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  • Surely they should get rid of ‘red nose day’?


    by Sunny
    14th March, 2009 at 11:25 am    

    So the BBC have raised a hell of a lot of money for Red Nose Day. Good stuff. It goes to under-privileged people in the UK and Africa. Good stuff… errr, wait. Hold on a second.

    When justifying their decision not to broadcast the Gaza appeal, the BBC’s director-general said it might affect their coverage of the news in the area. Presumably, now, the BBC will explain where all this money is going to and reassure us that it won’t affect coverage of news in Africa and around Britain. No? I want to know dammit: they may end up running a ‘positive’ story about kids starving in Africa, influenced of course by the completely political exercise that is Red Nose Day.


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    Filed in: Current affairs,Events,Media






    26 Comments below   |  

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    1. Sam

      @bobbyllew If it’s any consolation, PickledPols’ also saying something unpalatably true about the Beeb and Red Nose Day. http://is.gd/njPs


    2. pickles

      New blog post: Surely they should get rid of ‘red nose day’? http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/3700


    3. Sam

      @bobbyllew If it’s any consolation, PickledPols’ also saying something unpalatably true about the Beeb and Red Nose Day. http://is.gd/njPs




    1. Matthew Cain — on 14th March, 2009 at 11:44 am  

      Comic Relief is hopeless - not only for the way that it distorts coverage of Africa but for the hours the BBC spends on it, I found it hard to believe it couldn’t achieve more for charity: http://blog.matthewcain.co.uk/why-i-hate-comic-relief

    2. marvin — on 14th March, 2009 at 12:05 pm  

      Who honestly thinks Red Nose day will affect impartiality? This is just a shot at the BBC over not broadcasting material that would be useful to terrorist organisations….

      I/P conflict? It’s a fucking minefield. Who’s to blame for the Gaza offensive? Everybody has an opinion. Mine is different to yours.

      You may disagree with the decision not to broadcast the DEC appeal for Gaza, but surely you understand the concerns of the Mark Thompson?

    3. Sid — on 14th March, 2009 at 12:18 pm  

      This is just a shot at the BBC over not broadcasting material that would be useful to terrorist organisations….

      How tables have turned. Only a few months ago marvin was sneering at the BBC for being ‘Al-BBC’ and now the BBC are beacons of impartianlity for not broadcasting an appeal for a humanitarian crisis.

    4. Amrit — on 14th March, 2009 at 12:28 pm  

      Sorry, but… dead horse?

      It may be time to rethink this. Yes, the BBC refused to broadcast it. Yes, this was a stupid decision and also perhaps suspect.

      HOWEVER, the appeal got even more publicity than it might have otherwise.

      Ergo: something WAS gained after all.

      This attack on Red Nose Day seems kinda, well, pointless. One argument that the BBC could very readily level at you is, why stop broadcasting it when it is a popular tradition in this country? As indicated by the fact that some of the major programmes draw a large audience share:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/mar/13/tv-ratings-comic-relief-kilimanjaro

      Presumably, now, the BBC will explain where all this money is going to and reassure us that it won’t affect coverage of news in Africa and around Britain.

      I daresay it has already, given that we have the continual cultural meme of Africans as needing to be ‘rescued’ in some shape or form by Westerners, from their own gross incompetence or something else. I mean, a bit less of this (conveniently career-resurrecting charity) and a bit more of this:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4759122.stm

      wouldn’t go amiss.

    5. MaidMarian — on 14th March, 2009 at 12:32 pm  

      Stretching the point a very long way here Sunny.

      RND may well be total shit (Matthew Cain is correct) but it can hardly be said to be an exercise in identity politics and ramming this down RND’s throat is manifestly unfair.

      Perhaps I may put this another way. In the past months there has been a whole slew of articles on here making some tenuous link to identity politics as though that were some kind of lowest common denominator, a lens through which every issue must be filtered.

      This kind of over simple reductivism will just not do - identities may be important but they are not some overriding standard by which everything can and must be gauged and painted as right and wrong. Things can, must, stand on their own merits Sunny - as your excellent article on ‘whataboutery’ suggested.

      Indeed Sunny, the cynic in me wonders whether your huge over-use of identity politics is just a cheap stalking horse for you to use to waggle your genitals at New Labour. You can do better than reduce yourself to a near parody unable to look beyond identity politics.

      You have a bee in your bonnet about Gaza - fine, write about that. There is no need to tag that grievance (via identity politics and a kick at the BBC) onto your coverage about RND. You are more than capable of writing good stuff on the issues themself - do it!

