Discussion of article from the Mail's columnists and RightMinds contributors
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By Safe_Timber_Man
Membership Days Posts
#589925
Bless. The Sun and Daily Mail hammering anyone who stands in the way of the Tories to their readership of millions is not enough for Stephen Glover. He also wants the BBC to do their bidding for them as well.

This is the most momentous General Election since 1945, and it is categorically not the role of the British Broadcasting Corporation to try to sway the result.

But absolutely fine for tabloids to use every dirty trick in the book to sway the result?






STEPHEN GLOVER: Why I fear the Boris Bashing Corporation may sway the most critical election since the War

Despite everything that has been said about the supposed prevalence of social media during the election campaign, the BBC remains by far the major source of news for most people.

According to media watchdog Ofcom, BBC1 is the most used source of news for a sizeable 58 per cent of the population. The BBC’s website is consulted by 25 per cent of people for news, while 23 per cent turn to the Corporation’s news channel.

Meanwhile, the Beeb has a dominant position on radio. Its stations are listened to by 72 per cent of people who get their news from what used to be known as the wireless.

By contrast, the overall reach of printed newspapers is significantly less than 20 years ago, though newspaper websites have partly compensated for the decline.

Although I don’t at all discount the influential new role of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the BBC is probably as powerful as ever and, because of the relative decline of newspapers, arguably more so.

With extra power goes extra responsibility, and it’s my contention that in recent days our national broadcaster has shown a worrying lack of balance.

It has dwelt obsessively on Tory mistakes and cock-ups while tending to ignore serious Labour failings.

Of course, I don’t deny that the Conservatives have contrived to shoot themselves in the foot on several occasions, nor that the BBC was absolutely right to report these self-inflicted wounds.

I obviously make no complaint about the coverage given to the tribulations of Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, who resigned yesterday over allegations surrounding a former aide ‘sabotaging’ a rape trial.

Nor do I grumble about the thousands of words devoted to the idiocy of Jacob Rees-Mogg. What impelled him to suggest that the victims of the Grenfell Tower conflagration should have used ‘common sense’, God alone knows.

If I were not a peace-loving man, I would derive huge enjoyment from throwing a custard pie at him. He has affected a lofty and supercilious air that might have even ruffled feathers in the 18th century.

So no objections on this score, though I could have done without the sermonising that accompanied the reporting of these two men’s errors.

For example, presenter Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday delivered a sententious lecture to listeners about the importance of the ‘attitudes and values’ of political parties — implying the Tories had come unstuck big time.

Where I think Auntie got badly carried away was over her hysterical response to the selective editing of a TV clip by Tory propagandists which made Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer look comically indecisive over Brexit.

The live interview made him look hopelessly confused, so it’s a mystery why the Tories thought they needed to tinker with it.

But did their sleight of hand deserve so much BBC outrage? The pro-Labour Guardian and Daily Mirror dealt with it calmly and briefly.

But my grouse is not really over the way in which the Beeb evidently relished reporting Tory misfortunes at such length. No, what has been shameful is the manner in which it has virtually turned a blind eye to Labour excesses.

If you relied on the BBC for news, you probably wouldn’t know that Zarah Sultana, the party’s candidate for Coventry South, wrote in an online post in 2015 that she would ‘celebrate’ the deaths of Tony Blair and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. The BBC reported this fleetingly. (She has since apologised.)

Nor has it shown much interest in the past online anti-Semitic reflections of Ali Milani, Labour’s candidate for Uxbridge, the PM’s constituency. Mr Milani has used the hashtag ‘Jew’ and ‘Zionist’ as an insult in messages, though he has recently apologised.

And yet while the BBC almost ignored these disquieting revelations, it has told us countless times that Francesca O’Brien, the Tory candidate for Gower, wrote on Facebook in 2014 that people on the reality television show Benefits Street needed ‘putting down’. (Ms O’Brien has since apologised.)

What a nasty thing to say. But it was, so far as we know, a one-off piece of stupidity, whereas Ali Milani, for example, was guilty over a longer period of more insidious views, which are widespread in Jeremy Corbyn’s party. Hardly even-handed of the BBC.

Let me give two more examples of its recent indulgence of Labour. During yesterday’s Today programme, which waxed so indignant over Tory failings, it was only parenthetically mentioned that former Labour Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had suggested Britain’s allies might regard Mr Corbyn in Downing Street as a national security threat.

Also, while making such a hullaballoo over No 10’s thwarted attempt to publish an official costing of Labour spending promises, the BBC didn’t think to investigate whether these pledges could turn out to be ruinous. Easier to pick on the Tories.

The BBC was admirably (and, to me, surprisingly) balanced during the 2016 EU referendum. So why has it reverted to type, and become the Bash Boris Corporation?

I doubt it is over-run with Corbynistas, though I imagine there are quite a lot of them. I suspect an innate anti-Toryism has been boosted by the Remainer sentiment and Boris Johnson loathing that are ubiquitous in fashionable circles.

