Hallowe'en Open Thread
I do like Edward Gorey. My kinda weird.
In addition to holding debates almost every Friday night, the BBC has gone full W1A (the sitcom that tries to spoof the unspoofable corporation). A press release announcing election plans confirms that Huw Edwards will take over from David Dimbleby, but also promises a podcast called Election and Chill, Radio 1 touring the country in the BBC’s “Travelling Living Room” (a campervan) and BBC Breakfast asking normal people what normal people think “over a morning cup of coffee from a specially converted BBC Breakfast Coffee Cart”. I think someone’s had enough coffee already.I should probably have less coffee. I might have been asleep now.
That’s me only a few minutes after arriving.Rocking the sleep deprived jet-lagged look! Thanks for the sun #Sydney!! #Australia 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/mrtuHkH8tf— shaimaa khalil BBC (@Shaimaakhalil) November 10, 2019
Tellingly, she arrives to massive bushfires and a coal-brandishing prime minister who “refused to be drawn on whether climate change could have contributed to the fires”.Tellingly, Nick also has a point to make there, and Shaimaa - bless her! - is already on it:
Throughout #Election2019— Kamal Ahmed (@bbckamal) November 10, 2019
our super workers @BBCRealityCheck will be sorting through the headlines and noise. Our job is to inform our audiences so they know what is going on. Today, do Labour’s spending plans cost £1.2trn? #onthesideoftheaudience https://t.co/ghcvLWSQNW
|Mail Online headline. Amazingly, the two words aren't 'John' and 'Simpson'.|
Simpson was in Poland on the night the wall fell. I loved the way in the documentary he tried to make it sound like a noble mission to scramble back just in time to elbow Brian Hanrahan out of the way in order to give us his superior wisdom on the evening news. (Yes, that devastating insight which meant he was hundreds of miles away at the time.)
His desolation as the live satellite feed juddered to a halt in mid-pontification was priceless.
As Brian Hanrahan was standing on top of the Wall and giving that by now legendary piece to camera, I was still in Poland. Although Brian Hanrahan was doing a brilliant job on the ground, as the BBC's chief foreign correspondent, I simply had to get to Berlin. I knew that Brian would do the kind of 'what happened during the day' and I'd be expected to stand there in front of the camera and do a sort of "What does this all mean? "Where are we in the scale of things?" But getting there wasn't going to be easy. I was absolutely panic stricken at being so kind of out of things, even though in terms of miles I probably was only about, I don't know, 300 or 400 miles away. And after, oh, I think about three different hops, I arrived there, and a young and very sweet and charming young man, a BBC guy, was given the job of driving me. He was not a great driver and we had more than one very, very near miss. I was getting more and more tense because I was going to do just simply a live piece to camera on this, the most important day in modern history.
It's very painful for me to watch. This was, as far as I know, the biggest television audience the BBC has ever had for a news programme and I disappear in a fizzle on the screen. It was absolutely crushing. The difference between that and being sentenced to death in court or something seems very, very slight. I was in absolute horror and anger and depression and gloom... ..and I wandered away. I think as I wandered off, I thought, that's it. I ought to jack this game in. I mean, you know, it's no... It's no fun any more. And then I just saw these hundreds, thousands of people so happy. I just thought... ..you know, what happened to me is nothing. I mean, it's a little speck of total irrelevance. This is one of the great, great days of modern... ..modern human existence. And I thought about the young kid that had driven me there and I had been thinking, "The little so and so, you know, "he should have known better." And, you know, "I'll mark his card for him." And I thought, oh, God, how could anybody want to damage somebody's interests on a day like this? Which always made me feel quite good, because he became my boss afterwards. I mean, I've seen a lot of wonderful things in my life, a lot of happy things as well as a lot of bad things. But I don't think I've ever seen anything quite as happy as that...as that night. People were openly weeping. I find it quite hard to talk about it now without... ..without weeping. And then after that, all the rules were off. So later on, I danced on top of the Wall. I mean, if somebody had said to me, you know, name the most wonderful thing that could ever happen to you. I'd never thought I'll dance on the Berlin Wall with a beautiful young German blonde girl. I never would have thought that.And that is how John Simpson liberated Eastern Europe.
Pauly #FBPE: Russian Tory donors named. It’s only taken three years but better late than never I guess. Make no mistake, Putin is behind brexit.
Andrew #FBPE #PeoplesVote: I don’t suppose you will be hearing much about this from Rob Burley and the BBC.
Christopher Fowler (to Rob Burley): Late Sunday morning and no mention on BBC News website... must all be at church I suppose?
Rob Burley: As covered on the Marr paper review.
NHSNot4Sale: Here’s the latest example of BBC deciding to mute a story. No mention of Russian Tory on BBC. Why?
Rob Burley: The Sunday Times story was on the Marr paper review. On the BBC. And Andrew Marr is asking Javid about it right now on the BBC.
Nick Cohen: As well as being a superb documentary, the BBC’s secret history of the war in Northern Ireland is a quiet argument for staying in the EU. If you don’t understand why some of us old farts are furious about Brexit, it explains why.I bet it does!