      To reduce everything to identity (and, indeed, narrowly defined religious identities at that) is a poor substitute for debate. It is conspiratorial, divisive and self reinforcing. Worse than that, it is just a shoddy article. Furthermore, cheaply trying to contaminate every issue with a Gaza/anti-New Labour angle is just boring.

      Yes - of course this website has an identity agenda, fair enough. But it also, supposedly has a progressive agenda and reducing everything hardly caters to that market.

      You don’t like New Labour and want to get your frustrations about Gaza off your chest - we got it a long time ago. But, as this article demonstrates you are starting to lose all sight of the world outside identity politics.

      Re-read the article Sunny. Is that really the best you have?

    6. marvin — on 14th March, 2009 at 12:35 pm  

      It was deemed a humanitarian crisis. Although there are thousands of humanitarian crises across the globe. And these are crises where people die from no water and no food.

      None have died in Gaza due to lack of food or water. And this crisis could have been avoided. The government of Gaza is responsible for it’s citizens. It failed in it’s duty to them.

      You see it’s an extremely contentious issue. Why should the BBC broadcast a charity appeal for Gaza, when it’s a man made crisis that could have been prevented, and where actually, unlike many other places in the world, none have died through starvation or thirst. They are hardly an ignored people. The Palestinians already receieve more aid per head than other group of people on the planet. They are the only people to have their own UN agency dedicated to them. Life expectancy is 72 years.

      The Palestinians do not suffer because of the BBC. There is a large groundswell of support at the BBC for the Palestinians. Their Middle Eastern correspondent cried when Yasser Arafat died.

      The Palestinians suffer because of extremism and intolerance, and allowing this kind of politics to govern the people.

    7. Sid — on 14th March, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

      I was never convinced of accusations of the BBC’s tendency of political bias. I foolishly believed in the sanctity of Aunty Beeb’s unblemished political neutrality and objectivity. But it’s partisan stance on the DEC Gaza Appeal made sure that that ideal now lies dead in the water.

      Two things happened:

      1) I doubled my donation to the DEC Gaza Appeal
      2) I strongly want the BBC to be privatised so that it’s status as a nationalised and non-partisan news agency does have any bearing on it’s politcs.

    8. marvin — on 14th March, 2009 at 1:59 pm  

      1) I doubled my donation to the DEC Gaza Appeal

      Indeed, it received massive publicity due to Mark Thompson’s stance. I bet DEC has generated more money for Gaza than if the BBC had of aired the appeal. The BBC was not against the appeal, it just decided that showing a crying a child on some rubble would be deliberate play on emotions, how many people were already angry at Israel? How many were already angry at Jews? Anti-semitic attacks were already at an all time high in this country. Why should the state funded broadcaster air such an emotive and context free video?

      2) I strongly want the BBC to be privatised so that it’s status as a nationalised and non-partisan news agency does have any bearing on it’s politcs.

      Heh. I suspect just many people, who were against the BBC for it’s many journalists who are/were very pro-Palestinian and have at least some hostility to Israel, may have a new found respect for this institution since deciding to stick to it’s impartiality creed by not airing this context free appeal.

      I don’t see why the BBC should air any appeal for a particular cause where it’s a political minefield. What if they aired the appeal and large quantities of the aid generated ended up in the hands of Hamas (hardly unlikely is it?)

      How would people feel about the BBC airing an appeal for the Children of Sderot, to help build air shelters? I think many would be enraged at it’s “impartiality”, it’s pro-Israel stance, the ZioBeeb etc.

    9. Arif — on 14th March, 2009 at 2:41 pm  

      We all draw different lines of the worthy and unworthy poor. The usual arguments seem to be based on asking:

      What was their role in becoming victims?
      Does their behaviour show a willingness to co-operate with others in future?
      Will it make any long-term difference?

      And then questioning the sincerity of people who have different interpretations from us!

      I find it quite encouraging that the biggest humanitarian charities tend to be quite indifferent to these questions and help people in need whenever they can get access and resources to do so.

      Whatever our politically conditioned views of worthy and unworthy victims, we mostly tend to give our money to organisations less selective in who they care for than we are ourselves.

    10. Riz Din — on 14th March, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

      Confession: On several occasions, including last night, I recorded Comic Relief and fast forwarded through all the sad depressing stuff about malarial ridden children, abused women etc, and went straight to the comedy sketched and performances.

      Do I feel guilty about it? Not a bit.

