Another week begins, and what better way to start it that with a bit of Charles Moore. This is from his latest Telegraph column:
The BBC is currently running, in its own news programmes, an occasional series about “fake news”. Its definition of fake news has a political stance of its own. The one I came across, by chance, one lunchtime was an extremely obscure piece about how, in the Philippines, propagandists were trying to gloss over the evils of the Right-wing Marcos regime in the 1980s. The programme-makers would not have dreamt of reporting the same about, say, Castro’s Cuba.
The BBC itself constantly puts out propaganda in the guise of news. Take its huge increase in reporting of women’s cricket. Women’s cricket is a good thing. But would it, on its sporting merits, make the grade in the tight schedule of a general news programme?
Being no cricket follower myself, I have checked with those who are. They recognise improvement in women’s cricket, and welcome the good people who are popularising the sport, but say the standard of play is, as one buff puts it, either “goodish public-school” or “minor county”.
Yet the BBC bulletins often speak of “England’s cricketers” and mention only later that the item is about women players, as if the sexes were interchangeable. They are not, any more than our much-loved local point-to-point is in the same league as the Grand National. Fake news!