Today, a show of public spiritedness has come from the Rothermere press: the Daily Mail, under the less than benign editorship of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, has begun a series called “Whinge Watch”. Sad to say, this is supremely unfortunate titling, and might more usefully be called “Whinger is Watching”, because the column is one long whinge from start to finish.
Author of this waste of space is one Tim Montgomerie, stalwart of ConservativeHome, and his target is the BBC. They’re biased – well, in the world of Monty and Dacre, they are. But Monty sells the pass before he’s finished with the title. Here, he tells that “The BBC – the flagship of the public sector – is obsessed with stories warning of the dire impact of cuts but rarely speaks up for the private sector that funds it”.
As I’ve told recently, the idea that the Beeb is part of the public sector is bogus. It is an independent and autonomous organisation. And, as to who funds it, that would be folks who own a television. So are they the private sector? What if they work at Leighton Hospital, or at MMU, or for Cheshire East council? Monty really ought to get his facts right before he starts on the carping.
Otherwise, there are the usual rhetorical questions beloved of other less than impartial media outlets, like Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). Here, we get “Is Huw Edwards too liberal?”, and “Does Andrew Marr have an innate liberal bias?”, just as Fox sees Neil Cavuto asking “Is President Obama’s policy tanking the economy?”. They are, of course, not really questions.
Elsewhere, Monty keeps making the mistake of calling Beeb staffers “people who have only ever worked for the state”, which they are not. He whinges that Beeb has the effrontery to advertise jobs in the Guardian, which in his world is really the “Leftwing Guardian”. And – horror of horrors – Beeb staff are eleven times more likely to describe themselves as “liberal” than “conservative”.
Well, Monty, have I got news for you. Young Dave – the Prime Minister, and leader of your party – describes himself as “liberal”. Why not start your clearout of these wishy washy liberals on your own patch first?
And, while you’re at it, quit the whingeing.