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Tuesday 11 June 2019

Piers Morgan BBC Deflection RUMBLED

[Update at end of post]

Once again, former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has misused the platform given to him by ITV as a co-host of their breakfast offering Good Morning Britain, this time to lay into the BBC on behalf of his pals in the press who never miss an opportunity to kick the Corporation. This time his faux ire has been directed at the Beeb’s decision to restrict free TV licences for the over-75s to those households receiving pension credit.
Would you buy a dubiously sourced exclusive from this man?

Although a previous Labour Government had made the concession 15 years ago, the Tories effectively dumped the decision on the BBC by making them responsible for funding that concession out of licence fee revenue. And the Tories promised in their 2017 manifesto to maintain free TV licences for over-75s. But by forcing the Beeb to make the decision, they have abdicated responsibility for the consequences.

So it’s clear that if anyone ought to be getting it in the neck, it should be the Government, especially given that promise. But Piers Morgan is, at heart, an Old Media man, and his pals who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet - like at the Mail, where he has a role at Mail Online, and the Murdoch press, where he and Rebekah Brooks go back a long way together - expect him to offer them a bit of red meat once in a while.
And so it came to pass: “Shame on the BBC for doing this, they should be forced to do a U-turn and cave on this.’ @piersmorgan  gives his thoughts on the BBC's decision to scrap free TV licences for pensioners. #GMB” told the show’s Twitter feed. Co-host Susanna Reid did try to point out that the Government had dirt on its hands, but to no avail.

Just in case his press pals needed prompting, he added “I appeared on the BBC last week (@bbcquestiontime). They agreed to take on this responsibility in return for increasing the licence fee - now they’re reneging on the deal”. Increasing in line with inflation, not real terms. Still, once a selective tabloid hack, and all that.
Sure enough, Morgan’s press pals have been on the case, with the Murdoch Sun telling readersHundreds of thousands of people sign petition to save free TV licence for over-75s”, and thatTory leadership contenders blast BBC for ‘breaking promises’ after ditching free TV licences for over 75s”. Oh look, it’s press stooge Matt Hancock.

The Mail has put the boot in, thundering'Cancel your direct debits!': Furious pensioners call on licence fee payers to boycott BBC's 'utterly disgusting' decision to scrap free TV licences for 3.7m over-75s”, and barrel-scraping in no style at all withTory leadership hopeful Esther McVey has said she is ‘ashamed’ of the BBC over its decision not to continue with free TV licences for all over-75s”. Who cares what she thinks?
As opposed to someone called Piers Morgan taking a long hard look at himself, eh?

And all the while, ITV enables Morgan to pursue his blatant press-oriented agenda, GMB management seemingly unable - or unwilling - to rein him in. Still, while he’s there, the bad publicity that marred the show’s early days will stay well away.

Whether that’s a fair exchange for journalistic credibility, I will leave for others to decide.
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[UPDATE 12 June 2045 hours: broadcaster LBC has now revealed the identity of the culprit in the licence fee row. And it is not the BBC.

Their exclusive tells "the man who first came up with the idea to make the BBC cover the cost of the free TV licences is one of the frontrunners in the race to be the next Prime Minister ... LBC's Political Editor Theo Usherwood has unearthed a report from the time by MPs, which revealed that at the start of the negotiations, [Jeremy] Hunt wanted to force the BBC to cover the cost of free TV licences for those aged 75 and over". And there was more.
"Mr Hunt was told by BBC bosses that it would be unable to absorb the cost but nevertheless pressed ahead with the idea. The problem for the Conservatives is that it is a manifesto pledge from 2017 to maintain free TV licences for the elderly". It was always a political choice by the Tories.

It was clear from the word go that Piers Morgan was doing nothing more than playing to his pals in the press. Now that the real culprit has been revealed, will he now admit he was wrong?

You jest. Being Piers Morgan means never having to say you're sorry]


O O O'Hanraha'hanrahan said...

So, the Tory Government 'bribed' the BBC into accepting a deal about free TV licences? Get Margaret Hodge onto … On second thoughts, maybe not.

rob said...

Jeremy DerbyshireNaughtieWord acting on behalf of the Rupert Murdoch Government? That one?

The Rupert that wanted the BBC to be less of a competitor to his business interests? That one? And the one who had scupper the ITV pay to view business which was rivalling his own?

Morgan is just another Murdoch Mafia Minion. The Old Mordoconian Mutual Aid Society springs up everywhere to spread the Murdoch cancer.

Anonymous said...

As if I didn't need more of a reason to call 'Good Morning Britain' 'Poundland Fox News' with Morgan looking and acting like a bargain bin Sean Hannity, Susanna Reid there as blatant eye candy and their non-debates that threaten minorities' right to exist.