The BBC reports what their big stars are paid!


Why can't we have frog-marches here:
How weird is the New York Times? Consider this morning's news report concerning what the BBC pays its big famous stars.

Yesterday, the BBC published its "pay data" for the first time. In the New York Times report, Sewell Chan reports the salaries of some major news stars—but he reports the salaries in British pounds, making no real attempt to translate the salaries into dollars, which is what we use Over Here.

Would anyone but the New York Times be that arch, that clueless, that daft?

Briefly, let's be fair. Presumably, the Times adopted this approach because of their "take" on the data dump. Predictably, the Times was interested in possible "gender pay gap" implications of the BBC salaries, not in anything else.

Chan's reporting on that matter was rather unhelpful too. That said, we dream of the day when our big news orgs Over Here are forced to report the salaries they stuff in the pants of their own TV stars.

We dream of the day when annual salaries appear, by law, in flashing chyrons below the faces of our big cable stars. Once a month, we could even have "Frog-march Fridays."

The big stars would be paraded around, hands drawn back, big long signs recording their salaries draped around their necks. The way the BBC does!

Why would this be a good idea? As we've explained many times in the past, you can't have a middle-class democracy with a multimillionaire press corps. In part, here's why:

When journalists are paid $10 million per year, there's little chance that they will do sound journalistic work. When salaries go anywhere near that high, recipients know they're being paid in large part for their obedience.

They're paid to stick to the company line. Mugging and clowning and nightly dissembling take the place of real reporting and analysis. They work to please the target audience, not to perform real journalism.

Long ago, some scribes may have known what we needed; today's stars basically know what we want. "Frog-march Fridays" might help us rubes understand the shape of this transaction.


  1. Touché, Bob!

    People might also like to know the salaries of NPR's bigwigs -- Steve Inskeep, Scott Simon, Robert Siegel, et. al. each get over $300,000 a year, plus benefits.

    1. Wow. $300,000. Um, how much does Hannity make? Rush Limbaugh?

    2. $30,000,000 and $70,000,000 respectively.
      Wow. Touché, indeed.

    3. Hannity and Limbaugh are the talents that draw advertising dollars, worth every penny.

    4. jdmeth,
      And even if they didn't, they "put it* out there", which the rest of the Conservatives can refer to in the political/ media realm. That's worth big money to the oligarchs.

      *it= nonsense, up to, and including, shit they pull out of their asses.

  2. Without seeming biased, do you notice how Somerby says "When journalists are paid $10 million per year" and not "When journalists are paid $30 million per year" or "When journalists are paid $70 million per year". Gee, I wonder which cable-TV journalist makes $10 million a year? Hmmm...could the initials be "R.M"? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. She does come to mind when I think of who's the most compromised by big money. A good example of how those salaries pay, in part, for corporate obedience.

    2. More compromised than the right-wing zillionaires? Interesting. So, because she's a liberal, she should only make minimum wage? Let the right-wingers become vastly wealthy, eh? This sounds like that bizarre notion that conservatives have that liberals are hypocrites if they're rich.

    3. Dave the Guitar PlayerJuly 21, 2017 at 12:59 PM

      Liberal are not "more compromised", they are simply just "as compromised" as conservatives by the large payments from corporate sponsors. The difference is that many conservatives do not care if their news sources are biased. Do you?

  3. "he reports the salaries in British pounds, making no real attempt to translate the salaries into dollars, which is what we use Over Here"
    Of course, the value fluctuates in what is called an "exchange rate" (news flash!).
    I was able to use something known as the "Internet" to convert the currencies. But I may be
    one of the elite few having access to this technological marvel.

    1. You can thank Al Gore for your Internet.

    2. Amd Al got no bonus for his initiative in creating it.

    3. And what a shame the Times isn't elite enough for the internet either.

  4. Since these people are not going to stop doing what they do, maybe we should stop pretending they are journalists and treat them like entertainers.

  5. "They work to please the target audience"

    Really? I'd say: they work to brainwash the target audience. Which is how they please their bosses.

  6. Apples and oranges. The reason the BBC salaries are a scandal is because it's taxpayer funded. We have nothing close to that here. No, PBS doesn't count. No idea what this stupid moan is about.

  7. So,how much should journalists make, Bob?
    $10 million is apparently too much. So then what should it be?
    Bob's wrath is often directed at the recipient of that salary, when
    the problem is actually the corporate ownership of media and journalists.
    How do we as a society change that?

    1. Dave the Guitar PlayerJuly 21, 2017 at 1:09 PM

      Bob is not leading a movement for change, he is just lamenting the state of liberal journalism. As is always true, the answer lies in yourself. Every time you watch one of these corporate news sources or click on one of their web pages you are adding eyeballs to their advertising income. Instead find and support other sources for the information you need and support them indirectly by telling others about them and directly by paying for their information. Don't repeat the half-truths and inaccurate information you get from the corporate sources. If there is any hope, people will eventually turn from the infotainment industry when they gradually learn they are being duped and robbed.

    2. "the state of liberal journalism. "
      Bob doesn't speak at all about "liberal journalism'. He speaks about corporate journalism (AKA the mainstream media, AKA the propaganda arm of corporations).
      What's "liberal journalism'? Mother Jones magazine?

  8. Bob can take the moral high ground by releasing his own income tax returns for the last five years.

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