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The BBC is at it again

The BBC's propaganda war against fat people has recently intensified with a sudden flurry of articles, news reports and segments decrying the extent and implications of the 'obesity crisis.' Employing a 'them and us' approach, the BBC seems bent on whipping up outrage and mobilizing negative public sentiment. Every story that can support an anti-fat angle is reported with a biased editorial tone and elevated to the top of the news agenda.

Top news on Thursday's BBC radio

You would think that the National Health Service buying uprated ambulances and medical equipment to better serve the British public and help to protect health professionals from injury would be good news. Instead, the BBC presents it as the newest evidence that fat people are costing the good, up-right, THIN taxpayers money (because *everybody knows* that no fat person ever contributed to the public purse). Shocking!

The upgraded vehicles and equipment are mainly the result of changing health and safety at work policies and disability discrimination legislation intended to benefit NHS staff. Perhaps the BBC would rather ambulance crews injured themselves dealing with fat people (so that they'll have another reason to resent and hate us) or leave patients at the side of the road to die for want of the proper equipment.

This is particularly disturbing because it suggests that the BBC made a conscious decision to divert funds from an under-pressure news and current affairs budget to make a freedom of information request to every ambulance service in the country demanding details of the amount spent on 'bariatric' equipment. Quite apart from the way in which the information was presented as some sort of injustice to the privileged thin, there's the question of the extent to which news organisations should be setting and manipulating the news agenda rather than merely reporting events as they happen.

Related Articles on the BBC Website

Then there's a related piece on how the 'whole world' is having to change to accommodate us. This uses the uprated ambulances story as a springboard to highlight how fat people are destroying the airline industry, ruining historic theatres and stadia, bumping up prices for thin people, and costing local authorities a fortune in uprated crematoria (in the UK, due to lack of burial space, most people are cremated rather than buried). Again many of these improvements - particularly to venue seating - are also intended to benefit taller and disabled customers, but by making it about fat, they have turned attempts by businesses to accommodate a greater range of customers into another piece of sizist propaganda intended to generate resentment by suggesting that fat people are somehow being 'favoured'.

Yet another article focuses on claims that 10% of the world's population are now classed as obese (as always, the importance of 'classed as' isn't discussed or examined). Despite continuous increases in longevity, morbidity, various 'numerical' indicators such as cholesterol, blood pressure, survival rates etc, (again, good news) it is the obesity statistic which is deemed most worthy of comment. This is a common tactic by the BBC and the press in general - emphasis on obesity as a negative to the detriment of the positive news at the core of the story.

The BBC's Rule of Thumb: Health=Weight

That's leaving aside the way in which the O-word is dropped into almost every other health-related article irrespective of the topic. A piece on breast cancer rates emphasises 'rising obesity' as the driver and again skirts around improvements in survival rates (which don't fit the 'public health crisis' narrative). Dementia is being increasingly recast as 'lifestyle-related'. Everything is being presented as the result of not maintaining a 'healthy weight' with the corresponding and utterly nonsensical implication that those who do will never become sick or die - unless they meet with an accident, of course.

Investigative journalism used to be 'in the public interest' and focused on uncovering corrupt politicians and revealing dubious business practices. Now it would seem that it's become the latest weapon in the ongoing dirty propaganda war against Britain's new folk devil underclass. It dismays me endlessly to see the once respected BBC stoop to such repulsive tactics.

(edited by deeleigh)

HAES article in 'Psychotherapy Networker' magazine | Linda Bacon's Newest Paper

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