Some time ago, I considered why so many across the political spectrum are so ready to bash the Beeb. Much of the attack comes from Tory supporters, but you don’t need to read more than a few blog posts from Big Al to be reminded that Labour aren’t totally happy either. My conclusion was that both sides want the news served up in a way that suits their taste: this is the Right Sort Of Baked Beans. The Beeb, in its quest to maintain impartiality, serves up the Sort Of Baked Beans that reflects, as far as they can, the Real World.
Thus the dissatisfaction. Since that time, however, we have had the denunciation of the Beeb by Murdoch Junior, together with News International swinging its weight behind the Tories, then Young Dave telling how he’s going to abolish Ofcom (a body which has incurred the Murdochs’ displeasure) and Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt talking of tearing up the Beeb’s charter.
Consider all of the foregoing as a backdrop to this morning’s Tory press launch (as I mentioned earlier, this is the one with the Big Brother photo of Cameron), when the Beeb’s political editor Nick Robinson, fresh from grilling Alistair Darling at an earlier Labour press briefing, had the temerity to put a question to Young Dave. As the Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow has observed – scroll down to 1055 hours – Cameron replied by telling Robinson that the previous briefing had “indoctrinated” him and that he would have to be “re-educated”.
No doubt Young Dave thought he was being jolly clever, and the presence of a hundred or so Tory supporters chortling in the background will have made him look good, but this comes over as another cheap attempt to paint the Beeb as biased, and could easily rebound: Labour will milk the popularity of the Beeb and any perceived Tory attempt to move against it.