Andrew McCann has written of his attempts to put his views across to the Beeb over Sweenygate. I am referring, of course, to the bullying, hectoring behaviour (caution, highly entertaining stuff) of the BBC’s fearless sleuth, John Sweeney, as he ventured into the deep hidden danger facing us all from Tom Cruise’s religion, Scientology. McCann’s words are well worth reading. Summary account of the incident here.
He points out the BBC’s complacent reliance on the freedoms accorded them in the US and UK. He demonstrates what true objectivity might mean- the fearlessly equal treatment of all on an equal basis. His analogy was the most obvious one going- between the BBC’s treatment of Scientology and its treatment of Islam- but the point is a deep one.
Talking of his approach to the BBC’s phone-in minders he says:
“I posed a rhetorical question as to whether Sweeney would have lost his temper if treated in the same way by Muslims outside the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. In other words, would Sweeney have behaved that way had it not been for his own prejudices and the environment in which he found himself?”
Indeed. PS. I notice that Sweeney has done investigations in Saudi Arabia, but one does indeed wonder if he treated the Saudis as imbeciles as he did so, or whether it was their religion he was interested in targeting.