25 July 2010

My generation, still talking shit

Sixty year-old Will Hutton, the epitome of the old school bien pensant limp lefties who have done so much irreversible harm to this country, tells us in the Guardian that we must "Stick up for the BBC. It's the last bastion against rule by the mob." Look it up if you like; I can't be bothered to link it.

He contrasts what he amusingly calls the fairness and impartiality of the BBC with the "poisonous public culture" in the US, which, he says, is the result of abandoning the fairness in broadcasting doctrine twenty years ago. Well yes - that standard was abandoned because it was impossible to enforce, and worked exclusively for the benefit of the the limp left.
The bile, unfairness and lack of restraint in the blogosphere is infecting the mainstream media and thus American politics. Senior American politicians and officials of all political persuasions despair about its impact on political debate and policy. Tough decisions – on banks, on fiscal policy, on defence, on the Middle East – have become almost impossible. An organisation such as the BBC, committed to impartiality and accuracy, is seen as a last bulwark against populist government by the mob. Yet in Britain one wing of the coalition government is set upon attacking it, regarding the American media model as one we should copy. Matters are made more ominous by the degree of emerging cross-media dominance by News International – matched only in a western democracy by Berlusconi in Italy – that will be further sealed when Mr Murdoch's bid for the balance of BSkyB he does not own is nodded through by the coalition. Lack of courage by weak politicians, with Blair and Brown especially culpable, is set to bequeath Britain the worst of the Italian and American media. Our culture and our democracy are at stake.
For individuals like Hutton, the definition of "fairness" is when their point of view is privileged. He used to be chief editor of the Observer. Should we perhaps be paying a subsidy to that dying publication because it is so "unfair" that only old limp lefties still read it?

Even if the BBC were genuinely impartial in its news coverage and political commentary, I would still regard it as demonstrably unfair and blatantly corrupt that a self-serving clique, living unjustifiably well on a regressive tax supplemented by commissioning shows from their own production companies, should continue to exercise what amounts to a cultural monopoly.

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