Melanie Phillips: in her own little world

Melanie Phillips. Mad Mel. Someone who I recall was once memorably described on Twitter as ‘batshit, faeces up the wall insane’. It says something that even in the reality vacuum, outrage baiting world of Daily Mail columnists, Melanie Phillips can still pull out a column so deranged that you have to re-read its title over-and-over whilst punching yourself in the face just to make sure your eyes are not deceiving you. Today she gets stuck into the Phone Hacking scandal with her own unique perspective: ‘If Miliband is such a hero, why won’t he tackle the REAL threat to our way of life – the BBC?’.

Seriously. ‘If Miliband is such a hero, why won’t he tackle the REAL threat to our way of life – the BBC?’.

And why, you might reasonably ask is the BBC a ‘threat to our way of life’ (whatever Phillips’ might mean by ‘our’)? Well, because the BBC:

is a media oligarchy which exercises far more power in Britain than News International…

The BBC’s monopoly over the media is indeed a running scandal. After all, just imagine if News International had been given the legal power to levy a tax on everyone who bought a newspaper in order to fund the Murdoch empire.

So, ignoring the fact that the News of the World has closed down after constant allegations / revelations over phone-hacking, police corruption and political collusion / blind-eye-turning at the highest level we should ignore all of that – and the wider role of News International in creating a culture in which this is all fine – and instead focus on media monopolies as if this is what the story is really about. Even for Melanie Phillips this is stretching credibility beyond breaking point.

She continues:

Indeed, since it is a direct competitor of BSkyB, the disproportion and relish with which the BBC has been reporting the News of the World scandal — allowing it on some current affairs shows to drive out all other news — leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. Moreover, the BBC’s role in all this is even more questionable when you factor in the real reason for Miliband’s double standard.

For his motives surely have precious little to do with any criminal behaviour or monopoly power. No, the real reason is that for the past three decades the Left has been desperate to bring Murdoch down.

For such people, he is a hate figure of diabolical proportions. The venom and hysteria he inspires are truly irrational.

Isn’t it strange to read this version of history about ‘the left’ when I seem to recall Murdoch switching allegiance to Labour when it was clear the Tories were finished in 1997 and Murdoch and Tony Blair having a very cosy relationship. I don’t recall any politician of substance (perhaps because there are so few of them) trying to take down Murdoch or even discuss it. It seems Melanie is just making stuff up to fit her warped world view in which the BBC are the Labour party or more generally ‘the left’ simply because they don’t take the same frothing right-wing editorial line as the Daily Mail or indeed they don’t subscribe to Phillips’ fantasy version of Britain. From what i’ve read – and I could of course be wrong – the real darkness of this scandal is that almost every politician irrespective of party has been either in bed with News International or to fearful to ever question it and that has led to the current situation.

Phillips continues – in an extremely influential right-wing newspaper that holds – in the words of Nick Davies – ‘outstanding political influence’:

Murdoch’s real crime in the eyes of the Left-wing intelligentsia is simply that he has stood in the way of their total capture of the culture.

The dominance of Left-wing ideas has been such that even among so-called conservatives, many of them have become accepted as mainstream. And one of the most powerful architects of that shift has been the BBC.

Yes, the Left-wing and their cultural dominance. That cultural dominance so widely-expressed through the Guardian and the Daily Mirror and… well, that’s it. It always amuses me when the overwhelmingly right-wing press claims to be the victim of some kind of left-wing, liberal conspiracy to stop them getting their own way. As far as I can determine the only mass of people capable of stopping right-wing ideas gaining complete dominance is the public. As much as it would pain Phillips to admit, the reality is that (shock horror) her ideas are only supported by a minority of blinkered Daily Mail readers. It isn’t a left-wing liberal elite that is preventing her ideas from spreading, but the fact that her ideas are so utterly repellent and stupid that the public as a whole just ignore her.

She finally does get to the point about why the BBC is the ‘real threat to our way of life’:

the BBC’s output rests upon certain articles of faith.

