The complete contempt of the upper echelons of the BBC for the intelligence of the British public could not be better illustrated than by its website. My experience of those working at the lower levels of the organisation is of intelligent, dedicated and often talented people frustrated in their wish to do a good job by the mandate from the top to produce what in effect amounts to prolefeed, a pabulum of sport, gossip, celebrity and trivial sensation.
Today, for example, wishing to learn something of the terrorist attack in Tunis, I turned to the BBC’s website. Half the first page of the site was taken up by the football match between Barcelona and Manchester United, which had not even been played yet. Another quarter was taken up by a story about a cricketer who was not going to play for England any more. Only on a quarter of the page were there anything that could be described as new stories. Among these, the terrorist attack in Tunis was given no particular prominence. Compared with the BBC’s website, the Daily Mail’s was like a work of the deepest and most serious scholarship.
The second page of the website concerned ‘entertainment.’ The main story asked ‘Who are the three new Dragons in the Den?’ to which the answer was ‘The man behind Moonpig.com, a fashion kingpin and a cocktail bar doyenne.’ Not having a television, I haven’t the faintest idea what all this means, but on any interpretation it can hardly be in compliance with the main public purposes of the BBC as laid down in its Charter:
a) sustaining citizenship and civil society; (b) promoting education and learning; (c) stimulating creativity and cultural excellence…
Indeed, its website was in flat contradiction to its Charter.
On the third page, allegedly devoted to news, I found the following item: ‘Five-year old Zoe gives verdict on Osborne’ (it was the day of the Budget). How this particular five year-old was chosen out of the scores of thousands of five year-olds I do not know; but evidently the higher-ups of the BBC think that to canvas the opinion of a five year-old on matters such as the budget deficit, the national debt and the unemployment rate is perfectly reasonable. They evidently believe that the audience has a mental age of five, and therefore what Zoe had to say was both of interest to it and of an age it could understand.
Compared with the upper management of the BBC, Quisling was a hero of the reistance.