Thursday, 31 July 2008

The Sun misleads its readers over the BBC fakery scandals.

Today's Sun editorial is a standard example of its hypocrisy and complete failure to be honest with its readers:

"ONCE again, the BBC is fined for conning viewers.

Ofcom’s ruling should shame everyone in the Beeb’s management.

In a private company, heads would roll. Instantly."

The reality is that heads did in fact roll. The Ofcom ruling (PDF) pointed out Rix Blaxhill, the 6Music head of programming was directly responsible in one instance for the deceptions which occurred on the Russell Brand show. He resigned last year, far before yesterday's ruling. Likewise, Peter Fincham, BBC1's head of programming, resigned after the "Crowngate" affair.

The Sun's statement that in a private company heads would roll instantly simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The BBC's main terrestrial competitor, ITV, spent much of last year coping with fakery and deception scandals which make the BBC's look like the minor transgressions they mostly were. Despite Michael Grade, ITV's executive chairman pledging zero tolerance of any deceptions, no one was sacked after programmes like Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway were shown to have defrauded those who phoned in of up to £7.8 million. Indeed, Peter Fincham, having had to resign in disgrace from the BBC was quickly found a job at ITV as the director of programming.

What's more, the Sun has a massive conflict of interest which it doesn't bother to mention. BSkyB, the satellite and digital broadcaster is 39% owned by News Corporation, the Sun's ultimate parent company. BSkyB in turn owns 17.9% of ITV. Not only then does their claim that in a private company heads would roll over such fakery not stand up, the Sun's parent company if it so wished could have demanded that heads should have rolled. That it didn't ought to speak volumes.

An expanded post on this topic can be found at my own site.


Jemmy Hope said...

"Sun-Tabloid Lies" - tautology.

Carl said...

And here they must have wanked themselves with joy at getting the boot well and truly in...

Akela said...

Just thought I'd wish you luck with the new project, I've linked to you already!

Historically I've never tended to take the Sun that seriously (except the whole Hillsborough issue which really winds me up) always thinking of the Mail and Express as being more dangerous but I fear that I may have been naive in that view.

I'll be reading with interest!

Alex said...

Want Orwellian? We got it.

(Facts here.)