Forget The Journalists
I was contacted by the BBC back in December, they were doing a radio programme about current smoking policy and questioning the validity of Nicotine Replacement Poisoning and all that, and wanted me to take part. The Producer had read my book, and really liked it. So I went and did an interview, which they assured me afterwards went very well. (I know: they say that to everybody!) Then it went very quiet, and I sent a couple of emails that didn’t get answered. The radio show is being broadcast today. And today I finally got a reply.
Guess what? I’m not in it!
This is the fourth time that I have been approached, and then before anything is actually broadcast, ditched – by media organisations. And it’s the last. Of course I got a detailed ‘explanation’ as to why, but the fact is I don’t care. I’m wasting my time with these people.
I’m not even disappointed, it’s pretty much what I expected at this point. As this is the fourth time journalists have approached me, then backed right off because I’m actually calling the Department of Health, A.S.H. and the drug companies a bunch of fraudsters who are knowingly wasting huge amounts of public money and carefully lying about it – and I can prove it – well, journalists are not in a position to deal in terminology like that. So I’ve had enough of talking to them.
I’m not a campaigner by nature. I’ve never done anything like this before, so it’s a learning process. And what I’ve learned is: don’t waste your time with journalists. They’re not interested in the real issue, they’re just constructing “items” for the shows (or rags) they knock together, and it’s pretty formulaic. I know how it works, I spent six years teaching a course on television production at Manchester Metropolitan University. I’ve been on TV numerous times (not in connection with this Campaign), and it’s all good fun. But that’s all it is.
The Producer of The Radio Show I Was Never On asked me if I wanted an audio copy of the show anyway, because she would “value my feedback on it”.
That made me feel very special. So I said: “Thank you very much”, and “no”. I already knew who else they had on the show, and I already know what all those people would say, because I’ve heard it all before. In fact the only bit that the listeners wouldn’t have heard before was the bit I contributed, which was why it didn’t really fit in.
Fact is, the internet is where all the real, edgy debate is now. The BBC is like the NHS: no-one who values their job can speak out, they’ve got to cover their own arses and let’s face it, the BBC is totally reliant on the government of the day to keep on approving the licence fee, so…
So: bye bye BBC. It’s been… well, pretty much what I expected, really!