Nick Robinson…peddling pro-BBC, anti-the opposition propaganda….or is he? Who is he kidding…himself? But does he admit the BBC nearly won it for Corbyn?
The BBC always hated the so-called Right-Wing Press and attacks it relentlessly and at every opportunity never missing a chance to sneer at the Mail, The Sun or Murdoch but it has a new rival, one possibly more dangerous to the BBC dominance of ‘truth’…the Internet and all those upstart digital news-sites, special interest sites and of course bloggers…many of them experts in their own right…far more so than many a BBC journalist.
The BBC wants to position itself in the mind of the Public as that trusted and respected provider of news, as perhaps The Only One to really trust and it has been pumping out constant attacks on the Internet sites portraying them as unreliable, inaccurate, biased and untrustworthy providers of fake news.
This is of course laughable as the BBC hates these sites so much not because they bring us fake news but because they bring us the truth…the inconvenient truth that the BBC hides. The vast majority are not malicious or intent on distorting the news agenda, they are there more often than not to counteract the lies and omissions of the mainstream media such as the BBC on a vast number of subjects from climate change, politics, economics and history to name a few.
Nick Robinson however wants to reassure you that in a world where nobody can be trusted you can trust the BBC…
How should the BBC and other broadcasters respond to the changing media landscape including “guerilla” attacks on social media? In an inaugural lecture to mark the contribution of the late Steve Hewlett to journalism, his friend and colleague Nick Robinson discusses the issue. Steve Hewlett, a BBC Radio 4 presenter and former Panorama editor, died this year from cancer. This is an edited version of that lecture.
News is too important to be reduced to a three-letter word.
Yet that is a risk we now face as more and more people get their news from social media, with what they read and see determined for them by the all powerful algorithms that prioritise emotion – “OMG” or “LOL” – over facts and analysis.
That’s such condescending, self-serving tosh…..where are the studies, where is the proof, where is the analysis that shows that shallow, attention deficit, ignorant people really only get their news solely from Facebook or somesuch? Most people I know get their news from a variety of providers and they are more than adequately informed about current affairs. Do you think he is really talking about the ‘Deplorables’…you know those uneducated, bigoted and prejudiced Whites who voted for Brexit and Trump because they were too stupid and uninformed to know the truth…the sort of people you suspect he thinks are too lazy and uninterested in the world to make the effort to find ‘real’ news preferring ‘fast’ news McDonald’s style…flashy, easy on the eye and superficially tasty but ultimately unnourishing, unsatifying with dangerous side effects.
To prove his point Robinson quotes..
To summarise, let me quote one of the bosses of one of those corporate giants who pose the greatest challenge to the old ways of doing things, Google News’s Richard Gingras, whom I met in Silicon Valley a few weeks ago.
Information v affirmation
“We came from an era of dominant news organisations, often perceived as oracles of fact,” he told me.
“We’ve moved to a marketplace where quality journalism competes on an equal footing with raucous opinion, passionate advocacy, and the masquerading expression of variously motivated bad actors.”
I read that last bit and had to laugh…it’s the perfect description of BBC ‘journalism’…indeed Robinson’s very article is a prime example of that….short on genuine fact and relying on emotive drivel that the BBC is the most trusted news source. And hasn’t this always been the case…Tabloids versus the ‘quality’ Press?
However paradoxically he then claims actually the young love the BBC and get their news from it…
It’s worth noting that BBC News is still watched, listened to and read by a remarkable number of people.
And we are trusted, even by the young, who come to the BBC when it matters. For example, 91% of under-34s consumed the BBC’s 2017 general election coverage in the week of the vote.
Actually that is of interest…Corbyn surged based on a huge turn out of the young….the BBC made a grat deal of effort to encourage the young to vote knowing there was a good chance they would vote ‘Corbyn’, but on top of that the BBC’s news programmes gave Corbyn a massive lift as they relentlessly attacked and undermined the Tories whilst avoiding talking about Corbyn’s radical politics, his links to terrorism and the fact that he dumped all his long held convictions in order to win the election by pulling the wool over voters’ eyes…aided by a complicit BBC.
Robinson is admitting the BBC almost won the election for Corbyn.
Robinson thinks the BBC is beyond reproach, above criticism however somewhat bizarely he does a complete volte face and admits the problem could be the BBC.
He starts off asking…
Attacks on the media are no longer a lazy clap line delivered to a party conference to the raise the morale of a crowd of the party faithful. They are part of a guerrilla war being fought on social media, day after day and hour after hour.
How to respond? I turn to my late friend Steve Hewlett here for inspiration.
Did Robinson read what he has written?…it runs counter to his whole narrative…which is ‘don’t you dare probe the consensus [of the glorious MSM]’..
What made him [Hewlett] different is that he asked questions many others failed to ask.
‘Probe the consensus’
In the early days of Channel 4, Steve worked on a series called Diverse Reports, which had a clearly defined purpose: “Wherever you can find the liberal consensus, probe it, probe it, probe it. And if there’s another way of looking at it, broadcast it.”
Probe, probe, probe the liberal consensus? Isn’t that what the internet [and the Daily Mail] does so well? Amusingly Robinson says this…
My instinct is that we should build this mindset into all our programmes, so that we ask questions – and can share online items that ask questions – that are invariably not asked.
Again and again over the years, views that start off being seen as extreme quickly become the new conventional wisdom – monetarism, green politics, gay rights, calls for curbs on immigration.
Yeah right, the BBC probing itself and ‘discovering’the joys of immigration curbs.
He goes on…
We must learn from our past, when the BBC has been slow to challenge the conventional wisdom of the day. Churchill’s pre-War warnings about the dangers of German rearmament were heard by radio listeners not in his own country, but in the US.
The way Churchill was handled is a powerful warning of the dangers of the BBC believing it is being balanced by silencing the voices of those who do not represent conventional wisdom.
I wonder if the ‘Islamophobic’ warnings of the dangers of a Dark Ages, unpleasant and backward ideology will become the BBC narrative in time to hold back the future…let’s quote Churchill as it seems appropriate…
Mein Kampf…..”the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message.”
Robinson then oddly tells us how wonderful and impartial the BBC is after having admitted it fails to provide a broad and accurate news service…
There is a danger in these times that a growing number will question whether impartiality still has any real meaning, whether it is an establishment plot to limit debate and whether it can be sustained in an era of almost infinite media choice.
I believe that it is still vital, and we should proudly tell our audience that the BBC is not owned, run or controlled by the government, media tycoons, profit-seeking businesses or those pursuing a political or partisan agenda.
It is staffed by people who – regardless of their personal background or private views – are committed to getting as close to the truth as they can, and to offering their audience a free, open and broad debate about the issues confronting the country.
They aim to deliver what Carl Bernstein called “the best obtainable version of the truth”.
It’s not ‘impartiality’ that limits debate it’s the BBC’s partisan approach that loads the dice and sets up certain ideas and political view points as ‘unacceptable’, immoral and wrong.
It does in fact pursue a political and partisan agenda more often than not brought to us by people who channel their own political and social values and beliefs allowing them to shape their narrative in debates and how the news is presented.
Who decides what is the ‘best obtainable version of the truth’? Can we leave that to the BBC? No, not likely.