Sunday 29 June 2014

Commentary: Media lies and manipulation

BBC: “Pravda-upon-the-Thames”

I was brought up on the BBC.

The BBC produced the best television series, the best comedies - and most importantly, it produced the best documentaries - they were snappy and informative and revealed some of the dark secrets of the time.

The BBC was hated by Margaret Thatcher and by Tory governments.

For all that, the BBC was always the voice of the British establishment.

This BBC was torn apart, partially by cost-cutting by governments but the coup-de-grace came after 9/11, and especially during the lead-up to the Iraq War, when a BBC journalist spoke to scientist David Kelly who was employed to investigate Saddam Hussein's WMD. The problem was he didn't have any.

Under political pressure from the Blair government, Kelly was hung out to dry by the BBC and put under such pressure that he committed suicide.

The later Hutton Inquiry later became the basis for changing the BBC forever into the organ of state propaganda and apologist for the Empire.

You can read what Wikipedia says about David Kelly HERE, and about the Hutton report HERE.

At the time, following the terrible events of the Anglo-American 2003 invasion of Iraq I let the political scandal in Britain at the time pass over my head. Perhaps I should have paid more attention.

Here is some coverage at the time of the issues from the WSWS

And some liberal-left Establishment views from the Guardian - 

Top-heavy management and a culture of self-censorship means staff are too scared to make the right decisions

The BBC was never a major source of information for me over the last years so I was only peripherally aware of the distortions (and lies) of the BBC from the Iraq war, to Afghanistan, to Libya, to Syria - and now, the Ukraine.

It is now that I am looking in detail at events in Ukraine that I can say that the BBC narrative is part of the Big Lie and is (along with CNN) leading the pack when it comes to painting a completely false picture of events in Ukraine.

It has, it is true, produced some individual reports on, for instance the Right Sector  in Kiev and on refugees in Russia.  However, this is negated by the general line of reporting, which paints a picture wholly from the point-of-view of the Kiev junta.

The BBC still continues to do good, investigative journalism, but on issues that are not central to the interests of Empire. An example of this would be the BBC exposure of the Sri Lankan massacre of Tamils

As a general point, interestingly it is the right-wing press that is often a little closer to the truth on the Ukraine - and it is interesting that it was a journalist from Murdoch's Sunday Times,  Mark Franchetti, who provided the sole example of a western journalist describing things as they are on Ukrainian TV.

A few times recently, I have started to listen to the BBC in bed, but every time I have ended up switching off in disgust and switching over to Voice of Russiawhich specialises in talking about real issues and even, as I have notices, gives air time to contrarian points-of-view.

All this is very ironic as now the BBC is now closer to a very slick version of the Soviet-era Radio Moscow than its modern Russian version.

The decline in the BBC is at least a part of the destruction of the more decent world I was brought up in.

As much as anything this was illustrated when, just a few years ago, the BBC, on putting together a commemorative stamp collection refused to acknowledge their most popular comedy show ever (and which was a favourite of mine as a youngster), on the grounds of political correctness.

I don't go along with everything that James Corbett says by any means - but this piece of his, on the BBC, is worthy of attention.

The BBC Exposed - Corbett Report

For much of its 80 year existence, the BBC has been criticized by those who believe it to be an insidious mixture of political and cultural power, and now in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, the British public is once again outraged at their national broadcaster. Join us today on The Corbett Report as we examine the history, function, and institutional biases of the BBC, and how the British people are rising up against the Big Brother Corporation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.