The desperation of the obedient Murdoch doggies at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun to put the boot into the hated BBC has once again led them to a level of creativity that has involved veering into the dishonesty line and crashing the car in no style at all. “Fury At ‘Racist’ BBC … AUNTY IS ANTI WHITE … Telly jobs just for minorities” is the headline on Jen Pharo’s “exclusive” article. It’s “exclusive” for a good reason.
And that is because there is no story. There is no story because there are no jobs being offered. As there are no jobs being offered, there is no discrimination being practiced. And as there is no discrimination being practiced, there is no racism. Worst of all, this is a repeat of an attack line used just over a year ago by the Daily Mail - except that, on that occasion, the subject was not race, but disability.
But let’s look at the Sun’s spiel. “THE BBC has been blasted for rejecting work applicants because they are white … It advertised two £25,000 junior scriptwriting roles for shows like Holby City, but said they were only for people from ‘ethnic minority backgrounds’ … One outraged job-hunter said: ‘It’s racial discrimination and just wrong … If you applied for a position and got a reply saying it was only open to white applicants you’d quite rightly not be happy … This is exactly the same’”. And that’s it, is it?
Sadly, no. “The Sun can reveal the Beeb is running four recruitment schemes open only to black, Asian or ethnic minorities … Under the Equality Act it is illegal to discriminate against job applicants on grounds of race, unless crucial to the role … The BBC last night insisted the positions were not jobs, but trainee schemes … And it said the scriptwriter pay was an allowance rather than a wage”. Er, what exactly did the BBC actually say?
Not that one is inclined to take what the Sun says with a large pinch of salt, you understand. After all, these are serious allegations, and the paper has included quotes from an employment lawyer and a lecturer in employment law, with the clear impression being given that the Corporation has done something less than totally legal.
Here is the Beeb’s statement in response to the accusations: “As the Sun knows and has ignored, these are not jobs but training and development opportunities permitted under the Equality act and to describe this as anti-white is utterly ridiculous and irresponsible. As we have an under-representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in script editing roles at the BBC it’s the right thing to do” [my emphases].
The Murdoch poodles have another serious breach of Clause 1: Accuracy on their hands. Worse, it appears that they lied to that employment lawyer and the lecturer in employment law in order to get the quotes they wanted. On top of that, the Sun clearly had the BBC’s response before preparing the article, but edited out the part that was inconvenient to them. Thus Tony Gallagher’s lamentable record as editor continues unabated.
One day the Sun might run a factually accurate front page story. But not just yet.