, 2007 @ 1:06 pm

Rumbold
I must confessed I am amazed at the amount of vitriol directed at the BBC over the issue of the licence fee. Although you don’t say it, you skirt around the issue of privatisation. So allow me to issue a warning to you: ITV can anyone remember when they had any decent programmes? I only watch the BBC and Channel four.

#32 Comment By sonia On 9th October, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

As far as I have been able to gather, commenters on the BBC Have your Say forum are rabidly nutty for the most part, and think prisons are places of fun and joy.

A lot of people seem to think the BBC is biased one way and a lot of people think the BBC is biased another way.

i think they’re doing a good as job as anyone can do given the no. of people who have nothing better to do than constantly harp on the BBC. the question of public service broadcasting isn’t simple is it - it has to be in the interests of public service - and it has to be balanced. how to achieve that balance - is of course not simple. and naturally all the ‘left-wingers’ and right-wingers, appear to have different views on this. as far as i can see, they enjoy having the BBC to fight over.

#33 Comment By ZinZin On 9th October, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

they enjoy having the BBC to fight over.

Thats true.

#34 Comment By sonia On 9th October, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

of course, and if it were privatised, they wouldn’t have it to argue over in the same way. this way, they can say! but its meant to be public service broadcasting ! and then argue about what they think that is, or isn’t.

#35 Comment By sonia On 9th October, 2007 @ 1:28 pm

so really, even the people who want to take away the licence fee, don’t really, because then they wouldn’t have that to argue about any more.

clearly we humans just like arguing. we dont care what its about. we draw a line, get people onto one side, we stay on the other, and there you go.

left/right.

i suppose we must have somethign to keep ourselves occupied.

#36 Comment By sonia On 9th October, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

politicians make me laugh - they so rarely understand ANYTHIng about human nature.

“its about the policies” they tell us. Not about humans - we dont care about them, as long as they vote for US that’s all we’re interested in.

#37 Comment By Sunny On 9th October, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

You are living in a world of your own if you think there is nothing in what Mz. Phillips has to say about the BBC which , in common with most Conservatives wish to be broken up.

We know why the Conservatives wish for it to be broken up - the BBC prevents a further move to the right by hogging the centre ground.

And rather than regurgitate most arguments on whether there is leftist or right-wing bias at the Beeb, I think it’s perhaps best to accept that if you’re to thr right of the Beeb, obviously you’ll see it at a left-wing organistion and vice versa.

What annoys me is the way people like Mel Phillips use small incidents to make mountains out of molehills while other parts of the media are far more crap when it comes to editorial standards.

Newmania: Prospect this month has a balanced article looking at what the war has achieved as well as the problems .

Has ben discussed plenty of times on the Beeb. In fact it is far more pro-war than most people.

Morgoth: That’s a fact, no matter how many times Sunny tries to deny it, as even the BBC itself now admits

It’s never admitted being institutionally biased. And I repeatedly show that but people like yourself, as illiterate as Melanie Phillips, don’t seem to get it.

Newmania: Take the choice of Andrew Mar for Gordon Brown’s first major interview. A socialist, fellow Scot , Independent editor

Take Nick Robinson… former chairman of the Young Conservatives…

Newmania: and the cookie scandal is only symptomatic of the larger problem.

Yes, the cookie scandal. This is what makes me lose respect for the right when it comes to the BBC - no sense of proportion.

Good , then let us get rid of it

No, let’s improve it.

#38 Comment By Helen Tiffin On 9th October, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

What annoys me is the way people like Mel Phillips use small incidents to make mountains out of molehills

I refer you Sir, to this:

[11] http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1187

And to this:

[12] http://media.guardian.co.uk/newmedia/story/0,,2179379,00.html

The liberal left, including yourself, is also guilty of making ‘mountains out of molehills’.

#39 Comment By sonia On 9th October, 2007 @ 3:45 pm

dont the Conservatives allegedly wish for the BBC to operate under ‘market’ conditions rather than state subsidy.

of course, if the Conservatives wish for minimal Government, perhaps they ought to not spend all their time thinking about Government, or trying to get themselves in the Government position. if they were really interested in ‘minimal’ Governments perhaps they wouldn’t bother forming a government, methinks its not as ‘minimal’ as all that. and they know that too.

“we’re trying to get into power so we don’t have any”

yeah right.

#40 Comment By Sunny On 9th October, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

Helen Tiffin, or should I say Muzumdar - please go away and stop being a twit all your life.

