The Canadian news site Xtra! featured a piece yesterday commenting on the Elton John story but unlike everything else I’ve read (and left me with an overwhelming sense of ‘meh’), the Canadian news site draws parallels between the recent BBC controversy surrounding the inclusion of the homophobic Christian campaigner Stephen Green in a news slot discussing the John baby story on the basis of ‘balance’, and the inclusion of a similarly fundamentalist Christian in queer stories in the Canadian media. It’s well worth reading, which you can do here.
Balance is a funny old thing. A case in point is the Fox News channel which regularly uses the slogan “Fair and Balanced;” a statement that regularly draws sniggers from most commentators. Of course, if you’ve spent your life viewing CNN as the leftist devil and desperate for a channel that reflects your right wing views, you’re going to view that channel as ‘fair’, and even ‘balanced’. They are subjective positions hiding behind a false conception of ‘objectivity’.
For the BBC, a network that prides itself on ‘objectivity’, accusations of bias are familiar and necessarily denied. However, I can’t remember watching a story about a race attack in which someone said “the nigger had it coming”, or a story about a straight female celebrity giving birth to a child and then crossing to some ‘commentator’ who describes the celebrity as a “disgraceful slut” (at least, not on BBC news). It is for that reason that so many of us get so annoyed to see the homophobes popping up to comment on these stories. Pink News has been particularly effective in taking on the BBC appearance by Green and should be commended for their activism.