The Demise Of The BBC

I have long championed the BBC as a bastion of balanced news broadcasting. Since arriving on these shores six years ago, and discovering the bias inherent in every news media outlet in America, with the possible exception of PBS, the BBC has been my one source for fair and balanced news coverage, albeit with limited availability, in the United States.

Sadly, those days are now at an end. Since its American news programming began a few months ago, the corporation has shown itself to be in allegiance with the false, capitalist, demagogues who control the rest of America’s news channels.

The emergence of ‘BBC World News America’ heralded this decline in standards. Within weeks of the program airing, it became obvious Matt Frei and the team were willing pawns of Rupert Murdoch and his corporate colleagues. ‘BBC World News America’ rapidly announced itself as a mouthpiece for corporate America.

It didn’t stop with ‘BBC World News America’. Today, on the main BBC website, is published a long article by Peter Wehner, a former Deputy Assistant to George Bush, entitled: “Viewpoint: The case against Obama .”[1]

Here are a few titbits:

“…….he [Obama] would be a very bad choice for president.

“………if Obama had had his way, all American combat troops would have been withdrawn from Iraq by March 2008, which would have led to civil war and genocide; an unprecedented victory for al-Qaeda and Islamic jihadists; and a boon to Iran. This fact is, by itself, a shattering indictment to Obama’s judgement, and in the area that is the most important responsibility of a president: his duties as commander-in-chief. ”

“Senator Obama’s intimate 20-year relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright – an anti-American extremist – is troubling. It reinforces the sense that much of what Obama has presented about himself is a mirage – an impressive one for sure, but a mirage nonetheless.”

“Speaker Pelosi and majority leader Reid and their committee chairmen – many of them partisan, ideological, and ruthless – will exert enormous pressure on Obama to move left. From all we know about him, Senator Obama will not resist it or defy them. And that, in turn, will lead to overreach. Which is why even though next Tuesday will be a difficult day for Republicans and conservatives, the wise ones will understand that our moment will come again, and perhaps sooner than we think.

Our task is to be ready.”

I have to say, in all my life I would never have dreamed of reading such partisan claptrap on any media controlled by the BBC. This is an organization subscribed by public license fee and, supposedly, non-partisan in all aspects of its news dispersion.

To refute the crap churned out by Wehner is easy, but that is not the object of this article.

Only recently, a top man at the BBC spoke out about the state of the organization. John Simpson, for years a respected reporter, and presently BBC World Affairs Editor, said:

“I think the BBC we have known, for good or worse, is now in its last stages.”[2]

He was, undoubtedly, correct.

When a British media corporation can bow its knee to a government itself subservient to the US corporate machine, and relinquish its independence in return for political favors, the signs bode ill for democracy and the rights of individuals.

John Simpson has always been something of a personal hero. His knowledge of Iraq, and his reporting from that nation at a time when the only news coming out the war zone was from censored, embedded, US journalists eager to curry favor from their media bosses, was precise and exacting. He lost his hearing in one ear, and his Iraqi translator, to a US A-10 missile in a ‘friendly fire’ incident in northern Iraq, but still kept reporting.

Speaking at a British literary festival recently, he admitted he ‘expected to be sacked in horrible circumstances’ from the BBC, for speaking out against the corruption in that organization.

The demise of the BBC as an independent broadcaster is yet another victory for those in power, both in the UK and the US (though, personally, I believe they’re one and the same). Both nations are controlled by their governments, who in turn are controlled by the corporations.

The outcome of the imminent US election is still in doubt. If Barack Obama wins the presidency it will be one small step in the right direction, by an electorate that proves itself capable of saying: enough is enough. Where America leads, Britain will surely follow.

An endorsement of John McCain will undoubtedly prove an endorsement of corporate control. The result of that is too dire to contemplate. It will further empower the Peter Wehner’s of this world and cause organizations like the BBC to move further into the realm of nothing more useful than yet another corporate mouthpiece.

And for those American readers thinking, “What’s this to do with me,” let me remind you that what’s happening to the BBC is only a precursor to a similar takeover of PBS.

[1] “Viewpoint: The case against Obama “, BBC, October 31st 2008

[2] “Simpson ‘expects sack from BBC'”, BBC, October 14th 2008

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6 Replies to “The Demise Of The BBC”

  1. While I do look at the BBC website, I don’t think that I’ve ever looked at the America’s page. I must say that I am surprised at the Beeb running such biased articles.

    I’m glad I’m old.

  2. That’s surprising, and sad, RJ. The only way I’d feel good about it would be if there was an article beide it, running concurrently, giving the opposite viewpoint.
    That would be good, responsible journalism.
    Not much chance of that these days.

  3. I am horrified at what I read above since the bbc is totally behind Obama and the Democrats and has had the knife out for Palin since day 1.
    This bias is not allowed by UK politicians, but the bbc speaks for the government in its misrepresentation of whole balanced truth such is now happening with the Congo and Afghanistan.

  4. RJ, hi,
    The media control is worse than it has ever been. We came to rely so much on the news, newspaper articles to find out about what’s going on and unfortunately for years now news have not been honest; always biased, pursuing one interest or another. It is a pity that the brave, honest BBC broadcasting era is at an end. Can nothing or nobody stand against the manipulative media bosses??? They only grow stronger and bolder, buying into, merging, intimidating, bullying.
    I watched on youtube a video on Foxtel’s attacks on Obama. There was a bit where Obama and Hitler’s speeches were overlapped and the commenter was saying they are one and the same. This is not journalism, or broadcasting. It made me feel sick to the core of my being.
    The lies and deception only serve to further misguide the already misguided, naive and gullible masses of people within the US and around the world.
    I am not American, but today I so wish I were, so I could do my part and vote for change. A glimpse of hope is sometimes all we need to make a forward stance against the monopolies in the world.
    Social democracy has never been more important for a better future, as it is right now. Similarly, US elections have never been as important to me, as an individual, as it is right now.
    Maybe it will sound cheesy, but I am hoping with all my heart that Obama will win. At the end of the day he is a politician and do we have any reason to have faith in any politician? I hope he will not disappoint us…

  5. What I found particularly chilling, RJA, was the following quote from above:

    “Which is why even though next Tuesday will be a difficult day for Republicans and conservatives, the wise ones will understand that our moment will come again, and perhaps sooner than we think.
    Our task is to be ready.”

    Emphasis mine.

    Maybe it is my overall paranoia and cynicism kicking in. I hope.

    The Beeb, bought and paid for by corporatocracy. Can CBC and PBS be far behind?

    You might check out CBC world news to restore a smidgin of faith.

  6. I won’t even pretend that that the following link will do anything to improve the impartiality of the BBC or any other indiviual media member but, it’s one I’ve had on my blogroll since day one.

    I also realise that it’s completely impossible for any single person to use this resource as fully or as regularly as it deserves. Nonetheless, used wisely it can only help any genuinely interested individual better keep abreast and better make personal judgements regarding any important international news story.

    To coin a phrase, it’s how “they” see it.

    Newspapers of the World – via the Internet Public Library.

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