Saturday, September 1, 2007

Do BBC listeners care about Larry Craig?

I've just listened to the news headlines on the BBC's Radio Five Live. The fourth item was the resignation of Idaho senator Larry Craig following his arrest in the men's toilets at Minneapolis-St Paul airport. The report was brief, but managed to squeeze in the facts that Craig was both a Republican and a 'family values campaigner' – facts which are irrelevant in terms of the case, but extremely relevant to creating the impression of hypocrisy.

I would fully expect the BBC to carry the story on its website, which is widely viewed in the US and elsewhere. But running the story on a domestic news bulletin is a different matter altogether; most listeners wouldn't have the faintest idea who Craig is, and the BBC would never dream about running a story about the indiscretions of, say, a French or German politician unless he was a senior minister.

The item was included simply because it was an opportunity to attack the Republicans that the BBC felt it couldn't pass up. You can just imagine the sniggering in the newsroom (the one with the poster of Bush as Hilter); no matter that the story will barely have registered with most listeners. Meanwhile I'm still waiting for the BBC to carry a story on the Hillary/Norman Hsu fundraising scandal.

Don Surber has further evidence of the media's double standards.

1 comment:

Mountjoy said...

I agree that listeners don't give a hoot about Larry Craig, but then that has never bothered the BBC before. As long as they can spread their worldview, i.e. in this case "GOP Bad, Dems Good", then that justifies any non-story.

As for the Hillary scandal, you'll never hear that on the Beeb, else listeners/viewers might think, "Dems Bad."

It's classic brainwashing technique.