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Tuesday 13 October 2015

Adam Boulton - Not Fit To Be Trusted

Those who front news and current affairs programmes on the UK’s broadcast media carry on their shoulders a significant responsibility - that of giving as objective a picture to the viewing public, and allowing a range of views to be expressed, whatever their personal feelings on the matter (pace Andrew Neil, who manages this rather well). It is not a position which anyone so entrusted should abuse.
Meltdown: things that cannot be unseen

Sadly, that thought does not appear to have entered for veteran Sky News (“first for breaking wind”) man Adam Boulton, who has reappeared on the Zelo Street radar as he has, indeed, flagrantly abused his position of trust on the Tom Watson and Leon Brittan saga, although this is not the first time he has done so. Boulton’s wobbly behaviour has been evident for more than five years now.
It was in the aftermath of the 2010 General Election - where Young Dave and his jolly good chaps were going to cruise to victory, and then didn’t - when the Sky News man showed the beginnings of partiality, losing it big time, live on air, with Alastair Campbell, to even the latter’s evident surprise. After his meltdown before Big Al’s relatively gentle winding-up, he apparently lost it again later in the day with Labour MP Ben Bradshaw.
That both Campbell and Bradshaw have shown significant support for properly independent press regulation, and the Royal Charter which emerged from the aftermath of the Leveson Inquiry, is, I believe, not a a coincidence. And even before his disgraceful intervention in the Watson melée, Boulton had intervened in discussions on the future of the BBC, a matter in which he could be said to have an interest.
[For God’s sake] this is not existential. Just how much public money spent on what” he scoffed, before responding to Sean Lawson’s “It's not existential. It's party political and ideological Adam”, with “Move on not much to see here”. Au contraire: there is rather a lot to see here. But most revealing to see the mask of impartiality slip so readily.

And to see exactly how far that mask has slipped, we need look no further than the Watson saga, where Boulton has left us in no doubt as to what he believes Labour’s deputy leader is doing: “or carrying on smearing?” he told to a questioner on Twitter. And it soon got worse, when my good friend Peter Jukes asked him “can you remind your news teams Brittan investigations ongoing”. Not such an unreasonable question.
The reaction was as sharp as it was shocking: “dream on”. There you have the objectivity of Adam Boulton and Sky News in one: would they like to give that objective picture to the viewers, that range of views, that full information? Would they buggery. That alone disqualifies Adam Boulton from any role other than that of a partisan pundit. Any show fronted by him and pretending otherwise is instantly devalued.

The Watson and Brittan saga has thus seen one highly useful side-effect: it tells us that the pretence that Adam Boulton is fit for purpose was for a time - but not for all time.


Anonymous said...

Does anybody in full possession of their common sense and decency need to know more than this: Boulton and Sky News are employed and instructed by Rupert Murdoch.

Says it all really.

Anonymous said...

You can't trust any news outlet that Murdoch is involved with. Newspapers or broadcast media.

Anonymous said...

This is from a Guardian article ( 17 April 2015 I think?) some Q&A piece in the Saturday Magazine with TV election presenters modelling clothes. Adam knows what the national interest is. Do we need elected politicians?

"Worst on-air moment?
Losing my temper with Alastair Campbell in the aftermath of the 2010 election: he argued it was not in the national interest for Gordon Brown to resign immediately. But I was right and most of the public agreed with me. They usually ask why I didn’t punch him"

rob said...

Dream on!

A trio of Guido, Adam Boulton and Eric Pickles looking enviously at media coverage of "Fat Frauds" and wondering how they can possibly have been left out.

There's no such thing as bad publicity, so they say, and the Streisand effect could be just as devastating and might enable the real truth to be known.

Just don't rely on Sky News to deliver it!