Banksy near GCHQ (AP) 3.jpg

Here is an article I have recently written for EN:

  • A US president whose chief defence against charges of deception is to accuse the MSM (mainstream media) of spewing ‘fake news’.
  • A Brexit referendum which gave the voters a choice between ‘£350 million per week for the NHS’ and ‘Project Fear’ with its threats of war and civilisation’s collapse.
  • European and North American populaces growing ever more isolated in their ‘news bubbles’, choosing only outlets that conform to pre-existent worldviews – now they only read ‘The Daily Me’ (to use Nicholas Negroponte’s witticism).

Welcome to the post-truth world! The Oxford English Dictionary’s word of 2016 was well selected, defining it as: ‘relating to, or denoting, circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’

The Quagmire

We didn’t choose it, but we can’t see a way out of it.

Some years ago, I was taken on a tour of the BBC’s glittering new HQ next to All Souls Church, Langham Place. We first saw the older Broadcasting House with its iconic façade, curved deliberately as an architectural echo to All Souls’ rotunda. In the Council Chamber, opposite the portrait of Lord Reith, the first Director-General, sits the BBC coat of arms. Under it is one Latin word: Quaecunque. This is the first word of Philippians 4.8 in the Vulgate. What a superb motto verse for a broadcaster! Unfortunately, it is far too long for a crest, and so gets abbreviated to ‘Whatever.’ It would be hilarious… if it weren’t so tragically accurate.

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