Floater

Stewart Lee is on fine form in yesterday’s Observer article, commenting on Tony Blair’s lust for political power.

Stewart Lee: movements afoot to return Tony Blair to Labour’s seat of power?
The privies of New Labour politicians all over north London are being plagued by a terrible manifestation.

You can see where he’s going from the title. So move over Mr Hanky…

…and make way for a professional stinker.

I had thought the BBC were immune from the Blairites’ attempt to pull the stake out of his black heart, but apparently not so. I wake up to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. It’s a great way to get me out bed, if only to avoid the maunderings of politicians not answering direct questions.

Today they were talking about the influence of the Olympic Games held in London (you might have heard). First they wheeled in Peter Hitchens, a rabid Little Englander, who said it was all terrible blah blah blah didn’t celebrate Christianity, the Monarchy, or traditional ideas of Britishness blah blah blah. Mad as box of frogs. Now given that even many skeptics have been won over, including me when it came to the brilliant theatre of the Opening Ceremony, Hitchens is in a very small minority. So why did Today bother to solicit his opinion?

It all became blindingly clear – the next speaker was Blair, defending the Olympics, multiculturalism, diversity, and actually sounding quite reasonable. Anything would have sounded reasonable after listening to Hitchens. I first noticed this trick on American news channels, where they bring in a nut job to make the centrist position sound like common sense. It’s officially called fair and balanced coverage, designed to reinforce a particular point of view, which I often agree with. But it’s still a trick. Fox News are blameless in this regard – all their commentators are nut jobs.

Shame on the BBC, though. I expected better.

4 thoughts on “Floater

    • Well, it’s actually the mainstream networks’ style of broadcasting. Fox News don’t care about appearing “fair and balanced.” The BBC is open to political influence because the government of the day can reduce their funding, but generally they do a good job.

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