#41 Comment By Sofia On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:01 pm

Jeez you’d think he would’ve got the message by now..do you think he has some sort of personality disorder

#42 Comment By Rumbold On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

ZinZin:

” Although you don’t say it, you skirt around the issue of privatisation.”

I have broached the idea a few times, but then am told that it is the worst idea ever. What I say is that defenders of the BBC are happy to pay a licence fee, so they should be happy to pay a subscription fee instead. This would mean that the BBC would not have to run adverts. The BBC could then concentrate on its ‘public service’ broadcasting, shorn of having to pay massive salaries to people like Jonathan Ross. This seems to me to be a sensible idea (people who want the BBC can fund it), but then the following happens:

-I am informed that the BBC is a public good (a economic codeword used by BBCphiles meaning that people say they like the BBC but do not actually want to pay for it, so it should be taxpayer funded).

-Then I am told that a subscription service would lead to the BBC heading for the lowest common denominator in broadcasting material (despite the fact that its subscribers want it to stay ‘high brow’).

-When all this failed the dreaded ‘Murdoch’ name is thrown into the mix.

-If I use the example of taxpayer-funded newspapers as a counterpart I am told that it is a different situation altogether (why?).

-Or else BBCphiles just fail to address the subscription idea and pretend that it does not exist.

Watch.

#43 Comment By Sunny On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

I am informed that the BBC is a public good (a economic codeword used by BBCphiles meaning that people say they like the BBC but do not actually want to pay for it, so it should be taxpayer funded).

It’s not a codeword - it’s a common concept. You pay for national defence, as do I. Would I be justified in saying I don’t want to pay my taxes that go for defence because its against my morals? We all have to pay because it doesn’t work if only a few pay.

The same goes for public roads etc. An independent media organisation is a public good and should be paid for everyone not just those who find it ideologically difficult.

#44 Comment By Rumbold On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:33 pm

Sunny:

“It’s not a codeword - it’s a common concept. You pay for national defence, as do I. Would I be justified in saying I don’t want to pay my taxes that go for defence because its against my morals? We all have to pay because it doesn’t work if only a few pay.”

Some things are proper public goods, like National defence, because you cannot be seperated from the defensive network, even if you do not pay. The BBC is one of a number of media organisations, and I do not believe that it is any better than the rest. I do not expect you to subsidize my news outlets, so why should I pay for yours?

“An independent media organisation is a public good and should be paid for everyone not just those who find it ideologically difficult.”

All organisations are independent, or none are. What does independent mean? The government decides most of the BBC’s practices (especially how much money it gets). Why is the BBC any more independent than say the Daily Mirror, or the Daily Mail? When I watch the BBC I see anti-Israeli, pro-EU news. Why is that a public good (any more than pro-Israeli, anti-EU news would be)?

#45 Comment By Morgoth On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:37 pm

So Sunny is now equating EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing with Roads…..

So Sunny, tell me, why should I have to fund EastEnders on threat of going to jail?

And incidentally, Marr and many others *have* admitted that the BBC *is* institutionally left-of-centre.

#46 Comment By Sahil On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:39 pm

“(a economic codeword used by BBCphiles meaning that people say they like the BBC but do not actually want to pay for it, so it should be taxpayer funded).”

Come on Rumbold, you know better than to make a comment like that. As sunny already explained, there are lots of public goods that I’m quite angry about i.e. Iraq war. Does that mean get rid of the ministry of defence??

#47 Comment By Rumbold On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:46 pm

Sahil:

“Does that mean get rid of the ministry of defence??”

If we got rid of the military then we would be open to an invasion from France, or possibly Castile. If we got rid of the BBC, nothing would happen apart from there would be a few more pro-EU Guardianistas and soap actors down at the the dole office.

#48 Comment By Natty On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:49 pm

Rumbold - If you don’t like the BBC Tax then you can:

a - Leave the country and go and live in the same country as Murdoch and give him your money where there is no state tv fee.

b - not watch TV so you don’t have to pay the licence.

c - show you don’t tune into any terrestrial or sattellite tv and then you don’t have to pay the licence.

For someone who slams the BBC so much Murdoch is awfully keen to have it on his Sky Boxes isn’t he? Maybe it is in the hope of attracting people to more of his services.

Tell me when did Murdoch ever pay Corporate Tax fully on his earnings in this country?

“Like Eastenders, The national lottery show, reality TV shows, hidden camera shows, unfunny BBC3 shows, the pretentious Newsnight review. I would really miss all these.”

It has obviously missed your attention but there are a few more people in this country than just YOU, and they quite like the BBC. Also we pay other tax to allow those less fortunate than us to have services.

