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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 09, 2003

New Class Crackup

The BBC is beginning to get its comeuppance for biased broadcasting, as noted in Tech Central.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that a lot of people seemed to be pretty unhappy with the BBC's coverage of the war, and I linked the BBC's attitudes - odd, I thought, for the national network of a nation at war - to the shared prejudices of the "New Class" of state-supported bureaucrats and their ilk.

Since then, things have only gotten worse for the Beeb. Andrew Sullivan has kept up the pressure. The BBC has even been forced to respond, taking the absurd position that:

The BBC is not state-funded. We are publicly funded through a license fee paid by every household in the United Kingdom. The British public, not the government of the day, owns the BBC, and it is to the British public we are accountable.

Get that? They're not state-funded, they're just paid for by a mandatory tax that the government collects, and about which the taxpayers have no choice. Now if the British television viewers got to choose whether their "license fee" went to the BBC, or to some competing service, things might be different - and so might the BBC. But that's not how it works, and quite a few people - by no means all of them on the right - are unhappy with the BBC's slant. Television professional Jeff Jarvis, a former TV Guide critic and founder of Entertainment Weekly, was deeply upset by the BBC's shoddy and dishonest treatment of religious issues in the Bush White House, notwithstanding that Jarvis is neither particularly religious, nor particularly a Bush fan. As Jarvis writes:

Mind you, I'm far away from Bush on any Religionometer; I disagree with and even fear his efforts to bring "faith-based" initiatives into that government that I believe must stay completely clear of religion; I fear, too, the religious foundation to his agenda. That said, I have to say that Bush has not been thumping his Bible with alarming frequency. But the BBC paints him like the Zealot in Chief.[more]