Friday, October 31, 2008

Who Really Hounded the BBC?

It would seem, on the surface of it, that public opinion has triumphed in the BBC/Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand imbroglio. 30,000 plus complaints have finally been vindicated, with the resignation of two figures (Brand and the Radio 2 Controller) and the suspension without pay of another (Ross). But surface images are, inevitably, misleading, particularly in the opaque world of the media. 28,988 of the 30,000 complaints came some time after the show was broadcast, from people who didn't listen to it. They were encouraged by a tabloid campaign, initiated by the Daily Mail and joined with energy by the Sun, to protest. True to form, the daring elected politicians, led by Cameron and Brown, fell into line, and the rest, as they say, is history. But wait. What could have driven the tabloids, those custodians of public taste and morality, to launch their campaigns with such fury? Could it possibly be that their corporate media owners - Lord Rothermere (the Mail) and Rupert Murdoch (the Sun) have long harboured a commercial resentment at the BBC's public funded dominance of the media market, and were keen to inflict a serious blow against them as part of the campaign to denude them of public funds and leave the market open to such brave, free-market media oeprators as, er, Associated Newspapers and News Corp? Heaven forbid!

6 comments:

consultant said...

I'm no fan of the press barons you mention, or of censorship of comedy (not that you could ever really describe anything Jonathan Ross has ever broadcast as "comedy"), but I think it's worth noting that some of the most vociferous - and in some cases mildly amusing - criticisms have come from the BBC's own news teams, who are leaping for joy at the chance to get one over on the over-paid "celebrities" so much of the licence fee is wasted on. They possibly have a point.

Anonymous said...

That may be the case but it is undeniable that the media have what I consider to be a ridiculous influence over people's uninformed opinions. If the Daily Mail decided to report the world could end due to some Swiss scientists it wouldn't suprise me that a large number of people would grow to believe it.
Oh wait a minute...

Ben Ross said...

"On the surface public opinion triumphed"??? 30,000 people complained. If 30million people complained then i would say that public opinion triumphed.

What you say of the media reportage is true, however you failed to point out that Brown and Cameron clearly jumped on the bandwagon, purely to see the bandwagon grow and deflect any attention away from the economy.

On another note giles, i am expecting some form of public endorsement of either candidate across the pond from you...just for my own interest.

The Idle Wanderer said...

This describes it better than you have: http://5cc.blogspot.com/2008/10/tabloids-and-brand.html

Can't find the actual audio anymore but this is also interesting. He claims that many complaints were sent about Brand's appointment and that TV celebs make shit DJ's. Glad someone has finally come out with it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/oct/31/russell-brand-lesleydouglas

The Idle Wanderer said...

The links don't bloody work! I hate computers!

Anywaym copy and paste and you'll see what I'm on about.

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