In their conscious minds, most BBC journalists do their best to resist such bias but, when Conservatives are on the ropes, a kind of group-think kicks in — and, as yesterday, we see the baleful consequences.

It’s not just the Beeb, of course. Other channels join the feeding frenzy.

Sky News’s Kay Burley was so frustrated yesterday at not having a senior Tory to interview that she berated an empty chair, and mockingly told it all the searching questions she would have asked if Tory chairman James Cleverly had been sitting in it.

By the way, Sky News’s political editor, Beth Rigby, would be wise to keep her views to herself. Last month she wrote a piece on the channel’s website inveighing against No Deal, and urged the PM to ‘put it in his election manifesto instead and let the people decide’.

But it is the BBC — so much bigger than every other outlet, and also our national broadcaster — in which we rest the highest hopes that it will strive to avoid partiality. How often we are disappointed!

Not always, though. It was a joy to hear veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby talk calmly and reasonably on BBC radio yesterday about last night’s edition of Panorama on BBC1, introduced by him, on the divisions caused by Brexit.

He said: ‘Everywhere there is this irritation, discontent and incomprehension about why Parliament hasn’t been able to implement what seemed to be a simple question in the referendum. It’s done terrible damage. It’s complicated, and people don’t like that.’

Will the BBC give Boris Johnson a fair run over the next five weeks? Will it examine the flaws and inconsistencies and evasions of Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP with the same forensic scrutiny it brings to bear on the Tories?

If the answer to these questions is ‘No’, we are in even deeper trouble as a country than I thought.

This is the most momentous General Election since 1945, and it is categorically not the role of the British Broadcasting Corporation to try to sway the result.
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts LikeBB
#589952
Will the BBC give Boris Johnson a fair run over the next five weeks? Will it examine the flaws and inconsistencies and evasions of Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP with the same forensic scrutiny it brings to bear on the Tories?

Compulsive liar Johnson has much more to be scrutinised about. Johnson faces forensic scrutiny from Nick Robinson? Silly man.
 
By Safe_Timber_Man
Membership Days Posts
#597454
The realisation that despite their loyalty they too may be included in this attempt at a fascist takeover:

Nine times out of ten, when journalists grumble about the way they are treated by the authorities, I am inclined to shrug my shoulders, and not take their complaints too seriously.

But what happened two days ago is a very serious matter. It is part of a misguided attempt, largely orchestrated by the Prime Minister's chief adviser Dominic Cummings, to seize control of the news agenda in a way reminiscent of Donald Trump.




STEPHEN GLOVER: Denying journalists access to briefings is outrageous censorship that Boris Johnson should be ashamed of
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... rship.html

On Monday afternoon, journalists at No 10 who were expecting a briefing on EU trade were asked to line up on one side of the entrance hall while a security officer checked them off against a list.

Those acceptable to the powers-that-be were asked to cross over to the other side of the room.

The remaining journalists – mostly, though not entirely, from organisations disliked by No 10 – were told to leave.

In the event, everyone present walked out in protest at what was considered an almost unprecedented act of censorship on the part of Downing Street.

Nine times out of ten, when journalists grumble about the way they are treated by the authorities, I am inclined to shrug my shoulders, and not take their complaints too seriously.

But what happened two days ago is a very serious matter. It is part of a misguided attempt, largely orchestrated by the Prime Minister's chief adviser Dominic Cummings, to seize control of the news agenda in a way reminiscent of Donald Trump.

This seemingly involves excluding news organisations believed to be antagonistic to the Government, or at any rate trying to disadvantage them in some way.

Last week, several supposedly unsympathetic journalists were kept out of a briefing by officials about the controversial involvement of the Chinese company Huawei in Britain's 5G network.

Such behaviour, in common with what happened on Monday, defies established procedure.

All governments have their favourite news outlets, and confide in them selectively.

But excluding journalists from technical briefings is an alarming development.

What are Mr Cummings and Lee Cain, the PM's director of communications, up to?

And does Boris Johnson, who has spent most of his adult life as a journalist, approve of what they are doing?

To answer those questions we have first to peer into the tumultuous mind of Mr Cummings, who evidently believes in Maoist permanent revolution.

Mr Cummings is a natural hater. He loathes the Left-wing media, and in particular the BBC.

As it happens, I share many of his criticisms of the Corporation. There is a Left-wing default position to much of its coverage. An egregious recent example were 'anti-British' Brexit-day sketches for children on CBBC, its children's channel.

Horrible Histories, hosted by Nish Kumar, a Left-wing and fanatically anti-Brexit so-called comedian, included a sketch that suggested Britain had produced little throughout its history and relied on imports.

I've no doubt Mr Cummings shares the reasonable view of many Tories that the BBC sometimes treated Mr Johnson during the election campaign as though he was little better than a common criminal.

So it's payback time.

The Government is refusing to put up ministers on Today, Radio Four's influential news programme.

It is also boycotting ITV's Good Morning Britain, likewise regarded as unfriendly.

A key to what is happening is Mr Cummings's grasp of the power of social media, which he used to such good effect during the 2016 referendum campaign, when he was director of Vote Leave.

