Monday, July 18, 2011

#Hackgate:Melanie Phillips: the true lesson of the Murdoch scandal is "Down with the BBC!"

The BBC’s monopoly over the media is indeed a running scandal. After all, just imagine if News International had been given the legal power to levy a tax on everyone who bought a newspaper in order to fund the Murdoch empire.

People wouldn’t stand it for a moment. It would be considered an utter abuse of democracy. Yet that is precisely the privileged position the BBC occupies.

Ah, say its defenders, but the BBC is a public service broadcaster, and therefore of course merits a public subsidy as a great British institution which must be preserved at all costs.Well, that argument just won’t wash any more. For the BBC wraps itself in the heroic mantle of a public service remit which it has systematically betrayed.

That remit was to educate and elevate public taste, as well as to entertain. But for years now, the BBC has instead been playing to the lowest common denominator, competing in the ratings market as ruthlessly as any commercial broadcaster.

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