There were two interesting points to emerge from the debate about the Disasters Emergency Committee broadcast.
The first was barely noticed because the Left was so obsessed with the BBC that it had nothing to say about Sky’s refusal to broadcast the appeal. Sky’s decision split the news organizations between the BBC and Sky, on the one hand, and ITV, Channel 4 and Five on the other. Looked at this way, there were two big international players expressing caution against three networks who no one takes seriously any more on any level. ITN used to be a world player. No longer. Messed around by ITV executives for a generation it has lost its mass audience in this country. On Channel 4 it has had a different problem, equally damaging to its credibility. It has become predictable in its left-wing bias. Jon Snow has become a parody of himself, shouting at Israeli politicians, hectoring and self-righteous. Sky, by contrast, has had a good war in Gaza, just as it did well covering the economic crash last autumn. It has won numerous awards in recent years, including a Bafta for News Coverage for reporting of the Glasgow bombings in April 2008 and has won News Channel of the Year for the sixth year out of seven at the Royal Television society awards. It has joined the BBC, displacing ITN as the second major TV news organization in this country.
The second point was more substantial. Were BBC and Sky right not to show the charity broadcast? Now that we have seen the broadcast, it is clear that both were right and for the reason they gave. News organizations like the BBC and Sky are not just answerable to their domestic audience. They are seen all around the world. In countries where there is no neutral or impartial news organization, people concerned with the truth have to find someone they can rely on for clear and impartial information, for making precisely the kind sof distinctions that the British Left is no longer capable of.
An alliance of clerics, charity workers, backbench Labour MPs, Leftwing journalists and newspapers had a field day attacking the BBC. One Labour MP insisted there was no distinction between Gaza and Darfur or Congo.It is true that in…