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7 May 2020

Tomorrow belongs to you.

by Jason Stone

BBC News: “One Day...” - 60s

We live in an era which has the US president in a perpetual wrestling match with accredited journalists to determine who has the right to claim they are speaking the truth. Others have followed Donald Trump's lead. This is a dangerous situation and one which poses an existential threat to the idea of truth itself.

Journalists have struggled to provide a meaningful response to this challenge, and many blunder on in a fashion which suggests that they see no threat. Some even appear to believe that they are immune from criticism provided that the attacks are coming from both left-wingers and right-wingers.

The BBC has been placed under the microscope in recent years because of close links between some of the most senior figures in its news division and the current government. This was evident through much of its recent Brexit coverage, with the broadcaster sometimes being little more than a tribune for the Prime Minister's press office.

This tendency towards unquestioning coverage of government policy has become even more problematic as Boris Johnson's government has struggled with the crisis posed by Covid–19. The BBC appears to have moved on to a war footing… passing on the government's message while providing scant scrutiny of its veracity. It was understandable for the BBC to play this role during World War II. Mindful that its broadcasts could be heard by the enemy, it was vital for it to be part of the propaganda which is an inevitable component of warfare. Much of the language of war has been adopted during the current crisis, but as the 'invisible enemy' is unable to listen to Laura Kuenssberg's parroting of Dominic Cummings's musings, there is no justifiable reason why she should continue to behave as though it would be unpatriotic to question a strategy which has led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

This minute-long film, ostensibly advertising BBC News's coverage of the Covid-19 crisis, is uncomfortable to watch. It underlines DAVID's worst fears about the corporation's mindset. It clearly demonstrates BBC News's sense that they are justifiably in concert with the government and that they have a responsibility to reassure the public about the steps being taken. This would be unedifying even if the government's actions were honest... but they are far from it.

The earnestness on display here is literally revolting and every participant should be ashamed of themselves for taking part… instead they should do their fucking jobs and start calling out the architects of this shitshow.

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.