Religious and community organisations are being paid thousands of pounds to assist the Home Office in removing people from the United Kingdom. The controversial scheme involves setting up voluntary return centres where immigrants, usually those who have become homeless, receive financial support from the Home Office to go back to their country of origin.
Dan Carden repeatedly sang the chorus of “Hey Jude”, replacing the word “Jude” with “Jews”. When the chorus reached the word “Jude”, Carden chanted at the top of his voice: “Jews, Jews, Jews”.
McGinn was sitting next to another male Labour colleague, who was tired from the day’s events and spent much of the coach journey asleep.
Several times during the journey, McGinn’s colleague slumped onto him across their seats. McGinn responded by loudly telling his friend to get off him, calling him a “poof”. McGinn repeatedly used the word to describe his colleague throughout the journey.
Good afternoon. A member of Labour's Shadow Cabinet has has been accused of mocking the Jewish community. The Shadow International Development Secretary Dan Carden reportedly sang 'Hey Jews' to the tune of the Beatles song 'Hey Jude' during a raucous late night bus trip. The Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has described the behaviour as disgusting. He says it's not that anti-Semitic.
Later that night, after I had finished broadcasting for the BBC, I went back to the Wall. Hundreds of people were dancing on top of it, and I was determined to join them. Someone offered their back for me, and willing hands hoisted me up. It wasn’t easy. The Wall was a good 12ft high, and I barked my shin on the coping stone on the way up, tearing the trousers of my best television-appearance suit. No matter; I knelt, then stood, then raised my arms in triumph while everyone around me laughed and sang and kissed each other. A beautiful young blonde danced with me.
chose to edit out my wink to the camera when I said Goodbye at the end of this recording. I wonder why.
This is the Piece Hall in Halifax, Yorkshire.— createstreets (@createstreets) November 8, 2019
It bares comparison with Piazza San Marco in Venice.
It should be one of England’s most famous buildings.
You should go. pic.twitter.com/QPAZTPOkNp
Legananny Dolmen with its enchanting Mourne backdrop - one of the highlights of a 12km looped walk from Windy Gap this morning #dolmens #standingstones #DromaraHills #megaliths pic.twitter.com/trykteVy5R— Derek Flack (@barracuda147) November 8, 2019
News and current affairs is largely tickety-boo – with one major caveat, the ‘D’ word. Wait for it: not enough diversity!And the contents analysis done for the Ofcom review comes from...drum roll...the same people the BBC used for their own output reviews - our old friends at the School of Media, Journalism and Culture at Cardiff University, a department headed by Richard Sambrook, ex-BBC Director of Global News.
So how did the wise people of Ofcom decide that output was impartial? A main plank was that they had considered 300 complaints about BBC bias in 2018-19 and upheld none of them. Well, that’s okay then. Or maybe – more likely – it confirms the need for an urgent external investigation of Ofcom itself into confirmation bias – the tendency to search for, interpret, favour, and recall information in a way that affirms one’s prior beliefs or hypotheses.
The second main plank of their approach was the PwC report mentioned above. A key element of this was based on 13 interviews and workshops around the country, each attended by a dozen consumers of BBC output. How precisely these were framed is not disclosed – it is assumed by Ofcom that PwC knew what they were doing. But a striking feature of the exercise, at a time when the news agenda was dominated by Brexit, was that those with strong views about the topic were deliberately excluded.I find none of this remotely reassuring.
Despite the relentless tide of anti-Brexit bias, the Ofcom content board – eight of the 13 members are ex-BBC – has dismissed the vast majority of BBC complaints appeals referred to it with the same cavalier liberal-Left disdain as the BBC itself.
Most strikingly, a meticulously researched complaint about the anti-Brexit bias of BBC1’s Question Time was dismissed on the basis that a single contribution from Theresa May crony Damian Green proved that the ‘hard’ Brexit perspective had been adequately represented in 25 editions.
Manchester has recently approved an installation outside St Ann’s church. The statue was originally going to be installed in Westminster outside of the Methodist Church's Westminster Central Hall but was eventually rejected [Planning Permission refused]. The city believed that the statue would not properly reflect the nature. The Bishop of Manchester reflected on the importance of having Homeless Jesus. He remembered Jesus saying that turning away from helping someone in need is like turning from Jesus.
- Iran Announces Use of More Advanced Centrifuges (Voice of America)
|Ali Akbar Salehi|
In my opinion, Esther Duflo, the economist who has just won the Nobel prize for the accessible-sounding book on economics she co-authored, “Good Economics for Hard Times” came in far too late in the show. She had already been on the radio this morning, and we were treated to a longer and larger slice of her wisdom then. As a bit of an ignoramus on theoretical economics, I could have done with a bit more of that and less of the other. It somehow seemed fresher and more interesting.Tory peer Danny Finkelstein on manifesto policy to “grasp” with Islamophobia— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) November 4, 2019
“I think the party has got the chance to be a pioneer, because there a lot of Islamophobia in this country, possibly even more than there is anti-Semitism”#politicslive https://t.co/dLHtKBMf1p pic.twitter.com/6OVarxGucc
|making a virtue out of necessity|