Syndication

Via “Roy”, The Times on old media and the internet:

“This is not just a problem for weblogs. The internet is teeming with “news”. Visitors to the BBC website, for instance, can read stories about New York, Indonesia and Shropshire. One could be forgiven for believing that it was dispatched by BBC correspondents on the streets of Manhattan, Jakarta and Shrewsbury. It appears under Auntie’s banner, after all. But this is rarely the case. The stories are often unamended agency copy* without any attribution given to Reuters, Agence France-Presse or the Associated Press. Such a muddled and muddied provenance merely encourages cynicism about large news organisations.”

“Muddled” is right. Many decades ago, in a world of telegrams, overseas travel for government and film stars only, and Communist tyranny, the BBC provided a sterling news service (with its own correspondents) and high-culture broadcasting throughout the world. It was part of England’s mission civilisatrice. As with all state institutions, lack of accountability gave rise to a holier-than-thou mandarinate, and when the cloth-caps were content to be cowed by this, all was well. Thatcher came along and really questioned the old CP Snow world, and at the same time, as Reagan challenged communism, the BBC was overrun by a new mandarinate (see here for the uncanny Australian parallel), recruited at universities from student leftists who read the job advertisements in the Guardian.

As the left was rolled back in the real world, in the BBC and academia it grew stronger, as leftists, like insects scrambling for cover when you lift a rock, scurried to the one last bastion of tenured privilege where their soi-disant “progressive” worldview was accepted. Add the PC worldview to the old carapace of the holier-than-thou institutional mandarinate and you get today’s bastard child that is the BBC, which combines soft-left “progressive” Islington smugness with a very new-fashioned view of the media, influenced greatly by Blair and New Labour’s ideology-free micro-managerialism. The BBC puts News Corp to shame with its excessive use of agency copy, its shameless promotion of low and gangsta culture and its subsidised competition with private shareholders who have to put their own money up to provide for-profit TV stations and other media. Yet, nobody is forced to give money to News Corp.

The BBC’s lack of accountability as a state institution means that nobody can ever really stop it from peddling Chomskyite propaganda (however many enquiries Blair announces). At the same time, it always has its hand out to the taxpayer, asking for ever more money to do the sort of things that any local community can do with a website now (eg BBC Leicester), and to compete with News Corp by recycling AP and Reuters feed, filtered through a sneering, petulant post-communist leftist world view – a worldview that cannot countenance, apart from attributing it to the only manifestation of evil it allows to exist, the fact that there is a respectable intellectual case for free conscience (including religion), free markets, judging on the content of character rather than the colour of skin, property rights, a limit to the power of the state, free will and individual responsibility.

Is there in fact a case for the BBC at all? Is there anything it does that the private sector is not doing already and better? Would anything be missed if it were abolished tomorrow?

We’re all grown up now, and it’s time for Aunty to leave the house.

* Update “Steve”, who says he works at the BBC (and impliedly represents that he is sufficiently senior to credibly say this), says that “Nothing you see on the BBC News website is ‘unamended agency copy’, all the stories are compiled from a mixture of agency reports and stringers/correspondents on the ground.” Do we really need the BBC to editorialise/amend agency copy when it would be much cheaper to consume commercial TV/media to see that copy ourselves?

Update II “Frank Frink” writes: “I for one have worked as a news journalist for BBC (world and n24) and now work for the agencies. I know for a fact many agency stories are given a cursory subbing (seldom as much as a rewrite) and then get packed out as BBC gospel. Correspondents or stringers might be involved in about 1 in 10 of these reports on the rolling news tv and radio channels. The journalists doing the subbing are completely free to amend the copy to suit their own prejudices, which they of course do freely. The BBC Producer guidelines require that a report be sourced to two agencies before it’s used, however this is mainly honoured in the breach. The terrible waste of all this is compounded by the fact it takes about 10 BBC journalists to rewrite the work of about 2 agency journalists of an evening.” (how many unionised workers does it take to change a lightbulb?…)

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52 Responses to Syndication

  1. Socialism is Necrotizing says:

    That posting should be placed in a permanant sidebar on BBBC, it is our arguement in a nutshell.

