Friday, October 02, 2009

The BBC is promoting the BNP

I consider this a litmus test. It is not a test of anything about the BBC, mind you. I just like to know exactly how pissed off I can still get without beheading someone. Everything about it is stupid and insulting. The headline says: "BNP members challenged on beliefs". What actually follows is an inane confab of daft questions and non-sequiturs by way of reply between said BNP members, including the explicitly pro-Nazi Mark Collett, and a BBC interviewer. Possibly, the BNP members in question found the experience "challenging", in much the same way that Paul Daniels finds it a "challenge" not to be a self-satisfied, greasy little shit with far too much money which should be taxed, taxed, taxed until he drops dead from a heart attack at the injustice of it all. But not a single false or ridiculous claim is actually rebutted, questioned, or put to the test. So, they're asked about British football player Ashley Cole, and they're all like "If he wants to come to this country and he wants to live by our laws, pay into society, that's fine." And the interviewer, who gives the impression that she would rather be talking to a couple of labradors on Blue Peter, doesn't challenge this. There is not even the usual token gesture toward the specious gospel of 'balance' that the BBC usually evulugates. Even Roy Greenslade, who believes that the BNP should be allowed on to Question Time, is furious about the whole incident.

When the BBC was questioned about this by writer Mark Charan Newton, the editor of Newsbeat replied with what l33t-speakers refer to as copypasta. He said that the BNP had been given airtime because "we’re an impartial newsgathering organisation". In fact, as Love Music Hate Racism supporters have pointed out, the BBC have often refused to broadcast LMHR carnivals because they're 'too political'. This is the BBC's instinctive hostility to the left showing: giving air time to anti-racists is political; air time for fascists is 'free speech'. In effect, the BBC's spiel repeated the Fox News slogan: "we report, you decide". But someone has to choose what to report on, and what the issues are that 'we' must decide on. There are so many things to talk about that the decision to canvas the opinion of BNP 'youth' can only be an editorial decision that says that the BNP are interesting, and worthy of attention.

Predictably, therefore, the editor of Newsbeat goes on to say: "Over time it’s evident from following our listeners that the party touches a nerve of support or interest. The large pile of texts on my desk raise issues around immigration, political correctness and an apparent frustration with mainstream politics that means the BNP, or at least some of their policies, appeals to some people." What he means to say is that he suddenly got all this attention from a fervid minority of viewers about the BNP and he - if I may be so coy about it - shot his wad. He spraypainted his lower deck. He disburdened himself of a surplus of wank gravy. I'm sure you get my meaning (write to me if I remain too obtuse on this point). The BNP is, apparently, ratings fodder because there are probably a few million sad little bigots who think they've got the right idea about immigrants and gays. The editor is dutifully pointing this out while indicating that he doesn't really care about obligations to the BNP's likely victims, to the imperative of 'public trust' that the BBC often goes on about when justifying broadcasting decisions, or indeed anything else that might throw a politically-correct wrench in their works.