10 things I learned when I stopped watching BBC News. FYI @BBCNews CC @PeterBoneUK #FuckTheBBC #FuckTheTories

I stopped watching BBC News on or about 8th April 2013 after Margaret Thatcher died and the most critical thing that they said about her was that she was “controversial”. I grew up in South Yorkshire, and on that day I realised that people like me, and the people I grew up with, and pretty much anyone outside the home counties are unrepresented by BBC News.

And so, in classic click-bait stylee, here are the 10 things I have learned in the past five years, after I stopped watching or listening to BBC News, Newsnight, Daily Politics or BBC Radio 4‘s embarrassingly awful Today Programme.

1. London is not the only city in England.
2. England is not the only kingdom in the United Kingdom.
3. The United Kingdom is not the only country in the world.
4. The United Kingdom is not a democracy.
5. The royal family is not an asset to the people of the United Kingdom.
6. The Commonwealth is not a common wealth.
7. “Migrant” is synonymous with “refugee”.
8. Snow is still a headline news story even though it happens every winter in the UK and there are plenty of other news stories.
9. Journalism is dead.
10. Margaret Thatcher was an apologist for fascists and corporate greed, and a protector of paedophiles, necrophiliacs and child murders.

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Why I don’t want Cathy Newman to be sacked. #VisitMyMosque #CathyNewman

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Poor Cathy Newman has had a bad week and it would be a shame to stick the boot in any more. However, you might say she “ushered” herself into this one.

I have been moaning to my wife for some time about the growing islamaphobia on Channel 4 News and their obsession with stories about UKIP, immigrants and radicalized British muslims. She got fed up of my moaning months ago, and more recently I have been recording the news to watch it at another time so that I could vent my spleen without undermining my not inconsiderable domestic bliss.

I stopped watching BBC News in 2013 after their grotesquely biased coverage of Margaret Thatcher’s death and funeral.

Anyway, after threatening to do this for some time, between 28/10/2014 and 3/11/2014 I performed an informal analysis of Channel 4 News’ story coverage to lend some credibility to my own disgruntlement. I recorded seven days (plus one because I missed Saturday) of the 7 ‘o’ clock bulletin and went through each of the news items, broadly classifying the content and the time length of each. The first one of them is here and the others follow on.

After a week of this, I realized that Channel 4 News is not a news programme at all. It is a magazine programme of fluff and misreported propaganda. It’s more-or-less Daily Mail TV.

Despite my reluctance to throw in with the grumpy old men and the conspiracy theorists, it is evident that there is something very dirty going on with the editorial control of some of the mainstream news reporting.

Recently, news anchor Brian Williams has been suspended on the US channel NBC after fabricating details about his experiences in Iraq. He got caught out “mildly sandpapering” the details of a story to make it better. Who does he think he is? Boris Johnson?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-31398866

These people live in their media bubble and are apparently drunk on influence.

After my week of analysis, so appalled was I, and smug in the knowledge that my initial instincts were correct, I stopped watching Channel 4 News. On January 25th 2015, just randomly I did see it whilst channel-surfing for some chewing-gum TV. I had this direct exchange with Newman via Twitter.

Here is my exchange with Cathy Newman via Twitter on January 19th 2015:

To my shame, I didn’t get around to doing a transcript at the time. I was so fed up with this that I put it off and then it seemed too late too late. However, I did record that edition of Channel 4 News on +1 (transcript to follow).

However, this is all small potatoes compare with the gigantic “mis-tweeting” that Newman perpetrated on February 1st 2015. I will not repeat but here are the links.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/feb/02/cathy-newman-turned-away-from-mosque-on-visitmymosque-day
http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/feb/12/cathy-newman-to-take-break-from-twitter-after-row-over-mosque-visit

After which she is “taking a break from Twitter”. Very wise.

Despite my spat with the actual Cathy Newman (via Twitter), I declined to sign a Change.org petition that called on Channel 4 to sack her. It seems that this action is beyond the envelope of my trolling.
https://www.change.org/p/channel-4-fire-cathy-newman-for-incitement-to-hatred-and-lack-of-integrity

I don’t want her to lose her job, I just want her to do it properly. These people are highly paid professionals and have positions of considerable influence, and they should take that responsibility seriously. What’s more, I have no doubt that all of them are exceptional individuals to have gained such roles, but what happened to them?

Moving forward, on 12th February 2015 the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme had some spook from Goldman Sachs dismissing the prospect of deflation as a potential blip and claiming that the UK economy is “strong” and that wages are rising.

Goldman Sachs? Collaborators in the The Global Financial Fuck-Up. It wasn’t John Humphries but the interviewer barely took him to task on the blatantly politicized miasma of neoliberal rhetoric.

