Monday, October 17, 2005

On the telly

I watched Match of the Day (both editions) this weekend. I wanted Man City to win (the manager is an ex-City Ground hero). I wanted Newcastle to lose (because Souness is a dreadful manager - I've always said so, and when he's fired, I'll be proved right).

I wanted Villa to beat Birmingham (prefer O'Leary to Steve Bruce, used to have a girlfriend who supported Villa etc). And I wanted Everton to hammer Spurs (I've about fifty reasons to detest Spurs).

Three out of four isn't bad.

So what's this got to do with the usual political crap that usually appears on this blog? Well, I saw a post over the weekend that explained a lot about the way people approach the big issues that dominate political discussion. This post, for instance, explains that suicide bombers in Baghdad are not primarily motivated by a desire to embarrass Tony Blair in front of his electorate.

You wouldn't beleive this if you wre to read the op-ed pages of our national newspapers though. Our inability to 'understand' militant Islam appears to be the root of all of this trouble if you were to beleive what you read.

The reasons that pressure groups prosper in liberal democracies, it because there is a margin in turning any development to your advantage. Lots of people earn a living from it. Call Guantanamo a gulag, for instance, and someone will be on the defensive.

Organise a demonstration in London about Iranians hanging gay teenagers , on the other hand, and you might as well whistle up your own arse. Organising it in Tehran would be another matter.

Is this something to get worked up about though? (click here for a few thousand examples of someone getting upset about this kind of thing)

I'd say that it isn't. Really, this solopsistic response to big issues pays a compliment to a liberal democracy.

Which brings me to the Biased BBC website / vendetta. It pays Auntie the highest compliment. Would you bother, for instance, to run a website called 'Biased Daily Telegraph'? If so, then you could launch its snappily named sister title 'Bear Shit Producing Bears that Shit in the Woods'.

In the UK, our printed media rivals that of the Italian press in the way that its readers distrust it.

That's right. Survey the European public and ask 'do you trust what you read in your newspapers?' I haven't checked the Eurobarometer research on this for a while now, but last time I looked, our hacks RIVAL ITALIAN JOURNALISTS in this particular field.

We have the most trusted broadcast news source, and the least trusted print equivalent. So next time you see a story on the BBC that you think was a bit partial to one side of the argument, remember....

  1. you can complain and your complaint will be taken seriously (as long as its not obviously stupid). They even have a nice programe on Radio 4 that will bring the offending edior on to defend their alleged bias. Complain about bias to almost any newspaper editor, on the other hand, and you can expect to be told to grow up.
  2. there will probably be something on another BBC programme shortly putting the opposite point of view.
  3. that the BBC draw their journalists from Europe's most stagnant cesspit.
Thankfully, there's a new blog that appears to be largely making this case in a more sober and coherent way.

Bookmark it.

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