Many a true word spoken in jest 

8 December 2008 tbs.pm/988

John Barrowman item et seq, The Now Show, Series 25, Episode 2, BBC Radio 4

Hats off to BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show for, er, raising the issue of John Barrowman’s invisible appendage last Friday evening (6:30pm, 5th December) and then going on (about 14 minutes into the programme) to point out loud and clear that an astonishing proportion of the BBCs critics are the owners of competing media – from Murdoch’s Sky to Associated Newspapers’ interests in commercial radio. Here’s how they put it:

“Just remember, that when the Press bash the BBC, it’s not because they have your moral interests at heart. It’s because the BBC is their direct business rival. The Sun is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Sky. The [Daily] Mail is owned by DMG Holdings, which has stakes in direct BBC rivals ITN and commercial radio.

“Don’t forget that whenever you read headlines calling for ‘the BBC to resign’, they’re inevitably newspapers that have their own agenda. It’s not for the sake of decency. That is why the owner of the ‘morally outraged’ Daily Express – sample headline, ‘The BBC is run by those who loathe Britain’ – also runs the UK’s biggest satellite porn channel. Pick up a paper by all means, but always read between the lines.” [loud applause]

Many a true word is indeed spoken in jest. For the week, you can catch the complete show on iPlayer.

One might also note, if it isn’t quite obvious, that any newspaper, local or national, is a BBC competitor on the news front at least.