Thursday, 14 December 2017

The British Medical Journal is suddenly back in fashion at the BBC!


If you rely on the BBC for the majority of your news coverage you won't have heard about the damning British Medical Journal study linking Tory austerity dogma with 120,000 excess deaths already since 2010 because the BBC outright refused to cover it.

The BBC excuse for not covering the findings of the study at all was that the evidence was supposedly not reliable enough, and that the public are just too thick to understand explanations of the caveats in the peer reviewed study.

The BBC attitude was that it's better to just bury the report completely than try to explain it in its proper context: Screw the fact that the study is appearing in one of the most respected peer-reviewed magazines in the world. Screw the fact that the study was produced by academics from several of the world's most respected universities (Oxford, Cambridge, University College London). It'll look bad for the Tories, and it'll look bad for us because we've allowed all of their economically illiterate austerity dogma to go unchallenged all these years, so let's just keep this from the public.

The BBC didn't count on the growing influence of independent media. They didn't count on the fact that their efforts to bury the story created ideal "what the BBC don't want you to know" clickbait headlines. They didn't count on independent media digging into the details of the dodgy "independent" advisory group that the BBC claim advised them to provide no coverage of the story whatever to find that they're bankrolled by the pro-Tory Daily Mail and the British government themselves!

The story flared up from "people are dying because of Tory austerity dogma" into the much bigger and more sinister story that "people are dying because of Tory austerity dogma and the BBC are deliberately hiding the fact from the public".

Perhaps executives at the BBC didn't realise how much damage they've done to their own reputation with a cover-up like this? Perhaps they didn't realise that huge numbers of people are absolutely disgusted that they decided to act more like PR agents for the Tory party than an impartial public service broadcaster? Perhaps they've just forgotten about the controversy over their deliberate news blackout on the BMJ study?

Well it certainly seems like they've just forgotten, because the British Medical Journal are suddenly back in fashion at the BBC thanks to an (actually rather interesting) article about the increasing size of wineglasses in the UK over the Centuries.

I have my doubts that the BBC subjected the BMJ wine glass study to the same critique as the BMJ deadly austerity study the month before in order to check for caveats and possible misunderstandings with the possibility of spiking the story completely, but then the wine glass story doesn't paint a damning picture of the Tory government or the mainstream media hacks who have abjectly failed to hold them to account, so why on earth would they?

As interesting as the wineglass story is, it's clearly an absolutely damning indictment of the BBC that they think that there's somehow of more public interest in wine glass sizes than a study linking the deaths of 3,000 people per month for five punishing years with the hard-right Tory austerity dogma they've continually championed on the BBC.



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