JohnBhoy posted this as a comment on an earlier thread. I thought it worth a “guest post” slot.
The old Rangers understood the theory of balance. If all competing influences have parity – similar club size, domestic fan base, financial clout etc. – then this could present the dangerously unpredictable fiasco of a level playing field, leading to ludicrously unfair equal competition between two city rivals, namely Celtic and Rangers. Thankfully, EBTs came to the rescue and redressed the balance in Rangers’ favour. That is the kind of equilibrium that appealed to the old Rangers. For every fiver that you pay in tax, we’ll pay ten less.
The new Rangers likes balance too, in a variety of contexts: financial balance (no debt, courtesy of unpaid creditors), football balance (leapfrogging The Spartans FC to gain entry to the SFL without the need to follow the same rigorous, competitive application process), social balance (march on Hampden, boycott etc.) and msm balance (James Traynor, writing for The Daily Record while seeking, and finally securing, employment with Rangers).
Chris Graham wants to maintain that traditional sense of balance (http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/225-bbc-scotland-can-t-strike-rangers-balance). He refused to take part in BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound because he concluded that the make up of the guest panel was not balanced enough in his direction. Below is the disreputable list of unhinged reprobates – with the exception of only one upstanding citizen – the BBC had the temerity to invite without first seeking Chris Graham’s approval [in fact, the BBC did attempt to barter with Chris Graham on the composition of the panel but, alas, to no avail]:
1. Either Paul McConville or Andy Muirhead (Bloggers)
2. Chris Graham (Blogger)
3. Stuart Cosgrove (Journalist)
4. Graham Spiers (Journalist)
5. Jim Spence (Broadcaster presenting the programme)
What were the objections put forward by Ibrox’s poster boy? Paul McConville is an intelligent, articulate, fair individual, one who bases his position on available evidence and legal precedent. He had to go. Andy Muirhead self-evidently failed to uphold the same uncritical pro-Rangers faculties as Chris Graham – the very idea that there should be two bloggers with different views on the same programme was hilariously at odds with the theory of balance as practiced by Rangers, old and new. Andy Muirhead had to go.
Chris Graham had no obvious objection to Chris Graham appearing on the panel. He saw a lot of himself in Chris Graham. They could have been twins. The face that stared blankly back at him in the mirror was not made for asking difficult questions. He had to stay.
The two journalists and the broadcaster? Despite a slow start to non-succulent lamb reporting, endemic in Scotland, they came good in the end and dispatched their duties with integrity. Without question, adherence to their job description wholly undermined their credibility: they too had to go. Furthermore, Stuart Cosgrove was not friendly enough with Rangers – “not a friend of the club” – while Graham Spiers and Jim Spence both committed the cardinal sin of recently referring to the new club The Rangers as… a new club.
As further evidence of the BBC’s bias against The Rangers, Chris Graham bemoaned the minor legal technicality of the The Communications Act 2003, whereby fans of his club are required to pay their license fee like everyone else, otherwise they would retaliate with a boycott of the BBC: “We have no real option but to pay our licence fee and fund them… [so] boycotting them does not hit them in the pocket.” They do like to hit people where it hurts and it is exasperating, not to mention grossly unfair, when that opportunity is foiled by the laws of the land.
Free speech is not an optional extra for a balanced media – it is an absolute necessity. Allowing a football club’s fans to place conditions on free speech, or to curtail it altogether, is the antithesis of democracy. It was John Diefenbaker, former lawyer and Prime Minister of Canada, who said that “freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong.” The BBC was guilty of the latter by denying others the chance of the former. That error of judgement needs to be corrected. The alternative is a return to craven succulent lamb “reporting”, where balance meant turning a blind eye to debate and submitting copy to one club for approval.
Posted by JohnBhoy