Nation shall speak peace unto nation. But not, perhaps, the Daily Mail nation
TEA? You got it: “Just £2.4billion of BBC's £5.1billion annual budget went on programmes … Remaining cash went on middle-managers, running its buildings and tea … Only £217million was spent on job of actually transmitting the programmes … MPs said the figures were ‘staggering’ and called for parliamentary inquiry”. If only the MPs approached by the Mail had actually been given the full picture.
Take this gem on BBC Worldwide: “The Corporation also pumped money into its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, and BBC Global News, producing content for audiences overseas”. Would the Beeb press office care to comment? “Mail also says BBC 'pumps money' into commercial arm, BBC Worldwide. But Worldwide not funded by licence fee & makes money for UK programmes”. Pretty close to pants on fire, then.
The rebuttal team had more: “Mail story ignores basic facts like around £270m of licence fee taken to support S4C & govt projects like broadband rollout & local TV … According to Mail, prog costs don't include newsrooms, edit suites, storyline development etc without which you wouldn't have any programmes”. That’s the highly selective approach right there, and another borderline whopper. And there’s more.
“Actually 90% of spending we control is on content, distribution & related support costs - figure is independently verified” tell the BBC press people. The problem the Mail has is that, against this figure, their best shot is to tell readers “12: Number of managers in BBC TV’s team of 24 that have the word ‘Controller’ in their job title” (so what?), and “4,420: Number of job titles at the BBC, according to FOI in 2011” (again, so what?).
Plus there is the inevitable “100: Members of staff who earn more than the Prime Minister”, which is yet more dishonesty, as Young Dave (or whoever is in 10 Downing Street) gets a prime central London house rent-free, which is worth hundreds of thousands more per annum. One could go on: the Mail keeps churning out this slanted drivel, and the only surprise is that three MPs have fallen for it.