What is the BBC really trying to prove?

First of all, I would like to point out that I am writing this article  predominantly from my own standpoint as a christian man. But even if i was a non believer, it doesn’t take divine discernment to see the direction the BBC is going, in relation to christian ethics.  Take the appointment of muslim Aaqil Ahmed as head of religious programming, following the agnostic Alan Bookbinder who was appointed in 2001.

Mr Ahmed’s previous commissions for Channel Four included the  two-part series ‘The Cult of the Suicide Bomber’, the two-hour documentary ‘The Qur’an’ and the  series ‘Priest Idol’ and ‘Make me a Muslim’. He was moved to the BBC after Roman Catholic priests raised the issue that his Channel Four documentaries appeared to contain a pro-Islam bias and failed to give enough attention and respect to Christianity.
 Let us take the BBC’s recent program The Bible’s Buried Secrets, with arrogant ,posturing presenter Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou. The self acclaimed atheist and lecturer in religion at the University of Exeter.  In a nutshell, this personal vehicle of the good Dr’s, to not only rubbish the biblical account of king David, but also to discredit the bibles teachings as a whole were little short of  exasperating. The constant reminders of her own academic expertise, her constant rebuttals of other guest specialists in their fields archaeologists, theologians, historians etc, and her reminders to camera, that, as “an academic expert in such matters” only her viewpoint was valid. The program provided no rounded viewpoint, and was plainly biased .

       Next, let us examine the BBC program Terry Pratchett : Choosing to die.
BBC2’s Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die shows the Discworld author at the Swiss Dignitas Clinic with a motor neurone disease sufferer known only as Peter, 71.  The BBC stands accused of being ‘a cheerleader for assisted suicide’ after filming a man killing himself at the notorious Dignitas clinic for a controversial documentary.  Sir Terry Pratchett, himself a sufferer of rare early onset Alzheimer’s, has once more obtained the BBC’s backing and funding for this personal  sounding board on assisted suicide. In the documentary, already filmed, we will see Sir Terry remain at the 71-year-old’s bedside until he succumbs to the cocktail of drugs he has taken to end his life.
Screening the moment of a suicide victim’s death is a first for terrestrial television. The programme is due to be broadcast on BBC2 this summer, a move condemned by campaigners, politicians, medical professionals and religious leaders.
They accused the corporation of being unethical, promoting assisted death and euthanasia, and disregarding the sanctity of life. Dr Peter Saunders, director of charity Care Not Killing, said: ‘The BBC is acting like a cheerleader for legalizing assisted suicide.  ‘It is regrettable that a man’s death will be shown on-screen but we are also concerned that this documentary will not be balanced.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Froggy
    Apr 16, 2011 @ 15:26:01

    Seems reasonable to appoint a Muslim as the head of religious programming, Muslims seem to be the main people who care about religion these days in Britain and the BBC is supposed to reflect the opinions of its viewers. Religious programming on the BBC is simply about fulfilling its public service remit, they have a contractual obligation to produce many of these shows, just as they are contractually obliged to produce shows about the regions and other frightful places outside London. These are much more business decisions than moral or cultural ones.

    I was thinking of watching that bibble history program, I seem to never remember to watch things on the tellybox these days. These kinds of programs seem to suffer from “major new series” syndromes, lots of hype and precious little detail, lots of jetting to exotic locations only to point at a building and say “the jebusites disagreed with the canaanites”. These kinds of programs though I think are best as a personal vehicle, if they tried to be totally balanced you would end up with a mess of competing opinions and lose track of learning or discovering anything. Much better to have one clearly biased documentary after the other presenting different views of the same thing.

    I certainly won’t be bothered if I miss a program about some old guy dying, well unless it is a fight to the death with Terry Pratchett, that would be cool. But alas it will be mopey depressing, and in the public interest, i.e. intrusive and sensational. I saw something about Dignitas once, they like to make ending your life in Switzerland sound restful, beautiful and fulfilling, but you don’t get to expire on a rolling Swiss hillside with a view of the alps, you get to poison yourself in a dreary Zürich apartment and then your corpse annoys the neighbours as they struggle down with you in the lift. I think I will take the charity parachute jump option myself, with glitter and paper cranes packed instead.


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