Wednesday, August 03, 2005

BBC: We're Not Biased, Just Biased

Here’s a quick question: which is worse, the Beeb’s usual attitude of snooty arrogance, or those odd moments when it decides to play at being accountable and explain to us lettle peeple exactly why coverage is so screwed up ?

A perfect example of the latter genre is can be found here: it’s the Beeb responding to complaints about the Great Rift Valley style gap in coverage between the vicious slaying of Anthony Walker and the vicious slaying of Richard Whelan. Six O'Clock News Editor Amanda Farnsworth can’t get through the first paragraph without lapsing into absurdity:

The tragic murders of Anthony Walker and Richard Whelan on the face of it have similarities.
Both were young men, in the prime of their lives, much loved
by family and friends, cruelly and viciously murdered.
Both were murdered by men who were not of their own ethnic group. Anthony was a black man murdered by white men. Richard was white, murdered by a black man.

Similarities ‘on the face of it’ ? If these two murders had happened in the same town,it’s quite possible the Bill would be looking for a single suspect. But not in BBC land:

But in fact the two murders are very different.

So there. Just remember that they’re ‘very different’. This next bit still reads wrong though:

As far as I know, from reading the Press Association wires, listening to the police and reading newspaper coverage, the police are not suggesting there was any racial motive in the killing of Richard Whelan.

We pay these people £3 billion p.a. and they get their information from reading other people’s work ? Anyway, the fact that cops aren’t yet ready to ascribe a particular motive to an as yet unknown subject is hardly surprising. But it's enough for the BBC to drop the Whelan case like a stone - or so they'd have us believe.

....It is this racial element to the crime that makes it different.

So that’s the difference? That Richard Whelan was killed by an Equal Opportunity thug ? I bet it’ll be a great reassurance for any blacks who run into his assailant in the near-future to know that he also kills whites. And, anyway, since when did a change in a single factor constitute ‘very different’ ?

The next lines should stand as proof that Liberals will throw any article of faith overboard if needs be:

Racially motivated murders, I'm sure we are all glad to say, are rare events. They are unheard of in this area of Liverpool.
Unfortunately, senseless murders in London are comparatively more common.

Must be a crisis if the BBC starts praising Liverpool.

In addition, there was a planning and premeditation in the murder of Anthony Walker that was also particularly shocking.
Anthony had walked away from the man racially abusing him but the man appears to have gone to find his friends, and an axe, and chased and killed the 18-year-old.

Actually, having to run off halfway through for an axe and some mates doesn’t exactly speak of a great deal of planning. As opposed to the assailant in the Whelan case who was already carrying a huge knife and spent fifteen minutes trying to provoke his victim.

So let’s take it as read that the BBC isn’t ready to abandon the idea of Dave Lister as the archetypal Scouser and that men prepared to dedicate a quarter of an hour to provoking an incident can’t hardly be said to be acting spontaneously. What we are left with as justification for the enormous gaposis is simply that one attack was racial in nature and one may not have been. A-huh.

At this point, it’s worth considering what definition of racism is being used. Remember that the Beeb was once the employer of Greg “hideously white” Dyke, while also being a big booster for the Macpherson’s inspired concept of ‘institiutional racism’. The point is that the BBC as a body has fully accepted a central part of the Liberal agenda, namely the idea that a charge of racism requires only that an organisation, for whatever reason, acts in such a way as to disadvantage a particular ethnic group. I think we can safely say that this disparity in coverage between these two murders certainly qualifies under that definition. Indeed, even non-Kool Aid drinkers may consider that the disparity in coverage was such as to be objectively racist.

Leaving aside these more philosophical considerations, the fact remains that the BBC’s response begs the question. Doubtless, there are people outside the BBC who think that a racist murder is somehow more shocking than any other form of senseless violence, but there are plenty that don’t. On the contrary, Conservatives reject both the proposition itself and the unpleasant ideology behind it.

This is the true measure of how inbred the BBC has become, how much the Beeb has embraced every form of diversity except the only one that really matters, intellectual diversity. There’s no around in the BBC hierarchy who can take Mandy aside and whisper in her ear that trying to disavow bias by citing the tenets of Liberal identity politics is probably not going to work.

No comments: