The BBC censored a picture of a cute dog due to the UK's ridiculous election laws
The BBC censored this photo of a cute dog outside a polling station because it was wearing a coloured rosette that the BBC feared might bias the general election.
"This dog was so politically engaged, it was wearing a rosette," the BBC said on its web site in a story about dogs waiting sadly outside polling booths. "However, we have blacked it out lest the political allegiance of this dog sways your vote."
One of the most annoying bits of elections in Britain are the media censorship laws that kick in as soon as the polls open. Because the BBC is technically a government agency, it is banned from broadcasting anything political, lest it be accused of trying to influence the voting.
Most TV broadcasters follow suit. The newspapers, pointedly, do not.
So from 7 am until 10 pm tonight, the BBC filled its airwaves with anything except the election. Britain may be on the verge of an historic vote that will plunge the country into a constitutional crisis (because no party will emerge with a majority big enough to form a government). But the BBC and Sky TV have given us some really solid coverage of the Syria conflict and racism in football, instead.
Here is some election news from the BBC:
And here's some from Sky:
The law that requires this censorship sounds like it was written for Soviet Russia. It literally says, "Coverage will be restricted to uncontroversial factual accounts, such as the appearance of politicians at polling stations or the weather."
The weather! Here's the BBC's own site on the matter:
None of this would normally be a problem if viewers were given a choice in the matter. Unfortunately, the law also requires all households in the UK to pay a TV licence fee - a tax, basically - to fund the BBC, whether they like it or not, even they do not watch the BBC. So British news is not only censored on election day (the one day when voters actually need as much news and as many different viewpoints as possible) but we pay a tax to make sure it stays that way.
- Disney+Hotstar adds 8.3 mn subscribers, hits 58.4 mn users
- Rishi Sunak says he would rather lose than win on a false promise
- Flood-hit Kerala villages to launch digi-lockers to keep their valuables safe
- UP hospitals to now have dedicated wards for transgenders
- Aviation regulator removes upper and lower limits on airfares