John Humphrys and 'Unbiased' Reporting
John Humphrys, the fierce presenter of Radio 4's Today programme, has recently come under a bit of fire for apparently criticising various Labour figures. The details can be found here and the speech here. Naturally he has come in for a bit of stick from various people, some of whom have been after his blood for some time. One attack is from a journalist for various rags in the UK, Stephen Pollard, who also as it happens has a blog. Like so many British journalists he is the world's leading expert on everything. Anyway he made the following comments:
In his now infamous speech, Humphrys argued that: “If we were not prepared to take on a very, very powerful government indeed there would be no point in the BBC existing — that is ultimately what the BBC is for.”
No, Mr Humphrys, it is not [classic British moralising rhetoric]. The purpose of public service broadcasting is precisely the opposite: to provide an analytical, unbiased and serious alternative to the supposed free-for-all of commercial broadcasting.
That it is now ITV and Sky to whom one turns for unbiased coverage is thanks to John Humphrys and his BBC ilk.
I would love to know how Pollard would define the unbiased coverage provided by ITV and Sky (Murdoch owned!), or indeed the BBC of yesteryear. And unbiased coverage in general.
Without making a judgement one way or another on Humphrys, I can't help but think (and I can't prove this) there are still certain people inside New Labour who want a bit of revenge for his views on the damning of the BBC in the light of that whole shambolic Andrew Gilligan affair and the govt's disorting document on Iraq's so-called WMD capabilities.