The licence fee allows those less fortunate than us to have a range of entertainment. This includes the elderly, people in hospital can also watch the BBC. So I for one don’t begrudge the £150′ish pounds as it also helps other people. It provides for minority interest programmes, it provides for children’s educational programmes, it provides for documentaries, news, political broadcasts and so forth.

Something that no commercial venture would do. Murdoch promised and never delivered childrens education programmes. That is his right as a businessman but the BBC has to produce this variety so the nation does well out of it.

The BBC is well regarded across the world, something Murdoch can only aspire to. He is a businessman and his aim is to make money. Not to serve the wider comunity.

The BBC does this and does it very well.

Why is it that other nations aspire to what the BBC is and buy so many programmes from it and yet you want to beat it down?

#49 Comment By Sahil On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

“we would be open to an invasion from France,”

Really?? Says who :D

Look here’s another example of a public good tax cuts for private schools (actually its a merit good, Jargon yada yada). I do not agree with that and I think its a barrier to social mobility. There are so many others and everyone has an opinion, that’s the nature of ‘what is a public good?’. IMO BBC (news) is crap because its too trivial, but that’s something which be improved. I do not even have an idea of how to go about making fox news ‘fair and balanced’.

#50 Comment By douglas clark On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

Rumbold,

Here’s a question for you. Name a non terrestial broadcaster that is ‘fair and balanced’ If we give up on the bloody BBC all we’d get is corporate nonsense shoved down our throats forever. And, until advertising revenues fell to zero, it would be the advertisers interest groups, not the consumers interest groups that would call the shots. No?

#51 Comment By newmania On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:57 pm

No, let’s improve it.

Thanks all the same but if you think the BBC is ‘central ‘then there is clearly no point whatsoever in trying to establish an editorial position aceptable to the licence payer across the board. it is currently roughly with the Independent the most left Liberal Paper and the one particularly loathsome to the right ( Far more so than the Guardian)
It will have to go and that should please both of us equally if were you being honest. You are not though are you

I remember your recent piece on the BBC when you suggested that the reason the left complained so very much less about the content was because they had a greater commitment to the truth. I entertained the horrible suspicion you may even believe this tranparent foolishness briefly but thought better of your sanity on reflection. It is a ruse … well fine, very clever, but you cannot manufacture the tidal wave of dis-satisfaction aimed at the BBC for good reason

The defence of the BBC up to the 90s was that it was there to balance the free media that it claimed was in some sort of capitalist conspiracy 9 This is still suggested). I have already quoted to you the background and careers of the main figures for that period and if you wish to make a your case at that time I shall not bother with it . It is entirely clear that the market is open to left as right views there is no need for a balancing state vechile.

I agree that the BBC has moved from outright support of the Labour Party and far left to its default progressive Liberalism. The coverage of John Redwoods tax cutting ideas was typically sneering though and one sided .The Labour Party were given the mike whithin 20 seconds on all broadcasts as was much laughed at by Private Eye. Helen Boaden is clearly a high tax enthusiast and her apologies were close to lies .

AS we see over IHT this is far from the view of the country. If it were truly reformed it would be unacceptable to Liberal and left opinion who could not , in my view, put up with their assumtions being questioned on a daily basis with half the good humour of the Conservative Party..and as for realitive commitment to truth

Don`t get me started.

#52 Comment By Rumbold On 9th October, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

Natty:
a - Leave the country and go and live in the same country as Murdoch and give him your money where there is no state tv fee.

b - not watch TV so you don’t have to pay the licence.

c - show you don’t tune into any terrestrial or sattellite tv and then you don’t have to pay the licence.”

So I can choose exile or never watch TV again? How pleasing for me.

“For someone who slams the BBC so much Murdoch is awfully keen to have it on his Sky Boxes isn’t he? Maybe it is in the hope of attracting people to more of his services.”

People do like the BBC, and they are perfectly welcome to pay for it. If a privatised BBC news moves even further to the left then fine- as long as I am not expected to pay for it.

“Tell me when did Murdoch ever pay Corporate Tax fully on his earnings in this country?”

I have never said that I like Murdoch, but at the end of the day he would not be rich if nobody bought his products.

“The licence fee allows those less fortunate than us to have a range of entertainment. This includes the elderly, people in hospital can also watch the BBC. So I for one don’t begrudge the £150′ish pounds as it also helps other people. It provides for minority interest programmes, it provides for children’s educational programmes, it provides for documentaries, news, political broadcasts and so forth.”

That would be the beauty of a subscription service- you could still have all that.

“Why is it that other nations aspire to what the BBC is and buy so many programmes from it and yet you want to beat it down?”

I object to being forced to pay for a media organisation on pain of imprisonment.

#53 Comment By Sunny On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

All organisations are independent, or none are. What does independent mean? The government decides most of the BBC’s practices

Independent from commercial vested interests, or dictated by the whim of proprietors who have little interest in democracy or even the well being of this nation.

You say we need national defence. Says who? Switzerland manages fine without it. Or if you want to pay for it, a bunch of you could club together and pay to protect yourself from the French. I’m quite happy for having them run my railways :)

And incidentally, Marr and many others *have* admitted that the BBC *is* institutionally left-of-centre.

But I thought you said he was a socialist? Lol. Why don’t you read exactly what he said rather than getting all your info from the Daily Mail.

#54 Comment By Sunny On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:01 pm

Rumbold - as other examples - we can also privatise roads, footpaths and schools. Even the NHS. Is that the way to go?

#55 Comment By Rumbold On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:06 pm

Sahil:

“Look here’s another example of a public good tax cuts for private schools (actually its a merit good, Jargon yada yada). I do not agree with that and I think its a barrier to social mobility.”

I disagree, as private schools take the strain off the state sector, but as you say all public goods are debatable. I just think that the BBC is not a public good.

Douglas:

“Name a non terrestial broadcaster that is ‘fair and balanced’.”

There aren’t any. Nor is the BBC. I do not expect the BBC to be fair and balanced, as that is impossible. I simply do not want to pay for it- let those who want it to succeed pay for it (the bedrock of capitalism).

“And, until advertising revenues fell to zero, it would be the advertisers interest groups, not the consumers interest groups that would call the shots. No?”

No. The BBC could have a subcription fee set at £10 a month, or £120 a year. If five million households signed up, that would gice them a budget of £600 million p/a. That would be enough to make ‘quality programmes’ without the need for ads.

#56 Comment By Rumbold On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:12 pm

Sunny:

“You say we need national defence. Says who? Switzerland manages fine without it. Or if you want to pay for it, a bunch of you could club together and pay to protect yourself from the French.”

Heh. So be it- you do know that the French eat every living creature on the planet and so you would not be able to survive as a vegetarian under European rule?

“Rumbold - as other examples - we can also privatise roads, footpaths and schools. Even the NHS. Is that the way to go?”

Perhaps it is, or at the very least privatise most of the government (for health a European-style health insurance system might work better). I would be happy to see most things prised from the dead hand of the state, as I believe that people know what is best for themselves, more so than Johnny bureaucrat.

#57 Comment By bananabrain On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

@natty:

bananabrain - she attacks any Jewish person or organisation that doesn’t advocate her position. Forget her attacks on Muslims. I’d be interested to know how well she is regarded within the Jewish Community.

i know all this. her piece on “jews for genocide” was quite simply ridiculous, as indeed jonathan freedland (who i do not always agree with) pointed out rather well - and, as many people here will remember, i care just as little for the self-styled, self-seeking “independent jewish voices”. i don’t care for her style, i don’t care for much of her content and i don’t agree with the majority of her points - but it doesn’t make her automatically wrong about absolutely everything and it particularly doesn’t make her *racist*. she appeals to the daily mail (and some of the daily telegraph) tendency within the jewish community but certainly not to the jewish equivalent of guardianistas, who are fairly legion. jews have many differing opinions.

b’shalom

bananabrain

#58 Comment By ZinZin On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:20 pm

Rumbold.
I agree hand every thing over to the market, after all we can exercise more control over the market than the state.

#59 Comment By Rumbold On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

ZinZin:

“I agree hand every thing over to the market, after all we can exercise more control over the market than the state.”

Indeed- by not purchasing their products.

#60 Comment By ZinZin On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

“Indeed- by not purchasing their products.”

Thats a good point, however if you can’t afford the product in question then it is irrelevant.

#61 Comment By Sunny On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

I would be happy to see most things prised from the dead hand of the state, as I believe that people know what is best for themselves, more so than Johnny bureaucrat.

I’m afraid that’s not strictly true. People can make the right choices depending on if there’s plenty of info available, that the info is easily comparable, and to ensure consumers are not manipulated.

But we don’t have perfect competition, so your phrase is utopian rather than a reflection of reality.

#62 Comment By Sunny On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

Thats a good point, however if you can’t afford the product in question then it is irrelevant

I think the 35 million or so Americans who don’t have health insurance are also acutely aware of this.

