The six o’clock news is coming to an end; it’s been full of negativity, apart from the bit about England being on course to retain the Ashes (which they did). The last news segment is about Elton John and David Furnish becoming parents via surrogacy. A bit of good news to end the programme on? Well that is what you would think wouldn’t you?
Instead, it started off by concentrating on their failed attempt of adoption in 2009. Highlighting the reasons due to the couple’s age and sexual orientation. What should be noted is, that it was not due to their sexual orientation, just the fact that Elton was not married and civil partnerships are not recognised in Ukraine.
Factual(ish) piece of information that is true, however it could go on to mention that although unsuccessful, Elton and David have vowed to offer support for the child, and his brother, that they failed to adopt by making sure they “have the best health care, education and family options available to them”. It wasn’t as if they didn’t know this information, this was a quote from David Furnish to BBC Radio.
The reporter then continues to state that “not everyone is pleased to see such a high profile same sex couple start to raise a surrogate child” and then allows a platform for Stephen Green, from the homophobic group Christian Voice, to vomit his opinion to the nation:
This isn’t just a designer baby for Sir Elton John, this is a designer accessory…
Now it seems like money can buy him anything, and so he has entered into this peculiar arrangement…
The baby is a product of it. A baby needs a mother and a father and it seems an act of pure selfishness to deprive a baby of a mother.
There is one good thing that came out of the way that interview was edited, it made Stephen sound too extreme and which will hopefully be ignored by the majority of the viewers. I am curious to know what Mr Green’s opinions (actually I am not) are in relation to single parents who don’t have either a mother or father (either due to separation or death).
Then there is the discussion about whether same-sex relationships should be allowed to have children and what effect it has on the child. There have been many studies done on this subject, which if you Google (I am sure a reporter knows how to do that) then you would have been able to find a lot of information.
They could argue that they only had three minutes, but if that’s the case they should have used the airtime a little more wisely.
The whole news segment does raise a few questions:
- Why did the BBC think it was acceptable to provide a platform for an openly homophobic individual, who states that gays should be executed, to discuss this topic?
- Why did the BBC decide to omit the background of Mr Green from the article?
- Why did the BBC not provide an opinion that supported/congratulated Elton and David?
- Why did the BBC not provide a counter-argument especially in relation to the comments made by Mr Green?
- Why did the BBC not congratulate Elton and David on the birth of the child?
BBC News is worldly reported as a brilliant news source, especially in relation to it’s unbiased reporting. However, there has been a few hiccups of recent which is showing that it may not be that rosy. I do hope that the BBC Trust take heed and make sure that this style of reporting is stopped all together before they are tarred with the homophobic label as well.
As much as I would like to work for the BBC, and I understand that there is a risk that they will see this blog which could be seen to jeopardise this. However, I also have beliefs of my own and I would hope that as an employer they would not see it acceptable to gag employees of their opinions, taken into account that they are also customers as well, and instead actually listen to feedback.
And finally, I will congratulate Elton and David on becoming parents. To me, their sexual orientation has nothing to do with it…I just know they will be great parents.
iPlayer: BBC News at Six (Elton John & David Furnish segment) [Video]