Pharisaical Veneer of Impartiality at the BBC

Is there any bigger joke in the world of television than the idea that the BBC is “impartial”?

I remember watching BBC News in the UK when I lived there about ten years ago. It was pure propaganda emanating straight from the government of the day. There was no way they were giving us “fair and balanced” coverage. As for their world news reporting, nobody could watch their coverage of Middle Eastern issues and claim that the Israelis were getting a fair shake.

Yes, there are a lot of camels being swallowed at the BBC. Meanwhile, the gnats get strained out:

When the George Orwell Memorial Trust proposed a statue of the writer for outside the BBC’s new headquarters it expected an enthusiastic response.

However, not everyone appeared enamoured of the plan.

According to Baroness Bakewell, who is backing the campaign, Mark Thompson, the Corporation’s outgoing director general, said the statue could not be erected on BBC premises because Orwell was “too Left-wing”.

Orwell worked as a BBC journalist, producing radio programmes at Broadcasting House during the Second World War before leaving to publish Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Mr Thompson’s remark will surprise critics of the BBC, who have long accused the corporation of liberal bias.

Lady Bakewell said the exchange took place earlier this year.

“I met Mark Thompson at a BBC reception and mentioned the project. He said, ‘Oh no, Joan, we can’t possibly. It’s far too Left-wing an idea’,” she said.

Orwell is a hero to freedom-loving people of all political stripes. His ill-advised ventures in Catalonia, and his advocacy of devolved socialist collectivism are far outweighed in most minds by both his towering anti-totalitarian works of fiction, and his dogged advocacy of plain English, quality English and plain speaking. In fact, I cannot think of anyone better to sit in effigy outside the Beeb as an intellectual and moral guardian than Eric Blair.

I’m not sure what to make of the BBC thinking that Orwell was “too left wing”. Sounds like newspeak to me. While the defence of the Beeb’s “reputation” is ultimately farcical, I can’t think of any person or groups that might possibly find the idea offensive. In fact, as someone who completely disagrees with Orwell’s political philosophy, I think it sounds like a bloody good one. They should stick him out the front.

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