Social Engineering: It’s For Your Own Good Because its The BBC

A report commissioned by the state-owned BBC says the corporation should use more propaganda to inculcate acceptance of gays and lesbians in society. A process known as “incidental portrayal” should be utilised so that a picture of what the BBC deems a normal, desirable society is instilled in the minds of people – particularly children.
“Incidental portrayal” is an old propaganda sleight-of-hand used by infamous spin merchants from Goebbels to Mao. It turned all Jews into hook-nosed theives in Nazi Germany and all capitalists into; well, hook-nosed thieves in China.
Of course, tyrannies use “incedental portrayal” to define negative qualities. The BBC isn’t suggesting that negativity be employed. It is, though, suggesting social engineering has a role in broadcasting, and particularly in children’s broadcasting.
That is a slippery slope. No broadcaster, and particularly no state-owned broadcaster, in a free society, has a propaganda role. If parents are concerned that their children aren’t sufficiently exposed to gays and lesbians in the community, there is a simple solution: take them outside. Some theorise that about 10 percent of the world’s population is homosexual – and that means a quick skirmish around the park, the local shopping mall or street, will ensure all the “incidental portrayal” that is needed.
It also begs the question, how does a state-owned broadcaster depict gay and lesbian people? For me, it is usually not immediately obvious to decide a gay taxi driver from a straight taxi driver. I can tell he (or she) is a taxi driver, but unless there are clear stererotypical behaviours or affectations, how do I know? And why would I care? Will the BBC make them flounce? That would be demeaning, so I hope not.
The danger here is insidious. All propaganda is wrong – even when it’s right. That’s because it relies on the portrayal of a belief system that isn’t universal.


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