Spurious balance in the celebrity culture

Isn’t it terrible how today we are exposed to so much idiocy, not least through the BBC, just because of the cult of celebrity?

The response to the post David made about “most disliked” BBC personalities just shows the flip-side to the pursuit of celebrity- which is that many people are sick of their inanity.

This blog is about bias, but there are some intersecting themes. Sometimes a comment is made and reported not because of newsworthiness per se but because of celebrity. How can a journalist be balanced starting from a statement like “Chefs should be fined if they haven’t got ingredients in season on their menu.”? Mussolini, Hitler, would have been proud of such high kitchen standards.

If your ten year old brother said it you’d tell him to shut up, but if Gordon Ramsay said it, and you were a BBC journalist, it’d be “news” (there again, who made G.R. except the BBC-led media establishment?).

Two lines of criticism have been picked up by the BBC, unworkability! and trade for poorer countries, but as Neil Reddin points out, the biggest of all is missing: the freedom argument.

“See what was missing? Of course, there was no mention of consumers making their own choices over where their food comes from. Individual freedom and all that. Hard to believe that the BBC, an organisation funded by a mechanism that gives its consumers no choice, could miss that one *cough*.”

Fairly Unbalanced

Two links for you. One of them supports the continued existence of the BBC, one of them, er, does not. Both agree the BBC is biased.

Devil’s Kitchen pursues the line that it might be biased, but it’s quality bias. No adverts to interrupt the tone, and anyway, we can always complain! Yeah, must try that…

The pseudonymous poster of this video, though, takes the Daily Mail slam to the BBC. (thanks to Ultraviolets in the comments, who noticed it very promptly :-)).

Personally I recommend the comments to the DK post, where all the salient points about licence fee coercion, a poll tax for television, concerns about one way ideological traffic, are raised. My own view (aside from agreeing with the poll tax point) is that the fact that Britain has had a lively media that we can take some pride in is a historical legacy, but that the entrenchment of the BBC was a wrong turn which has progressively eroded the responsibility and freedom of the press, and is doing so more insidiously as the years go by. Whatever your pleasures in viewing, you could find them without the BBC.

Exit questions for the Beeboids: why do so many newspapers spend so much time talking about the BBC? Why did a news organisation become the news?