Thursday 19 October 2017

But Whatabout the BBC?

Afshin Rattansi was invited to defend “Putin’s mouthpiece” (RT) on Daily Politics with Jo Coburn and Andrew Adonis. Should politicians be allowed to appear on RT? Should they be paid for doing so? 
There used to be a playground saying: “It takes one to know one”.  

It was quite funny listening Jo Coburn complaining of RT’s bias, “ a propaganda arm of Putin’s government”,  and the oleaginous Afshin Rattansi firing back a few lethal barbs at the Beeb during his “whataboutery” defence. 

What fun.

“Just as people are sent to jail if they don’t pay Jo Coburn’s salary” 


  1. Yes,what about the's like that old poetical epigram...

    You cannot hope
    to bribe or twist,
    thank God! the
    British journalist.
    But, seeing what
    the man will do
    unbribed, there's
    no occasion to...

    Indeed. This morning on Radio 4's ("should carry a health warning") Today programme a blast of trumpets announcing the dcvastating headline news:

    Former President Bush has apparently stated that "bigotry and falsehood are threatening American democracy". Hmmm! Some news!!! Are the US army about to occupy the Capitol...I checked: er no. Have the KKK mobilised millions to march on DC? I checked: er no. Have North Korea found some fiendish way of infiltrating their special forces into the nation's capital? ...I checked: er, no. Are IS soldiers moving en masse to the States? I checked: er no. Have Americans stopped voting? I checked: er no.

    So, this headline amounted to? Er - nothing... a big fat zero. It was one politician talking about another politician in a country that is not the UK and about which we hear far too much from the BBC because BBC journos love going there and for no other reason (learning Mandarin and being subjected to 24/7 surveillance by state security oddly does not hold out the same promise). Of course politicians say this sort of thing about each other all the time. I am old enough to recall Denis Healey accused Margaret Thatcher of "stocking-footed fascism"...So, was a Fascist Grand Council set up in the UK? Did Mrs Thatcher take to giving two hour rants in Trafalgar Square Il Duce style? Er no. There was an election. She won it, fair and square.

    So, yet again the BBC purveys Fake News: narrative not news. It seems the BBC can't resist mimicking CNN. How did CNN report it?

    QUOTE: The two speeches, taken together, amount to a verbal lapel-shaking by Bush and McCain of the Republican Party they have led over the past two decades. "Wake up!" Bush and McCain are saying to their party. "What Trump represents is neither Republican nor conservative. It is Trump. Which is fine for Trump but far less fine for the medium-to-long-term health of the Grand Old Party." UNQUOTE

    You see what CNN did there? They just MADE UP A QUOTE!!! Bush's statement was too eliptical for them - so for their bone-headed audience they made up a quote to put the point more clearly.

    This is obviously where Norman "He didn't say exactly what I wanted, so I'll say it for him" Smith gets it from! :)

    1. Stern stuff MB and spot on! If the BBC News stuck to the reporting of what has actually happened - news - their programmes could be all done and dusted in about 5% of the allotted time.

    2. Yes, a new application of Parkinson's Law. The news is manipulated to take up all the time available.

    3. Yes, all true but all its many faults the BBC is not the mouthpiece of Theresa May. Nor are dissenting journalists murdered in the street or imprisoned on false corruption charges.

    4. Terry ... how do you know the BBC isn't the mouthpiece of May?
      I don't think we can be sure at all. The BBC's accountable is deliberately opaque and I have concluded that this suits the BBC and Governments alike just fine.
      BBC affect to look down at RT, but the RT folks and their ilk can always shoot back, without challenge, that the BBC is a state supported broadcaster with little or no democratic control.

    5. I’m not suggesting for one moment that the BBC isn’t biased. I think the bias is appalling, but i also think it is fairly evident that the BBC is not the mouthpiece of the Conservative government.

      The first time I came across RT was actually some years ago in Russia, when it was the only English language TV station available where I was staying. As bad as the BBC is there really is no comparison.

