Sunday 24 March 2019

Lord Hall says calling the BBC 'mainstream media' is "an assault on freedom of expression"

The lordly Tony Hall, Dee-Gee of the Bee-Bee-Cee, turned into Mr. Boombastic last week (as Scooby's friend Shaggy would doubtless say). 

Giving the Lord Speaker's Lecture on Wednesday last week, he told people like us to stop using the phrase "mainstream media".

Why? Because "it’s an assault on freedom of expression": 
The phrase, “mainstream media”, is now a term of abuse - used by people of all political persuasions. Traditional journalism is painted as part of the problem rather than the solution. This really worries me. 
Ultimately, it’s an assault on freedom of expression. And our duty to seek out the facts - without fear or favour - no matter how inconvenient they might prove to be. 
I think he's being complacent. Indeed, maybe Sue and myself should set up a side-blog called Is the BBC complacent? (with an especially redundant question mark).

The way traditional broadcast outlets, all mainly employing like-minded people from similar higher socioeconomic and educational backgrounds, feed in packs on so many stories in barely distinguishable ways (from Trump to Brexit), like the clique to end all cliques, makes for an unhealthily complacent echo chamber where the likes of Lord Hall can feel at ease but from which many, many people feel deeply disconnected. That clique needs a name, and 'mainstream media' does the trick beautifully

It may not be a comfortable term for the likes of Lord Hall, but by disconcerting him - and his like - it's definitely doing its job. 

And, of course, it's possible to flip his hypocrisy and claim that it's "an assault on freedom of expression" to try and stop people like us from using resonant phrases like 'mainstream media'. 

Is Lord Hall so wrapped up in his BBC comfort blanket that he just can't see any of this?

Well, tough luck Tony. The phrase 'mainstream media' is here to stay. And as they say in mainstream American movies, 'Deal with it!'. 


  1. Or as sour-faced Soubry would have it, "Suck it up!".

    1. Ha, yes, I should have used that instead!

    2. Not only is Mainstream Media the correct description, but is a polite name. There are plenty less so.

  2. OK, Lord Tony, we'll just call you PCG media in future - short for Politically Correct Globalist. That is a more accurate description, I guess.

    Assault on freedom of expression! lol That from an organisation that has deliberately marginalised anyone to the right of Kenneth Clarke, including Gerard Batten, Nigel Farage, Steve Baker, Mark Francois, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson as "racist", "hardline" and "extremist" - while giving a free pass to Far Left anti-democratic fanatics (like Owen Johnson and Paul Mason) and pro-Sharia propagandists while peddling Fake News through its biased Reality Check.

  3. DG's past and present have relied heavily on 'it is because the BBC says it is'.

    But Lord Tone has really taken it to new depths. And it fools no one, except OFCOM and DCMS.


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