Monday, May 23, 2005

The "Conscience" of Great Britain?

The strike at the BBC (brought to my attention by Irwin Chusid--thanks!) has resulted in an interesting revelation. Apparently I've been all wrong about the Beeb. Get this:

"The savage cuts proposed will damage programming as well as the organization and will unravel British broadcasting traditions," said Mike Smallwood, national officer of the Amicus union.

"The BBC is a unifying British institution which acts as the nation's conscience but these redundancies will damage the U.K. at its core."

See that:"Conscience." Guess I was wrong, as I thought the BBC wasn't the "nation's conscience." I thought it was a collection of hacks who don't even pretend to be fair or objective.

I thought the Beeb was the epitome of bias, unremitting and relentless, in its coverage a number of issues--above all the Middle East. After all, it is no great revelation for me to say that the Beeb's correspondent in Israel, Orla Guerin, does everything but use pom-poms as she cheerleads for the Palestinian cause. When you get a debate on the BBC on the Middle East, you can be sure of hearing both sides of the issue--as long as both are anti-Israel. Backspin just expounded on that point yesterday.

Maybe when Smallwood talks about "British broadcasting traditions," that is what he means. A tradition of lousy journalism. Unravel that? Sounds good to me.

So I don't know. I like to see even faux journalists getting a decent raise. Maybe the solution is for them to not to strike but to quit--and get jobs as real journalists.

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