    6. I'd see there is now definitely a comparison between the BBC and RT in that neither will do or say anything that seriously undermines the system they are committed to. In the BBC's case it's PC Multiculturalism they are committed to. This is propagated 24/7 in dramas, soaps, documentaries, chat shows, lifestyle shows, sports programme, choice of presenters, news agenda and Fake News stories.

      The last time they had anything on that remotely undermined its PC ideology was Quentin Letts' attack on the Met Office and its commitment to the global warming belief system. That was swiftly followed by a grovelling apology from the BBC for having allowed it to go out.

      Normally any non-PC persons, potential subversives, allowed to appear (and that is pretty rare) are heavily policed by hostile questioning, hostile chairing, unfair editing, rigged panels, and intended set-ups etc.

    7. Everything you say about the BBC is correct, although I can’t agree with you about global warming. The question is, which is worse a BBC that represents a kind of soggy leftish PC establishment or a RT which represents an extremely nasty and repressive regime under Putin that crushes any kind of opposition? I know which I would choose. I was aware of some of the journalists who had been murdered in recent years in Russia, but when I actually looked up the numbers I was staggered. I would recommend Anna Politkovskaja’s book “Putin’s Russia” written in the early days of Putin’s presidency. Sadly she was murdered in 2006. The numbers continue to rise. You could of course believe the Russian authority's and RT’s explanation for all of these murders, but once again that is a choice.

    8. I've absolutely no time for Putin's murderous regime. However, I don't like in Russia and I do live in the UK.

      I think you are underplaying the dangers of soggy leftish PC ideology. We have already seen defenders of free speech like Robert Spencer banned from this country. We have already seen severe curtailment of free speech in the UK - and the government is going to go further in banning what it calls "extremism" which in its view includes vigorous criticism of Islam. It is now clear that most universities operate a ban on free speech and lecturers are frightened to even broach some subjects. The soggy left is also an enabler of the hard left - as we see with Corbyn's rise - and is an enabler of mega-immigration which is destroying the UK as a cultural entity. For all Putin's faults he isn't actually trying to get people to stop reading Tolstoy or Pushkin, or accept Russian as a minority home language.

  2. I turned on R$ Today this morning as I was in a hotel and wanted some company as voices as I got dressed.
    But there was a very strange voice presenting that I didn't recognize. Ho hum, more diversity I thought as I shaved.
    The items came and went as a parade of Guardian articles:
    - Oxbridge berated by MP Lammy for not being diverse enough
    - Bank of England berated by somebody or other for not being diverse enough
    - Webb teeing-up Leanne Green in the softest of interviews (no interuptions, friendly leading questions) on the horrors of Brexit for Wales. One "question" really was something like "well Wales voted for Brexit so they will only be getting their just desserts won't they?"
    Then it was revealed that the strange voice was none other than Christine Amanpour of CNN and anti-Brexit fame. WTF?!
    Final straw for me was the News headlines featuring a speech by Saint Obama at a Democratic election rally in New Jersey last night. Why? Why? WTF? WTF????

    They've really gone so far off the reservation as to be in a different country. Will no one in Government reel in this monster???

  3. I heard the Lammy thing...was hilarious. He's not the sharpest tool in the box, and seemed to be calling for people with poor A level results to be given places in Oxford and Cambridge purely on the basis of their skin colour.
    No acknowledgement that people from SW Asian and Chinese backgrounds are doing fine. The correlation with being from a one parent family and doing poorly at school is far stronger than being from an ethnic minority. The poor sap Lammy was reduced to picking individual boroughs from around the country to make his unconvincing case.

    BTW - The non-Welsh speaking leader of Plaid Cymru* is a Wood not a Green!

    *Bit like being Pope and not knowing Latin.

    1. Ha thanks. Actually I get Leanne Wood and Caroline Lucas mixed-up and in my rage she became Leanne Green. Must stop listening to The Guardian in the morning.

    2. I'd wondered why Natalie Wood and her deposit loosing forth placed party in Wales leaders speech had such a high position on the BBC news (second at 18.00 on Radio 2). Ah near-hysterical pro EU stance and "the only party in Wales not hopelessly split over EU membership" (except UKIP, the remains of the Libdems and the greens)


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