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Tony Grist

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News Trivia [Dec. 14th, 2010|09:34 am]
Tony Grist
Jeremy Hunt- the Culture Minister- was complaining the other day about left-wing bias at the BBC. I've been thinking recently- mainly in relation to the reporting of the student protests- that the BBC has been bending overmuch towards the right. This is good, isn't it? If both extremes think the BBC is prejudiced against them then the BBC must be doing exactly what it's supposed to do and steering a course straight down the middle.

Hunt is the one whose name James Naughtie committed a spoonerism on. I guess he's smarting from that.

I've learned that Charlie Gilmour, the silly young toff who swung on the flag, is an old boy of my school- Lancing College. I'll bet they don't mention that in any of the glossy magazines they send me. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: steepholm
2010-12-14 10:27 am (UTC)
Perhaps Hunt will have been reassured by Ben Brown's interview with Jody McIntyre? Not much sign of left-wing bias in his line of questioning, I'd say.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-14 12:39 pm (UTC)
McIntyre is impressive.

Ailz, who is a wheelchair user, tells me that merely to move a wheelchair without its user's consent is classified in law as assault.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-12-14 11:29 am (UTC)
Ah poliphilo - you usually keep quiet about your own life of privilege! I used to live just up the road from Lancing College - the chapel looked fabulous floodlit from the Worthing to Brighton road, like Hogwarts, in fact, and a far cry from my own tatty comprehensive.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-14 12:44 pm (UTC)
Lancing Chapel is fabulous- altogether my favourite Victorian gothic building.

Lancing has a history of producing louche, rackety and subversive figures- for instance Evelyn Waugh and the very scandalous Tom Driberg MP. More recently the lefty playwright David Hare.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-12-14 03:12 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you see yourself in that way!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-14 03:48 pm (UTC)
I would rather take my stand with Waugh and Driberg than with the worthy Anglican clergypersons who are Lancing's other speciality.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-12-14 04:02 pm (UTC)
Maybe you are both, that is your USP.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-14 04:46 pm (UTC)
You're right, it is.
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2010-12-14 12:45 pm (UTC)
This is good, isn't it? If both extremes think the BBC is prejudiced against them then the BBC must be doing exactly what it's supposed to do and steering a course straight down the middle.

That's a common fallacy. News organizations should pursue the truth. It may be that the truth lies straight down the middle between the extremes, but it may also be that one side or the other actually is closer to the actual facts. So, "straight down the middle, pissing off both sides", isn't necessarily the right place to be.

But it might be.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-14 12:49 pm (UTC)
Ah, but as jesting Pilate remarked, "What is truth?"
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2010-12-15 01:46 pm (UTC)
Epistimological concerns should be secondary to a news outlet. A news outlet can safely use a fairly naive definition of truth -- that there exists an objective universe in which actions take place, and that "truth" is simply the factual and accurate description of said actions and conditions. Plenty of news organizations fail at that point.

In the United States, at least, news organizations with a conservative slant tend to fail on that criterion more frequently than news organizations with a liberal slant.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-15 05:28 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. The very word "liberal" implies a certain open-mindedness.

Here in Britain all our news channels are committed to an ideal of balance. Our newspapers (many of them owned by Rupert Murdoch) are a different matter.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-14 01:34 pm (UTC)
Ah right. :)

I suppose the "c" became detatched from the word "culture".
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[User Picture]From: endlessrarities
2010-12-14 07:34 pm (UTC)
So you went to the same school as a Junior Pink Floydling??!!

Wow!

One of my ex-bosses can do better. He went to the same school (or was it college?) as Guido Fawkes...

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-14 08:03 pm (UTC)
I hasten to add we weren't there at the same time.

The most famous person from my time at Lancing is the dramatist David Hare.
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[User Picture]From: endlessrarities
2010-12-14 09:38 pm (UTC)
Your school seems to be quite adept at producing Young (or not so young) Turks. But in terms of pushing the boundaries of upsetting the Establishment, David Hare wins hands down!!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-14 09:43 pm (UTC)
He was a prefect when I was in my first year. I remember him as intense and highly strung. He told a bunch of us off once for talking after lights out and it was scary. He was also- as you'd expect- a noted schoolboy actor.
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[User Picture]From: airstrip
2010-12-14 10:01 pm (UTC)
Well, frankly, the truth has a strong left-wing bias.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-15 09:03 am (UTC)
I won't quarrel with that.
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