The resignation of George Entwistle from his post as Director General of the BBC has rightly been perceived by those in the Fourth Estate who loath the Corporation, if only because it presents news in the way that their bosses and editors do not approve of, as a breach in the defences through which the attack dogs can now be sent in an attempt to do some real damage.
And, just to show that he is just another dishonest Tory smear merchant devoid of principle, London’s occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has used the platform afforded him by the Maily Telegraph – for which he trousers £250,000 of “chicken feed” per annum – to put the boot in and settle a few scores, notably for Tim Donovan having the audacity to ask him questions.
Bozza has no truck with the inconvenient fact that Newsnight did not name Alistair McAlpine. “‘McAlpine’ was the name the programme’s makers fed out to various Left-wing tweeters and bloggers” he asserts, slipping in a blatant whopper which he and the Tel know cannot be stood up. McAlpine’s name was already out there. It had been out there for several years. The BBC did not put it out there.
So Bozza falls at the first hurdle, but then, he may now be able to devote a little more time and effort to his well remunerated real job – and maybe explaining to Londoners why he’s dumping yet more fare hikes on them and massively increasing charges for the cycle hire scheme while sponsors Barclays face no increase at all. In any case, there are plenty of other Ron Hopefuls queuing up to kick the Beeb.
These include Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips at the Mail, who recycles the idea that the more tightly regulated BBC let the howler through while the free press – once again praising the deeply subversive Guardian when it suits her – showed it was a case of mistaken identity. But, in reality, she only shows that regulation underpinned by statute does not curtail free speech.
After all, Mel’s chosen paper knows all about “smearing an innocent man”. Colin Stagg, Robert Murat, Christopher Jefferies, anyone? But, as the man said, there’s more: still churning despite being well past his best-by date, the Sun’s revisionist Trevor Kavanagh asserts “Both the BBC and The Guardian have paid sleuths to spy on citizens whose private lives and financial affairs were unjustifiably invaded”.
That’s another one that will take some standing up. Clearly, though, this is a real opportunity to reinvent reality, as well as score settling. Some in the press are so eager to kick the BBC that they are prepared to tell whatever whoppers are necessary to dish the dirt. But, like Bozza, Mad Mel and Trev, the point at which they over-reach themselves is glaringly obvious.
And none of their papers are in any position to call out the BBC for bad journalism.
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