Saturday 18 December 2021

Twas the Saturday before Christmas

Thank you, even more than normal, for your comments this week. 

You really have captured all the main goings-on involving the BBC, particularly on the open thread - with a special doff of the cap to Charlie. 

It's been invaluable, so thanks again.


Today, as JunkkMale notes, has been dominated by a mass 'flounce' by BBC types after Camilla Tominey, the delightful associate editor of the Daily Telegraph, published a BBC-bashing piece headlined The BBC is wilfully ignorant about Tory Britain. She began:
It may be apocryphal but it is a story worth telling anyway. A young producer turned up at the BBC to do a shift on election night in December 2019. Huw Edwards had just revealed the results of the exit poll, predicting a landslide Conservative majority and the complete evisceration of Jeremy Corbyn. According to the tale, the rookie journalist arrived at the newsroom in Portland Place to find half of Auntie’s staff in tears.

It might not be true but it certainly is believable.
Now, I dislike that kind of thing as much as anyone, possibly more so - the 'it's probably not true, but it reflects a real truth' nonsense. It drives me up the wall, round the ceiling and down the chimney, even while Santa might be busily climbing back up. Now, what I want is, Facts - to quote Mr Gradgrind. Camilla was probably just being rhetorical, but shouldn't have said it. 

But it's been huge fun watching The BBC Collective, and their allies, take to Twitter to spit out feathers and dummies at Camilla en masse

Nick Robinson, Marianna Spring, John Simpson and countless others have all piled in with furious 'tally-hos'. 

To sum up their grievance: It's not true and it's soooooo unfair.

You'd have to have a heart of stone not to burst a blood vessel laughing your head off at it all.

But, of course, such laughter might be misplaced. 

They're all piling in because they've spotted an obvious, easy chink in a BBC critic's armour. 

Camilla's opening paragraph is indefensible, so it was evidently all hands on deck and all grist to the Twitter mill from the BBC - and their fans - to exploit the situation to their advantage. 

Unfortunately for them, they're probably peeing into the Twitter wind - a tiny minority echo chamber. The folk 'below the line' at the Telegraph and their readers are somewhere else and on Camilla's side rather than the BBC's side - in another echo chamber possibly.

But maybe they're not peeing into the Twitter wind after all because although Twitter may be something some 5/6 of the UK population don't ever engage with they are still reaching the people who matter to them - their many fellow Twitter users in the high ranks of the media and the political class. In other words, their guardians.

Meanwhile, if this wasn't complicated enough already, Dame Nick Robinson also went on a massive [self-] righteous rant on Twitter about how Camilla had reported - or misreported -  a part of the story involving John Redwood MP, with Camilla swatting him off with a kiss and various counter-points. 

This was six of one and half a dozen of the other, though pompous Nick - being in his echo chamber - had the bulk of the support on Twitter.....which he really shouldn't take as reflecting anything much.

If you can't be bothered with any of the above I don't blame you. It's enough to make your head whirl like Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after hours of dervishing at an Ottoman revivalist rally. 

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