In the National today, Stuart Cosgrove repeats the same kind of indignant protest we see over and over again from Yes-supporting mainstream media-insiders. He writes:
There are many hundreds of Yes supporters working within BBC Scotland and to categorise the organisation as a stooge of London is to misrepresent a much more complicated reality.’
Leaving aside his typically journalistic willingness to represent his gut-based guesswork on how many Yes-supporters there are in Pacific Quay, as fact, the rest of this statement is a classic of the type so commonly used to misunderstand and to confuse the nature of propaganda. Independence-supporting editors at the Sunday Herald and even at Newsnet.scot have tried to portray me as a simple conspiracy theorist before and to characterise clear propagandists at the BBC as rare ‘bad apples.’ Even George Monbiot tried to do the same to Chomsky when the latter reminded him that in the end, he (Monbiot) was inside the corporation-controlled bubble that is mainstream media.
You see, I’ve said over and over before that BBC Scotland is not home to a cabal of scheming cauldron-circlers but that bias FOR the status quo emerges naturally from it. Starting with an organisation recently headed up by Labour-party Unionist insiders, openly anti-independence, such as John Boothman and Kirsty Wark and perpetuated by Sarah Smith, a hostile environment toward any reporting supportive of the cause, the SNP, the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland and so on, has developed. The evidence for this is everywhere. Readers need only search this blog for ‘bias’ or, indeed, for ‘NHS.’
Into this environment have come new staff who, wishing to get on, learn quickly what to write and how to write it. No one need tell them what to do and, soon, it seems the right thing to do, the natural thing to do.
Making the above go smoothly, the new entrants arrive already socialised from homes saturated with the messages that constitutional change is risky and that we are better together, from broadcast media and the thoughts of parents indoctrinated in schools with British imperial history classes. The latter has become less so in recent years. If they come from one of Scotland’s ancient universities, there is also a good chance that they have had a heavy dose of Atlanticism and of positive views on the status quo in the UK.
Finally, to return to the fact that there may be a number of yes-supporting folk within BBC Scotland (I doubt ‘hundreds’), the output of the two news programmes that matter, Reporting Scotland and Good Morning Scotland, suggests they’re damn few or they’re keepin’ their heids doon. Can Stuart name an editor at either of these two prepared to come out?