This was originally a reply to another thread, but went way off topic. So I thought I may as well make it it’s own thread, since although this
episode is already a bygone part of 21st century history, the dangers of its repercussions have been made all too apparent by Covid. When an
institution demands mass trust, due to a long and well earned global reputation for journalistic integrity, then that thing can be a dangerous weapon
if made to lie.
In the U.K. so many continue to support the utter, venal nonsense spouted by Boris Johnson, despite the alarm of scientists and politicians from home
and abroad, simply because that alarm is unreported and what is
reported continues to spin and misdirect events. The aim of this misreporting
seems to be to prevent the public’s total loss of trust in this highly dysfunctional government. But trust in Boris Johnson is proving to be
dangerously naive to those many millions who continue to trust all that their beloved BBC says about him; moreover, what it doesn’t say about him.
This isn’t a sudden coup, or wartime privilege afforded Boris by the BBC. This absolute loss of journalistic integrity that’s been brought into
sharp relief by Covid has been ongoing for almost 2 decades…
Since it’s inception the BBC mandate of truth to power has always been a slippery negotiation with the government de jour. governments have
constantly pulled on the ‘in the national interest’ card in attempt to throttle journalistic endeavour that threatened the establishment. We’ll
never know exactly how many times that worked and what truths known by the broadcasters were never told.
However, in 2003 this fine balance between truth and national interest became severely weighted in one direction and has remained so ever since.
As tensions were again ramping up in Iraq, BBC journalist Andrew Gillian did a piece using an unnamed source who revealed that the dossier put
together to convince parliament to vote to join the US in invading Iraq was ‘sexed up’, by Blair and his chief advisor Alastair Campbell (for
anyone who’s seen the BBC mockumentary series The Thick of It
, the constantly enraged Malcolm Tucker was apparently based on Campbell)…
The accusation that Blair and Campbell had lied to parliament in order to invade another country threatened to bring down the government. If proven,
Blair and Campbell may have faced criminal charges. The Blair camp was going crazy, trying to force the BBC - it’s then Director-General Greg Dyke
into revealing the source. You have to stop here and ask why? If Blair knew the accusation to be false, then the source would be revealed in the
forthcoming enquiry and accusation proven false. Surely an innocent PM would want this ASAP.
Finally, under immense pressure Dyke Revealed the source: one of the world’s top weapons inspectors, employed by the U.K. ministry of defence, Dr
David Kelly. Kelly claimed that the report had been altered by Alistair Campbell to exaggerate Saddam’s capability to attack the U.K. within 45
minutes, using a giant gun Saddam had built in the dessert. It farcical, but parliament and the people, herded by the fear mongering Murdoch press had
fallen for it and the invasion given the green light. Kelly was an eminently legitimate source and this revelation of lies absolutely damning to
‘Her Majesties Government’. This testimony never had a hope in hell of reaching an enquiry…
Soon after Dr David Kelly’s name hit the headlines the man was found dead in the woods, an incision in his wrist. This meant of course that he
couldn’t testify and the BBC’s accusations came undone. On top of that the government and its tabloid sponsors ingeniously spun this death as the
BBC’s fault for revealing their source. There was clamour to kill the BBC from every quarter - every favour to Blair’s camp (moreover, every
favour to Rupert Murdoch, who, infamously was Blair’s kingmaker in 1997). Everywhere you looked, creatures were crawling out of the shadows to put
the boot in, claiming the BBC should lose its public funding for lying about the government and causing Kelly’s death.
On ATS I don’t think I need to paint a picture of what was really unfolding here, but in short, as soon as those threatened by Kelly learned his
identity he shows up dead. It’s hard not to put 2 and 2 together. Then in a devastating checkmate Kelly’s ‘suicide’ was used as leverage over
the BBC - the one institution that if it desired, had the legitimacy to speak truth to power and threaten tptb. While the BBC was traditionally run by
and part of the that establishment, it could also be a loose canon, as proven by reporter Andrew Guilligan and then chief Greg Dyke who stood by his
claims. This was the establishment’s chance to dismantle that threat.
Henceforth the BBC fell into the lap of that increasingly dodgy Labour government, who did their upmost to keep a sword of Damocles hanging over
it’s funding; FYI, almost everyone in the U.K. pays an enforced subscription - what amounts to a tax once a year to fund the bbc; I know that sounds
bad, but historically being funded this way has given the broadcaster independence to report accurately without having to succumb the partisan desires
of governments or advertisers. It was worth it to have an autonomous journalism.
Then, once tptb, the kingmakers decided it was time for an austerity wielding Tory government, this leverage over the BBC was passed on like a baton.
Every appointment sinc of a new director-general has been a move towards bias. Now, during a Tory government it’s run an ex-Tory:
He was deputy chairman of the Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative party in the 1990s, raising questions about his ability to hold the Tory Government
to account in his new role.
The BBC is now a hollowed out shell trading on a past reputation for journalistic integrity, but inside it’s little more than Orwell’s Ministry of
Case in point: the BBC recently did a 1 hour interview with ex-Boris Johnson chief advisors and brexit guru Dominic Cummings. His views are well known
after his 7 hour testimony at a recent inquiry in which he more or less accused Boris of corporate manslaughter. They got their chief political anchor
Laura Kuenssberg to do the interview. On face value that may seem logical, but she has long been very pro Tory and anti Labour in her reporting, so of
course rather than follow up on the accusations, she instead spent most her time attacking Cummings….
…On the other hand we have the anchor of BBC late night in depth Newsnignt, Emily Maitlis. She’s often proven herself to be an astute challenger
of BS, whatever the source — non-partisan. Surely she would’ve been the choice of a non-partisan Director-General to interview Cummings. Instead
she’s faced rebukes from her boss for asking straightforward, journalistic questions about Boris Johnson’s mistakes throughout Covid that have led
to so many unnecessary deaths; questions being screamed on social media, but silenced on the good old BBC by its ‘ex’-Tory boss.
Further reading into when the event that killed the BBC:
Timeline: the Gilligan affair
Do you remember what happened to David