Sunday, January 21, 2007

BBC Buries Cash for Peerages News

So there we have it. Britain's premier current affairs interview programme managed to get through a whole hour with barely a mention of the Cash for Peerages Inquiry which dominates the news and the Sunday papers. No mention of it in the BBC news bulletins, no mention of it in the newspaper review with Trevor Phillips and Jane Moore, one patsy question for Lord Falconer who said he wasn't playing and that was, er, it.

Even more astonishing is that the Cash for Peerages Inquiry doesn't even feature in the top three stories on the BBC News Politics section. What on earth is going on with BBC news judgement?

So it looks like John Reid's announcement on splitting the Home Office up has done the trick and buried the news they don't want to discuss. And the media has fallen for it. What's the betting that in a few weeks time we will read a short story of page 5 of The Guardian headline REID SHELVES HOME OFFICE SPLIT PLAN? Mission accomplished. Makes you sick. Later on this morning I'll be posting a roundup of what's in the Sunday newspapers

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

No surprises there then. The BBC are the most 'dishonest' of the tv media as voted for in my recent poll. They put their own agenda before their duty to the licecncs payers.

Anonymous said...

Characteristically brilliant assessment Iain, exactly right.

Another victory for the wierd combination of NL Spin Machine and vacant Andrew Marr. The only moderately honorable news programme still on the Beeb is Today, which is allowed to be as it's only listened to by the intelligentsia.

Did anyone see Sky or CNN, etc, are they covering it?

fr said...

Is it possible to recover and examine BBC News coverage of the years of "Tory Sleaze" and see if there is a difference ?

Anonymous said...

It's easy to make a complaint about the BBC. Let's bring the server down.

tom_r said...

Pathetic. The 'independence' of the BBC is becoming more of a myth with every headline they decide not to follow up.

Anonymous said...

Not called the British State Broadcasting Corporation for nothing, you know. The BSBC's useful idiot Mogadon Marr's big flapping ears have picked up the message from No 10 loud and clear. You stay out of this, chummy, or we'll set Hairy Dave Puttnam on you. That'll do for your career ambitions.

Howard said...

Yes, keep banging on about this. It grates, but who cares. The damage to Labour is done. You would think that now the BBC has settled it's licence fee it would start sticking the knife in.

Marr's programme carries no weight and is over rated.

tom_r said...

In response to anonymous (10:15am), the Sky News website has Cash for Peerages as the 9th most important story today, with Jade Goody in 2nd place, the Home Office in 3rd, and a dead whale in 8th.

Tone made me do it - he's a bad influence said...

Perhaps individuals at the BBC are concerned that if No 10 computers have been "hacked", then whatever it that No 10 and the Dark Lord has had on them all these years will now be on computer files at Scotland Yard.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, Iain, but how much can the BBC and any other news corporation realistically say though? There is only so much analysing you can do: as for speculation, this is an ongoing police investigation. There'll no doubt be broadcasting regulations on this kind of thing.
I'm not an apologist for them, I just think we nedd to take other things into account before we villify them.

Anonymous said...

I notice it is not highlighted on teletext either. Apprarently Hilary standing for President (whihc we all know anyway) is more important!

IanP said...

it was only a few days ago that Tony was banging on about how good it was to share data around...unless its his data eh...

Jess The Dog said...

I posted the below comment on Nick Robinson's blog. I'm not holding my breath....

This has stood at 14 comments for about 24 hours. Guido's blog has ten times that number plus another couple of dozen.

Is this topic really of so little interest or are the BBC downplaying the story because of unpleasant memories of the Hutton purges? Iain Dale's blog has 12 comments on this hypothesis alone over the last hour.


I suspect the latter. Cowards.

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps more people read Iain's and Guido's blogs than Nick Robinson's?
Just a thought!

javelin said...

Given how left-wing they all are, maybe the BBC are burying themselves too .

IanP said...

Am wondering whether the change in tack by Yates of the Yard, could possibly have anything to do with the private members bill that got its 2nd reading on friday, which exempts both Houses and all MP's correspondence from FOI.

Anonymous said...