#63 Comment By bananabrain On 9th October, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

zinzin:

oooOOOOOooooo!!!

b’shalom

bananabrain

#64 Comment By newmania On 9th October, 2007 @ 6:13 pm

Independent from commercial vested interests, or dictated by the whim of proprietors who have little interest in democracy or even the well being of this nation.

There it is the admission that the BBC`s role for the left is to balance the supposed plotting of corrupt Capitalist such those runing the Guardian and Mirror.
Lets see hwo they cover Brown`s pirtiful cover up on IHT then because thus far he is getting a free ride uniquely from the BBC whose budget , ultimately , he controls.

Sunny you are damaging your own credibility by attempting to hold this silly contrarian position which is out of line with your usual respect for evidence and common sense

#65 Comment By soru On 9th October, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

There it is the admission that the BBC`s role for the left is to balance the supposed plotting of corrupt Capitalist such those runing the Guardian and Mirror.

Some confusion in terms here. All newspapers run at a loss, and have for 10 decades or more. Consequently, no proprieter is a capitalist, someone investing money with the aim of making more. Anyone who tried to run a newspaper on that basis would be driven out of the market by undercutting within months.

It would be nearly as doomed as trying to run a racehorse stable on a commercial basis, expecting prizemoney to to exceed expenses and make a competitive rate of return: racehorses cost millions, prizes are tens of thousands at most.

Newspaper owners are already-rich people purchasing a product, spending money in return for influence and prestige. Some of those rich people are relatively liberal, just as they were in the days when MPs and votes were purchased even more directly. Look at the guy who owns al jazeera.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it would be fundamentally wrong for the ultra-rich to have a near-monopoly of influence. There needs to be a counter-balancing factor, just as there needs to be a non-state alternative in countries like Burma.

If there was some alternative set-up to the BBC that didn’t allow the purchase of essential parts of the democratic system by the ultra-rich, then it would be worth considering. Maybe someone can point me at some country where such a thing exists, a country with a solely privately-owned media that counts, pragmatically speaking, as a democracy.

#66 Comment By douglas clark On 9th October, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

Soru,

I agree with you, and I know you find that painful. What Rumbold and the rest don’t seem to want to get is this, from your comment:

If there was some alternative set-up to the BBC that didn’t allow the purchase of essential parts of the democratic system by the ultra-rich, then it would be worth considering.

We are in danger of surrendering everything to corporate interests, the boys that sell stuff, and hang the price.

Rumbold, I know you’d be happy to see politics move to the right, but would you be happy to see society dictated by the plutocracy? Your friends would like to know.

#67 Comment By Bleh/Morgoth On 9th October, 2007 @ 10:07 pm

But I thought you said he was a socialist? Lol. Why don’t you read exactly what he said rather than getting all your info from the Daily Mail.

Sunny, Marr has admitted that publically.

“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”.

And I read the Times and the Telegraphy, incidentally.

But hey, I guess “Daily Mail reader!” is your idea of a smear. Guess its better than your usual “chimp!”.

I can actually see where this conversation is going. I’ve had the same run-in with Wardytron over this, and like you, all he could come up with in defense of the BBC was “we think its good for you”.

Which is frankly, completely and totally pathetic.


Article printed from Pickled Politics: http://www.pickledpolitics.com

URL to article: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1436

URLs in this post:
[1] we have here: http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,,2184392,00.html
[2] ‘Crowngate’: http://media.guardian.co.uk/mediaguardian/story/0,,2185635,00.html
[3] only crime: http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/organgrinder/2007/10/steven_barnett_professor_of_co.html
[4] Melanie Phillips today: http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=541
[5] said nothing: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1383
[6] free speech: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/sunny_hundal/2007/10/muslims_should_embrace_fre.html
[7] http://www.outfoxed.org/: http://www.outfoxed.org/
[8] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3232852.stm: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3232852.stm
[9] http://www.thebadrash.com/2006/09/01/melanie-phillips-is-a-terrorist/: http://www.thebadrash.com/2006/09/01/melanie-phillips-is-a-terrorist/
[10] http://www.thejc.com/home.aspx?ParentId=m12s114&SecId=114&AId=51460&ATypeId=1: http://www.thejc.com/home.aspx?ParentId=m12s114&SecId=114&AId=51460&ATypeId=1
[11] http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1187: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1187
[12] http://media.guardian.co.uk/newmedia/story/0,,2179379,00.html: http://media.guardian.co.uk/newmedia/story/0,,2179379,00.html