Unknown story behind BNP’s leader on BBC Question Time
Nick Griffin defeated 42,000 postal strikers today, making the top story on all major media outlets in UK. BBC News followed Nick Griffin’s appearance on BBC Question Time since morning, updating the story throughout its various news programs, and went on live when hundreds of people gathered at the entrance to BBC building this afternoon to protest Mr. Griffin’s appearance.
Some say it is an “early Christmas present” for Mr. Griffin’s BNP party, but I say it is a “victory of BBC’s PR campaign”. Let me explain it.
Since the Daily Telegraph digged out MPs’ expenses scandal this May, the story has dominated not only the political agenda but also gossip topics. BBC takes tax payers’ money, but they fail to speak for them.
Below is a short list of government scandals in the past three years. (via Wikipedia)
- In March 2006, Labour party Cash for Peerages.
- In November 2007, £400,000 from one person to Labour Party.
- In January 2008, Peter Hain’s donation.
- Derek Conway (2008), reclaimed salaries to his two sons.
- Cash for Influence (2009), 4 Labour Party on influencing legislation and charging consultancy fees.
- Smeargate, April 2009, Labour government tarnishing several Conservative MPs careers.
- MPs’ expenses scandal.
Money for Honors and Cash for Influence scandals were revealled by the Sunday Times; the high-profile MPs’ Expenses scandal was attributable to the Daily Telegraph; and the exposure of the others, based on a quick research, had nothing to do with BBC.
Isn’t that ironic? Once a mouth for people, BBC is now losing its creditability as watchdog of the government policies. They got to do something!
Then came Mr. Nick Griffin, a controvertial figure for his racial discrimination against minority groups in UK.
Here’s what I think might have happend. Possibly Nick approached BBC asking for a chance to speak (, or BBC approached Nick first, most likely indirectly). BBC could have rejected him without any excuse, or they could have come up with any excuses to deny him, but given it a second thought, one member of BBC senior management or its PR guy, realized that this could be a good opportunity for BBC to recover its lost voice in the public agenda.
Then what about risks, like being criticised for offering platform for a Nazi fascist? BBC might be well aware of that, but it was the risk they had to take.
Over the past couple of weeks, MPs’ expenses scandal and nation-wide postal strike have given way to BBC and Nick, paticulary on Thursday, 22 October when Nick went to BBC for Question Time.
Despite the fairness and impartiality BBC reiterated for bringing Mr. Griffin to its programme, BBC knew it quite well that they had to “hammer” Nick and disgrace him in front of the public. That’s why tonight’s Question Time spent over 20 minutes on one single question, Mr. Griffin’s racism.
That was the tricky part, or the clever part. David Jeremmy, the host of Question Time, understood that he must give the audience the opportunity to “attack” Mr. Griffin. In other words, the public need a way to release their anger.
In the following program, although not directly targeting Nick, questions were still related to BNP. In a nutshell, it was not BBC Question Time, but BNP Question Time.
I would rather say that BBC provided a platform for people to express their disgust on Mr. Griffin instead of a platform for Mr. Griffin to talk to people.
The general impression after this program will probably be like this — oh, I saw that guy on BBC, he was so disgusting.
Will people still talk about the inappropriateness of BBC taking Nick Griffin on board tomrrow?
I guess not.
How many people watched the Question Time on 22 Oct?
I guess many.