I may have lost touch somewhat in the earlier parts of this year but one quirk of the BBC News website that even I spotted throughout the entirety of this year - possibly, but not definitely, one that even some of you eagle-eyed types might have missed - has been the BBC's continuing willingness to report every single burp of graffiti artist Banksy on their news home page.
He's been their favourite artist. He can no do no wrong. His every doing must be reported...and has been.
And Banksy's back there again, yet again, this very afternoon, right there among the BBC News website's top headlines.
The BBC's headline story today is obviously there to pander to both the BBC's and Banksy's would-be woke allies in the 'culture wars' - Queues form as Banksy Colston statue trial T-shirts go on sale.
The BBC piece begins:
Large queues formed as limited-edition T-shirts made by anonymous street artist Banksy went on sale.The Bristol-born artist announced on Friday night that the shirts would go on sale at locations in the city.He said they had been created to show support for the four people about to go on trial accused of pulling down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston.
Now, if that sounds like PR rather than reporting [#prasnews], well, what follows is even more so - and frankly one of the oddest BBC News website pieces I've ever read. I'll continue from where the last 'block quote' left off:
The shirts quickly began appearing for resale online, with one seller asking for £9,000.Local radio station Ujima began announcing the sale points on its breakfast show from 09:00 GMT.Once the locations were made public hundreds of people quickly formed a queue at one of them - That Thing on Stokes Croft.Similar queues appeared outside Friendly Records in Bedminster and Rough Trade on Nelson Street.
And the BBC piles on photos galore of happy, shiny people laughing and holding hands with happiness as they queue up or jubilantly brandish their Banksy t-shirts.
And the following paragraphs quote from people who are overjoyed to be lining up for Banksy, plus a quote from Banksy himself.
It's purely a puff piece and reads like it's been written by a BBC ultra-fan. And yet there it is, top headline news on the 'impartial' BBC News website.
The piece ends seriously however:
The statue of Edward Colston, a 17th Century slave trader, was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol in June 2020.
Is the BBC acting as Banksy's agent? It certainly reads like it.
Whatever. Put it in your heart where tomorrow shines...
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