|The 'North West Tonight' studio tonight - and most nights|
As Iraq and the world falls apart, what better time for another introspective post...and something about Hillsborough?...
When we started this blog I was absolutely determined to be as impartial and fair-minded as could be. I also meant to write in an uptight, scrupulous fashion - as free from the spirit of ranting as possible.
Well, some of that spirit hopefully remains, but I've definitely slipped over time.
Like subsidence, bias will always out itself, if it's there - whether it be my bias or the bias of a BBC reporter/presenter - and my biases have certainly been outing themselves over time. It wasn't meant to be that way though. (Ah well, it's Friday night. Who cares?)
In that new spirit, what do my biases make of the the whole 'Ed Miliband, Sun, Hillsborough, BBC' story?
Well, for those who missed it...
Ed - like Nick and Dave - posed with an edition of The Sun in order to promote England's 3% chance of winning the World Cup. Lots of Liverpudlians - including the local Labour mayor - took offence at that ('cos of Hillsborough), started jerking their arms about in a rather robotic fashion, ignoring the rational voices in their heads saying "Eh! Eh! Alright! Alright! Calm down! Calm down!", and instead began ranting at poor Ed. Ed then sort-of said "sorry".
Oh, so many inner biases emerge here, potentially: I'm not keen on Ed Miliband. I'm not keen on BBC bias either. On Hillsborough though, like most non-Scouse Northerners [and, yes, I've discussed this quite widely], I'm absolutely sick to death of hearing about. It's as if little else exists up here and it's the only tragedy that has ever happened. Our local BBC news programme North West Tonight is absolutely obsessed with it (and if it isn't Hillsborough, it's opposition to fracking on that programme). That bias trumps everything else for me.
I know what to make of all this then and, interesting, everything I think about it is echoed and laid out pithily in the top-ranked comments on the brief-lived 'Have Your Say' thread on the BBC News website [and, yes, I was able to get beyond the fact that many of them can't ever spell Ed Miliband's name correctly]:
9. The BBC rustles my jimmies 8 HOURS AGO: We live in a 'take offence' culture. Anyone who says 'I am offended' is automatically assumed to be in the right, apologies must be issued and every avenue must be explored to make sure the 'offended' is treated like royalty. The only disgrace here is the complete nonsense that drives media like the BBC to report on such non-stories. +228
53. Comment Withdrawn 8 HOURS AGO: Is this story real? Am I dreaming this? We have war in Iraq again, a new cold war, the breakup of the UK, the European Union in tatters and our politicians and media choose "Milliband has the Sun" as something to report. Grow up the lot of you and do the jobs the rest of us are paying you to do. +166
55. onthebeach 8 HOURS AGO: Firstly, I don't see why any of the party leaders should be promoting a newspaper. Secondly, I don't see why the people of Liverpool think that politicians should take any notice of a vendetta they have against a particular newspaper. +146
70. Haggis Hunter 8 HOURS AGO: Dear BBC, once again I'll ask the question you never seem to allow...why on earth are you opening tripe like this up for comments and leaving the REAL stories closed, you know, the ones that are questionable at best?? +127
90. politicsofenvy 8 HOURS AGO: There are no shortage of BSkyB dishes on houses in Liverpool and why do all the big retailers in the centre of Liverpool still stock the Sun if everyone there is boycotting it? +119
131. therealist 8 HOURS AGO: I don't like Milliband but he has my sympathy with this one. Scousers seem to be over sensitive on this. Yes the Sun is a useless rag which made a terrible mistake - 25 years ago. It's apologised. If everyone held such an grudge forever everytime someone offends them we'll end up hating each other forever. +101
Comments are now closed on that thread. After just eight hours. The BBC moderators should, er, calm down.