View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Monday, February 02, 2004

The Rot at the BBC

Saturday morning, about 4000 BBC employees took out an ad in defense of their deposed former director general, Greg Dyke, chairman Gavyn Davies, and reporter Andrew Gilligan, whose reporting, shoddy at best, malicious at worst, brought about this whole mess.

Over 4000 BBC employees stood behind the decision to run a story that undermined a man's reputation to the point where he killed himself. It deliberately attacked the government's integrity, not just its accuracy, in the run-up to the Iraq War. As evidence dribbled out, the Beeb not only didn't question itself seriously, it became more shrill in defense of Mr. Gilligan. As the war developed, British soldiers and sailors turned off their own national network to watch FoxNews instead, so disgusted were they with the coverage their TV taxes were paying for.

"Greg Dyke stood for brave, independent and rigorous BBC journalism that was fearless in its search for truth," the ad said. "We are dismayed by Greg's departure but we are determined to maintain his achievements and his vision for an independent organization that serves the public above all else."

When the Hutton Report convicted the BBC of the grossest violations of journalistic ethics, the Beeb as a whole rises to howl in protest. How the public is served by this deliberate, self-conscious propaganda is a mystery.

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