Rattling back into life today to defend the British way of life against the clear and present danger facing it is the Daily Mail’s Melanie Phillips: not for nothing is she known as “Mad Mel”, because that threat to our way of life is, er, the BBC. Mel says that the Beeb exercises more power in Britain than News International.
Really? When did the BBC gain ownership of three national newspapers? When did its revenues suddenly jump and overtake BSkyB? When did it wipe out all those independent radio stations? And, more to the point, when did it directly interfere in the democratic process by favouring one political party over another?
Never mind, though, Mel has some evidence: she says the Beeb’s reporting of Phonehackgate has been “disproportionate”. Another “really” moment: as the BBC news wasn’t on until 2300 hours last night, I watched the ITV one at 2200. It was specially extended, and apart from a brief item on Darren Clarke winning The Open, it was wall to wall Phonehackgate. Get out more, Mel.
And Sky News and Channel 4 News are also majoring on the fallout from Rupe and his troops at the Screws. Are they also part of this amalgam of “Left-wing ideas”, Mel? Are they part of “the true monopoly of the BBC and the Left-wing intelligentsia”? Or are they, like the Beeb, just doing their job by reporting the main news of the day?
Mel doesn’t tell us. But she does demonstrate an ability to venture boldly into Gerald Ratner territory, with gems such as “Murdoch’s popular papers have tended mainly to follow public opinion once voters’ minds are made up”. Yes, Mel. I imagined the Cameron-as-Obama one, and the Neil Kinnock light bulb. And all that cheerleading for Margaret Thatcher, too.
The purpose for this rant – apart from the tired re-hashing of the attempt to call Phonehackgate as a left-versus-right scrap, which Janet Daley tried yesterday in the Maily Telegraph (badly) – almost escapes one, until the clue near the end of the article.
Mel gives the game away by letting us know of Murdoch’s “defending America, Israel and the interests of the West”. Of course, silly me: it’s just another of those “everybody who disagrees with me is anti-Semitic” rants. So no change there, then.