But McBride had always shown a reckless indifference to being caught out. He was often texting journalists with venomous messages or malevolent advice that took the breath away. On one occasion shortly before a presenter was about to interview a cabinet minister McBride texted him with the message: “Ask him about his drinking problem.” Again even if the attempted assassination of a minister was clever politics – and it was not – for the fingerprints to be all over the source was dangerously inept.I put it to Steve that it was all very well relating this anecdote now, but perhaps we might all have more respect for political journalists if they told these tales when they actually happened. Lance Price dubbed it an issue of "client journalism" where journalists become so dependent on one or two sources that they lose sight of their independence and allow themselves to be spun.
It developed into a bit of a confrontation. I felt a bit guilty afterwards as I like Steve and he is a man of great integrity and gives great insight into what goes on in the corridors of power.
Listen on the iPlayer HERE. The whole discussions runs from 09.30 mins to 34 mins . The somewhat heated discussion with Steve Richards starts at 17.00 and lasts for five minutes. See what you make of it.