Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Blind Items Revealed #14 - Reader Blind

March 14, 2023

The foreign public broadcaster you all know, is embroiled in yet another controversy. Several of their top personalities have walked out in protest over the suspension of a colleague (a former athlete who is A+ list in this country) over a tweet the broadcaster felt was too politically biased. Aside from the usual issues of free speech, the controversy is newsworthy for other reasons. Officially, employees of the corporation are asked to stay out of political matters on social media, even when posting on a personal level. This is not the first time the presenter, has criticized the political party in question, but it is the first time that he has been reprimanded for it. He is the highest paid personality at the company, and lower ranked employees have been reprimanded immediately for relatively minor breaches of the policy. The presenter is also a freelancer and not an official employee, which has led people to ask whether or not he should be bound by company policy. Meanwhile, the network has several people closely involved with the Party, as actual employees up to and including the board of directors.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. It's important to realize that the Party, is in power in the country at the moment, and even though the government directly funds the broadcaster it has historically stayed out of influencing its content. Not so much with this government. The influence which the Party, through its operatives working for the network, excises over the content of programming, is starting to come to light. The permanent A+ list documentary maker had one of his programs earmarked for TV, moved to streaming as the Party thought it had too much slant toward the other side of the aisle. Not even fictional programs are safe from the Party's meddling. A year or so ago, the broadcaster passed on a writer's pitch because the protagonist was a transgender woman. The director of programming liked the plot and was ready to greenlight it, but the Party intervened as they felt the subject to be too divisive even though the main character's gender transition was only an incidental feature of the story. The Party has also told writers to avoid "too much focus" on topics such as discrimination in plotlines, even though writers want to cover these topics as they're relevant to many people in the country and outside it. But it remains unlikely the people who want the government to defund the network will succeed. They didn't when the pedophile scandal was uncovered at the same broadcaster a few years back, even though (or because) the leader of the Party and government for most of the period the most serious offenders were employed, had a hand in helping to cover things up.

BBC/Gary Lineker/UK Conservative Party/David Attenborough/Margaret Thatcher

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