Baghdad Broadcasting Company, a model for us all

Baghdad Broadcasting Company, a model for us all
: Greg Dyke, chief chutzpah officer of the BBC, lashes out at U.S. TV news war coverage as he accepts a dubious award in New York:

News organisations should be in the business of balancing their coverage, not banging the drum for one side or the other. This is something which seemed to get lost in American reporting of the war,” said Mr Dyke.

He said only four out of 840 experts interviewed on US news outlets during the conflict opposed the war and the situation would not have been tolerated at the BBC.

“Telling people what they want to hear is not doing them any favours. It may not be comfortable to challenge governments or even popular opinion but it’s what we are here to do,” he said.

Yo, Doc, cure thyself!

What an incredibly blind/deaf/dumb comment to come from Baghdad Broadcasting, of all places.

Balance? The BBC exhibits as much balance as Christopher Reeve on a tightrope.

Telling people what they want to hear? That’s exactly what the BBC did and quite cynically, I might add.

Experts? What experts? Name two. That is the kind of ridiculous faux stat I’d expect to hear from, oh, American talk radio, not the head of the vaunted BBC.

And Greg, I have two words to remind you of: Andrew Gilligan.

But what’s even more pathetic is his lack of awareness about the business reality of TV news — yes, business reality:

In a robust defence of public service broadcasting Mr Dyke said TV was not “just another commodity” like Starbucks or Coca-Cola and disagreed with those who said it should be left to the market.

“Television is only different from coffee or Coke if we recognise that fact. If we treat TV like these things, it will become like them. We end up with nothing more than a briefly enjoyable experience devoid of any lasting value,” he said.

Face it, mate: News — especially TV news — is already a commodity. Cable — and, in your case, satellite — and the Internet already accomplished that.

The wave of the future is to admit your perspective — and, lord knows you have one (in fact, denying that you do is the worst single blow to your credibility — and to let the audience decide how to look at a story.

If you came out and said you were against the war because somebody had to be, somebody had to give that perspective — well, I might disagree but I would respect the honesty of that and the vision. But no.

You’re a dinosaur, Dyke. But worse than that, you’re a dishonest one.