In the UK, the Ministry of Truth, otherwise known as the BBC, has a complex dual role to fulfil. On the one hand it has to help suppress heretical and dissident viewpoints, but at the same time it has to appear as an unbiased exponent of free debate and honest discussion.
Usually the BBC manages this two-faced act with great skill and subtly, but occasionally the contradictions overwhelm it and the mask slips in an all too revealing way.
Recently I visited an article on the BBC website that was clearly designed as a damage limitation exercise vis-à-vis the recent Muslim Intolerance Riots. This was called Viewpoints: Anti-Islam film and self-censorship, and asked the oddly phrased question, “Should self-censorship and regulation be imposed in order to appease the sensitivities of religious groups?” to a group of carefully selected panellists who then each responded with a mini essay.
The six participants, including our old friend Abe Foxman, were calibrated to give the illusion of diversity of opinion, but managed in their different ways to circle round the same old pile of bullshit about Islam being a “religion of peace” that is essentially compatible with Western culture when purged of its extremists. They also predictably expressed strong support for the notion that the way forward is through more tolerance, even though this call is unlikely to reach any of the enraged mobs concerned.
The problem the BBC has in these cases, however, is when the plebs get involved. There is nothing like a debate by members of the public to further the illusion of free speech, and it would be a glaring disparity not to have a comment box under an article that purported to be a frank exchange of views. So, how did that work out?
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Comment number 816Robbie20th September 2012 - 17:55This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules.
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Comment number 812Hal 200120th September 2012 - 20:15This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules.
Now who says the BBC isn’t good value for the licence fee?