Sunday, October 31, 2004

Inside Mrs Wolfowitz

Melanie Phillips' diary in the Spectator this week provides a valuable insight into her thinking.

She describes meeting someone in the green room after appearing on the BBC 's Question Time programme. He addressed her as "Mrs Wolfowitz". Phillips observes that:

He has the world-view of the Guardian, Independent and the BBC, which is morally, intellectually and politically unchallengeable. Anyone who doesn't agree with it is by definition beyond the pale.
Yes, liberals and socialists can be remarkably smug and closed-minded - and Nick Cohen has offered a convincing explanation of why this phenomenon affects the BBC in particular:
When conservatives complain about the undoubted liberal bias of the BBC, they assume some kind of socialist plot when it is geography not ideology driving attitudes. A young middle-class BBC type in London is unlikely to meet anyone socially who is, say, against abortion or pro-war. Because they don't confront opposing ideas, they can't put themselves into the minds of people outside their consensus and ask questions from another point of view.
So how does Melanie Phillips react to people who do not share her views? Here she is, in the same diary, talking about the intriguing and important BBC series The Power of Nightmares:
Such a paranoid fantasy would once have been dismissed as the ravings of the kind of person who writes in green ink and capital letters.
If this is an example of the tolerance Phillips extends to ideas which do not accord with her own, "Mrs Wolfowitz" is one of the kinder things she deserves to be called.

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