       0 likes

  2. Mayfair Rap Daddy Man says:

    The answer to your last 3 questions:

    Q1: No
    Q2: No
    Q3: No

    The BBC needs to be sold off immediately. I think we should start a resistence movement to paying the License fee. They can’t gaol ten of thousands of us, can they ???.

    Rapdaddy Mayfairman.

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  3. Ashley Pomeroy says:

    This reminds me of a news story that came out last week or so, it has probably been mention; ITV’s news channel, made by ITN, has closed down (I was not even aware it existed).

    According to the BBC’s report:
    “The service, which launched in 2000 as the ITN News Channel, has struggled for viewers against competition from BBC News 24 and Sky News.”

    The report states the BBC News 24 and Sky News got four million viewers for their coverage of the Buncefield Oil Spectacular to ITV’s 1.4 million viewers. Perhaps it really was rubbish, but the mental image I have is of the BBC’s News 24 acting as one half of a two-party democracy, crushing out all but the smallest and cheapest competitors. It seems unfair. Perhaps I an naive; it’s a hardball world, TV news.

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  4. Steve says:

    As someone who works for the BBC, this post is laughable. Which is a shame, because you sometimes make good points. You should clearly never read what you see in the Times, because this accusation is fundamentally untrue. Nothing you see on the BBC News website is ‘unamended agency copy’, all the stories are compiled from a mixture of agency reports and stringers/correspondents on the ground.

    Still, nothing like a stab in the dark, eh?

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  5. Steve says:

    Also, your disclaimer is hilarious

    “By clicking Publish you indemnify B-BBC and accept full legal responsibility for your comments”

    I’d like to see you use that as a defence in court.

       0 likes

  6. Ashley Pomeroy says:

    Reading the Times’ report, however, I was struck by this:

    “The paradox of the internet is that good journalism matters more than ever. Without it we as a society will reach the wrong conclusions about important questions. And with so much conflicting information flying around, the chances of making the wrong judgment are increased.”

    This is the attitude I get from the BBC’s news, and I dislike it; I hate it. The idea that journalism should tell me how to think about a certain issue. That it should lead me to “the right conclusion”. I hate this attitude and it makes me angry, it makes me want to fight back and disagree. I guess this makes me a reactionary. “Without it we as a society will reach the wrong conclusions about important questions”, Christ.

    Trainee journalists at the BBC should be given an examination. They should be presented with a mass of raw material – photographs, quotes, statistics and press releases – and then they should write three different stories, each one designed to lead the reader to a certain and very different conclusion. And then, having done this, they should be made to do it again and again, and after they are sick of it they should be told in the harshest terms not to do it when they start work.

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  7. Toby says:

    Thanks Steve. I take it you are sufficiently senior in the BBC to credibly make such a statement?

    Do we really need the GBP2.8 billion per year BBC to amend agency copy when it would be much cheaper to watch commercial TV/media to see that copy ourselves?

    You have failed to convince me – unless you are saying that BBC editorial is really something that we need that can’t be provided by the free market (the Guardian and the Indy do that job already and nobody is forced to give them money on pain of imprisonment).

    I am still with Friedman on this one.

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  8. [email protected]berdeen says:

    That Australian link is excellent. On the other side of the globe and within the same Anglo-culture, the left attempts to destroy the very society which protects it.

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  9. Toby says:

    Steve

    If we should “clearly never believe what [we] see in the Times”, why on earth should we believe what we see on the BBC? Because you said so? Because taxpayers pay your salary?

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  10. Ashley Pomeroy says:

    I think we have to assume that any BBC staff posting here are web designers or technical internet-types on their lunch breaks; for several reasons is seems unlikely that actual journalists would break cover (they certainly wouldn’t reply to any replies).

    Re-reading my second post above I am struck by the way I try to attack the BBC by using a post from The Times, something which seems very odd; of the four general anti-BBC strands (anti-left, anti-sloppy reporting, anti-mainstream journalism in general, anti-lack of diversity) I lean in the latter direction, and I’m no fan of the Times either. I tend to assume that journalists in general are one big lump, and perhaps they are; I imagine the people who write on the BBC’s News Website would love to work for a paper newspaper, they would love it. Therefore we probably aren’t reading the cream of the crop.

    Even if there was only one news channel, and it was superbly informative and unbiased, I would still be uneasy. There should be lots of voices rather than one huge voice.

