Chris Dillow - the BBC problem. Quote:
First, in being impartial between truth and lies, the BBC was complicit in a conspiracy to defraud the public. Its more intelligent correspondents are aware of this. Here’s assistant political editor Norman Smith (7’52” in):
There is an instinctive bias within the BBC towards impartiality to the exclusion sometimes of making judgment calls that we can and should make. We are very very cautious about saying something is factually wrong and I think as an organization we could be more muscular about it. I’ll give you an example, which is one that cropped up, and there was a lot of debate within the BBC about it, was when the Brexit campaign suggested that Turkey was poised to join the EU, and that there was nothing we could do about it. Now that is factually wrong, but when we initially covered the story, I think we said along the lines of ‘Remain had said that is wrong’ – in other words, we attributed the assessment to the Remain side, when we could, of our own, say ‘No, that is factually wrong.’ But, because as an organisation, more than any other organisation, there is a massive pressure and premium on fairness, on balance, on impartiality, I suspect we, we hold back from making those sort of calls, and I do think that, potentially, is a disservice to the listener and viewer.
Secondly, the BBC’s main new coverage was guilty of adverse selection. As Simon says, there were two campaigns: a reasonable and civilized one; and a bitter dishonest one. The BBC gave us too much of the latter. On the Leave side, we heard too much from liars and crypto-fascists and too little from more decent Brexiters. And on the Remain side, it gave us too much of the exaggerations of Cameron and Osborne and too few more sober voices.
Thirdly, and perhaps relatedly, many of the BBC’s main current affairs programmes forget the first two of Lord Reith’s trilogy – inform, educate and entertain – in favour of the latter. Nick’s right:
The worst journalists, editors and broadcasters know their audiences want entertainment, not expertise. If you doubt me, ask when you last saw panellists on Question Time who knew what they were talking about.
In these ways, the BBC is a major culprit in the degradation of our political culture. It is heavily responsible for the fact that voters were wrong about key facts in this referendum.
As for me, back to calculus homework I guess, as the market continues to vomit up its sigmoid colon.