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  • Blair and Murdoch: buddies round up on the BBC

    by Sunny
    18th September, 2005 at 4:54 am    

    What do you get when Tony Blair and Rupert Murdoch catch up for a chat? Another attack on the BBC of course. This time, believe it or not, on the subject of Katrina. The former said, according to Murdoch himself, that the Beeb was “full of hatred of America“.

    The fact that (a) Hutton stung Labour more than the BBC, or (b) Murdoch hates the BBC and (c) supported Blair throughout his tenure, or that (d) the entire American media has been heavily criticising Bush over Katrina (even Fox News shock horror) should not of course detract from the fact that there is no agenda here and the BBC is (again) biased. Please pass the sick bag.

    The Independent on Sunday has more on the two best buddies.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Media,The World

    15 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Foureyes — on 18th September, 2005 at 8:08 am  

      Bum-chums? What is this - the school playground? I like reading this blog, but the casual homophobia in this post gives me pause.

    2. Vladimir — on 18th September, 2005 at 11:44 am  

      it’s about time that people stood up and showed their love for the BBC, and stopped this hate fuelled kicking it gets whenever politicans or the comercial media fancy to pick on it. The BBC is the greatest global media institution and deserves respect.

      F*ck the haters

    3. Sunny — on 18th September, 2005 at 1:06 pm  

      That term wasn’t meant to be casually homophobic in the slightest. I didn’t even think of it in that way…. I’m vehemently as anti-homophobic as you can get, so I believe you may be mis-reading my intentions. Have changed the headline anyway.

    4. leon — on 18th September, 2005 at 1:25 pm  

      This is just an attempt to put up a smokescreen to help their mate Bush out of some falling approval ratings. The people of the world have seen the utter neglect the US government shows its black and its poor citizens and the powers that be must avert our eyes from that harrowing truth.

    5. Rohin — on 18th September, 2005 at 1:34 pm  

      I have never understood the hatred many people seem to have for the beeb. Where did it all come from? Simply because of their stance on the reason for Blair going to war? The attacks on the BBC over the last 2 years or so have really bothered me, I am a huge fan of the BBC.

      Am I missing something? Are any of the criticisms against the BBC justified? I’m biased, so perhaps I’ve not been objective.

    6. Ahmad — on 18th September, 2005 at 2:28 pm  

      lol @ foureyes

      the comment is not homophobic mate, it originates from school days were you sit next to your mate at school and sit next to them in every lesson you have together. Hence your bums are on seats together you are known as “bum chums”.

      Just thought i’d clarify that further.

    7. Al-Hack — on 18th September, 2005 at 2:35 pm  

      Let’s not forget that Katrina has driven Bush’s approval ratings to the lowest ever. The American people themselves have spoken. Bush and Blair being pals in war, it isn’t suprising the prime minister is uncomfortable with how Bush is being portrayed here. This is such a load of hogwash - Blair might as well declare his love for Murdoch and Bush and get it over with.

    8. Soultrain — on 18th September, 2005 at 3:11 pm  

      These sort of unfair attacks worry me a great deal as to whether they will achieve their aim in shutting the BBC down. No media organisation can be truly objective, but the BBC does very well in reporting things in a fair and balanced standpoint as much as possible. There are exceptions but that’s the same for everywhere. Whether that means being left wing or right wing. And that’s the problem with people like Rupert Murdoch and various others who don’t want the BBC to tell it like it is – but the BBC to be the mouthpiece for their agenda. And if it doesn’t, then they organise internet petitions, online riots and severely pressurise those in power to eliminate anyone who would dare report things that are different to their viewpoint – even only slightly. As appears to be the case with Tony Blair here.

      Having followed the BBC’s coverage in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it has been very critical of George Bush. And surely that should be asked. In the same way that a lot of the UK press have been. You only need to see the headlines of each paper to gauge how its all open season on Bush. And the BBC is no different. I have one criticism in that they were too focused on covering the political ramifications of the hurricane, rather than actual relief efforts and the environmental impact of the hurricane.

      Of course, you can also argue that there’s an element of Murdoch here using any opportunity to propagate the shutdown of one his rivals – which all journalists do to be fair - but I do think the overall premise behind this, is his desire to get more media outlets to say what he thinks. If the BBC was like another version of Fox News, all of a sudden I’m sure he’d be all for public service broadcasting.

      And it’s not only Rupert Murdoch and his interests that continually attack the BBC. With the advent of the internet, its become far more easier and simpler to protest and make an impact, from a whole variety of groups and ideologies. The BBC is pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, anti-Bush, anti-business, pro-capitalist, anti-Blair, I’ve even heard it described as a mouthpiece of Blair; people do seem to forget the David Kelly affair very quickly! Too many people don’t want to respect each others moderate opinions, but shoot the messengers as a cheap alternative to conflict with those opinions.

      Which I think is why there is a substantial increase in the number of criticisms on the BBC, to answer one of the bloggers points above. Especially amongst the backdrop of a more fragmented world, the tipping point being the War on Terror, now it’s the culture you’re either with us by reporting glowing praise about us and our community – or against us by investigating uncomfortable truths.

    9. Randa — on 18th September, 2005 at 3:13 pm  

      Nonsense - the phrase Bum Chums is used as a common homophobic slur to suggest two men so close they ‘bum’ each other.

      Homophobia, anti-semitism, attacks on liberals who oppose religious arbitration and law - I think you guys demean the word ‘progressive’

    10. Randa — on 18th September, 2005 at 3:15 pm  

      Just a few weeks ago the Muslim Council of Britain were wetting themselves in fury at the Panorama investigation and claiming that the BBC was in league with ‘the Zionists’ (a view I reckon would hold some currency with some of the “progressive” posters here) now its getting a battering from the other side - well, that is a sign it is doing good work.

    11. Foureyes — on 18th September, 2005 at 3:42 pm  

      Ahmad - in MY school, “bum chum” meant gay lover, and was used in a derogatory way towards kids who were, or were suspected of being, gay. In my experience as a gay man, it’s a homophobic term. Anyway, the headlines been changed now, thanks Sunny.

    12. Limerick — on 18th September, 2005 at 7:30 pm  

      How typical of Blair to say that, and typical of Rupert Murdoch to tell the press. This sort of political discourse sickens me.

    13. Siddhartha — on 19th September, 2005 at 12:20 am  

      Did anyone notice the complete dearth of reportage in the Mirror Group (esp the free Metro rag) that would portray Bush’s Katrina response as incompetent?

      The US Press, even Fox News, has undergone as seismic shift and for the first time have turned on Bush with nothing other than fury for the New Orleans disaster, and here the British Press are still towing the old reverential line that Bush can do no wrong.

    14. Al-Hack — on 19th September, 2005 at 1:55 am  

      I think you mean the Sun newspaper. That is one of Murdoch’s rags. The Mirror is quity lefty and critical of Bush. And neither own the Metro (Associated press owns that).
      Only the Murdoch papers have been nice to Bush here (Sun, NotW, Times, Sunday Times). Though the latter ain’t too bad sometimes.

    15. Siddhartha — on 19th September, 2005 at 11:19 am  

      Thanks Al Hack - you’re right, my bad. I meant the Daily Mail Group of course.

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