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  11. Big Mouth says:

    Nice one Toby. I go back to may oft-stated mantra in this space:
    State-funded broadcasting is inconsistent with democracy.

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  12. GCooper says:

    While Toby’s analysis has a great deal of truth in it, it is wrong in one important respect: the BBC was infiltrated by the Left long before the ‘new mandarinate’ (a nice phrase) was installed.

    If you go back to the staple documentary fare of BBC radio during the 1950s and ’60s you’ll find it was littered with programmes and themes created by those who had cut their political teeth during the 1930s, and which set the agenda the present generation of White City class warriors has developed and into an ideological hegemony.

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  13. Toby says:

    Ashley

    I am in the fifth strand – anti-state interference in the free market!

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  14. Toby says:

    GCooper

    Before my time, but isn’t this Windschuttle’s point? The old left engaged in class war, and used the BBC (patronisingly I admit) to campaign for and improve the lot of the cloth caps (influenced by Soviet communism/socialism), while the new left (influenced by Maoism) thinks the cloth-caps are evil, because they are white Christian men, rather than black, female, lesbians etc etc?

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  15. RB says:

    ‘Is there anything it does that the private sector is not doing already and better? Would anything be missed if it were abolished tomorrow?’

    That’s the problem mate. The answers are yes and yes. For all its faults and vast amounts of slack the BBC provides pretty much the only worthwhile, relatively intellectually stimulating broadcasting (TV and especially radio) in the UK today. The private sector has palpably failed to provide anything of the sort. That might be an indictment of the intellectual capacity of the population as created by an unholy mixture of liberal teaching and Thatcherite education cuts, but why propagate a vicious circle in the name of ideology??

    Look at the blog ‘sector’ and its an undeniably entertaining mixture of nutcase left wingers and nutcase right wingers ‘proving’ their slightly deranged points with endless self reproducing links to similar. Let the ball drop and that’s where the mainstream media will end up also.

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  16. Toby says:

    Ashley

    See final paragraphs on the work of the Friedmans here – state action is inherently corrupting, and your Platonist Beeboid Philosopher Kings will just turn out the same as now…

       0 likes

  17. Toby says:

    From last:

    “Moreover—a point dear to Milton’s heart—the very act of submitting to public schooling tames young spirits to associate public enterprises with correct social enterprise. It is a contaminating experience, he holds—a breeding ground of budget allocations by political bodies, submission to cartels of union-bound teachers, and a spiritual acclimation to a norm that, far from being competitive, encourages the kind of mediocrity that is associated with corporate goals set by remote agencies.”

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  18. Toby says:

    RB

    The free market provides Arts & Letters Daily (http://aldaily.com/) for a start, far superior to the low brow trash churned out by the BBC. There are newspapers and private sector media galore. We need to read them and make up our own minds.

    This is exactly what is wrong with socialism/state action – we shouldn’t be relying on the state to replace free enquiry. People need to get off their arses and think and look for themselves, rather than having BBC approved baby formula fed to them.

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  19. GCooper says:

    Toby writes:

    “…the new left (influenced by Maoism) thinks the cloth-caps are evil, because they are white Christian men, rather than black, female, lesbians etc etc?”

    Yes, that’s a good point and characterises the uneasy relationship between ‘old’ and ‘new’ Labour (though I’m not sure it is really inspired by the Great Helmsman).

    Nonetheless, it would be a mistake to assume the class warriors aren’t still at work, letting the Gramscians do their business for them.

    The metamorphosis also throws useful light onto the suggestion that Leftist views are, at best, a mindset – more the consequence of temperament and sentiment than logic. An uneasy mix of inchoate rebellion and mawkish do-goodery.

    Stepping back, the reason why it’s important to understand the contribution of the old, Stalinist, Left of the BBC is because it demonstrates so well how a ‘public service’ (sic) broadcaster cannot be anything other than a vehicle for mass indoctrination.

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  20. Ashley Pomeroy says:

    OT, and really more an example of the “right conclusion” thing I dislike above than BBC bias, is this report which is about how “contact between prisoners and their loved ones is being jeopardised by the high cost of telephone calls from behind bars, claim campaigners”:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4551744.stm

    “For Marcus and his two daughters, aged nine and five, Sunday will be the first Christmas without their wife and mother, who is halfway through an eight-month sentence at prison in Staffordshire.”

