Is it the BBC, or is it Me? 262

I love sport, and I have been watching the World Athletics Championships. This has left me genuinely uncertain. Has BBC sports coverage always been this harshly, stridently British nationalist, and do I just notice it now as my own sensibility has changed? Or has there genuinely been a shift away from any pretence of impartiality?

Apart from analysis focusing almost entirely on the prospects of the British contender in the sport in question, we have witnessed countless field events where numerous throws and jumps of other contestants are not broadcast at all, in favour of shots of the British athlete in the event warming up, zipping their tracksuit or chatting with their coach. Other competitors’ efforts are only of interest in relation to their potential to affect the position of the British athlete, with the exception of a very few major celebrities.

It is not treated as a sporting event so much as a nationalist propaganda event. I find it repulsive to the extent that I found myself being quite pleased that “Team GB” has so far been pathetic, and each athlete the BBC hypes, proceeds immediately to fall on their arse.

I have now discovered that Eurosport, even with the English commentary, is covering the games in a much more sensible manner.

I noticed at Wimbledon what seems to be a related phenomenon. Support for the underdog appears to have disappeared. The crowd were boorish and completely one-eyed in their support for British players and for celebrities. When Gilles Muller defeated Nadal, some wonderful winning rallies by Muller at key moments were met by something short of polite applause. It was embarrassing to watch.

I do not recognise Brexit Britain as the country in which I was born and raised. The UK has become a nasty and mean-spirited place, and the sooner it is broken up the better.

262 thoughts on “Is it the BBC, or is it Me?

1 2 3 4 5
  • Hugh Barnard

    What I notice (as a spectator sport hater, I like to ‘do’ sport, not watch) is that ‘sport’ now dominates the BBC now. BBC2 culture are abandoned for people running around and snooker, there’s a ‘Sports Centre’ and extra specialist commentators for sport. BBC news has ‘Sportsday’ half an hour wasted, to compete with Sky. Meanwhile (and I live near the Olympic Park and consider the Olympics to have been a total waste of money) participation in ‘do’ sport is decreasing and people are getting steadily fatter. Fat is the traditional word for the politically correct obese.

    Lastly, of course, school playing fields have been sold off to build yuppie hutches and kids can’t play outside, too much traffic, so the unhealthly trends will persist and the BBC is contributing to the downward spiral. End of, I need to go and lie down now.

    • George

      Right on, HB. My theory is that sport has become a kind of “news polystyrene”. These awfully nice media people want to give the impression, but not the reality, of keeping us fully informed about serious events. This presents a problem. How to appear to be telling people things without really telling them. Answer: sport. It’s always going on and so you can have as much of it or as little of it as you need to pad out a news programme. Perfect.

  • conjunction

    It seems that Jerusalem blasts out over the loudspeakers every morning just before the start of play at the Test Match.


    • Dave Lawton


      And what is wrong with Jerusalem ? William Blake was one of Albion`s greatest anarchist`s.It seems it is you who is insecure.

      • philw

        The poem is great.
        The song, however, manages to turn the meaning of the poem completely on its head. It gives people visions of Jesus strolling happily round England (god’s country).
        Blakes rhetorical questions ( “And did those feet..?” “And was jerusalem…?”) – the answers to which are obviously “No”, are taken as statements of national pride.

        The song, in its stupid swirling self-satisfied sentimentality, represents the nadir of British jingoism.

        • Dave

          I think you’ll find the words of Jerusalem are the words of sexual liberation which is why the Church tried to ban it, but couldn’t because for some illogical reason it had became very popular, which I put down to English eccentricity, the same explanation for why “swing low” became the anthem for English rugby.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    ‘J’ noted (above) the difficulty of authenticating DPRK news items. But the DPRK News Service Twitter account is a barrel of laughs (sometimes intentionally). Trolls short of ideas should visit it at once.

    …Donald Trump said to speak for all sufferers of fallen arches and easily sprained ankles, in attacking lying US soldiers and sailors.

    …Idiotic Italian Stereotype Anthony Sacramucci fired as US Propaganda Minister due to being an Idiotic Italian Stereotype.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Just anticipating the BBC World’s coverage of a war with North Korea, claiming that the nasty Asians’ rhetoric made The Donald push the nuclear button.

    Experience and expensive education count for nothing in this looney world

    • Republicofscotland


      Yip I’ve got agree, Sky, and the BBC are fair pushing the war agenda with NK. The latest is that NK is threatening to nuke Guam.

      Although I don’t see Kim Jong Un,as a ideal leader, I understand why he wants nukes. Countries who do not possess WMD’s are in the eyes of the Great Satan fair game.

      We’re as close as we’ve ever been to attacking NK.

  • Republicofscotland

    Ignorant, or gullible more like, anyone who believes NK is developing nukes for aggression instead of defence is way off the mark.

