Much criticism has been voiced, and rightly so, of the BBC's wretched coverage of the Diamond Jubilee, which plumbed odious depths at times insulting both to the Queen and to the viewing public. True to its penchant for leftist causes, as reported here, it insisted on giving airtime, and far too much of it given the circumstances, to a rather marginal but publicity-seeking bunch of republican activists and their bitter-sounding leader (who was last year accorded the rare if not unique privilege – the late Stephen Sugar, who fought so hard but so vainly to force the BBC to release the Balen Report should have been so lucky – a guest blog on its College of Journalism website).
Among the many critics of the BBC's coverage is Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle (which devotes much of its current issue to the theme of Anglo-Jewry and the monarchy through the ages) , writing in the Daily Telegraph.
The BBC, once a watchword for accuracy and reliability, made gaffes of all kinds, as the Daily Mail notes. Inter alia, these included such slapdash assertions as: the Queen's Coronation occurred in 1952 (the year was, of course, 1953), that Prince Philip is 92 (he is 90), and that the Duchess of Cambridge's headgear was made by the firm of hatters that made "Nelson's hat for Waterloo".
Inevitably, the BBC's heavies are defending their coverage. Indeed, despite the slew of complaints they have received, some are defiantly proud of it. These include Mark Damazer, now Master of St Peter's College,Oxford, but formerly deputy director of BBC News and then controller of BBC Radio 4:
"All that went wrong was a conscious attempt to make the whole event informal and inclusive and warm.
The BBC is worried and nervous about being seen as too formal and stiff."The BBC needs to worry more about its reputation, now so badly dented as a result of its egregious dumbing down and political bias, its badly backfired attempt at times over the long Jubilee weekend to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and about its responsibility to lay accurate and impartial facts before the public. Not least regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict.