Thursday, May 05, 2016

Invisible News

I could feel the waves of irony washing over me this afternoon, when I heard BBC Radio 4 discussing whether anti-terror legislation or super-injunctions by celebrities were the greater threat to journalistic freedom.  Surely the BBC should know that the answer is neither - the greatest threat to press freedom is self-censorship.  Like when the BBC fails to report on what is potentially one of the biggest political stories of the decade: the allegations, being made by the Electoral Commission, no less, that the Tories committed election fraud by overspending during the 2015 general election.  In short, that they 'bought' the election by throwing more money at their campaign than was legal.  But unless you watched Channel Four News or saw the #toryelectionfraud hashtag trending on Twitter, the odds are that you wouldn't know anything about it.  I can understand most of the print press and the likes of Sky News ignoring the story, they are just right wing lick spittles after all, but the BBC really has no such excuse.  Yet it has chosen not to report the story in an inexcusable act of self censorship.

Of course, the Tories have got the BBC running scared - this past week has seen Culture Secretary John Shittingdale trying to intimidate them again with threats of allowing their competitors to effectively dictate their prime time schedules to them.  (Presumably 'Shitters' will deny having had anything to do with leaking this to press, using as a defence the fact that he was chained to a bed by his latest dominatrix girl friend and therefore unable to leak anything, other than bodily fluids, obviously, at the time).  This isn't the first time that the BBC has tried to avoid reporting anything that might embarrass the Tories - remember their reluctance to even acknowledge that 'pig gate' was all over social media?   Sure, they did report on the 'Panama Papers' but, like most of the UK mainstream media, tried desperately to focus on the revelations which implicated foreign leaders, rather than the connections with our own Tories.  The BBC really does need to find some balls and get up off of its knees - as long as they are in power the Tories are going to give the BBC a kicking regardless, so they might as well go down fighting by actually reporting the news.  Right now, we seem to be in the grip of the political equivalent of those celebrity scandals which can be reported by every press outlet in the world except those in the UK.  The difference is that in the case political stories which might embarrass our Tory government, there is no legal compulsion on the UK press not to report them - the Tories don't need super-injunctions, just good old fashioned intimidation. 

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home