Thursday, April 14, 2016

The phoney myth of our "Free Press" and how the BBC is a beacon of light in this murky darkness.

So the BBC is under the Government's control and will do what it's told because its Charter is under review or it is trying to undermine the Government and John Whittingdalle - because its Charter is under review! You pays your money and makes your choice !

The reality of the  Media scene is that you can trust nobody completely but if you can trust anyone on any issue it is likely to be the BBC. If you run through the so-called "Free Press" they are a gruesome bunch:

The Times: some great writers and a superbly produced product, especially online. But the puppet-master in Chief, the hideous Rupert Murdoch, ultimately calls the tune. In the end the Thunderer thunders to its master's voice.

The Sun: A grotesque propaganda rag which Murdoch uses to pander to the prejudices of a vulnerable, unsophisticated and easily swayed CDE2 population. This shameful "newspaper" has a long history of dysfunctionality and deceit and is a crude campaigning battering ram for Murdoch and the political Right.

The Telegraph: Once the house voice of the Conservative Party now under the Barclays this has become a tabloid as crude as The Sun albeit wrapped in a broadsheet veneer. When Peter Oborne left in disgust he wrote about the Telegraph's management and priorities - a shameful exposure of the adage that power corrupts.

The Guardian: Those of us on the soft Left revere The Guardian - a decent, liberal newspaper in a hard right world. It can be smug and it can be wrong. And its influence is minor overshadowed as it is by the weight of the very "unfree" "Free Press" around it.

The Mail: Newspaper of the year because it is cleverly managed and well presented (including online). But of course the reality is that it is as much a propaganda tool as The Sun which it strongly resembles in its ethos. Its target is upmarket of The Sun and it tells its lies to a readership which has no interest in checking them. The malignancy of Paul Dacre and the no doubt wealth-creating proposition of his creation is dangerous. The only valid response to the "I read it in the Mail" meme is contempt.

The Express: Beaverbrook must be turning in his grave at how his great achievement has turned into a Comic. And not a very funny one either. Like the Mail it is home to bigotry and prejudice but it is even cruder than its competitor. If the political ethos of the Mail is Conservative hard right the Express is UKIP for which it is the house newspaper. If supporting a free press means we have to tolerate this disgusting parody of a newspaper I'm for Leveson - and more.

And so on...

Yes a Free Press is important. But the power of the media remains a blunt thing if it as roundly abused by the print media as it is. And a very dangerous one. How fortunate we are that the BBC which has a charter requiring impartiality is by far the most important medium we have. The Jewel in the Crown of our nation. Is it perfect? No. Can it be improved? Yes. Is it head and shoulders above the gruesome bunch of right-wing newspapers which are only as "free" as their all-powerful owners want them to be? You bet !!