Who made Rupert Murdoch’s Sun the boss of the BBC?

The Sun acts like the Beeb's CEO as it looks to gut a business rival


Yesterday the Sun was complaining that the BBC had failed to spell out cuts to its ‘imperial’ output.

Today it blasts the Beeb for making what it thinks are the wrong cuts. 

Its editorial page has three – count ’em – pieces attacking the BBC’s plans to move children’s TV channels online to save money:

  2. Broadcasts to North Korea? How pointless
  3. Cut this out (Sun Says column)

The paper booms:

“Whenever the BBC has a funding cut, it never trumpets a crackdown on waste, expenses or executives’ bloated salaries.”

A fair point – and one that would apply to private corporations like News UK, which owns the Sun. (Tory class war is always so selective!)

You might think the Sun would be shy about attacking executives in the week it re-appoints Rebekah Brooks as News UK chief-executive, since she has cost the company more than the price of a big salary. (See: the News of the World.)

But the odd thing to notice is the Sun acting like it runs the BBC. On the corporation’s plans for childrens’ TV, the Sun says:

“The public would rather it binned the new services to North Korea or the fancy business cards it has printed urging people to protest about cuts.

And why not just scrap free licences for over-75s instead of cutting services? Most OAPs these days can afford it.”

These are very specific suggestions. How does the Sun know what ‘the public would rather’ do? Or is this just what Rupert Murdoch would rather the Beeb did?

The Daily Mail takes much the same line today, (‘We’re not expanding too much, claims BBC boss as he plans radio station for N Koreans’), not mentioning its website MailOnline is a market competitor with the BBC news site.

Debate over how a publicly funded broadcaster spends its money is perfectly legitimate.

But we should be suspicious when it comes from rival companies with a direct (and undeclared) interest in the outcome.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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