When Radicals Collide
Meanwhile, in the Arts...

Elsewhere (42)

Janet Daley ponders media hegemonies:

It was a broadcasters’ event some years ago. I had been invited to speak on a favourite subject: the BBC hegemony in broadcast news and the risk that its own package of tendentious assumptions – that Euroscepticism was a lunatic fringe irrelevance, that anyone who expressed concern about immigration was a bigot, etc – was going unchallenged in the mass media. After I had said my piece, a BBC producer in the audience asked whether, since I was so concerned about the dangers of large media organisations, I did not have the same objection to the existence of the “Murdoch empire.”

“No-o-o,” I replied patiently, I did not have the same objection. If I did not wish to support Mr Murdoch’s enterprises I could refrain from buying his newspapers or subscribing to his television service – and no one could threaten me with arrest and imprisonment for so doing. This was, I suggested, a rather significant difference between the two media corporations.

Tim Blair shows us why,

It’s always a good thing when politicians become involved in the workings of the free press.

And Heresy Corner basks in the radiance of Sunny Hundal, a titan among men:

The Liberal Conspiracy supremo is agonising - agonising, I tell you - over his tactics. Should he mobilise his online army and - gulp - declare a boycott of the Sun? People have been urging such a decisive course of action. “Several readers,” he notes, “keep asking when the boycott of the Sun newspaper or the whole of News International will take place.” But like any good general, Sunny knows that timing is everything: “Look, I’m not fan of the Sun newspaper by any stretch of the imagination, but this isn’t going to happen any time soon. If we do strike, it would have to be at the right time. That isn’t to say a group of us haven’t discussed this already. The problem is, for a boycott to work would require a big scandal that motivates lots of people outside the usual suspects.”

Because if a handful of people who don’t buy the Sun anyway declare that henceforward they’re not going to buy the Sun, the effect on News International’s global domination might be less than catastrophic, however psychologically satisfying.

Regular readers will be familiar with Mr Hundal, who in 2009 announced his “hard-line stance on environmental issues” along with his support for Plane Stupid, an activist group who “occupy” airport runways, stranding thousands of passengers, and who denounce air travel as “mostly unnecessary.” “Honestly,” said Mr Hundal, “I love these guys.” Though perhaps not as much as he loved flying halfway around the planet, twice, to India then California, weeks before declaring his eco-radical credentials. Readers may also recall Sunny’s admiration  for John Pilger, whom he hailed as a “voice of conscience” for the left. Albeit one who described American and Australian troops as “legitimate targets” and who predicted a NeoCon attack on China “within a decade.”

As usual, feel free to add your own.