Rewards for lies

December 8, 2008 at 11:53 am | Posted in Idiot Hall of Fame | Leave a comment

I’m sure it’s a secret only shared among members of the gilded media elite, but I would love for someone to explain why the BBC is so infatuated with Kelvin MacKenzie.

For a start, they’d do well to remember that he was editor of a newspaper for which Beeb-hating is its raison d’etre; you’d surely think the instinct of self-preservation would dissuade them from giving a mic to a guy who hates their very existence.

But this isn’t really about that; the BBC is free to fawn over anti-license fee acolytes if it so chooses, I just wish their airtime was after the watershed. And on a channel nobody watches. Nor is this even about the spite his newspaper spat in the faces of working people during the 1980’s – if the corporation excluded people on that basis, they’d have to impose a media blackout on half the Conservative Party.

No, this is really about The Lie. The Lie to end all lies. A Lie of such magnitude that it makes ‘I did not have sex with that woman’, ‘the sword of truth‘ and ‘I’d like to report a missing child‘ seem like minor fibs. A Lie he authored, defended and still defends to this day, and which continues to haunt and hurt its victims. You know The Lie I’m talking about, right?

In almost any other walk of life (aside from professional politics, of course) making such a disgraceful error, and then standing by that error over a decade later, would make you persona non grata in your own profession. If you were a doctor, you’d be struck off. If you were a builder, you’d struggle to find work. But if you’re a mendacious media rent-a-mouth, the market will embrace you with open arms.

And so on the BBC’s Breakfast news, MacKenzie was brought on to advocate for James Purnell’s welfare reforms. Quite what qualifies him as an expert on welfare provision – or an expert on anything other than the art of tabloid slime – is beyond me, but there he was, on that plush, license fee funded sofa, explaining that (I’m paraphrasing here) poor people can go fcuk themselves. It was like a ghostly, ghastly echo from the eighties.

And he’ll be back in few weeks time, no doubt, armed with tabloid-pleasing quotes and hackneyed ‘analysis’, and the BBC will once again ignore the hurt his appearances continues to cause to The Lie’s victims, simply because he makes good TV. And we wonder why everyone wants a career in the media.

Update: Sorry for betraying my usual temperate self, but some people just incite enraged ranting.

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