I have virtually given up watching the BBC. When I do ‘dip in’ to see if I’m still a right-wing, Islamophobic bigot I’m quickly reminded why I gave it up. It wasn’t total surrender, but this battle, if that’s what it is, looks like one I am bound to lose. When I heard about a 10-part podcast starring Shamima Begum I knew the end is even nigher than I thought.
This morning I listened to Claire Fox and Michael Portillo chatting about this issue on GB News. The case for the defence appeared to be that the BBC is approaching the topic critically and not simply giving a reinvented, media-savvy individual a platform to court sympathy and to ease her return to the UK. We mustn’t jump to conclusions, must we?
'Sometimes allowing people to speak damns them...'— GB News (@GBNEWS) January 15, 2023
Claire Fox joins Michael Portillo to discuss issues around free speech after Shamima Begum began to tell her story in a 10-part BBC podcast.@Fox_Claire pic.twitter.com/g2j863ozj0
The argument for the prosecution was that the BBC hasn’t given such a platform, (or any platform at all) to the abused girls from the UK’s cities and towns, by predominantly Muslim men popularly known as grooming gangs. I suppose both cases are products of ‘grooming’. One might argue that the BBC itself has been groomed.
I ought to watch the podcasts before opining further, but I have a feeling that I’ll be made to feel that I’m in the wrong.