Sunday, 2 July 2017

Sunday Morning Reading

Today's Sunday Times includes a long and entertaining interview by Rod Liddle of Jeremy Paxman in which, among many other things, Paxo gives us his take on the BBC and introduces readers like me to a new word, 'parastatal': 
Jeremy Paxman: Would the world be better without the BBC in it? Of course not. Of course there is political correctness at the BBC. I would have to say that the BBC is a parastatal organisation. They believe in the state. And not to recognise that there are those issues there is just silly. 
Rod Liddle: And what are those issues? 
Jeremy Paxman: Partiality. There is a way of looking at the world if you are part of the BBC and a different way if you work for a commercial organisation. Why is the story is always about the disabled refugee from Syria, rather than the demands that the disabled refugee from Syria might make upon our taxpayers? That’s all too common. It’s a metropolitan-elite problem, isn’t it?

1 comment:

  1. Paxman correctly observes an institutional bias at the BBC, but is incorrect about the causes. As with so many other PC and Left-wing issues, it's about emotion and ego. It's more common at the BBC because the people who want to go into that business are far more likely to be driven by their emotions and sense of moral superiority. You can be sure they all would see the 'refugee' issue from that perspective before they ever worked for the BBC, or even got into media. Of course, the argument about self-selection has already been made.

    Having said that, Paxman's observation is exactly the sort of thing we've all been chided for by 'experts' and defenders of the indefensible. One can make the case that any criticism of the BBC from Rod Liddle is down to sour grapes (it's not entirely true in all cases, and certainly not in this one, but the case can be made). But not with Paxman.

    I did read the whole interview, and it was very good. One negative leaps out, though. We're given the increasingly common criticism about the BBC being filled with idealistic youngsters who want to change the world. I would suggest (and have already) that it's the reason they got into 'journalism', and especially the BBC. So, I would have been very interested to learn why Liddle and Paxman got into the business.