I'm wondering about the source for the Times' story on BBC cutbacks. Is it as 24 carat as Rawnsley's source for Bruiser Brown, or are Murdoch's henchpersons merely flying a kite? It would be a dark day for broadcasting and choice (Remember that? The thing that free markets were supposed to bring us?) if either 6Music or the Asian Network closed.
Even if you listen to neither, the fact that they exist is important. If we let either go, it's the thin end of the wedge. Pastor Niemoller's advice applies. When the barbarians come for BBC4, its viewers will be on our own. People who regard the licence fee as an acceptable tithe for civilisation, not an unfair tax, really need to stand out for this issue from the outset. Both stations are run on tiny budgets. 6Music is run on £6m a year. I'd love to know how much Big Top cost the Corporation. Is anyone saying "Don't make sitcoms starring Amanda Holden, as it's a misuse of public money if they tank"? Perhaps they should.
Quite apart from the Times' obvious bias, we also see the Grauniad barely able to contain its glee. That'll be the same Guardian that owns the Real Radio, Smooth Radio and Rock Radio brands, as well as the Guardian Unlimited online news service. Funny, that.
The BBC's critics seem very muddled. The Corporation can't compete with the commercial sector, nor can it provide distinctive niche services. What exactly can it do? Maybe it should start by growing a pair and saying "We're the BBC. This is what we do. Got a problem with that, Rupert?".