Sunday 23 January 2022

The whistleblower returns

The Spectator's pseudonymous BBC whistleblower is back again.

This time he criticises his employer for “hypocrisy” over Partygate, arguing that the looming elephant in its coverage was that the rules themselves were the problem causing ordinary people so much grief during the darkest days of lockdown and that the BBC played a deeply helpful role: 
Hearing of parties at No. 10 undoubtedly rubbed salt in people’s wounds but these wounds were not caused by ‘partygate’. This wasn’t acknowledged by a single BBC presenter. How could it be? Throughout the pandemic, the BBC has used its platforms to proselytise about every Covid rule and restriction, inducing the public to see unquestioning compliance as a virtue and dissent as sociopathic selfishness.
When it comes to the coverage of ‘partygate’, I find myself wincing at the level of hypocrisy shown, not just by Boris — but by the BBC. It’s pretty clear the PM didn’t want to go down the route of lockdown rules and restrictions. He sowed the seeds of his own destruction and the misery of millions when he bowed to pressure from panic-stricken advisers who had convinced themselves that the repressive example of Communist China must be followed. Once this route had been taken, BBC correspondents pressured the government to go further and further, obsessing over the details of how to correctly follow every rule to the letter, irrespective of the impact on transmission...But the BBC can’t admit this because by doing so it would have to concede that by throwing its full weight behind the lockdown approach, it too should bear responsibility for the harms it caused.

None of that is really whistleblowing. This, however, gives a proper glimpse behind the scenes: 

And this slanted stance continues, evidenced by the BBC’s recent coverage of Novak Djokovic’s ordeal at the hands of the Australian authorities. Djokovic was characterised as the villain rather than a victim. And while much was said of the tennis player’s eccentric attitudes towards vaccinations, reporters displayed a marked reluctance to question the ethics of Canberra’s Covid zealotry or the longer-term implications for international sport, travel and bodily autonomy in general. Talking to colleagues about the tennis player’s plight gave an insight into the Covid groupthink endemic in BBC offices. One called him ‘an idiot’ for declining a coronavirus jab. Another showed barely contained contempt for the unvaccinated, making clear they would welcome any measures that excluded those who decline jabs from wider society.

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