      When we give money to charity for a serious, potentially life-saving cause, I simply can’t link it to somebody sitting in a bath of beans for half a day, or doing something equally crazy. Yes it’s all for a good cause and it’s fun, but the idea that I will give to save lives based on somebody performing a completely random task really pains me. Those celebrities went up a mountain and raised loads for charity, and so did Comic Relief more generally, but is this because people are giving who otherwise wouldn’t? I don’t want to be one of those people.

    11. Leon — on 14th March, 2009 at 9:12 pm  

      Two things happened:

      1) I doubled my donation to the DEC Gaza Appeal
      2) I strongly want the BBC to be privatised so that it’s status as a nationalised and non-partisan news agency does have any bearing on it’s politcs.

      I never quite believed in the BBC to the same degree as Sid but the above applies equally to me. I see no point in it being ‘publicly’ owned now and want it privatised.

    12. Sunny — on 14th March, 2009 at 11:50 pm  

      Indeed Sunny, the cynic in me wonders whether your huge over-use of identity politics is just a cheap stalking horse for you to use to waggle your genitals at New Labour.

      Could you explain this accusation a bit more? I’m not sure what you mean MM?

      Amrit and MM - basically, I’m making a point about BBC hypocrisy.

      It might be an old issue but basically it still stands - there are different standards the BBC applies when it makes these excuses about Gaza.

      Privatise it - I no longer give a crap either. All it does whole day is echo Sun and Daily Mail talking points.

    13. Sunny — on 14th March, 2009 at 11:54 pm  

      How would people feel about the BBC airing an appeal for the Children of Sderot, to help build air shelters? I think many would be enraged at it’s “impartiality”, it’s pro-Israel stance, the ZioBeeb etc.

      Mmm.. sure marvin - if there is an embargo on them then I’d understand.

      But there is still an embargo on Palestinians imposed by Israel that makes their life more difficult. They’re basically being equated and punished for what Hamas does.

      Have you said anything about that lately marvin?

    14. marvin — on 15th March, 2009 at 9:37 am  

      Privatise it - I no longer give a crap either

      Hilarious. Leon, Sid, Sunny — one incident an all of a sudden you oppose the BBC and want it priviatised! Hell hath no fury like a liberal-lefty scorned!

      You all thought the BBC was at the height of journalist integrity in 2003 with it’s coverage of the Iraq war decisions.

      Conservatives, Tories, anyone right of Labour have had to put up with a generally liberal-left agenda for YEARS from the BBC. Numerous occasions have they patronised us, let us down, and ignored us. They’ve been virtually twinned with The Guardian.

      The bias in some of their staff has been uneblievable, the Middle Eastern correspondent who broke down in uncontrollable tears when terrrorist leader Yassir Arafat dies springs to mind.

      It would make a massive change if this were any where near the truth:

      All is does is echo to the two most popular newspapers in the country with a combined readership of 7 million.
      The Guardian has a readership of 350,000. Who should have more say Sunny???

      What staunch friends you liberal-lefties are when decisions are made that make you angry. Christ on a bike. With friends like these….

      They did vote in Hamas. They need to unvote them. Get rid of them. No Hamas = No genocidal terror group = No emargo.

    15. chairwoman — on 15th March, 2009 at 10:57 am  

      Why is the publicly funded BBC doing charity appeals at all?

    16. Refresh — on 15th March, 2009 at 11:20 am  

      There is no reason for the BBC to be privatised. In an era where private is fast becoming a dirty word, we will need the BBC to sustain television from the point of view of both technology and programming.

      What we need to do is put in a robust governership which stands firmly against political interference from governments. Both UK and abroad. In particular I refer to Israel whether direct or through supporters.

      Do not forget it was Thatcher’s government which started pulling the BBCs teeth (and ITVs) so that it would stop coverage of overseas news. Most broadcasters started shutting down their bureaus abroad, and started focussing more on domestic news. Thus avoiding oversight of our governments actions abroad.

      This is the model that has worked for the US, where their public is kept dumb. It was no surprise that a significant majority of US citizens had no idea where Iraq was - a country where their government had directly contributed to the creation of Saddam’s monstrosity and where they then had gone on to oversee 500,000 children die.

    17. Rumbold — on 15th March, 2009 at 12:10 pm  

      Refresh:

      Why not simply turn the BBC into a subscription service, free from ads? Those who like the BBC can continue to pay for it and watch it, and those who don’t like it won’t have to watch it. Thus the BBC can retain the alleged qualities that some admire, and won’t have to justify itself to papers like the Sun and Mail.

    18. marvin — on 15th March, 2009 at 5:22 pm  

      Sky News refused the broadcast of the Gaza DEC Appeal too don’t forget.

