Sunday 25 October 2009
Libby Purves and the Media Lie Recyling System
FFS even Libby Purves has joined in the Media Lie Recycling System with her latest article below.
This is just how ridiculous the media are.
They simply recycle each others lies as part of a monstrous machinery of stupidity, laziness, ineptness and inanity.
Its like the entire media walks around with its head up its own arse all the time.
Cant they do better than this ?
Cant they investigate the facts before they repeat the lies ?
Not that I care anyway.
The fact is that every time one of the media idiots write about someone or something, all they do is ensure internet traffic to that site.
So thanks Libby for the publicity.
The sweetest lie is always the one the papers print for free.
P.S This is Libby's long career details with the BBC ;
"Libby Purves worked for some years for BBC Radio 4, as a reporter and a presenter on the Today programme and, since 1983, has presented Midweek."
So no conflict of interest re impartiality there then.
It feels absurdly awkward to defend the BBC in print. Absurd, because the BBC does many good things; awkward, because I have worked for it over 37 years and still do part-time. To avoid accusations of smarming, normally I either stay quiet, or sorrowfully point out Auntie’s failings — top-heavy overpaid management, obsession with “platforms” over content, timidity over telling pampered “talent” where it gets off. Whenever I do this, I see spasms of anguish on the noble brow of my controller, and feel his pain. The last time I was kind to the management in print was in 2005 over Jerry Springer — the Opera.
But today, sons of Reith, I am on your side. I am bored and irritated by the universal baying over Nick Griffin of the BNP and his moment in the sun on Question Time. Even my old mucker Sue MacGregor joins the universal headshaking, saying that his appearance “either gave him a huge audience for his views, which I would not approve of, or it gave the impression of attack dogs”. Other “senior BBC broadcasters” say the same, anonymously (respect, Sue — at least we girls have the bottle to be identified).
David Blunkett bays that the BBC did it for ratings. Peter Hain foamed tediously at the mouth, throughout. And another Sunday paper excoriates the Director-General, who was found on the fatal day “abandoning his post” for the unimaginably remote county of Berkshire, where he underwent a staff course in “Hostile Environment and Battlefield First Aid Training”. Cruel gags spring to mind; but no, let’s play this straight. What should, could, the BBC have done?
The British National Party has two MEPs, 56 local councillors and a seat on the London Assembly. You may hate the fact, I certainly do; but politically the BNP exists. It campaigns not only in hotspots of racial unease but in country areas such as ours, where its propaganda is slanted towards rural issues in the vain hope that Westleton and Yoxford are dumb enough to believe that local house prices are due only to “white flight” from cities full of immigrants. The BNP is neither terribly bright nor united — we shall come to that — but it’s here. It turns up on ballot papers. Despite Peter Hain’s huffing, it has not been proscribed by government as Sinn Féin once was. Giving it an occasional outing on political programmes is the BBC’s duty.
It has been cautious, not to say terrified, about this duty. In 2003 the BBC prevented a BNP representative from appearing on Question Time in Burnley, its “stronghold” with three councillors and ten thousand votes. The corporation argued that local councillors are not usually among the political panellists, who reflect MPs and MEPs. Now that excuse has evaporated.
The decision to use Question Time was probably more difficult.
The show covers many topics, and there was a risk that on some of them — public transport, postal services — Mr Griffin might craftily express unexceptionable points of view, without mentioning race. It was always going to be a tough call; so in the event the whole programme was given over to “his” issues — apart from five minutes at the end on homophobia. Which, delightfully, managed to make him look even weirder than before. It was perhaps too apparent that David Dimbleby had been told to keep quoting Griffin’s record of talking wicked nonsense — that duty could have been left to panellists and audience — but on the whole he made a good fist of it. Nick Griffin was certainly the butt of the whole room, as he now complains; but I doubt that he attracted much underdog-pity. Not with that smirking and giggling.
He was given just enough rope. His reference to an “almost totally non-violent” section of the Ku Klux Klan had the audience laughing in his face; he invented a new genre as a holocaust-denial-denier with “I do not have a conviction for holocaust denial”. It may be the most absurd response since Doug and Dinsdale Piranha’s victim on Monty Python (“He nailed your head to the floor?” “At first, yes . . .”).
Mr Griffin did himself no favours. He knows that: he has protested that the show was filmed in “ethnically cleansed” London (what??) not in Burnley, and that he was victim of a lynch mob.
Moreover, his own party is turning on him: Lee Barnes, the BNP’s legal officer, accused him yesterday of failing to press the attack on us “whining middle-class hypocrites”. Mr Barnes then suggests “white riots”, thus making himself possibly the first “legal officer” of a political party to incite violence. On the websites, dismayed BNP supporters express disappointment: “Maybe some coaching could of been done so that Mr Griffin could of answered any questions articulately . . . he did seem overawed.”
Such is the chattering-class mistrust of the mob that I hear voices muttering “all very well for you and me, Libby, but oh dear! Ordinary People will have been swayed by Griffin!”. I doubt it. I have more confidence in my fellow Britons. The 22 per cent who told a post-programme survey that they would “seriously consider” voting BNP have not actually done so. I doubt they will. I would estimate that at least half of them only said that in order to rile and goad a Government that has disappointed them so gravely, not least by its confused and inefficient failure to confront the practical effects of uncontrolled immigration. Which is a perfectly legitimate mainstream concern, shared by many ethnic groups. Those goaders won’t vote BNP: not after seeing its leader looking such a fool.
Question Time was not faultless. But suppose the BBC had caved in to the bullying of Mr Hain, and cancelled the invitation? The message to the disaffected 22 per cent would be clear: “Look, proles — if you were allowed to see this magical, charismatic Mr Griffin on TV, you would be seduced by his brilliance and follow him to hell and back.” Not good. Best to display the Wizard of Oz in his shrivelled absurdity.
As for bias, suppose the producers had tried to balance the audience and panel a bit more? Difficult. For a start, no normal panellist would dare to agree with Griffin in public, even if he announced that it was Thursday. As for the floor, with any BNP stalwarts like Lee Barnes in it, it would have become a punch-up.
The BBC was in a cleft stick. It perched there uncomfortably, but not dishonourably. Eight out of ten for courage.