Crowded House

A tweeter suggested that it must be a quiet August week when – arguably in an overplayed gesture of preaching to the converted – the Radio Times is chosen to reveal research suggesting that Licence Fee critics couldn’t really do without the BBC. The experiment saw a group of households chosen to be deprived of the Corporation’s services for just over a week. Miraculously, many of the sceptics changed their mind, saying they were happy to pay the charge.

Of course, this research was commissioned by the BBC. What a complete joke. The pesky, biased, lefty lot are at it again. No wonder they’re the laughing stock of the country.

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I’ve deliberately chosen an image of our beloved Chancellor here – because George is at the centre of another storm, thanks to a new book by media guru Ray Snoddy. It’s claimed that the BBC Director General, Tony Hall, threatened to upstage George’s budget earlier this summer – preparing to announce that BBC Two and the whole of Local Radio would have to close down should the Licence Fee be cut any further.

It was around about this time that George used an appearance on the Marr Show to criticise the growth of BBC Online, saying its existence was threatening the very future of newspapers. It was a terrible state of affairs, with the BBC verging on a form of “imperialism”.

So with all this dreadful bias and bullying, you’d almost think it was a done deal – even the BBC Trust’s own consultation asks whether BBC News is “crowding out commercial suppliers”.

Perhaps the critics should seek some independent analysis of this, and by happy coincidence Enders analysis has concluded that the BBC plays “no role” in damaging newspapers in a digital age. It would suggest that – for all the blustering and bleating by the press – the notion that BBC Online is damaging newspapers is a myth. Largely peddled by the newspapers.

And that’s one headline you’re not likely to be reading any time soon.

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