      The BBC has to justify itself to those who pay the Licence fee. Of course they have to justfiy themseleves to the press; all of it, not just the Guardia FFS.

      Whilst you all continue your incessant sniping of the Mail and the Sun, they are are tour de force and 7 million people read them. Including a large proportion of brown people. Shocking I know considering their “racism” (read: against mass immigration). There are some questionable articles in ALL newspapers I could point out. Uncle Tom ones in the Indendepent, ones written by Islamic extremists in the Guardian — the tabloid ones are well documented here.

    19. Refresh — on 15th March, 2009 at 5:38 pm  

      Marvin,

      ‘The bias in some of their staff has been uneblievable, the Middle Eastern correspondent who broke down in uncontrollable tears when terrrorist leader Yassir Arafat dies springs to mind.’

      Perhaps Barbara Plett knew a little more than she could be allowed to tell the world about how it got to the point where Oslo was completely decimated, and perhaps she wasn’t sure that Arafat died a natural death. Perhaps she could see that this was the equivalent of Rabin’s assasination. Who knows?

      Plett is one of the finest reporters.

    20. MaidMarian — on 15th March, 2009 at 6:15 pm  

      Sunny (12) - Sure.

      I get the impression, looking at the articles on here over the past few months, that if certain religious groups were to get wet in the rain you would find some way to blame New Labour.

      I apologise for being a bit glib there, but I hope it kind-of illustrates the point. You simply seem to manufacture a kick at New Labour in everything you write. Usually following a sentence or two that applies identity politics to issues.

      I apologise for saying you are a parody of yourself (it was a silly thing to say) but really - RND as a way of kicking the BBC over Gaza…surely you can see the stretch.

      By all means, write the good identity politics articles and criticise New Labour. Just stop manufacturing tenuous kicks because it is starting to come across, to my mind, that you regard kicking New Labour as the be all and end all.

      It might make you feel warm inside but as progressive comment is doesn’t pass muster.

      It’s just the redictivism and and near one-trick-pony thought that grates. Not least because you written far better pieces.

      Again - read the article over again. Is that really as good as it gets?

      Best of luck to you.

    21. Sunny — on 16th March, 2009 at 12:54 am  

      Hilarious. Leon, Sid, Sunny — one incident an all of a sudden you oppose the BBC and want it priviatised! Hell hath no fury like a liberal-lefty scorned!

      marvin - no, the Gaza appeal showed that the BBC doesn’t have any balls or confidence in its journalism anymore, especially if it believes that a charity appeal will lead to biased reporting.

      Frankly, the liberal left can do much better without the BBC, because then Daily Mail and Sun talking points won’t be repeated over the air every day. I can ignore the Daily Mail and if the BBC was dismantled then people on the left will gravitate towards the Guardian and towards left-wing blogs.

      In fact, if anything, it will be a huge boost to leftwingers because we no longer have to listen to the Daily Mail agenda on a publicly funded broadcaster. It’ll be great :)

      PS - you do know its political editor used to head Young Conservatives right?

      MM - New Labour is in govt so obviously I’d give them a kicking when I think they deserve it. Though, I kick the Tories more, don’t you think?

      The point of this post was to simply highlight BBC hypocrisy. Frankly, I don’t care for its charity appeals because its gives people the false impression they’re doing good for the world. I see no evidence for it.

      This blog is a continuing conversation - a thought pops into my head and I blog it. People can then criticise or support me over it. But I’d like to think I’m continuing a narrative here. The point about this post, as I said, was to kick the BBC over its hypocrisy. What’s wrong with that?

      Sometimes articles are short and reductive. Sometimes I’ll write longer thinking pieces. It’s a broad church, no? Or do you think my blogging has been shit of late?

    22. Leon — on 16th March, 2009 at 1:20 pm  

      Hilarious. Leon, Sid, Sunny — one incident an all of a sudden you oppose the BBC and want it priviatised!

      I’m sorry but you’re an idiot. My view on the BBC has been shifting steadily against it’s license fee over the last three or four years.

      Think of all those billions the BBC sucks up, and what we could do with that money if we weren’t forced by law to spend it.

    23. MaidMarian — on 16th March, 2009 at 10:22 pm  

      ‘MM - New Labour is in govt so obviously I’d give them a kicking when I think they deserve it. Though, I kick the Tories more, don’t you think?’

      No.

      Aren’t you the man who once wrote some guff about how brown people should vote tory?

      ‘Or do you think my blogging has been shit of late?’

      Manifestly sub-standard - not shit.

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