    As I keep saying Kim Jong Un, is not the preferred head of state in many people’s eyes. However, a growing number of people are sick to the back teeth of the Great Satan stomping around the globe, like some sort of self declared world police, acting out in some cases their neferious foreign policies.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Anyone who refuses to consider that a surface-made quake by a US laser satellite or a Boeing X37-B could be falsely claimed to be a nuclear test has a closed mind.

  • Sue Kinder

    I love sport especially athletics but all the discussion and repeats of some of the well known names is putting me off. My young granddaughter wanted to watch the javelin as she’s a budding thrower but they keep going away from it – ditto other field sports. I hate the way they keep building up those expected to get a medal and interviewing them after the race even when they’re upset by losing.
    Yes the BBC is concentrating too much on its presenters and not on the athletes!

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Anyone who goes to the trouble of reading The Nuclear Express rant prepared for any incoming President, will learn that China is preparing itself or one of its surrogates, most likely North Korea, to destroy half of Manhattan with nuclear bombs, whose technology it has apparently completely stolen, and makes the case in its prose and chronology that it increasingly is the North’s regime.

    This is war mongering of an entirely new order,

  • philw

    Why do they hate us ???

    “The US firebombing of North Korea was so intense it even sickened Gen. McArthur. 630,000 tons of bombs, mostly napalm dropped by the US”

    Curtis LeMay, who wanted to nuke N Korea then, wrote “we killed off over a million Korean civilians and drove several million more from their homes”

    On Nagasaki Day, we could do worse than reflect on this.

  • joel

    Greenwald is one of the very few prominent journalists who attempts to tell the truth, no matter who it upsets. To approvingly post a mindless attack on him speaks volumes, sadly.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Since you are global thinker – then – I might be permitted to broach the global topic of the moment – North Korea – and ask you to post your informed insights into same.

    May I, from my simple perspective, make it alphabetically reduced to meme and the basics to open the debate:-

    A. The 1953 Armistice technically leaves the US and North Korea still at war ( and I recommend a little historical research on the devastation that was visited on the Koreans during that war).

    B. It is a point of reference from the Clinton administration – whether the US reneged on its then agreement with North Korea ( see article below).

    C. Since Saddam and Gadaffi were both taught lessons of what the absence of military ( nuclear) capability to retaliate/respond/ defend in a meaningful and effective way against a great power actually meant – then – the North Korean leadership is acting rationally. Additionally, the Chinese want a buffer zone maintained between US troops in South Korea versus the alternative of a closer US proximity and threat on its border compels its leadership not to want ‘regime change’ ( cf. while the US actively pursues same in North Korea and elsewhere on the planet – Saudi Arabia excluded – and I wonder why that great bastion of human rights is exempted from any US ire?).

    Why the US’s 1994 deal with North Korea failed – and what Trump can learn from it – see:

    Kim Jong-il and Bill Clinton looked to have done a deal to curb North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme for good. What went wrong?

    Easy as A,B,C – so – over to you Craig.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      What went wrong?

      The war mongers, who had to put up with Bill, were allowed to go completely over the top by GW, and gutless Obama just went along with them to the point that Snowden fled for his life,

  • Velofello

    Craig’s article starts with… “I love sport, and I have been watching the World Athletics Championship, has BBC sports coverage always been this harshly strident BritNat?

    Comments now are a discussion on North Korea’s nuclear capability! Did some of you mistake strident for Trident? You know that white elephant nuclear facility – better expression than deterrent – code controlled by Donald Trump that resides on the West coast of Scotland some 30 miles from our most populous area. And sigh, underwater armed drones are the next big thing, so who wants to be a Trident submariner?

    For those who prefer blood sports to nuclear annihilation games, just wait for Brexit.

    • Courtenay Barnett


      All part of the world we live in.

      Some of us relish sports, as in athletic games – while others just love ‘blood sports’.

      Always thought that Craig enjoyed having an open forum – whichever ‘game’ we are discussing.

      Lest you did not notice – IAAF world championships not yet over – so back on topic.


        • Ba'al Zevul

          @ Velo – Although I suspect you are a pedal cyclist, I will be as courteous as possible, and merely point out that, by common agreement and ancient tradition, you can go as off-topic as you like after Page 2 of the comments, as by then most of what can usefully be said on-topic has been said. Not that this need deter you from diverting us with your views on bloodsports. Which the BBC doesn’t cover adequately, IMO.

  • Ishmael

    What’s done can be undone. Questions on how, regarding implied ways to do that don’t seem to naturally follow to me.

    & Could make it worse.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Now “Mad Dog” Mattis, a successor of Robert Gates, has issued an ultimatum to North Korea to desist using threats or it will be destroyed.

    Some looney military!