For example, traditional Christians are all fundamentalist bigots; the science of man-made global warming is settled; opponents of mass immigration are racist; Eurosceptics are swivel-eyed fanatics; and all who oppose these opinions and more are Right-wing extremists.

And then to add insult to injury, the BBC forces people to pay for the privilege of being told day in, day out that their own views are stupid or prejudiced.

So, in short, because the BBC has a different opinion to her (even if it is based on science or facts etc) it is a threat to ‘our’ way of life (by which she really means ‘her view of the world’). Wonderful stuff indeed. It really puts the Daily Mail into sharp perspective when you consider it sees fit to pay Melanie Phillips a wage for writing this moronic, self-indulgent drivel.

If you want the full ‘glory’ of the article, you can read it here via istyosty.com.

30 thoughts on “Melanie Phillips: in her own little world”

  1. The biggest problem the BBC has is the pressure created by those for whom a public broadcaster is a threat and the Murdoch press have not let up on their campaign to paint the BBC as biased during this whole scandal. The BBC was once a bastion of journalistic standards but various governments have put them under so much pressure to prove that they aren’t biased against the right that they have squandered that reputation bending over backwards to try and disprove the allegations. But nothing they could do would satisfy, because it does not serve the interests of the wealthy elite to have a public broadcaster with teeth.

    I hope that one of the outcomes of this scandal is that the BBC’s role in keeping press & politicians honest is recognised and revived.

  2. “And then to add insult to injury, the BBC forces people to pay for the privilege of being told day in, day out that their own views are stupid or prejudiced.”

    Well, no. I’m ‘forced’ to pay for the BBC in order to get top-notch drama like The Night Watch last week, and plenty more forthcoming according to trailers. Terrific science and nature documentaries. And Dr Who. Where would we be without Dr Who? Or more particularly, where would Dr Who be if it was down to the commercial channels?

    I’m not forced to watch the news, in fact I rarely do. Occasionally Newsnight and sometimes Andrew Marr on a Sunday morning.

    But I have often heard complaints about the Beeb’s pro-government, pro-establishment, pro-Israel, anti-union, anti-left wing bias. Which is interesting considering some consider it has a left-wing bias.

  3. HA! The BBC Monopoly on media? The Daily Fail likes to tell us how their paper outsells all others at every turn but when it suits them they become the poor little victims bravely speaking out against the powers that seek to silence them. Piss off Mail. All this misdirection and finger pointing is so obviously a smoke screen to cover all the sinister shit they have been getting up to for years. I give it a week before the Mail are implicated deeply in this scandal.

  4. Apparently we’re all just overreacting to a story involving dodgy right wing press/senior police/senior politicians. This from the paper that nearly had a fucking seizure when 2 blokes at the BBC made a prank phone call and swore on the radio.

    Mel’s article does take the Mail’s diversionary tactics to new levels though.

  5. Yes, the BBC is so grossly biased towards left wing views that it won’t even let Mad Mel have a place on the Question Time panel… oh hang on.

  6. Also:

    “the BBC’s output rests upon certain articles of faith. For example, traditional Christians are all fundamentalist bigots”

    Blimey, Songs of Praise must’ve changed since I last saw it.

  7. Poor Mel. It must be horrible to live your life in constant hopeless terror at the prospect of the world becoming a better place.

  8. “the BBC forces people to pay for the privilege of being told day in, day out that their own views are stupid or prejudiced.”

    Rather this (even if the point weren’t suspect) than paying for the privilege of being spoon-fed Philips’ malicious, dishonest drivel.

  9. “the BBC’s output rests upon certain articles of faith. For example, traditional Christians are all fundamentalist bigots”
    Yup and they give them a slot on the Today programme every day (them and a Moslem and a Sikh and the Chief Rabbi and John Bell from Iona)

  10. I hope MadMel declared an interest – that hubby Joshua Rozenberg is the BBC’s sometime legal correspondent

  11. This wouldn’t be the “media oligarchy” that regularly employs one Melanie Phillips on the Moral Maze would it?

    And when accusing the BBC of telling people “day in, day out that their own views are stupid or prejudiced” this wouldn’t be the Melanie Phillips who insulted a contributor on a recent programme by asking whether she understood the meaning of “hypothesis” and generally behaved in a “rude, ignorant and extremely unprofessional” manner (as quoted on the following week’s Feedback)?

