Imagine life without Radio NZ and TVNZ? … Bliss?

Think about how great it would be without the left wing bias and just plain wrong-ness of Radio NZ and TVNZ.

Earlier I blogged about what is happening in Greece…now the subsidised illuminati of the BBC are working themselves into a lather in the UK.

But others like me think it would be bliss, and the trough-snufflers of state funded broadcasting would finally have their throats cut.

John Humphrys has invited Radio 4 listeners to imagine life without the BBC. They are to picture themselves sitting down to watch Countryfile or Holby City, only for the screen to go black. That?s what happened to the Greek national broadcaster ERT, you see, the Hellenic equivalent of the BBC. On Tuesday night the good citizens of Greece were watching the news when? pfft. Apparently the money had run out.

I closed my eyes, but before I had a chance to imagine a Britain without the BBC, Humphrys dismissed the idea as ?unimaginable?. You have to admire the complacency behind that ?unimaginable?. The Herculean smugness. The scale of the self-congratulation. And it?s not just Humphrys. They?re all at it, all the 30,000 or so people who work for the BBC.?

A whole lot of smug…just watch Seven Sharp to witness the same thing here.

I think it?s to do with the sense of entitlement that comes from being state-funded. Witness the way the corporation covered the opening of its new headquarters this week. You wouldn?t have guessed it from watching the other channels, but this was big news. It mattered. The BBC had a new building.

Same here…I had the misfortune to watch Seven Sharp the other night when they wanked on about Matariki…a festival dreamed up in only the last 10 years, to benefit Maori troughers who stiff the nations councils plus the government to hold lavish festivals to celebrate maori astrology. There they were sitting in the freezing cold atop TVNZ HQ being all smug and inclusive. Now ask yourself this…When you were growing up how many times did your school, council, government go on about Matariki? Never is probably the answer…it is made up bullshit, and we are paying for it. But I digress.

The usual complaint is that the BBC has a Left-liberal bias. But I?m not sure this is fair. If anything, since the Hutton Inquiry, the BBC has become bland in its desperation to appear balanced. It tries. It really does. There was a time when news wouldn?t be considered news to BBC staff unless it appeared in the Guardian. But now they read the Telegraph as well. I know this because I once suggested in it that the Today programme did not have a single Tory voter among its team. I was contacted by a producer and told with some pride that there were, in fact, two. He might have been talking about representatives of an ethnic minority.

But the bias is there in the assumptions, like a cold current seeping up into the surface warmth. Take the coverage of Margaret Thatcher?s funeral. To BBC editors she was such a totemic hate figure they could not get their heads around the possibility that there were large swathes of the population who admired her. (?Mmm. Who can we interview? Let?s start with a cross-section of her contemporaries: Gerry Adams, Ken Livingstone, Neil Kinnock.?)

Something similar happened when they reported the Ukip successes in the local elections. There was plenty of coverage but the BBC?s curiosity about the result can only be described as morbid and anthropological, as if they had discovered a lost tribe they suspected of cannibalism. As Rod Liddle, one-time editor of Today, noted, the BBC dismisses all Eurosceptics as ?mad?. Whenever they came up in meetings ?everybody would just burst out laughing?.

But that is the culture behind closed doors. If you want to hear the authentic voice of the BBC you must listen to its radio comedy shows. They assume their listeners are sixth-formers who share their tedious and predictable views on politics. Conservatives are there to be ridiculed, with Jeremy Hardy, for example, dismissing the Cabinet as ?braying hoorays? and the Chancellor as ?a horrible kind of posh?. Last Friday on The Now Show, John Finnemore embarked on a sneering routine about the Government?s plans to cut legal aid. Apparently Chris Grayling introduced them simply because he enjoys attacking the poorest and most vulnerable in society. It was like listening to a party political broadcast by the Socialist Alliance, only without the laughs.

Oh how similar is is Radio NZ to that…Saturday mornings especially.

I could easily live without TVNZ and Radio NZ. I barely watch television now, I never listen to Radio NZ. How about we start the grand experiment by axing the Concert Programme?

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