If the incongruous joviality of his delivery on the Today programme this morning was an indication of his inner conscience, John Humphrys might be wondering “What have I done?” He did sound unnaturally chirpy, almost as if he was trying to erase the memory of his questionable role in the arguably premature toppling of yes-man George Entwistle. A mask of bluster to hide a tiny bit of insecurity? Reflective introspection, regret? (Did I really mean that to happen?)
Am I alone in wondering whether Humph’s self-appointed role as arbiter of righteousness is beyond his cranial capacity? Anyway, just after 8am he and David Dimbleby grasped the chance to chew things over, mutually reinforcing each other’s position as beloved national treasure and unshakeable billet at the BBC.
Humph and Dimbleby, whose very name is believed to be ‘synonymous with the best times of the BBC’ agreed that the present crisis isn’t the greatest crisis ever to befall the greatest broadcasting organisation in the world. Great! However, they did concede that ‘trust’ has been damaged by this ‘one absurd broadcast’, concluding that Entwistle had to resign because he didn’t stand up sufficiently robustly for the BBC during That Interview.
So national treasures are underpaid, hard-pressed and of course hard-working; not for money, but for love, presumably excluding Mr. Entwistle whose six-figure resignation package was just one absurd, wholly exceptional event. The management’s failure is partly due to its use of gobbledegook, Dimbleby said, amidst giggles and chuckling. The title ‘Head of Vision’ should be changed to Head of Television. We must introduce a system whereby someone attached to the new DG ensures that he has read his daily Guardian and Twitter. And someone should have a good look at the way the BBC is run. Sorted. This strategy is called Getting a Grip.
The BBC’s problems are broadly threefold.
- Dumbing Down
The focus of its current self examination is numero uno, as this appears to be the only one out of the three that the BBC has noticed.
Incompetence was exemplified by, but not confined to, two particular Newsnight episodes, the first of which demonstrated what some people call ‘caution’ but others would call a ‘cover-up’. The later episode was deemed reckless and irresponsible, but some suspect it was politically motivated as well as being reckless and irresponsible. Anyone with even a short memory will be able to recall several more examples of incompetence, including phone-in malfunctions, Brand/Rossgate, Queengate and something embarrassing to do with Blue Peter.
The third flaw in the BBC’s claim to be the best in the world is the dumbed down ratings-driven programming. No further explanation is necessary.
The most alarming BBC failure is the other one. Number 2 on my list. Blatant bias,.
Within this category three particular areas leap out and glare at you.
- A lefty, Pro-Labour, anti-Conservative agenda pervades the BBC’s entire output.
- Man-made Global warming. Through ignorance, I can’t comment.
- The ingrained anti-Israel bias, about which I began blogging on Biased BBC in 2009.
Incidentally I always tried to be level-headed and reasonable on that blog, but it seemed that people didn’t want that. They wanted bile and vitriol.
Recently Craig and I sacrificed the exposure our articles enjoyed by way of the heavy traffic that Biased-BBC supposedly attracts, and we decided to migrate to our own blog, which hardly anybody reads. That might say something about our common sense, but again it might not. It’s the opposite of chasing ratings.
When I first started to comment below the line at Biased-BBC another far-sighted commenter, disagreeing with a criticism I had made, said: “Go and start your own blog. No-one will read it”
Clairvoyant, or what?