Sunday, July 08, 2007

Where is the liberal bias at the BBC?

Pictured here: Abi, me, Joanna plus baby #2 and our English friend Heather; above our heads, Durham Cathedral.

The media coverage of the Live Earth events has been a long exercise in Eric Alterman’s question, “what liberal media?” Before leaving for England, where I currently sit typing, I was driving around listening to I don’t know what generic rock radio station. The station was playing a Lenny Kravitz song, after which the DJ mentioned that Kravitz was going to be playing at Live Earth, “Al Gore’s thing” he added, a bit dismissively. The next day, the same station, same DJ, played the same Lenny Kravitz song (surprise, surprise, corporate radio, the same six songs over and over). This time the DJ again mentioned that Kravitz was playing at Live Earth.

Then came the talking point. “Ya know, a listener e-mailed me and made a good point. How much energy are they going to waste just putting on that concert? Just something to think about I guess.”

And so the same right wing fallacy was repeated over and over. I heard it from some radio DJ. It was on Drudge. Worst of all…I heard it on the Beeb; of all the places in the world to hear a right wing talking point, the supposedly “liberal” BBC. I’ve been in England since Thursday. Every time I’ve seen some coverage of Live Earth since I’ve been here the report has made some mention of the energy that would be used for the concert.

Even the coverage during the concert involved some kind of counter message. The BBC interviewer was talking to a global warming skeptic while the concert was in the background. Now, I’m all for multiple viewpoints being heard, even if I believe that one of those viewpoints is ridiculous. My complaint isn’t that someone I disagree with is having his say. What bothers me is that even after the right wing talking points get inserted we still have to hear claims of liberal bias.

Where is that liberal media I keep hearing about?

The other point is that this claim is a fallacy; a diversion. You don’t need to address the claims being made by Al Gore and environmental scientists. You just need to call rock stars hypocrites.

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