On Friday (the day the Ruth Turner arrest story broke) both Sky and ITV featured the arrest as their number one news story. Not so the BBC, at 6 p.m. they had the stormy weather as their lead item, and later that night Newsnight (their flagship serious news programme) led with a story about a so-called Tory activist who 4 months ago sent an e-mail containing the word "cripple".

The BBC's news priorities are simply laughable. Anything vaguely critical of the Labour government is pushed well down the running order, if it features at all. Whereas Labour Party press releases, for example John Reid's latest bit of spin about the Home Office, is given headline billing. BBC News increasingly resembles a Labour Party press release.

javelin said...

Made a complaint

- A good day to bury the beeb

mogadon marr said...

I condemn these scurrilous accusations of a news cover-up. I have been completely open with the viewing public throughout and will continue to cooperate with them fully. I absolutely refute any allegations of wrongdoing of any nature whatsoever. Whether they are true or not is quite irrelevant. Furthermore I enjoy the complete support of my political superior officer, Ms Jackie Ashley, in this.

Anonymous said...

If anyone does not think that the BBC favours labour. Ask yourself what would have been their reaction if it was a Conservative PM under the same circumstances.

mitch said...

Ive complained to the BBC we shall see
what they have to say.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:42
It was the lead on the 10 o'clock news. Takes to time to edit news reports, you know!
But I was suprised at Newsnight's coverage. That was poor.

Anonymous said...

Did you also notice that on fridays Newsnight they made sure the Tory cripple story ran before the Blair one. I think they call it a spoiler. BBC doing what labour wanted I suspect.

fr said...

Made a complaint to BBC. Felt slightly uneasy about giving them my e mail address. Criticizing wing of gov. Am I being paranoid ?

Anonymous said...

fr: Yes. But that doesn't mean they won't be coming to get you.

Anonymous said...

The really scary thing is that most people still think that the BBC is trustworthy. People who in normal circumstances would encourage competition and different points-of-view just roll over and accept the Beeb's wisdom!

What is happening to this country?

itsonlyme said...

I am also waiting a comment made on Nick Robinson's horrendous article to pass the censors. It was made over 36 hours ago. His questioning of police tactics as a slur, the article title was obfuscation and the level of analysis was drivel. I also complained about one of the last apologist comments which was an exhortation to law-breaking.

David said...

The BBC now have a 'Have Your Say' article on the Home Office story, but nothing similar for the Ruth Turner/Cash for Peerages one. So I have left this comment, although I doubt they will print it:

The only reason this issue has even come up is to deflect attention from the 'Cash for Peerages' investigation and the arrest that occurred on Friday. Give it a week and Reid will decide he wasn't going to do it after all. It's interesting that the major papers are all leading with the Ruth Turner arrest and the wider implications. Typically of the BBC, they have ignored the story that might harm Labour, and have focused on the chaff currently emanating from the Home Office.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Of course Lord Hutton slammed the BBC for flabby journalism. We didn't care for his conclusions, because he let the government off the hook, but I guess he was right about the BBC.

The infuriating thing is, it's not difficult to be impartial. For any moderately competent journalist it's the default mode. But to slant the news, as the BBC does week in and week out, requires a continuous effort of intellectual dishonesty.

Anonymous said...

replace Marr with Andrew Neil

Anonymous said...

Andrew Neil does a fantastic job with the Daily Politics and This Week. Both great programmes, just a shame that they're on when they are-bit of a problem with school!
I agree that he would be better than Marr's programme.
Put This Week on at a better time, please!

simon said...

Well, if i were a guest on Marr's programme- i'd have a go at the sod! Why not- state bluntly that the BBC is politically biased, as well as Marr himself. But sadly, no conservative guest will have the 'balls' to do so. Personally, i'd love to see someone like Fox, or DD put the jug-eared one on 't spot.

Anonymous said...

Scotish Master Race at it again

Longest Period of Growth said...

And thank God for the BBC doing that. The police are bonkers.

Anonymous said...

