Saturday 22 December 2018

Lockdown at the BBC

Paul Homewood of the 'Not a Lot of People Know That' blog calls it "a case of the biter bit!". 

Having "given unwarranted prominence to Extinction Rebellion in recent weeks", Extinction Rebellion turned up at the BBC's front door yesterday and demanded to see Lord Hall. 

They want the BBC to make climate change their top editorial priority and to broadcast about it "with the level of urgency placed on informing the public about the Second World War". 

Paul (no fan of this group) continues:
News reports have regularly given the impression that the group are a large, serious organisation who we should be paying attention to, rather than the tiny ragbag of eco nutters which they really are.
And he posts a screengrab showing a slew of BBC articles about them. (I note that Radio 4's Profile got involved too).

Meanwhile, the BBC's World Affairs Editor was characteristically not silent on the matter

This prompted quite a discussion among Extinction Rebellion supporters on Twitter
Heather Luna: I read this Tweet as though he is supporting Extinction Rebellion despite misgivings. He realises this is too important to follow by the normal rules. How are you guys reading it differently? He said "but".
Dr Heidi Edmonds: That's how I read it too.
Ian Edward: John's tweet captures the problem perfectly. The reservations, the "buts"..., "let's represent the other side of the argument", "we'll feature it next month. Right now the burning issue is Corbyn may have said STUPID".
Dr Heidi Edmonds: That's not how I interpret it. He's simply saying that perhaps in this case direct action is necessary. Imho.
willgoodbin: You might be right, but it's far from the ringing endorsement XR deserves. It could also be that John Simpson is playing it safe with a deliberately ambiguous line.
Heather Luna: To me, this is progress. We should encourage @JohnSimpsonNews to keep going and not discourage him into silence (like most others) with criticism saying it isn't good enough. Keep going! Keep going! Be brave!
Ian Edward: I think the problem is that there is nothing in John's message that suggests he will do anything. And that is exactly what Extinction Rebellion is fighting. The situation is so urgent and dire that there's a moral obligation to act.
Heather Luna: Yeah, speaking out is doing something. I bet a lot of people on Twitter aren't acting yet but are just speaking out. That's the first thing we need to overcome: being silent about #ClimateBreakdown. One step at a time. By Monday, John Simpson could be getting arrested. 

John was evidently reading the thread, and gave Heather a retweet:

I'd say that willgoodbin came closest to 'getting it' there when he called John Simpson's line "deliberately ambiguous". When it comes to BBC reporting, there's a lot of that about.


  1. Snap! A useful bit of piety tacked on.

  2. It's funny - the same people who are part of Extinction Rebellion are also most in favour of no borders, which has seen our population rise exponentially robbing wildlife of natural habitat and leading to the extinction of many species.


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