  12. “After all, just imagine if News International had been given the legal power to levy a tax on everyone who bought a newspaper in order to fund the Murdoch empire.”

    what, like a fee of some kind, without which access to said media – be it in print form or online – would be blocked? yes, perish the thought.

  13. “It always amuses me when the overwhelmingly right-wing press claims to be the victim of some kind of left-wing, liberal conspiracy to stop them getting their own way.”

    It used to amuse me too. But now, after having heard it repeated and regurgitated ad nauseam, it just makes me sad and angry.

  14. “This from the paper that nearly had a fucking seizure when 2 blokes at the BBC made a prank phone call and swore on the radio.”

    Then the seizure they had when the director generals expenses where published and it was revealed that he had charted a private plane to return from holiday, so that he could deal with the fallout of the Ross/Brand pank call, as the ‘Mail’ had demanded.

  15. Actually, I can see Mel’s point. Not really. I know we should empathise with people who hold different political points to our own, at least as a means of developining a critical response, but Mel lives on a different planet. One untroubled by small things like fact, perspective, or judgement.

  16. To be fair to Mad Mel, the BBC does employ such eminent Trotskyites as Jeremy Clarkson, Michael Portillo and Nick Robinson…

  17. Yeah but we should get rid of the licence fee. I don’t see why I or anyone else should be forced by law to pay to keep a corperation is buisness.
    It amazes me that liberals defend this system but as a liberal I don’t see how forcing people buy way of threat of prosecution to pay for a mutli billion pound corperation is very liberal at all.
    And I’ve always noticed that the biggest defenders of the licence fee are rich.

  18. I’m just waiting for the day she spontaneously combusts from righteous anger. It can’t be far away…

  19. @Dan Factor
    I could be wrong but if you can prove your receiving equipment has been modified so that it cannot receive BBC broadcasts you are exempt from licence fee thus making it not compulsory.
    I think I remember a case years ago were a bloke doctored his TV so he could only pick up commercial TV channels and therefore could forgo paying licence. Either that or I dreamt it.

  20. @ Angry Mob.
    This blog keeps getting better and better. It’s a daily ritual now. Well done mate.

  21. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken a look at the BiasedBBC blog but they spout this sort of victim drivel 24/7.

    I can’t remember who or where I saw it but there was a comment recently that you can’t win with the right wing purely because they label any news that doesn’t pander to or reinforce their right wing views as ‘Liberal media propaganda’

  22. @Hanannibal

    You are quite correct, I have at least one group of friends whose tv equipment does not pick up any broadcasts and therefore do not pay a licence fee. Their choice.

  23. Interesting that Fruitloop Philips’ supporters seem to be as madly paranoid as she is. The comments on her article are in the main highly critical and the those comments are getting huge numbers of green arrows. Personally I am happy to attribute this mainly to the fact that even most DM readers have a certain “BS threshold” which cannot be exceeded.

    But the few comments from her supporters (with loads of red arrows) attribute this state of affairs to a left wing/BBC/NUJ/public sector conspiracy – in fact they have more to say about this than what’s in the actual article. It’s almost as though Mel has set up multiple user accounts and is commenting on her own article……

  24. I know I am late responding to this, especially as you probably won’t have a chance to mod it until you return from holiday, but I wanted to say that it seems to me Melanie Phillips is trying to goad the BBC into dropping her from her regular slots on QT and Moral Maze, and possibly firing her husband as well, just so that she can complain about the liberal elite suppressing any opinion that dares to question the dominant left wing orthodoxy. I cannot imagine any other business relationship in which an employee or contractor could get away with flagrantly slagging off one of their biggest clients. If Mad Mel’s conspiracy theories had any footing in reality, the lizard-skinned aliens who control the BBC wouldn’t keep inviting her back would they? What does she have to do to become a martyr? Climb over the desk and behead David Dimbleby?

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