The BBC programme Newsnight and its ability to truthfully portray events has been of interest to Raccoonistas for some time now. It is fair to say that we have a distinctly jaundiced view of its agenda.
We formed that opinion back in the days when ‘someone’ mysteriously leaked to a number of journalists that a programme had been suppressed ‘from up on high’ (that old conspiracy chestnut) – the original Meirion Jones ‘story any journalist would want’ on Jimmy Savile. Equally mysteriously, information gleaned for that programme, which was later proved to have been correctly decided by Peter Rippon to have been of a lower standard than you should if not could expect from the BBC, found its way to ITV and the result was the ‘Exposure’ programme made by Mark Williams-Thomas, which thankfully was overlooked for its expected BAFTA award, leaving poor Mark ‘gutted’……
Newsnight was not finished in its spirited attempt to ruin the reputation of the BBC, a month later they commissioned Angus Stickler of the laughable ‘Bureau of Investigative Journalism’ to make the appalling documentary which resulted in Lord McAlpine returning from his sojourn in Italy to the beat of the lawyer’s drum.
You might have thought, after the undignified belly-flop performed by the dyed in the wool Labour supporting Bureau of Investigative Churnalism – landing wallet up in front of Lord McAlpine’s lawyers – that we might have heard the last of them. But no! After costing the BBC £185,000 plus undisclosed costs, Angus ‘I’m a Stickler for the Truth’ has succeeded in wounding the BBC once more.
Yesterday, the BBC was forced to apologise to the military charity Help for Heroes, after yet another programme made by Angus ’I’m a Stickler for the Truth’ was shown to be somewhat short on the old veracity. Indeed, the internal investigation discovered that “there was no evidence to back Newsnight’s claim about Help for Heroes”.
The BBC portrayed criticisms about overall support by a number of agencies as specific criticisms of Help for Heroes. This unfair impression was reinforced by our coverage of the story in other outlets.
“In addition, the Newsnight report contained interviews with two contributors which were edited in a way which misrepresented their views.”
So, the BBC has put its hands up and accepted the blame for yet another programme made by Angus Stickler! Why were they so enamoured of this journalist whose coverage of the original North Wales Children’s Home ‘abuse’ had already been comprehensively rubbished. His impeccable left-wing credentials may have been partly to blame.
It is with some relief that we note that Newsnight now has a new Editor. Ian Katz. Will we now see more balanced reporting?
Hmmm. Ian Katz was formerly Deputy Editor of….er, The Guardian. Not looking good is it? There he displayed the left-wing dislike of Republican politicians to amusing effect:
In August 2004, for the US presidential election, the daily G2 supplement launched an experimental letter-writing campaign in Clark County, Ohio, an average-sized county in a swing state.
G2 editor Ian Katz bought a voter list from the county for $25 and asked readers to write to people listed as undecided in the election, giving them an impression of the international view and the importance of voting against US President George W. Bush.
The paper scrapped “Operation Clark County” on 21 October 2004 after first publishing a column of responses – nearly all of them outraged – to the campaign under the headline “Dear Limey assholes”.
The public backlash against the campaign likely contributed to Bush’s victory in Clark County.
That went well! One American writer who railed against this ‘Guardian initiative’, memorably described the Guardian readers who responded as ’stupid, yellow-toothed pansies‘. I must remember that one!
20 years editing the Guardian? Does that give you the expertise to stand up to reporters who want to produce badly researched and evidenced programmes because they have a ‘thing’ about the subject? We shall see.
Ian is a typical left wing luvvy from the Islington set. He lives in a ‘handsome town house in Islington’ with his ‘tall and athletic-looking, with great hair – blonde, thick, blow-dried’ wife. (It’s her hair that is thick, not her!) How do I know? Well because Justine was part of the ‘Klondyke rush to pitch a stake in cyberspace [which] led otherwise perfectly sensible people to resign from their jobs in a frenzy of e-Commerce excitement only to come a-cropper after the millions failed to materialise from the ether. Justine, however, had young children and was motivated by a desire to achieve that most elusive Fata Morgana of modern motherhood: a work-life balance.’
And she did. With Mumsnet, that den of patronising online conversations about cracked nipples, the merits of cloth versus disposable nappies, and why little Tarquin won’t eat his organic carrot bake. The spiritual home of the phrase ‘baby dancing’ as shorthand for sex…Sheesh!
I fear Newsnight will continue going to the dogs,
hounded headed by Katz.
Johann Hari was a stickler for the truth too….