March 25, 2015
Thoughts on the BBC and Clarkson
about the latest Top Gear/Jeremy Clarkson kerfuffle, seeing as how I rated it my favorite television show when I did my Top Ten ratings a couple of years ago. I don't really care to get into details, since there are enough angry bloggers in the world without adding one more unhinged commentary. And I would be apt to be slightly unhinged if I started going on about it. I suppose it's at least partly because I've always had a somewhat ambivalent view of "authority," especially when the authority isn't worthy of respect, so I'll just offer the following notes about the organization at the heart of the matter, the BBC, and ask this question - why should we care what this outfit thinks about anything?
After all, their own internal investigation disclosed that corporation officials were aware of and did nothing about a massive child abuse scandal that may have involved up to 1,000 children. And that wasn't the only sleazy scandal of its type at the Beeb, unfortunately. You think the Catholic Church had problems.
Then then there are the numerous reports over the years, both internal and external, show the news department to have a liberal bias in their reporting about everything from immigration and Islamism to politics and think tank reports to religion and multiculturalism, and spent big money to keep results of at least one internal report confidential.
There's also an entire page on the always-reliable Wikipedia documents allegations of unproved news reports, use of faked footage in reports, and other inaccuracies. (Including, yes, Top Gear.)
This is not to mention the accusations that some of their most popular programs (among which, sadly, Doctor Who) promote a homosexual agenda - accusations that are, as usual, met by smug denials.
I could go on, but you know the old saying - it's like catching fish in a barrel. The point is, being sacked by the BBC is not necessarily something bad; one could even view it as a badge of honor, as long as you didn't have to depend on your living for it.
I'm not going to get into the game of predicting what happens next, whether ratings will plummet, fans will continue to protest, lawsuits will be filed, other presenters will leave. It's too easy to make predictions like that in the heat of the moment and be left later on with egg on your face.* Oftentimes we predict what we want to have happen rather than what we think will happen, and I think that undermines one's credibility as a commentator. (See: Fox News on election night 2014.)
*I don't know about you, but I prefer my eggs on a plate.
I can only speak for myself, that I'm not watching BBC America anymore, and I'm not going to willingly purchase any of their products in such a way that they make money off me. So what if that means no second season of Broadchurch - I understand it wasn't that good anyway. Fact is, the only other show I watched with regularity on the channel was Doctor Who, but I can afford to wait a year and catch the latest season on DVD, and - this is the point - only by buying used sets. I'm not necessarily thrilled about it, but this way the Beeb isn't going to profit by me. Most of the British television I watch - Poirot, Inspector Lewis, The Avengers, The Saint, The Prisoner, Danger Man - wasn't done by the BBC anyway. And while their newsreaders have very pleasant accents, I already get enough liberal bilge from American networks.
If you really have to see something they're broadcasting, there are other ways to get that programming. I wouldn't ordinarily say this, but go ahead and pirate it from somewhere else. Have a friend burn discs for you from some "special" source. Do whatever it takes, but don't let them have your money.
BBC, I don't effing care what you think. Go eff yourselves - you should be good at it.