Friday, July 20, 2007
Mark Lawson in the Guardian convincingly analyses the BBC's fraudulent phone-in problems. They were driven, he says, not by a desire to increase ratings but by the desperation of producers to show they were doing their masters' bidding by 'connecting with the public'. This connection creed, as Lawson says, is a peculiarly inane ideology that has seized and corrupted all media. But, in the case of the BBC, it is not the whole story. The truth of these little cheats is that they were all, in fact, pretty trivial. But, as Michael Portillo pointed out on television, the press fury at their exposure was driven by a deep loathing of the BBC that springs from its left-wing bias. This loathing is intensified by the fact, as I can testify, that very few people within the BBC actually believe they are biased. This drives papers like the Daily Mail to apoplectic anathemas against the corporation. Such condemnations would not work too well if the story was just about bias - most people don't care - but it turns stories like the phone-in tricks - about which many people do care - into opportunities for spittle-flecked scorn. The further oddity about all this is that the BBC left-wingers no longer support Labour and the right-wing press no longer supports the Tories. In fact, no single paper currently seems to support David Cameron. The Mail itself seems to be pretty much Brownist. Nothing, in short makes sense any more, and I shall now, once again, leave this politics business to Guidale.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 9:57 am