Thursday, 2 January 2014

Today

Unfortunately I seem to be unable to start my day - my working day anyway - without the Today programme playing on the radio. This being the festive season, we are currently being subjected to a run of  dreary and mildly irritating 'guest editors' - and today's was the singer-songwriter P.J. Harvey, described throughout as an 'artist'. Happily I missed most of the programme - including the ineffable Julian Assange's contribution - but I did catch a sustained rant by the notorious John Pilger, a man who has, we were reminded, won major awards for his journalism. Since everything he says and does is motivated by a blatant, overt and unshakable preconviction that the West (notably the US and its 'poodle' the UK) is by definition evil and murderous, one wonders how his work can be taken seriously, but it is, it is - especially by the likes of  P.J. Harvey and the BBC (though Pilger's work only ever seems to surface on ITV). Pilger began by blaming 'the media' (singular) for the 'fact' that the British public didn't 'know' that a million civilian deaths had been caused by the US-UK intervention in Iraq... And so it went on. I'm sure you get the gist.
 I wonder, would a journalist motivated by the opposite preconviction - that We are by definition the good guys in all circumstances and the Others the bad guys - get air time, even as a guest of a guest editor? It seems unlikely. But even by the standards of the BBC, letting Polly Harvey loose on the Today agenda looks like a step too far. She even inflicted some dreary songs on us - and a poem by Rowan Williams, who is probably already regretting his participation. Let's hope so. And let's hope the BBC is lining up Rush Limbaugh as a guest editor next year.

7 comments:

  1. I do enjoy your blog - but equally find your annexing of all virtue for the c(C)onservative mindset very tiresome and small-minded/mean-spirited. Still, I shall be returning regularly, if not daily, in 2014 for the good things I find here. Happy New Year.

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  2. Thanks for persevering Anonymous - Happy New Year!

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  3. Well, that's a very gracious response.

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  4. I think that Julian Assange is almost anything except 'ineffable."

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