Jeff Jarvis is consulting the BBC, and is excited over the Beeb’s claims that it wants to “reinvent” itself. Here is what I said to Jeff:
Jeff, the point is that the BBC doesn’t want to ‘reinvent’ the very worst element of itself: the funding via shakedown of Joe Public. We’re not talking about a situation where a small percentage of the income tax or sales tax a person pays over a year is diverted to the BBC. One cannot own a radio or television without paying a ‘protection fee’ – Mafia-style – to the BBC. Don’t pay? You get a huge fine, and if you don’t or can’t pay it, you are thrown in prison.
The BBC is not going to ‘reinvent’ the threat of violence under which they operate. It’s not even a remote possibility. Ask some of your contacts there what the odds are, and I assure you they’ll laugh in your face.
The facts are inconvenient and chilling, but they are facts. Isn’t that what journalism is supposed to be about?
I really do not understand how people – not just Jeff, because there are a hell of a lot of them – who would be outraged over being shaken down by corporate interests can be so qualm-free about being shaken down by politicians and bureaucrats. Then again, these are often the same people who fully realise how incompetent and corrupt politicians and bureaucrats are, yet want to give them more and more responsibility for running a big chunk of our lives (healthcare, education, you name it). Cognitive dissonance, anyone?