Monday 11 January 2016

David, I'm Only Blogging

I was driving to work this morning and switched over to Radio 4 at 7.10 to hear Nick Robinson talking about the "shocking news" that was just coming in. 

His tone of voice made me gulp. I thought there'd been a sickening terrorist attack or a major assassination but then I caught him saying that David Berry had died and that he was one of the biggest names in modern music, alongside the Beatles and the Stones. I was racking my brains trying to remember who David Berry when it suddenly struck me that David Bowie might much better fit that description and began hoping he hadn't actually said David Bowie. Then he said David Bowie's name again and I realised I'd misheard. "Oh no!", I thought.

That all took place in the space of a few seconds, of course - longer than it look me to write that last paragraph and probably longer than it took you to read it. Still I thought I'd share it with you in the time-honoured spirit of blogging. 

Will you always remember where you were when you first read that anecdote of mine? 

Everyone was talking about it at work, of course - not for long though as we had work to do, but for a few minutes at least - so I'm not surprised that it's being given a massive amount of coverage by the BBC, Sky, ITV and the papers. 

For example, watching the BBC News Channel from 2 o'clock this afternoon, the first 18 minutes were spent on David Bowie before moving onto Syria (after a short advert for what was coming up). Sky News, which I also had on, spent the first 15 minutes of the hour on it before moving straight onto Syria at 2.15 and then onto the latest from Cologne. Both channels were soon back onto David Bowie though, with guests reminiscing, medleys of his songs and further reports. As I'm writing this paragraph the BBC has Paul Gambaccini and Sky has a music industry executive called Jack Steven who has an uncanny look of Bowie (to my eyes):

There's a lively debate going on over at Biased BBC this afternoon over whether there's too much coverage, with some saying "enough already" and others saying that Bowie was a cultural icon (even if his music wasn't to their taste) and that it's curmudgeonly to complain about it.

I'm firmly in the latter camp over this - hence this post! (and David Bowie's music was to my taste).

If someone as important to so many people as David Bowie can't be given a single day of heavy news coverage, then the news would be letting a lot of people down.

Anyhow, for those who are more interested in the BBC than Bowie, here's a comparison of BBC One's News at One and ITV's somewhat shorter lunchtime bulletin. 

It's always interesting to compare what different news organisations consider worth reporting in the main TV bulletins, to see what they miss and what they include - just as, unlike Sky, the BBC News Channel didn't bring its viewers the latest news from Cologne over the past hour. (Maybe they forgot?):

BBC News at One 
1.00 Death of David Bowie
1.15 Aid convoy approaches besieged Syrian town
1.17 Partner of murdered Eastenders actress to appear in court in Ghana
1.19 Labour frontbencher resigns
1.21 Anglican Church meeting
1.24 Junior Doctors' Strike
1.25 Spanish princess stands trial
1.28 Weather
1.30 David Bowie tribute
1.31 End

ITV Lunchtime News 
1.30 Death of David Bowie
1.39 Junior Doctors' Strike
1.42 Aid convoy approaches besieged Syrian town
1.44 Brimstone missiles used by UK govt in Syria
1.44 Anglican Church meeting
1.44 Lin Homer steps down as head of HMRC
1.45 Labour frontbencher resigns
1.46 Government funding for mental health problems
1.48 Golden Globes
1.49 Headlines (David Bowie)
1.50 End

And now the obligatory David Bowie song - my favourite, in its full-throated, full-length version. RIP.


  1. I think he deserves a good deal of coverage - but then I liked (most of) his music. However, he hasn't done anything remarkable in decades - so his death is not a loss in the way the early deaths of people like say Jimi Hendrix or Buddy Holly were.

  2. One interesting gap in all the coverage so far - at least what I've heard - is Bowie's flirtation with fascism. Doesn't fit the narrative - which of course is all about trans, shaking off suburbia and being cosmopolitan, it would seem.

    No doubt the MSM news editor were grateful for this manna from heaven but the "damage" to the MSM narrative has already been done. Cologne won't be forgotten anymore than 9-11 has been (despite studious avoidance of the topic in the MSM).

    1. I haven't seen or heard anything about that either.

      The bit about Cologne on Sky (mentioned in the post) was a strange affair. It was as bad as anything on the BBC.

      The Sky reporter, Hind Hassan, seemed almost angry. Her focus was on how "vague" and "problematic" the statement from the German official was about it being nearly all migrants from "North Africa and the Arab World". The Arab World contains 22 countries she fumed. And there's been an attack on some Pakistanis, and Pakistanis aren't Arabs.

      She seemed far too personally agitated by what she was having to report.

    2. If Hind Hassan is fuming, then Nabila Ramdani must have steam coming out of here ears and be looking a strange shade of purple!!! I think I might go see if NR has offered any thoughts on the issue.

    3. Well (checking out her Twitter feed), Nabila's been busy comparing 'Charlie Hebdo' to Der Stürmer in the 'Independent', accusing Douglas Murray of 'Islamophobia' on Twitter, denouncing the French government for 'stigmatising Muslims' on Sky, backing Sarah Champion MP over Israeli "war crimes", and sending out a Happy New Year! message in the form a butterfly in the colours of the Palestinian flag. Curiously, she's had NOTHING to say on Twitter about events in Cologne and the similar attacks on women in other European cities. How strange!

    4. "The Sky reporter, Hind Hassan, seemed almost angry. Her focus was on how "vague" and "problematic" the statement from the German official was about it being nearly all migrants from "North Africa and the Arab World". The Arab World contains 22 countries she fumed"

      I wonder how this reporter feels about the BBC's blanket use of 'Asians' to encompass anyone from Pakistan to Japan, and all points South too?

    5. I bet she's never fumed about that in her life.

  3. Agree entirely.
    I get annoyed with the lazy gender-pioneering narrative though of the BBC and its yoof presenters, who alternate with pretentious liberal arts graduates who pose along.
    Bowie was a great-I`d put Station To Station as my favourite , but Wild Is The Wind. Lady Grinning Soul, Kooks and Ashes To Ashes are also way up there.
    It`s the BBC`s endless efforts to give us the one angle-liberal and faux-rebellious...yet his Fascist role of 1976 gets written out...although much more a danger now that it was back then.


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