Support the BBC

February 2nd, 2004 – 9:21 pm
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Last week a report was released by Lord Hutton, a British law lord who had been conducting a judicial inquiry into the death (supposedly by suicide) of weapons expert David Kelly, which roundly condemned the BBC. It all gets rather involved, but you can read the Guardian’s timeline of the incident, which explains things in some detail, and then their collection of articles about the report (and the fallout).

As for the contents of the report itself, Atrios commented:

I’m not going to bother parsing this, but I do have this observation. I always assumed Hutton would condemn the BBC and exonerate the Blair government. The BBC’s reporter did screw up somewhat – there’s no question of that (though, frankly, it wasn’t exactly a Gerth-level screwup). And, Blair made a genius pre-emptive strike when he promised to resign if Hutton came out against him – essentially giving Hutton the power to bring a government down.

But, the report was such a ridiculous whitewash that it oddly ends up condemning Blair. A “naughty naughty BBC” combined with a “yes, mistakes we’re made, but these things happen” with respect to Blair would have preserved the status quo and no one could have found too much fault with it. But, Hutton has tried to play us all for fools and destroyed his own reputation in the process.

The whitewashing of the whole affair, would be bad enough, but now Hutton’s report is being used as part of the ongoing war against the BBC by the Tories and the infamous Rupert Murdoch (of FOX fame).

The BBC is one of the few remaining mainstream bastions of actual journalism on television and the web, now that CNN and its ilk have long since fallen into the darkness, and it would be a shame if it fell victim to its enemies simply because of what was, at the worst, the overenthusiastic pursuit of a story.

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