Tuesday 30 June 2020

Very personal

"Not fast enough for my pixie boots"

Exasperated cries of "The BBC says trees are racist" went up this weekend after BBC One's Countryfile took its knee to Black Lives Matters and broadcast a piece about racism and the British countryside from an unbalanced, BLM-supporting angle. 

Though Countryfile has ostentatiously gone out of its way in recent years to prove that it is hitting all the right targets and ticking all the right diversity boxes (first young female presenters, then Asian presenters, then black presenters, then disabled presenters), this was still a clear and dramatic gear change bias-wise: an in-your-face gesture of empathy/sympathy towards the controversial, highly divisive, identity politics-driven agenda of Black Lives Matter - albeit delivered by a very nice-seeming young black man. 

What intrigued me though was that Countryfile veteran Ellie Harrison introduced it by describing it as "a very personal investigation". 

That's BBC language I recognise. It's 'distancing language'. And I'd suggest it hints that certain brave souls at the BBC weren't entirely happy with it. 

If so (and it's hardly a big, consequential gesture anyhow), I wouldn't blame them in the slightest. 

Yes, Countryfile has become over-politicised in recent years (in predictable directions), but why would the regulars on the team, both in front of and behind the camera, feel wholly comfortable with having such toxic, inflammatory stuff broadcast 'in their name'? 

I know I wouldn't.

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