I just got a message that i have never seen before claiming i have reached my comment limit! I sent two messages, none have benn posted, in fact nothing posted since 12.43. Neither was controversial or contained any rude words. I was logged in as a member. When you go to the explanation of new rules it says it is designed to stop multiple posts after some complaints? I thought all comments were moderated and therefore multiple posts were edited before they get to the screen. I am actually having trouble believing what i have just experienced. It is frankly an eye-opener to me

Anonymous said...

Was that really David Blunkett I saw on the BBC 1 Heaven & Earth (Faith)programme this morning.

If it was him, he was conspicuously NOT talking about the major political issue but the Big Brother racial/religious discrimination issue. I mean, I know you have to cover all the angles in a crisis but surely he shoud have been talking to Andrew Marr on Sunday AM at 9.00 am not Gloria Hunniford at 10.00 am.

SE said...

Any Marr piece should carry an on screen graphic stating that his wife is a Labour MP.

After all the MPs he interviews have a register of members interests.

David said...

Amazingly, the comments on the BBC page have started again, but with a mysterious 2 hour gap. And isn't it even more curious that my comment was timed (by me) at 12.51, just before the outage...

fr said...

"I don't think anybody after this is going to be able to say of Tony Blair that he's somebody who is driven by the drift of public opinion, or focus groups, or opinion polls. He took all of those on. He said that they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right. And it would be entirely ungracious, even for his critics, not to acknowledge that tonight he stands as a larger man and a stronger prime minister as a result.^ Andrew Marr
David Edwards and David Cromwell. Guardians of Power. p.53
Quoted in Wiki, where I was looking to see if Mrs Marr really was a Lab MP

Anonymous said...

Lord Marr of Shepherd's Bush. How much would that cost? Perhaps silence is a small price to pay.

Oy Vay said...

Simple. The BBC News order/agenda is determined by Downing Street and has been since Hutton/Butler.

Fib Dem said...

I thought David Frost used to toady to Labour but Marr has reached new depths. He is incapable of holding the Govt to account.

We are in the middle of our watergate and Marr missed it.

BJ said...

I have seen some audience focus group-style research about the BBC news coverage last week.

Not hugely suprisingly, the average punter in the street is seriously turned off by the cash for peerages inquiry. It may strike the geeks of the blogosphere as suprising, but ten people (tean real people) dying in some of the worst weather the UK has experienced in a decade is actually more relevant to a lot of people's lives than the arrest of someone that very few people have ever heard of -- especially if they're huddled in their kitchen listening to a battery-powered radio because there's no electricity.

The bit of BBC news I work on put the cash for peerages story second. Fair enough, I reckon.

Oh, and as for this morning... what else had happened in cash for peerages? Sir Chris Fox had shot his mouth off. No more politicians of any worth had commented at all.

Yes, of course the announcement about the Home Office was designed to knock other stuff off the agenda. But it was still new. And the prospect of one of the biggest changes to the justice/immigration/security setup in history is simply an important story. Because it's a lot more relevant to people's lives.

fr said...

re bj
Perhaps we have been wrong all the time. Perhaps the BBC is not biased. Perhaps the problem is weak, lazy, sloppy journalism. If I recall the BBC report consisted largely of a reporter sitting in the front room of a lady, watching her fill a thermos, going to see her mother. (7 mins) No reporting where all the 10 deaths were, how they happened, learning from that how best to avoid injury, which type of buildings were worse affected, what can be learned from that.
Report on arrest of top gov aid: talking head in front of studio televisions. (4 mins) They couldn't even be bothered to have bloke doing report standing outside No. 10

BJ said...

The BBC News order/agenda is determined by Downing Street and has been since Hutton/Butler.

So that, oy vay, is why there's been a story previewing the Tories' new health announcement on the radio all day, is it?

Iain, this blog post has just been read out by Carolyn Quinn on the Westminster Hour. Kitty Ussher MP denies the theory that this was announced to hide the loans for lordships stuff away. I disbelive her, to be honest.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that Carolyn Quinn has been willing to go where Mogadon Man was fearing to tread, and has given you a namecheck to boot !!

David said...

Ian, an ongoing investigation is always a hard story to cover. Sure it really interests you, but today I'm really not sure there was much more to say on it. Sorry.
The Newsnight Email "story" on the other hand strikes me as odd, but I didn't see the show so can't be sure.