[Update at end of post]
The kicking of the BBC by the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre may have died down a little, but the word is still out there to go for the Corporation whenever the opportunity presents itself, so over the top has gone another of the Vagina Monologue’s more tedious hacks, Steve Doughty, to issue a routinely mean spirited yet fact free rant.
Not expanding but shrinking here
Doughty’s headline – “Thousands of redundancies later, and the BBC is still a bloated bureaucracy” – follows the usual Daily Mail pattern of telling the readers what they are required to think. He then suggests that BBC staff made redundant are routinely walking back into the Corporation, then that their redundancy payments are too high. No comparison with any other organisation is given.
Having trowelled on the impression of waste, there is then more assertion of waste, as making savings of £2.7 billion is first dismissed, then the suggestion made that the licence fee should be reduced. But all the while readers are not told that, in real terms, that licence fee is being reduced, as it has been frozen for a full six years from 2010 – and that’s not all.
In a letter from Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to the BBC Trust Chairman, it is further stated that “The BBC will assume responsibility for funding the World Service, BBC Monitoring, and S4C [the Welsh language service broadcast by Channel 4] from the licence fee ... the overall result of this settlement will require the BBC to achieve a 16% cash-releasing efficiency target, net of implementation costs, over the four years to 2016/17”.
But Doughty does not mention any of this: instead, he talks of “the ranks of the political advisers and communications consultants who infest its offices” and of “fringe channels or operations with nil public service justification”, then tells that “I’m not saying the BBC is conning us about its redundancies and its cost-cutting”.
This, though, is exactly what is being said, although in not so many words, along with misinformation on the Corporation’s borrowing limit. It’s the most slanted and abysmal journalism, but then, Doughty has previous: this is the idiot who suggested, after recent racist incidents during football matches, that Patrice Evra and Anton Ferdinand “just put up with it and get on with the game”.
Mail Online eventually pulled that particular pile of steaming Doughty bovine by-product, but anyone wanting the same to happen to the Beeb bashing piece will be waiting a long time. Steve Doughty is compliant and desperate enough to do as Dacre tells him, and there will no doubt be more abysmally researched attack dross under his by-line in the months to come. And that’s not good enough.
[UPDATE 25 April 1750 hours: how right can you get? More abysmally researched attack dross there most certainly has been, as Doughty has taken the sad death of a runner in last weekend's London Marathon as an excuse to kick those who objected to the annual equine death toll of races like the Grand National. Horses, Doughty argues, are bred to race, which will be news to all those horse owners whose animals do not do so. And he does himself no favours by going from horses to pigs, which he asserts are only "there to make bacon".
It doesn't seem to occur to this clueless hack that there is a difference between captive animals being coerced into situations where many of them are injured and are then destroyed, and human beings volunteering of their own free will to take up a challenge like long distance running. The numbers are rather different, too: popular marathons and fun runs each involve tens of thousands of competitors, all of whom are told that there are risks involved. Still, there's a few column inches to fill, and it's not as offensive as Littlejohn or as barking as Mad Mel. Mustn't grumble]