Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jimmy thinks we're too stupid to read, and that our murder victims are just a distraction from real news. But then he's not British.

I have to say that if this piece from Jimmy on the Guardian's reporting of the market shares of various UK news organisations is anything to go by, his new blog will be as worthless as his old one. As a good little Tea-Partier Jimmy obviously hates public service broadcasting on principle, and loathes the Guardian because he's been banned from its comments pages for a few too many racist diatribes. But he loves journalists, especially dead ones that can be blamed on nasty foreign Muslims. And once again the BBC comes in for criticism from Jimmy for spending too much time reporting murders in Britain. I mean, why would British people be interested in finding out who killed some woman or other when the killing clearly had nothing to do with political Islam? Why were the BBC so obsessed with a killer at large in Bristol when they could have been interviewing Geert Wilders or carrying out an expose of how Barack Obama is a Kenyan Muslim who wants to impose a global caliphate? Clear leftist bias: "filling their slots so that they wouldn’t have to look at other items in any depth".

Of course, maybe Jimmy is just keen for the BBC to cover the news from Virginia or Florida or wherever he hails from. Why would he care if one of the "stupid, freedom-hating British" gets offed?

Tasteless though Jimmy's lack of interest in dead British women may be, it's his outright lies about the Guardian article that have moved me to post this. How does his post open?

Why no mention of the BBC’s 40% by The Guardian?

If you were a Guardian journalist writing on this news coverage comparison story and chart, wouldn’t you have thought there was something more noteworthy than that Sky’s ‘Murdoch media to control over a fifth of UK news consumption’?

For instance, the small matter that the BBC has currently almost 40% of news consumption?

Why indeed? The Guardian article certainly begins with an analysis of the market shares of the various commercial news organisations, pointing out that Sky's proposed takeover of Newscorp will be "a merger of the number one and four commercial media groups, which is the sort of thing that in most other markets would be questioned hard". But why would it ignore the BBC's dominance of the whole sector?

Well, of course, it does no such thing. Jimmy is assuming here that we will take his lies on trust and not bother following the link to the article. After all, he's already told us it's rubbish, and as Simon Callow and Martin Luther could testify, he's an exemplary fact-checker. So we're not supposed to read this:

Of course, there is one glaring exception. The BBC. Which at 39.3% is the dominant force. And it's hard to argue with. Until now, Britain has regulated commercial media far more tightly than the BBC - and you argue that it is time for a change. But the BBC is also different, and you can expect this argument to form part of the points made by the critics of the News Corp deal - which rests on the notions of, wait for it, 'internal plurality' which exist separate to considerations about market share.

Nobody owns the BBC, but Rupert Murdoch owns nearly 40% of the voting stock of News Corporation. Media may seem like a fast moving business, but the characteristics of media companies are such that they are steady-state businesses that can stay under one person or family's control for generations as long as the owners don't over expand and take on too much debt. Media companies, in short, can easily become somebody's personal property - and there are more than enough examples of where that has happened in Britain.

The BBC is a notoriously plural organisation, tolerating all sorts of dissent, which often manifests itself on screen and on air. Presenters cheerfully take executives apart; a crisis about standards (cf Ross/Brand) is gleefully reported across the whole organisation. In short, the BBC may control 39.3% of Britain's news consumption by the minute - but it is a more internally plural organisation than those newspapers where decisions about which political party to back are taken right at the top. Measuring internal plurality is, however, tricky - but the essential point is clear.

We can see, then, how powerful the enlarged News Corp is. And that it is a different kind of beast to the BBC. The question, then, is what will Ofcom, and more importantly Jeremy Hunt do about it.


"No mention" of the BBC's 40% of the market? That would be in the same way that Jimmy's blog makes "no mention" of Tony Blair.

As Joseph Goebbels put it in 1941, "The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous."

I'm sorry, Jimmy, but however much you lie and however ridiculous you look as a result, we still won't believe you're English (or Scottish). Just a freedom-hating fool.

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