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The last time an ultimatum was issued was by the Austro-Hungarian Empire which brought on WWi.

    This one could be more devastating. So much for those who thought Hillary was more dangerous then Trump. His administration is just a bunch of war mongers popping viagra pills.

  • Velofello

    @ Trowbridge H. Ford; i’m absolutely not proposing a “stay on topic” monitoring, just amused at the straying from the article’s subject, sport. Regards sport and athletics, I modestly, was a more than useful footballer, declined an invitation from a senior club. Why? Another story. Anyways in my late twenties encouraged by a couple of rugby playing friends I took up rugby, on the wing, “just stay behind the ball” was my coaching. I quickly learned that I was no athlete! In football you can choose where and when you receive the ball – I played mid-field, in rugby you must be in position.There is no hiding place, no rest period, in field athletics,nor rugby,nor boxing, nor tennis.Well done all who participate.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    I’m all for junking the USA system before it gets us all killed.

    Just listening to Senator Chris van Hollen, a Democrat, who is more bellicose than Trump and his people. He want America to put more pressure on China as if it hasn’t already hurt it with quakes, and make the sanctions of North Korea enforceable.

    Our so-called democracy should be scrapped, and replaced by some philosopher king.

  • giyane


    nothing like a bit of keyboard, nuclear, sabre-rattling to create the ideal mood for a display of open, animus bigotry.

    Speaking as a Russia/China-phile, and an admirer of Central communist banking, I’m amused that the West now has a huger spy ethos and nuclear madcowdisease than its erstwhile communist hate-targets. Inevitably by the process of osmosis you become what you hate.
    I’m not sure about ‘philosopher kings’ but a little less Bodhisatva kingly ease in Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un and a little more genuine respect and humility wouldn’t go amiss all round.

    Keep the hate for sport.

  • giyane

    Joining dots together and nuclear fusion are surely pretty much the same thing, aren’t they?
    Only joking, Oldtimer. Enjoy the rest of your day while we still have a planet to sit on.

  • Thereisalwaysone

    I recall many years ago a British athlete winning the 400 metres or possibly the 440 metres hurdles race in an Olympic final race. The exuberant commentator whent wild at the fact that a British Athlete had won the race. He named the first:British, he named the second, damned ‘Johnny Foriegner’ then came the classic, “who came third: who cares who came third-we have won.
    It was a British Athlete who had placed third. His wife wrote to the BBC to complain, but David Colman was kept employed for many years and nary an apology escaped his lip

  • Glasstone D.C.

    I knew the guy who got North Korea the light water reactors for their nukes, and accidentally made $200M for Rumsfeld’s sinecure A.B.B. Eager to please but not so smart. He was like the thickest Swiss Army Knife of tools – everybody used him for everything. Kim, Rumsfeld, even CIA agent A.Q. Khan used him. But then that is what passes for diplomats in the US.

    It looks too late for the nonaggression pact that Kerry offered when he had to:

    So in case you’re curious how big the chunks of rubble will be inside the beltway, knock yourself out:!

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

  • SA

    The BBC has now become the BPC, p standing for propaganda. The change happened during the second Iraq war and has become so institutionalised that it has crept to all aspects of the BBC. The tiny remaining objective programmes worth listening to on radio 4 are ‘Woman’s hour’ ‘You and yours’on and the marvellously intellectual programmes of Melvyn Bragg, some of the on extremely obscure but nevertheless fascinating subjects. There is of course also radio 3. Otherwise even the once reliable World service now spurts propaganda.

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      Even Women’s Hour sounded comfortably like the SCUM Manifesto , the last few times I heard on my car radio

    • reel guid

      Thanks for posting that Ros.

      Yes folks. Don’t stay away from beautiful Skye. Stay away from the bastard BBC.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Right, Ros, but not in the way you apparently think.

      Made up story by the US government just to make relations worse with Havana, as no evidence is supplied about the five diplomatic families affected.

      Reminds me of Washington making those alleged nuclear tests in North Korea since 2006.

      The bastards will stop at nothing.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          And I am an American, not a North Korean allegedly brain-washed by the regime, who volunteered to serve during the Korean War, and began to hate the American bastards afterwards because of their vicious treatment of the world.

          • Republicofscotland

            Jeez, well Trowbridge, I see there’s no point in pandering to your idiosyncrasies then.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Looks like fake news to me. It’s rather more likely that the US was using a whizzo subsonic/supersonic gadget to defeat the audio gear with which I have no difficulty believing the Cubans will have festooned every US site they could get at. Why the Cubans would wish to deafen US staff defeats me. Wholly counterproductive.

      There is another explanation. Consider the traditional cause of deafness, self-administered…

  • Stu

    The toxicity of the Tory Party is now so abhorrent that the waters are being tested for a new ‘centrist’ party to pull off a Macron style heist in the UK.

