Saturday, July 11, 2015

Greek Bailout and Reform: BBC Doesn't Give the Whole Picture


Here’s the great thing about the BBC; if you have a complaint about the news you can message them. My complaint is that their reporting of Greek’s position is so bloody biased. I’m sick to death of the perspective that the Greeks are a lazy, irresponsible, hopeless, greedy good-for-nothing bunch with a leader who has no integrity. I clicked ‘contact us’, selected ‘complaints’ and answered a bunch of questions, each with its own pestilential pop-up page.

I dismissed the pestilential pop-up thought ‘couldn’t they have put all of these on one page?’—silly, it’s the BBC. They wouldn’t be so dumb as to put complainers through unnecessary hassle.

Finally I get to ‘for complaints about the news’ go to another bloody site. I take a deep breath—actually I lie. I do some highly appropriate, imaginative and very satisfying ranting and raving, then I take a deep breath and go to the bloody site. Where there’s no ‘complaints’ section. But there is one for ‘do you have an idea for a news story?’. I believe I do, I thought, and clicked on that. Below is my letter to them.

"My idea is unique and you'll pardon my sarcasm I hope and not see it as reason to dismiss my suggestion. Why not present both sides of the story regarding Greece; those who don’t support Greece and those who do? You could also place as much emphasis on the humanitarian crisis as you do on the money. 

You seek responses from European ministers to the latest Greek proposals and present only the Lithuanian finance minister saying there is no trust left for Greece. You don't interview Francois Hollande or Christine Lagarde on the same subject but why not? If you presented all three, side by side, we'd have a different picture.

On that matter, why don't you interview Professor Paul Krugman and ask for his views on austerity? Or interview Angela Merkel and pin her down on the fairness or otherwise of half of Germany’s debt being forgiven after WWII and the rest restructured on terms purely based on Germany’s capacity to repay. And these generous countries were the ones Germany had decimated; they had plenty of reason to punish Germany. The country had harbored and promoted a psychopath and numerous serial killers, the consequence of which was to wreak havoc on the entire world.

Why don’t we see this talked about over and over again in conjunction with the hardline stance of Angela Merkel et al? Why don’t you expose the hypocrisy of Germany today? It’s very relevant. 

Your reporters and anchors talk about 'reform' all the time as if reform was only about saving money but you never mention, in the same breath, which is when it needs to be mentioned to present the truth, the negative economic aspects of that ‘reform’. You rarely mention the humanitarian consequences and when you do you don't place it side by side with the austerity hacks' perspective.

But you should, because you boast in your PR that BBC has the best news coverage. It doesn’t. You don’t have anything different to SkyNews or CNN. This is an instance where you could truly lead. The double standards in the way Greece is being treated and how that treatment is being covered are off the charts. There are two possible conclusions, as far as I can see. Either the BBC editors aren’t smart enough to see what’s happening, or they’re plenty smart and the BBC doesn’t want to tell the truth.

Neither is particularly flattering. On thinking about both these options they kind of lead to one: The BBC news team is a lazy, irresponsible, hopeless, greedy good-for-nothing bunch with a leader who has no integrity."

p.s. Don't feel too bad. Take consolation from the fact that SkyNews and CNN are just as bad.