BBC memo

In a reversal of recent history, an internal BBC memo has been leaked to Downing Street. In the wake of the Gilligan debacle, it seems new advice has gone out to frontline news reporters covering events in Iraq.

Harry’s Place has gained exclusive access to the details and the content is strangely familiar. The new working practices have been arranged in 1940s-style crooner stanzas to facilitate instant recall and are reproduced here after the appropriate legal advice was sought:

Accentuate the negative,
Eliminate the positive,
Blair to neo-conservative
And every war-monger in-between
You’ve got to spread fear up to the maximum,
Bring hope down to a minimum,
Shoulder the opprobrium
Who cares? We’ve got the licence fee.
Recite the Chomsky platitudes,
Ignore Fisk inexactitude,
Excuse Pilger’s turpitude
Unlike him, we can be ‘choosy’.

Promote the best of journalism,
Avoid the worst of solecism,
But reserve all your scepticism
For spokesmen from Washington DC.

Forget about the progress made
Sorry democracy’s delayed
But – ssshhhhh – don’t mention the mass-graves
Can�t put the viewers off their tea.

Accentuate the subjective,
Eliminate the objective,
Crucify the executive
Remember that you’re the BBC.

Rumours that attempts to insert the word “schadenfreude” had to be abandoned when the appropriate rhyming couplet eluded the greatest minds at Broadcasting House, have yet to be substantiated.

All complaints about ‘scanning’ to be directed to Michael Grade c/o the BBC.