Monday, 25 October 2010

Is This The Kind of Journalism That You Speak About Mister Marr?

This is the concluding half of an article by Jon Pilger entitled The BBC is on Murdoch's side. Posted here because I don't want to knock this post (of the last hour) off the front page.

It would appear Journalist, John Pilger is less than little impressed with your hackery Mister Marr.

Blair was embraced by the new BBC corporate class, which regards itself as meretorious and non-ideological: the natural leaders in a managerial Britain in which class is unspoken. Few did more to enunciate Blair’s “vision” than Andrew Marr, then a leading newspaper journalist and today the BBC’s ubiquitous voice of middle-class Britain. Just as Murdoch’s Sun declared in 1995 it shared the rising Blair’s “high moral values” so Marr, writing the Observer in 1999, lauded the new prime minister’s “substantial moral courage” and the “clear distinction in his mind between prudently protecting his power base and rashly using his power for high moral purpose”. What impressed Marr was Blair’s “utter lack of cynicism” along with his bombing of Yugoslavia which would “save lives”.

By March 2003, Marr was the BBC’s political editor. Standing in Downing Street on the night of the “shock and awe” assault on Iraq, he rejoiced at the vindication of Blair who, he said, had promised “to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right” and as a result “tonight he stands as a larger man”. In fact, the criminal conquest of Iraq smashed a society, killing up to a million people, driving four million from their homes, contaminating cities like Fallujah with cancer-causing poisons and leaving a majority of young children malnourished in a country once described by Unicef as a “model”.

So it was entirely appropriate that Blair, in hawking his self-serving book, should select Marr for his “exclusive TV interview” on the BBC. The headline across the Observer’s review of the interview read, “Look who’s having the last laugh.” Beneath this was a picture of a beaming Blair sharing a laugh with Marr.

The interview produced not a single challenge that stopped Blair in his precocious, mendacious tracks. He was allowed to say that “absolutely clearly and unequivocally, the reason for toppling [Saddam Hussein] was his breach of resolutions over WMD, right?” No, wrong. A wealth of evidence, not least the infamous Downing Street Memo, makes clear that Blair secretly colluded with George W Bush to attack Iraq. This was not mentioned. At no point did Marr say to him, “You failed to persuade the UN Security Council to go along with the invasion. You and Bush went alone. Most of the world was outraged. Weren’t you aware that you were about to commit a monumental war crime?”

Instead, Blair used the convivial encounter to deceive, yet again, even to promote an attack on Iran, an outrage. Murdoch’s Fox would have differed in style only. The British public deserves better.

John Pilger homepage, have a wander through the site there is a wealth of stuff to be found there.