Friday, February 02, 2007

Daily Mail chief displays poor understanding of political ideology

Catching up on old news, did anyone else see our old friend Paul Dacre’s bizarre rant last week about the BBC and the ‘assault’ on British values? (Dacre is, for anyone unaware, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail. He usually keeps a very low profile, rarely giving interviews. He’s like the Willy Wonka of the British newspaper industry, although more sinister.) Most curious of all was his comment that the BBC is “exercising a kind of cultural Marxism”. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense, really. I suppose what he really means is that there is a leftist slant in the BBC’s news coverage (although I have always thought that such a charge is overstated a lot of the time – considering the sheer volume of news that the BBC covers, it remains neutral for the most part in my opinion). Norm has counter-argued this point better than I could, but to describe the Beeb as ‘Marxist’ is intellectually incoherent. There is no textbook definition for the term ‘Marxist’ anyway, but the defining characteristic would be an economic interpretation of history, with particular emphasis on who controls the means of production and the subsequent inherent contradictions of capitalism. Now, I can’t claim to consume all of the BBC’s daily output, but I don’t think they do this very often. By all means, accuse the BBC of having a left-wing bias, but please, if you’re going to brandish the term ‘Marxist’ at least demonstrate a basic understanding of what that means. I suggest, Mr Dacre, that you sign up for a course covering basic political philosophy.

3 comments:

ph said...

BBC left wing - probably
I think the left wing accusation is really aimed at R4. Most other channels are neutral, but R4 does strike me a sitting on the Liberal left.
I am sure it do not mean to be but the journo's cannot help it. They have personal strong Liberal Left views and they are not professional enough to hide this. Was it not Naughtie who said in an interview to Gordon Brown before the last election "When we win".
Can you name any BBC journalists who have ever expressed views that could be associated with the Right?

Citizen Sane said...

That's a good question.

Interestingly, if you Google "right wing BBC journalist" as a direct quote, you get zero results.

Look

But in answer to your question... Nick Robinson perhaps? He doesn't come across as a man of the left. Or he hides it quite well. I've never felt that John Humphreys was much of a leftie either - strikes me more as a grumpy old school conservative like Simon Jenkins. While Paxman seems to have a healthy disgust for everyone.

But that's about it.

ph said...

Just a thought......
If you sit on the right your political views tend to be dictated by what you think is correct and what is incorrect. If you sit on the left your views are dictated by what you think is good (the left) and what is evil (the right).
I think this is why I dislike lefties, they use their goodness (as conferred by their leftist views) to place themselves on a higher moral plane, and once there feel they have the superiority that lets them tell you how to behave and what to do (after all you are morally bankrupt).
I think we need to be very suspicious of people who feel morally superior