    This is a dirty trick which goes back to the 1930s with the Ramsay betrayal and establishment of the National Government and was repeated with the formation of the SDP by a Gang of Four laden with CIA pieces of silver.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Covered in some detail, con brio and with feeling, here:

      But we now have yet another division within Labour: between those who want to destroy it from within, with less risk to their career plans, and those brave souls who want to destroy it from outside and become bigger fish in a smaller pond. What does Jesus Tony say? Except ye believe on Me…?

      • Pyewacket

        Well in today’s papers he is admitting to being a Trot at Oxford for a short while in the 70’s….like a light coming on apparently ! Then he met Cherie….oh, how touching

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I think he’s trying to discredit Trots by association…interestingly he claims to have read Trotsky in the course of a single night, while in an earlier version (it’s rather old news rehashed, in fact) I believe he only admitted to having read a book about Trotsky. Mandelson was a member of the CP in his youth so his lust for Russian oligarchs is perhaps more explicable, incidentally.
          Cue – “I never dared be radical when young
          For fear I would be conservative when old”
          Robert Frost

          • Michael McNulty

            I read that in post-WWI Munich Joseph Goebbels was a communist. He said Hitler was a flash in the pan, then when he saw which way Germany was turning he decided he was a fascist. I think that info was in Shirer’s ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. A History of Nazi Germany’. (I only read the beginning, the Germanic content too much for me.)

          • philw

            “Mandelson was a member of the CP in his youth so his lust for Russian oligarchs is perhaps more explicable”

            This is just wrong in so many ways I feel queasy.

  • Mark DC

    So just the one medal in the end. And that went to a Somali-born tax exile living in the United States. What a dismal performance.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Now Washington has challenged Chinese authority by having the guided missile destroyer the USS John McCain sail within the waters of South China Sea Islands.

        How about a straight swap of Kim for The Donald?

        • Pyewacket

          THF: It is well known that Mr Trump plays quite a lot of Golf. Also, it has been alleged that Mr Kim achieved either 10 or 11 hole-in-ones in his first ever outing on the fairways & greens. The solution therefore seems obvious. A tournament between the two belligerents in a neutral country, as the home of Golf, surely Scotland would be a great venue. Gleneagles would be lovely at this time of year.

  • Sharp Ears

    Mrs C. BLiar, QC, has just appeared on BBC News discussing modern day slavery with the presenter Ben Brown, the latter infamous for his treatment of Jody McIntyre at the time of the student riots. Jody was thrown out of his wheelchair onto the ground by police. Brown was extremely rude about him.

    Contrast Brown’s somewhat obsequious interview with Cherie just now. Brown even gave her firm, Omnia Strategy, a plug.

    Tonight on Radio 4, Mr BLair is interviewed by Peter Hennesy.

    The Guardian give it a puff.

    Blair reveals he ‘toyed with Marxism’ after reading book on Trotsky
    Former prime minister tells BBC Radio 4 that learning about the Russian revolutionary was ‘like a light going on’
    10 August 2017
    Tony Blair has said that he “toyed with Marxism” as a young man after being inspired by a biography of Leon Trotsky that detailed “extraordinary causes and injustices”.

    • giyane

      The opposite of Blairism or Mayism even is not Marxism, but common sense.
      Blair signed up to a federal Europe. May signed out of any kind of Europe. Commonsense would have been not to have become a member of the EU unless it ceased to be a federal Europe, with a federal currency.

      People are not interested in delegating politics to a political class which refuses to serve their interests. They want someone to represent them so they can get on with life. If the political class , like the EU, or the Muslim Brotherhood, or self-serving revolving-door Blairites/Cameronites, dare ever to speak for us instead of listening to us, then we have to stop living life and put them straight.

      in this piece by Henry Kissinger I disagree with every single tenet of his argument. His vision which has created 30 years of continuous war against Islam, following decades of war against South America, North Korea, Vietnam, Africa , to mention but a few, is not a vision of commonsense. It is a childish attempt to place all the toys in the hands of a very small NWO clique.

      That’s not how the world works. if you are unable to carry the world with you by consent, based on the truth, you might retain a grip on power so long as your propagandists conceal the truth, but now that these neo-cons have been exposed as complete liars, most of us in our heart of hearts would like Kim Jong Un to sort them out. We’ll have to wait of course for China and Russia to do it in due course. But there is something deeply satisfactory about the POTUS’ pout”WTF’s this crazy idiot babbling about?”

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    North Korea fires a missile which could reach Guam, and produces a photo of an alleged tim-foil wrapped. miniaturized hydrogen bomb. and America goes bonkers over the seeming threats.

    How did it survive the Cold War?

1 2 3 4 5

Comments are closed.