    It doesn’t say what she is in for, and it overdoses on the sentiment in the second paragraph. I picture a broken Christmas family sitting at home, depressed, surrounded by unopened presents and photographs of mummy, who has gone away. “What have you done with the body?”

    It’s the typical soft-left take on this kind of issue; it would be easy to take the same basic issue and skew it in the other direction – make it about a serial rapist or gangster, for example, and include sidebars about famous cases of telephone harassment and/or criminal empires run from within prison, to give the impression that the prisoners want free calls in order to threaten people or sell drugs etc. This is probably how the Daily Mail would report the same basic story. It is as if the BBC’s writer thinks that he should skew his report in order to counterbalance the Daily Mail, when really he should not be skewing his report at all (and he would, of course, never skew it to counterbalance the Observer).

    It’s a particularly muddled example of the genre; it fizzles out. If the Guardian had written this report there would be a lengthy attack on BT, which instead comes across fairly well (the report acknowledges that phone calls from 132 prisons cost 11p per minute compared to 30p per minute at a public payphone). I would disagree with the The Guardian’s report but I would respect it for having passion. But this is bland and neutered. It cannot be angry and passionate because it would not be neutral, but it cannot be neutral because there would be no reason for it to exist. It’s just weak and soft.

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  21. roy says:

    RB “the BBC provides pretty much the only worthwhile, relatively intellectually stimulating broadcasting (TV and especially radio) in the UK today

    But doesn’t the BBC’s secure & massive funding serve to prevent worthwhile competitors?

    This was highlighted in respect of the BBC’s competition to the press by Peter Preston, but applies also to the broadcast media.

    Some cross-media feuds are utterly familiar: the BBC and the Murdoch press, for instance; or the BBC versus ITV. But these may come to seem mere skirmishes in comparison with what comes next. How about the BBC against the entire British press by mid-2006

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,1669870,00.html

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  22. Grimer says:

    Off Topic:

    Earlier today, I went to Argos and bought my Dad a Freeview box. Imagine my horror/outrage/disbelief when I was told that I needed to provide a name and address for “TV Licencing reasons”.

    What kind of country do we live in? I want to buy a TV set top box and somebody wants to sell me one, but the seller is legally obliged to take my name and address to ensure ‘no crime is being committed’.

    On principle, I gave them a false name and old address. Have I broken the law? I certainly wasn’t cautioned, so I doubt it. But what right do the government/BBC have to stop me buying equipment capable of receiving a TV signal?

       0 likes

  23. roy says:

    Re Steve’s claim of BBC “added value”

    A quick example.

    CNN credit the following stories to Reuters. The BBC give no such credit.

    CNN

    An international commission has ruled that Eritrea violated international law with an attack on Ethiopia in 1998 that triggered a border war

    But the peace process has stalled since Ethiopia rejected a decision in 2003 to award the flashpoint border town of Badme to Eritrea.

    BBC

    Eritrea triggered the border war with Ethiopia when it attacked its neighbour in May 1998, an international commission in the Hague has ruled.

    The war was ostensibly fought over the dusty town of Badme, which was awarded to Eritrea by another commission set up as part of the peace agreement.

    So the BBC adds some local colour with dusty. Almost makes you think the BBC hack is there, wrapped in ethnic dress against the dust & heat.

    The CCN Reuters report gives far more information. Our BBC person is obviously doing no more than providing a precis of the agency copy.

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/africa/12/21/eritrea.ethiopia.reut/index.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4548754.stm

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  24. Mayfair Rap Daddy Man says:

    For those of you who are British, let me advise you that the rest of the world is laughing at you.

    I know of no other country in the World where you are imprisoned for watching TV without handing over money.

    Us Australians (and many others) shake our heads in disbelief at a) the fact that the License exists, and b) that the people who are being threatened with imprisonment, defend their right to be sent to prison.

    Talk about a pack of dickheads sheeesh.
    Rapdaddy Mayfair Man.

       0 likes

  25. Socialism is Necrotizing says:

    Very brave of (state funded) Steve to come out in support of his salary cheque.

    Lets just let the people decide what they`d like shall we old chap.

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  26. Rob Read says:

    BBC Left Wing views 24 Message of Hope for the New Year from Matt Frei in Inbedwivdaleft, Taxatucets.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4550302.stm

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  27. Rob Read says:

    It’s funny that’s the coerced collectivists view is that only they can detect quality and the proles have to be forced to pay for it for their own good.

