Over the past year, I've found that one labour-saving technique for gauging people's political IQ has been to ask them what they thought of "Fahrenheit 9/11". If they started gushing about its fearless muck-raking and deadly satire, etc, etc, I knew exactly what to make of them. The same rule applies to Adam Curtis's ludicrous BBC2 series, "The Power of Nightmares" (reviewed here),which has been the subject of some absurdly fawning notices in the British press.

Melanie Phillips is having none of it:

"This is simply deranged conspiracy theory. There is no other adequate description. But the terrifying thing is that in Britain, this is being taken seriously and believed. It was, after all, transmitted by the BBC, our supposed guardians of journalistic standards. There are senior editors in the BBC who took the decision to transmit this garbage because they presumably thought it had a serious contribution to make — rather like the senior executives of Egyptian TV decided to transmit the multi-part TV version of the infamous anti-Jewish conspiracy libel, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Disturbingly, I keep meeting people who tell me how impressed they were by the Curtis series. It has undoubtedly done much to further inflame the current climate of hysterical irrationality.

Someone should be talking very seriously about this to the BBC chairman Michael Grade and to the governors. Such a travesty of journalism, public service broadcasting and truth must not go unchallenged."

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2004/11/new-idiot-test-over-past-year-ive.html|||11/10/2004 10:12:00 am|||||||||