Monday, April 15, 2013
In the end I really couldn't get over excited by the debate over whether 50,000 people who had decided that downloading a song that lasts less than two minutes sung by the strangest group of people never to have appeared in a David Lynch film was (a) freedom of speech (b) an insult to the dead or (c) plain bizarre. To put it in some sort of personal context I received my first 'Maggie Dead' joke by text last Wednesday afternoon from possibly the second biggest fan of Mrs Thatcher, after my paternal Grandmother and slightly ahead of Span, somebody who even dresses like the former PM - oh yes!
I was more concerned, or perhaps concerned isn't the right word, pissed off that part of my childhood memories had been hijacked for the purpose making a political comment. At least the BBC, to give them some credit in this mess, did allow the full version of 'I'm In Love With Margaret Thatcher' to be played on the chart show - and whilst I'm not generally in the business of personal insults I think that anything that gets the former M.P for Corby overheated must be a good thing.
Away from the little people, the flying monkeys and the bald guy behind the green curtain there was some serious questions over censorship to be asked and in one of the those strange moments of synchronicity Radio Four happened to broadcast (four hours before Mrs Thatcher's death was announced) the first of two parts investigating news broadcasting in the U.K. The most alarming statement in the programme I listened to was the admission by the head of ITN that stories which are 'off the record' no matter how important they are won't get broadcast if the person responsible for 'the leak' refuses to acknowledge the story. It's straight out of Yes Minister of course, the denial of rumour, or even House of Cards and the 'I couldn't possibly comment' line uttered by Francis Urquhart in House of Cards.
There's obviously concern out there about political bias among our media, I notice on some sites that Sky are now being criticised for adopting a similar approach to the BBC when it comes to interviewing members of the current cabinet, but Government censorship before the story gets 'out there' is something all together more sinister, particularly as we don't seem to be talking about matters of national security here.I suppose the one consolation is that given the 24/7 media driven world we seem to be living in anything that is worth knowing or indeed noting will surface somewhere, either on sites like Guido's or through some other, less obvious methods.
Posted by Paul at 2:05 PM