He believes that what he calls the 'People's Government' should communicate directly with voters without what he sees as the anti-Tory media (of which the BBC is in his mind the most powerful constituent) corrupting the message.

So it was that, when the Prime Minister delivered his Brexit homily last Friday, it was filmed in No 10, and released via Facebook, without Auntie or any other broadcaster playing any part in it.

This annoyed the BBC, which refused to use footage produced by No 10. So – rather pettily, I think – it would only agree to play the message with an actor doing Mr Johnson's voice.

In short, we have a war between Mr Cummings and the Beeb, in which the excitable No 10 adviser – like Chairman Mao, always in search of an enemy – is now embroiling other Leftwardly-inclined media organisations such as Channel Four and the Daily Mirror.

How should those of us who do not always approve of the BBC's political coverage respond? Pretty critically, I believe. Because the main victims of this guerrilla warfare are ordinary voters.

Needless to say, there is an argument to be had about the future of the corporation and its funding.

Yesterday, Baroness Morgan, the culture secretary, launched a public consultation about decriminalising non-payment of the licence fee.

Such a move would inevitably deprive the Beeb of an unknowable, and possibly large, slice of its income. The rights and wrongs of this idea are an argument for another day.

What concerns me now is that the Government's boycott of Auntie is a disservice to the public.

Where were ministers yesterday providing reassurance and elucidation about the authorities' ability to keep former terrorists from killing as soon as they are released from prison? Almost nowhere, is the answer.

Instead of putting itself under proper media scrutiny, No 10 is feuding with our main national service broadcaster – and now opening up another front against media organisations.

All this comes from President Trump's playbook. In his case, he rails against newspapers such as the Washington Post and the New York Times while putting himself and members of his administration at the disposal of supportive channels such as Fox News.

That is not how we do things in Britain. We have a tradition here, though Mr Cummings and Mr Cain may not like it, of allowing a range of voices in the media, some of which are bound to be critical of the government of the day.

I never thought I would live to see a Tory administration blackballing journalists and publications it dislikes.

What makes it odder still is that this Government has a stonking majority. It has routed its adversaries and won the argument over Brexit. And its charismatic leader has spoken generously of healing the nation's wounds.

Having been a journalist for more than 30 years, Boris surely can't approve of silencing potentially critical media outlets – a sanction bound to enhance enmity rather than foster harmony.

And as PM he should be prepared to submit himself to scrutiny and interrogation by the BBC and other organisations rather than being beamed without any journalistic mediation on to our computer screens and smartphones.

This isn't Trump's America. I hope our journalist Prime Minister will control the perpetually turbulent Mr Cummings, who seems not to like journalists or journalism very much, or to value a free Press.



On the other hand, the Mailites are loving it:

listen up, Dundee, United Kingdom, 9 hours ago
What a load of fuss over a bunch of labour supporting journalists.
+322 -112
Hill Wood loves Gin, London, United Kingdom, 9 hours ago
Don't be silly Corbyn done it throughout he election and wouldn't speak to certain papers nobody said anything then
+270 -68
BrexitNow, England, United Kingdom, 9 hours ago
Sorry...no. We have had enough of the bent, biased media like you and the BBC, DM. Time for change. We are fully behind Boris.
+244 -77
Deluded Lefties, Lond Onistan, United Kingdom, 7 hours ago
A lot of journalists have lost their integrity and would be rated by the community at the same level as used car salesmen. They deserve to be given a reality check. Let them walk out.
+163 -38
 
By youngian
Membership Days Posts LikeBB
#597467
As it happens, I share many of his criticisms of the Corporation. There is a Left-wing default position to much of its coverage. An egregious recent example were 'anti-British' Brexit-day sketches for children on CBBC, its children's channel.

Horrible Histories, hosted by Nish Kumar, a Left-wing and fanatically anti-Brexit so-called comedian, included a sketch that suggested Britain had produced little throughout its history and relied on imports.

What the fuck would Glover know about CBeebies? Not only is Kumar or anyone else not hosting decade old Horrible History sketches but he's not especially left-wing. Just one of millions of liberal middle of the road people who think Brexit is the stupidest thing he's ever heard.
Safe_Timber_Man liked this
 
By Boiler
Posts LikeBB
#597480
The BBC has foolishly opened an SYB on this. Amazing how many, after saying 'ban it', say 'subscription' without thinking how it would be implemented. How do you make radio a subscription service?
 
By Cyclist
Membership Days Posts LikeBB
#597488
And if they did find a way to make it subscription only, those very same people screaming for it to happen would be moaning like buggery about how they can't watch Beastenders or listen to Steve Shite in the Afternoo-hoo-hoon without paying for it. :roll:
 
By KevS
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#597498
The only possible way you could would be to abandon analogue and DAB completely and make all stations online only.

Which when the Mail readers can't listen to TMS, or The Archers, or The Proms, or Friday Night Is Music Night or whatever, should provoke an intriguing reaction.
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