    Steve, your time on the backs of the British people is coming to an end.

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  28. the_camp_commandant says:

    RB

    For all its faults and vast amounts of slack the BBC provides pretty much the only worthwhile, relatively intellectually stimulating broadcasting (TV and especially radio) in the UK today.

    Worthwhile to whom? You? For every one of you, gratefully watching Al-BBC, there are 4 people who don’t. If what those 4 people really want is Cash in the Attic and Big Brother, who are you to tax them and threaten them into funding something you want to watch?

    By analogy, I quite like Arnie movies. How about you paying GBP 126 a year to fund an Arnie Channel that you never watch? I would, so I guess an Arnie licence would be fine by you.

    If you want to watch the BBC that badly, lobby for it to become a subscription service. It has a market share of about 20%, so if that 20% all took up a voluntary subscription, it need only cost about GBP 750 a year to provide Al-BBC with the same bloated income as now.

    Once you are paying the full cost of your choices, and no longer being subsidised by the rest of us, you may have cause to question those choices.

    By the way, did you know that Al-BBC is the #1 cause of the imprisonment of single mothers? If you support the license you support that too.

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  29. Rob Read says:

    The BBC should just LINK to the original article by Al-Reuters etc. Saving bandwidth and TV-taxpayers money.

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  30. Rob Read says:

    the_camp_commandant,

    True, imagine if Fox News was exortion funded instead of the -bBC? I think the grauniad and others would be complaining about the unfairness rather loudly.

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  31. Susan says:

    Also, your disclaimer is hilarious

    “By clicking Publish you indemnify B-BBC and accept full legal responsibility for your comments”

    I’d like to see you use that as a defence in court.

    Hasn’t anyone noticed this nasty little threat from “Steve” against Nat, Kerry, ed, Andrew etc.? These are not nice people, folks. When their world view is challenged, they threaten with lawsuits.

    Says it all, really.

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  32. mrdgriff says:

    Steve,
    Threatening people often gives bullies a sense of power in their otherwise powerless lives.

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  33. Rob says:

    I disagree with Rapdaddy Mayfairman, the BBC should not be sold off. It needs to be completely dismantled and every piece of equipment it uses and every brick of every building it occupires should be destroyed. That way those scurrying left wing insects will be left with no hiding place.

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  34. APL says:

    Susan: ‘Hasn’t anyone noticed this nasty little threat from “Steve” against Nat, Kerry, ed, Andrew etc.?’

    Yep, we did. Entirely in character though don’t you think?

    Susan: “These are not nice people, folks.”

    As TCC points out, the BBC victimizes the poor and disadvantaged in order to line their own pockets. They call it public service broadcasting.

    Susan: “Says it all, really.”

    Indeed it does.

       0 likes

  35. Rob Read says:

    My idea for the BBC is to Mutualise it. i.e. Turn it into a mutual society owned by voluntary subscribers.

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  36. Mayfair Rap Daddy Man says:

    I am thinking of making a CD about the BBC and everything that epitomizes their arrogance. Is anyone here interested in appearing in the video clip ??? or contributing as backing singers etc ???

    I think it’s time we fought back using some of the tools as they and others (Micheal Moore ???) have used. If we can turn adolescents against the BBC it will be a great victory for the little man.

    Rapdaddy Mayfairman

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  37. simo says:

    “Steve”‘s squealing confirmed what an excellent post that was.

    “I’d like to see you use that as a defence in court.”

    I’d like to see you try to sue someone for expressing an opinion you happen to disagree with, you smug twat.

    Make the most of the next few years, “Steve”, Aunty’s innings is drawing to an end.

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  38. simo says:

    Mayfair Rap Daddy Man…Do you have access to a studio? If so, I’m in.

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  39. Archonix says:

    “Worthwhile to whom?”

