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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Pernicious Ambiguity at the BBC

This morning I received a letter from one of the presenters of 'Today', the morning news programme on the BBC's Radio 4 channel.  I will not stoop to name the presenter; let us refer to him as Mr H. It seems that he had been piqued by my reports on this website of the lamentable tendency of the 'Today' editors to summarise the news to the point that it becomes ambiguous, a criticism which Mr H dismisses as 'gratuitous pedantry'.

It will be clear to my readers that the attitude of Mr H typifies the state to which the BBC has sunk- out of touch, self-justifying, blind to the social consequences of its actions. Only this morning, in the very same hour during which Mr H's extraordinary denial came into my hands, I encountered a stark concrete example of the pernicious effects of the high-handed carelessness practiced by his editors. I received a call on my personal line from Becks, a tearful and distraught Becks. His story he told in a voice choked with emotion. It was Posh. Her problem was back. He was sure of it. What was he to do? He'd heard it himself, on the BBC. Women were using spice as a legal high. He'd checked the kitchen cupboards. They were full of the stuff. And she never cooks. Always eat ready meals. Turmeric, majoram, (sic), coriander, garam masala (I could tell he was reading from the labels as he spoke)- she must be mixing the stuff for added effect. After all they'd gone through with the coke. What would happen to the kids? Who would pick his wardrobe? ...There was plenty more of the same before I interrupted him to explain that his concerns were misplaced, and the result of yet another ambiguity in the BBC news. He thanked me in his own way. Brilliant. Magic. Fab. Great. And so on.

You will appreciate that as David's pathetic tale invoked pity in my heart, so did it fury, fury towards the careless complacent self-satisfied mediocrats at the BBC who had been the cause of his suffering. Another letter in THE STERNEST POSSIBLE TONES I would have to write to the BBC Board this evening.

Connoisseurs of literary humour the world over: Shouldn't that have been 'mediacrats' back there?

Self: No. I meant mediocrats, as in those practiced in performing the mediocre.

Connoisseurs of literary humour the world over: That's good. Thought you'd slipped up. Should have known better.

Self: Yes you should. Think twice next time.

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