Later the same day, also on BBC Radio 4, I heard Mark Carney (Governor of the Bank of England) also using very political language to describe the predicted forthcoming months of falling prices as a temporary blip, claiming it’s not actually deflation, it’s just negative inflation.

Bless.

It is the government’s and The Bank of England’s stated policy to maintain inflation at 2.0%, which makes this (by definition) a monumental fuck-up (FYI). It’s a gigantic failure, despite the economy being “strong”.

It doesn’t take an economist, nor even the Governor of the Bank of England, to understand that if all the major supermarkets (who have a stranglehold on food retail) are dropping their prices (though not acting as a cartel) then something is rotten in the state of Primark.

My favoured supermarket is Morrisons, and a great many of their essentials are now two-thirds the price, compared with a year ago. That might be good for the consumer in the very short term, but it is not a good sign and is most definitely more than one of those periodic supermarket “price wars”.

The BBC and Channel 4, and no doubt others, have allowed themselves to be infected by a sub-ethical class of right-wing, professional liars who are seeding ideologically-motivated misinformation in order to push a political agenda.

I’m no apologist for Cathy Newman, but I don’t think she is one of them despite being influenced by them. However, Cathy and Jon and Krish must understand that they are the flags of their army, and if they agree to be The Mouth of Sauron, they can’t expect anything but to be ushered into The Cracks of Doom.

BBC News can no longer be trusted, and neither can Channel 4 News – Monday 27 October 2014

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I stopped watching BBC television news after their coverage of the death and funeral of Margaret Thatcher in 2013. I was born in Nottinghamshire but have lived in South Yorkshire since I was a year old and Thatcher was a very unpopular prime minister in these parts, although you would not have realised that from the eulogising on the BBC.

But Broadcasting House is a long way from Orgreave, and the BBC’s recently replaced chairman, Chris Patten, has come a long way since his days as Secretary of State for the Environment when guess-who was prime minister. I doubt those two things are connected.

My wife has been getting increasingly irritated with my whinging about television news broadcasting, so I’m going to stop bothering her and bother you instead. For some time I have been complaining about what I perceived as a disproportionate obsession, particularly on the part of Channel 4 News, with British jidahis and general xenophobia. But this was all just subjective, so I decided to try a little documentary experiment.

I am not a journalist, but I am a critical consumer of the news, and I decided to log the proportions of time spent, and the subject of the stories reported, on the main 7pm Channel 4 News bulletin over a period of seven consecutive days. This is day one.

Timings are to the nearest minute.

19.00 – 19.11 They led with the story of Bolton teacher Jamshed Javeed who has admitted charges that he was intending to travel to Syria to fight the Assad regime.

19.11 – 19.14 David Cameron is bumped into by a “jogger”.

19.14 – 19.26 David Cameron is refusing to pay up the European Union’s bill for £1.7 billion, followed by an item on the European Arrest Warrant.

19.26 – 19.30 A story about Michael Fallon claiming that some places in Britain are being “swamped” with immigrants.

19.30 – 19.40 Sex trafficking by Romanian gangsters.

19.40 – 19.42 Surfers die in Newquay.

19.42 – 19.43 British troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

19.43 – 1946 The proposed High Speed rail link (HS3).

19.46 – 19.50 Boko Haram jihadis kidnapping women and girls in Nigeria.

19.50 – 19.52 Adverts

19.52 – 19.55 The proliferation of civilian drone aircraft and the need for regulation.

19.55 – 19.56 European illegal migration, including a quotation from a trafficker “I take all the dirt”.

Out of a 55 minute program (not including adverts and weather), 42 minutes (give or take a minute) were spent reporting about Muslim jihadis, anti-EU politics and immigration. All panic-mongering stories about Johnny Foreigner.

There is plenty happening in the world other than immigration, including climate change, the disappearance of wildlife, increasing inequality, Iain Duncan Smith’s re-designation of degenerative diseases as curable, the commissioning of Hinckley C, US-led war-based economics, coal gasification etc etc etc.

Oh yes, and all those Occupy Democracy protesters in London, but I guess the Channel 4 News editors didn’t walk through Parliament Square.

Whilst I do not doubt the integrity of the individual journalists and broadcasters on Channel 4 News (Paul Mason in particular has published some very insightful and critical online articles recently), there is something deeply troubling about the editorial balance of the program. There is a poisonous xenophobia and paranoid nationalism evident throughout the mainstream media and it is something to be resisted.

I have no doubt that the editorial policy will change once Channel 4 find out I am on the case, so expect more balanced reporting by the weekend, and at least they didn’t mention UKIP today.

One down, six to go.