Saturday 7 December 2013


As Sue alluded to in the previous post, poor Rod Liddle has felt the heat from an 'outraged' Twittersphere (and the Daily Mail) over his criticism of the BBC's OTT coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela. 

But for Christ’s sake BBC, give it a bloody break for five minutes, will you? It’s as if the poor bugger now has to bear your entire self-flagellating white post-colonial bien pensant guilt; look! Famous nice black man dies! Let’s re-run the entire history of South Africa. That’s better than watching the country we’re in being flattened by a storm.
From the comments below his Spectator article (and the Daily Mail's article), it's clear that a lot of people feel the same way. As do I.

Indeed, this week's Newswatch mentioned that they'd received "nearly a thousand complaints from viewers concerned that the extensive coverage of Mandela's death was at the expense of vital reporting on the developing weather situation" [here in Britain].

A typical e-mail read:
Major stories such as Mandela's death need to be dealt with, but a balance has to be struck. His death was not unexpected. He was an elderly man who has been seriously ill for months. Other significant news was neglected, such as the storm which had claimed two lives. I gave up watching, as the programme content had become so repetitive.
A typical tweet read:
It was very scary last night. People in and outside the areas needed live information. Mandela important but comment could have waited.
What Sue describes as the Dianafication of Nelson Mandela has been described, elsewhere in the Spectator, as "quasi-religious" coverage. 

Melanie McDonagh spotted the worst case of that yet - and it comes courtesy of the Today programme:
And this morning, the Today programme brought the thing to its logical conclusion when one presenter, Justin Webb posed the question: given the moral example of Nelson Mandela, ‘why is the world not a better place?’ So it was over for an answer to former US president Jimmy Carter, a member of a group known as the Elders, who travel the world to spread the Mandela message. This was the question: ‘Some people have compared Nelson Mandela with Jesus. You’re a religious man. Would you?’ (Don’t you love that distancing – ‘Some people…’?).
To Melanie's delight, Mr Carter would not and, as a result, helped "cut the cultish aspect of the BBC coverage down to size a bit."

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