Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Who's To Say ?

The BBC's latest outrage is getting a lot of coverage in the blogosphere - and deservedly so. I've only got two things to say.

First up, can we at least have a break from the BBC yammering on about the dangers of extremists ? Here's an organisation which rarely allows genuinely right-wing voices on the air, and then only with interviewers acting like they picked up their technique from Gene Hunt, but now we find out they've teamed up with folks who, whatever else they are, are hardly middle of the road centralists. I'm not expecting any Beeboids to describe Nick Griffin as a 'Celtic comedian' any time soon, let alone make a program featuring loveable jack-the-lad BNP members white-water rafting.

Note too, this wasn't just a case of the BBC being caught out by an unfortunate coincidence. Nope, the program concerned was specifically designed to rubbish the idea of Islamic extremism. Or, to put it another way, the BBC wasn't just wrong, it was full-on 180 degrees wrong.

In so far as we're endlessly reminded about Lady Thatcher appointing Jeffrey Archer to the strategically vital after-dinner speaking and raffles job of party vice-chairman, it's tempting to speculate just what the BBC would have said were a right-wing body to be caught in bed with fascists. Doubtless, even now the BBC top brass are hard at work penning an apology for the anti-Jihasists slimed by the original program.

Then there's the question of the BBC's refusal to pass their information onto the police. Apparently, running programs slimeing the British right is one thing, but taking sides between the police and terrorists would be a huge breach of impartiality. After all, who's to say that 'bombing' is necessarily 'bad' ?

In so far as the BBC is now officially neutral between the forces of chaos and the forces of order, maybe it's time to revisit the enormously important distinction between the BBC's enlightened output and the commercial dross on the other channels. Never mind questioning the value of a national broadcaster that sticks two fingers up to the nation's values, there's something deeper than that here.

If post-modernism doesn't allow us to say whether or not blowing up buses is a good or bad thing, I'm pretty sure that defining the difference between ephemeral rubbish like 'Pop Idol' and scholarly works like 'Fame Academy' is a lost cause. So how about it Beeboids ? Is commercial TV necessarily worse than mass murder ?

Besides, who are we to say that 'buying' a 'TV licence' is better than 'not' buying one ?

No comments: