(Though so esteemed by shallow ignorance)
What the sage poets, taught by the heavenly Muse,
Storied of old in high immortal verse
Of dire Chimeras and enchanted isles,
And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to Hell
-- John Milton, Comus (1634)
In his masque in honor of chastity and free thinking, John Milton introduces to his audience the virtues of recta ratio, the ability to exercise reason and restraint in the face of temptation and libidinal desire.
Of course, Britain's media "behemoths" representing the Islington-dwelling liberal intelligentsia are already beyond reproach, having fallen between the rifted rocks of Hell long ago.
Thus Comus was created and thrives in the form of The Guardian and the BBC's somewhat overt friendship. It appears in our media as the three-headed chimera, with the lion head of The Guardian, the bleating mouth of the BBC goat and the small yet venomous serpent tail of The Independent. Comus continues to lure anyone who will entertain him into his lair of necromancy.
Earlier this week, The Commentator broke the story that the BBC, between April 2010 and February 2011, procured nearly 60,000 copies of The Guardian and over 10,000 less of the nearest right-leaning paper, The Daily Telegraph. Also, the BBC curiously procured inordinate numbers of The Independent (43,709).
The Guardian's Roy Greenslade argues a "so what?" case, making the point that The Guardian and the BBC effectively stand for the same thing. This is the very problem.
The Guardian has a circulation of about one third of its right-wing competitor, The Telegraph, and yet it enjoys a significantly larger presence within the confines of Broadcasting House and the BBC beyond. The Independent, with a daily circulation of only around 90,000, was bought in almost the same quantities as The Telegraph, a paper that enjoys some six times the daily public consumption.
What this tells us of this unofficial alliance, or Comus as we have come to know it, is that there is little wonder why on key issues, the BBC and The Guardian differ very little.
Distinguishing between their lines on the National Health Service, on European integration, on climate change, Israel and the Middle East, and economics is becoming more and more difficult. Many of their staff is indeed interchangeable, with former Guardian editor Allegra Stratton now perched at the Beeb as political editor. The Guardian's trans-Atlantic buddy, The New York Times, today procured Mark Thompson, of BBC fame, as its new president.
The Beeb's own Andrew Marr has noted, "The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It's a publicly funded, urban organization with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities, and gay people. It has a liberal bias, not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias."
Swallow that alongside the stark admission from Roy Greenslade in The Guardian Tuesday, responding to The Commentator's exclusive: "There are so many similarities between the BBC and the Guardian... Both are imbued with a public interest ethos... It is therefore fair to say that the corporation and the paper have deeply ingrained shared values."
But much like Comus, these two organizations, alongside The Independent, appear to lure in the public with its promises of guilt alleviation and the scapegoating of certain nations or ideologies. This basic level of seduction, in appealing to a falsified notion of conscience, asks that the reader abandon rationality and indulge in often morally depraved or unscientific reporting.
We've seen this over time. With The Guardian's obsession with "the Jewish lobby," their intractability over climate science -- despite being disproved time and again -- and recently with our scoop on the BBC and its implacable hostility to the State of Israel (refusing to even acknowledge that it has a capital city, no less.)
And so it is up to us to act as the Attendant Spirit of this saga, who instructs on how Comus's captive can be freed. Sabrina, the water nymph who ends up finally liberating the captive lady, can only do so due to her steadfast virtue and rejection of Comus's necromancy. We must urge the public to exercise such chastity.
Over time, the liberal-left media will be shown to be the aggressor with the public conscience as its captor. Those who work relentlessly against the media bias are the Spirit and Sabrina, and inevitably, will triumph.
Raheem Kassam is the Executive Editor/Co-Founder of The Commentator and the Director of Communications for The Henry Jackson Society