We love the BBC campaign sets Twitter against Murdoch
Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland rallying cry has sparked a Twitter crusade to save the BBC from a possible Murdoch-Cameron alliance
Hot on the heels of the right-wing American media's assault on Britain's National Health Service, and the subsequent 'We Love the NHS' campaign on Twitter, a new online crusade has been launched in defence of another much-maligned national treasure - the BBC.
The micro-blogging site has seen an explosion in sympathy for the Beeb after the Guardian writer Jonathan Freedland rallied to the corporation's defence following James Murdoch's MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival last Friday.
Murdoch, the New York-raised son of Rupert Murdoch, used his address to call for a slimmed-down BBC and described the public service broadcaster's media ambitions as "chilling".
Freedland responded with a blistering attack on Murdoch, calling him a "fox arguing that the henhouse doors be thrown wide open". However, he made the point that, facing the prospect of a new government within the year led by David Cameron, a former PR man for a private TV company, the BBC must start to get its house in order.
As part of this self-imposed reinvention, the BBC's director-general Mark Thompson should, said Freedland, cut his salary from his "market rate" £816,000 to something nearer Prime Minister Gordon Brown's £185,000. And the corporation should help struggling local broadcasters and newspapers by making its extensive regional resources "open source".
But if the reaction on Twitter is anything to go by, the BBC won't have to lift a finger. 'Welovethebbc' has become a top-10 trending topic as tweeters - suckers, it seems, for British public services under siege from right-wing Americans (Murdoch Jnr was born in the UK but schooled in the US) - have weighed in with their own messages of support.
'Doodledawne' wrote: "Without CBBC I wouldn't have the 5 minutes of peace I get each day in which I can drink gin and cry." Another tweeter wrote: "There's more to life than money, Mr Murdoch." While 'Mrfly' taunted Murdoch's old media empire: "Newspapers have been blaming everything since the phonograph for their long decline and they are still here."
However, in the fast-moving internet age, the backlash to Freedland's pro-BBC backlash may already have begun. Joining the debate over at the new 'wehatethebbc' topic, 'Tomdaylight' remarked, "Oh shit. yet another reactionary herd of sheep..." ·
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