    Well, I won’t admit to watching BBC tv regularly, but I’m not sure I’d be able to survive without getting a dose of Wogan in the mornings…

    Fortunately there’s no radio license anymore. 🙂

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  40. Frank Frink says:

    Well “Steve”, I for one have worked as a news journalist for BBC (world and n24) and now work for the agencies. I know for a fact many agency stories are given a cursory subbing (seldom as much as a rewrite) and then get packed out as BBC gospel. Correspondents or stringers might be involved in about 1 in 10 of these reports or the rolling news tv and radio channels. The journalists doing the subbing are completely free to ammend the copy to suit their own prejudices, which they of course do freely. The BBC Producer guidelines require that a report be sourced to two agencies before it’s used, however this is mainly honoured in the breech.

    The terrible waste of all this is compounded by the fact it takes about 10 BBC journalists to rewrite the work of about 2 agency journalists of an evening.

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  41. Gary says:

    I listen to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 because their is no other option for me but to listen to the private sector doing a simular version for free. The nearest thing for me here is talkSPORT, I am outside London so LBC News 1152 is no good for me. Do other people here at Biased BBC are stuck with the Today programme?

       0 likes

  42. Susan says:

    mayfairman,

    Well for several years I’ve been threatening to write BBC: The Musical, a satirical West End/Broadway-style treatment of al-Beeb and its world view. But maybe your idea is more relevant to the times.

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  43. Rapdaddy Mayfairman says:

    Simo, no I don’t, but that can be overcome.

    To tell you the truth, at this stage i’m just putting a feeler out to see if there is much support for that sort of thing. If it turns out there is clearly a ground swell of support for real political music aimed at adolescents (as opposed to the tiresome and unintelligent Bush and Globalisation bashing) then I would look at getting a project happening more seriously.

    But at this stage it’s nice to know that at least one person has shown some enthusiam for the idea. Thanks.

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  44. Rapdaddy Mayfairman says:

    Susan,

    I’m really just thinking out loud here to be honest.

    One thing that does strike me, is that if the anger shown by young gangster rappers (for example) could be harnessed to turn them against the patronising attitude that come from the left generally, then perhaps that anger could find some broader traction among young people generally, not just for the sake of turning them against lefties, but more importantly, to get them to take politics far more seriously than the ego, cliche driven dribble that most of them espouse at the moment.

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  45. Ashley Pomeroy says:

    >>>>
    I was told that I needed to provide a name and address for “TV Licencing reasons”

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  46. Rapdaddy Mayfairman says:

    I can’t believe that in 2005 in this country, we are forced to pay in cash for a TV, using a false I.D or lying in the case where no proof of identity is insisted upon.

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  47. mrdgriff says:

    When I read The Times, I am aware of balance. Mathew Parris is anti-Iraq war, Gerard Baker less so ans Anatole Keolsky has changed horses in mid-stream, he wimped out. Sir Simon Jenkins of Hampstead has left for The Sunday Times. The Times gain and the Sunday Times loss, mind you they had to find someone quickly to replace John Humphreys of BBC Today programme when he got the elbow after the Hutton enquiry.
    When I watch BBC News and Newsnight I know and can predict what their lead stories will be, similar to the Guardian and Independent for example. Where is the balance in that? Why do I have to listen to opinionated BBC reporters such as Walker this evening saying something like, “Tony Blair has boasted of our success in Iraq”. Sounds like sour grapes to me what with no bombings at the last election.
    What strange bedfellows former dictators and lefties make, as long as Saddam makes common cause with leftie anti-American sentiment he is a hard done by old man. They hate Pinochet with a vengeance but I don’t think he took a snipe at the USA so he is beyond the pale.
    I am objective in my reading,listening and watching, so I don’t need any lessons from a pinko at the BBC.

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  48. Anonymous says:

    Maybe a recent court case was preying on BBC Steve,s mind when he rubbished B-BBC’s disclaimer?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/inside/statement.shtml

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  49. Frank Frink says:

    Heh, actually that’s “Frink”, but if you know the book my tag is taken from then that’s quite funny 🙂

    Also, a typo in my original comment: the line “about 1 in 10 of these reports or the rolling news tv and radio channels” should read “on the rolling news…”

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  50. G powell says:

    Rap daddy mayfairman
    The world would be splitting its sides,if the BBC botherd to tell them that the most “liberal” broadcasting organisation on the planet, is responsible for locking up poor granies. Reinventers of Dickensian debters prisons. Having a “social conscience” does not extend past the vastly over paid under talented hypocritical staff at the BBC. Having expense accounts larger than their taxable income, like MEPS, might have something to do with it.

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