Why didn’t Radio 1′s BNPgate get highlighted earlier

by Sunny
13th October, 2009 at 2:01 pm    

Why did the BBC’s soft BNP interview take so long to become a national story? – asks Roy Greenslade at the Guardian. He has, quite helpfully, a good run-down of how the story slowly evolved until it became massive once the Mail on Sunday picked it up and ran a three-page splash.

Perhaps there are a few agendas at work here. Perhaps Guardian journos didn’t want to bash the BBC and so they didn’t run it initially. Besides, complaining about an extremely soft interview isn’t necessarily a story in itself. The Daily Mail has a more straight-forward BBC-bashing agenda, though admittedly it has also been running anti-BNP articles (while airing their talking points on other columns/stories.)

But once the Mail on Sunday went big with: BBC storm as two of BNP’s most notorious activists are invited on Radio 1 to insult Ashley Cole – it suddenly got picked up all over the press.

Keep in mind it has been all over the blogs repeatedly. Here is a list:
Mehdi Hasan at New Statesman
The F Word
Pickled Politics
Sarah Ditum’s Paperhouse
853 blog
Harry’s Place
Nothing British about the BNP
Lenin’s Tomb
Ms Kitton
Time Out
… and perhaps more.

To answer the question in the title of this post – it’s that the Daily Mail is good at spotting and creating stories, especially when it has a specific agenda. But it could have been turned into a story when Radio 1′s Rod McKenzie published this lame attempt to defend the interview.

Or it could be that journos only read a narrow range of certain blogs and take their political temperature from those.

But this also comes back to the point I raised earlier about BBC journalism. It isn’t proper journalism when you invite a flat-earther and a scientist on to a debate and have them slog it out. It isn’t proper journalism when you present the overwhelming evidence against global warming as ‘one side of a controversial debate’ – that’s just disingenuous.

The same will happen on Question Time next week when Nick Griffin turns up and says a whole bunch of things which, in many cases, may not be true but won’t be challenged because the other panellists won’t have read up on them. I had hoped that perhaps a better way for the media to deal with the BNP is by having them on programmes and challenging their views and engaging them directly via preparation. Radio 1′s journalism shows even that isn’t a safe bet any more.

Lastly, all this highlights that while the mainstream media lives in a cosy consensus – blogs play a vital role in giving light to real stories that are often ignored.

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Filed in: Media,Race politics

9 Comments below   |  

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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Why didn't Radio 1's BNPgate get highlighted earlier http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6195

  2. rJames Glover

    @MsKitton Did you know that you've been linked by Sunny over at Pickled Politics? http://bit.ly/rPJcx

  1. Unity — on 13th October, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

    The same will happen on Question Time next week when Nick Griffin turns up and says a whole bunch of things which, in many cases, may not be true but won’t be challenged because the other panellists won’t have read up on them.

    Not necessarily, Sunny.

    QT’s production teams have, in past, shown themselves to be pretty adept at stitching up unpopular panelists, as happened when they fed Otis Ferry to Tony Benn and set Stephen Green up to be double-team by Simon Hughes and Janet Street-Porter.

    So far, the only thing we know is that Jack Straw will be on the panel with Griffin and, to be fair, Straw does know how to carry the fight to the BNP for as much as I might have liked to have seen Cruddas take it one.

    Much depends on who the other panellists are and, particularly, on whether the Tories put up a heavyweight of their own – given Griffin’s past foray into Holocaust Denial, Michael Howard wouldn’t be a bad choice.

    If its just a Straw v Griffin slugfest with a bunch of also rans on the panel then the also rans will just get in the way, but the other parties are also up for this and we also get a halfway decent non-politico then Griffin could easily get royally shafted.

  2. billaricaydickey — on 13th October, 2009 at 3:17 pm  

    You ask questions Sunny boy, but never come up with an answer. Give us one this time you tosser.

  3. bananabrain — on 13th October, 2009 at 4:04 pm  

    it seems bonnie greer is in the frame.



  4. Sunny — on 13th October, 2009 at 4:11 pm  

    bill – it was you screaming and frothing last night at me on Radio 5 live wasnt it? ;-)
    admit it!

  5. highfieldoval — on 13th October, 2009 at 7:22 pm  

    Nothing soft about the interview at all. The girl asked the obvious questions and challenged their answers. What did people expect a slanging match?

    The listeners that are open minded are quite capable of evaluating the views expressed and making a judgment. The interviewer’s job is not to peddle UAF leftwing propaganda.

    From the editors blog it seems that most had already made up their minds about the BNP anyway and most seem to be in favour.

  6. Leon — on 13th October, 2009 at 8:42 pm  

    Yep Bonnie Greer is on the panel…should be an interesting show.

  7. Kismet Hardy — on 13th October, 2009 at 8:54 pm  

    A little ditty for the BNP…

    The True Born Englishman

    Thus from a mixture of all kinds began,
    That het’rogeneous thing, an Englishman:
    In eager rapes, and furious lust begot,
    Betwixt a painted Britain and a Scot.
    Whose gend’ring off-spring quickly learn’d to bow,
    And yoke their heifers to the Roman plough:
    From whence a mongrel half-bred race there came,
    With neither name, nor nation, speech nor fame.
    In whose hot veins new mixtures quickly ran,
    Infus’d betwixt a Saxon and a Dane.
    While their rank daughters, to their parents just,
    Receiv’d all nations with promiscuous lust.
    This nauseous brood directly did contain
    The well-extracted blood of Englishmen.

    Which medly canton’d in a heptarchy,
    A rhapsody of nations to supply,
    Among themselves maintain’d eternal wars,
    And still the ladies lov’d the conquerors.

    The western Angles all the rest subdu’d;
    A bloody nation, barbarous and rude:
    Who by the tenure of the sword possest
    One part of Britain, and subdu’d the rest
    And as great things denominate the small,
    The conqu’ring part gave title to the whole.
    The Scot, Pict, Britain, Roman, Dane, submit,
    And with the English-Saxon all unite:
    And these the mixture have so close pursu’d,
    The very name and memory’s subdu’d:
    No Roman now, no Britain does remain;
    Wales strove to separate, but strove in vain:
    The silent nations undistinguish’d fall,
    And Englishman’s the common name for all.
    Fate jumbled them together, God knows how;
    What e’er they were they’re true-born English now.

    The wonder which remains is at our pride,
    To value that which all wise men deride.
    For Englishmen to boast of generation,
    Cancels their knowledge, and lampoons the nation.
    A true-born Englishman’s a contradiction,
    In speech an irony, in fact a fiction.
    A banter made to be a test of fools,
    Which those that use it justly ridicules.
    A metaphor invented to express
    A man a-kin to all the universe.

    For as the Scots, as learned men ha’ said,
    Throughout the world their wand’ring seed ha’ spread;
    So open-handed England, ’tis believ’d,
    Has all the gleanings of the world receiv’d.

    Some think of England ’twas our Saviour meant,
    The Gospel should to all the world be sent:
    Since, when the blessed sound did hither reach,
    They to all nations might be said to preach.

    ‘Tis well that virtue gives nobility,
    How shall we else the want of birth and blood supply?
    Since scarce one family is left alive,
    Which does not from some foreigner derive.

    Daniel Defoe (1701)

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