Media world clashes over ‘poppy fascism’

Sections of the British media have turned on each other in a row over when to start wearing the poppy.

The BBC bore the brunt of criticism when presenters began wearing the Remembrance Day symbol “a full five days ahead of the Royal British Legion’s official appeal launch”.
The Daily Mail quoted comments on BBC message boards saying that the Corporation was “devaluing” Remembrance Day. It was also accused of forcing newsreaders to adorn them for “cosmetic” reasons.

The Daily Telegraph jumped on the Beeb-bashing bandwagon but pointed out that its presenters started wearing poppies at the same time last year, on 23 October. The Daily Star also carried the story despite sporting a poppy on the banner of its own website.

Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow, who says he won’t wear a poppy until Sunday, says the whole thing smacks of “poppy fascism”.

He said that British troops gave their lives in World War Two “so that we might be free to wear a poppy whenever we wished. Compelling people to wear poppies because you think they ought to is precisely the poppy fascism, or intolerance, that I have complained of in the past.”

(Sources: Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Daily Star)

This article appears in issue 260 of Media Digest.

Photo taken by Flickr user Gone Lone Wolf, licenced under Creative Commons.

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