The attempts by the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press to use last week’s edition of Panorama as a stick to beat the BBC continues: the pretence that five NHS workers interviewed all supported Labour was evidence of bias, when around 80% of those workers back Labour, against 6% for the Tories, continued unabated.a fresh and steaming pile headlined “Culture Minister Oliver Dowden blasts BBC director-general over bias in the wake of Panorama programme on the Government's handling of Covid-19”. What this means is that Dowden has written a letter to Lord Hall-Hall, maintaining the dishonest pretence that the five were all “activists”.
Owen claims “It was revealed after the broadcast that the medical professionals interviewed on the programme were Left-wing activists”. It wasn’t. Merely voting for a particular party does not make that person an activist: Owen is taking his cue from the lies circulated by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog.
So what does Dowden’s letter bring to the table? “In his letter … Mr Dowden says that, while respecting the editorial independence of the BBC, he is sure Lord Hall 'will agree that at a time of heightened risk of misinformation and disinformation, it is more important than ever that the BBC upholds the values and standards we all expect. The public should be able to turn to the BBC for transparent, unimpeachable, reliable news’”.
Was the Panorama programme factually inaccurate? We don’t get to find out, but do get “After referencing the Panorama and Burberry items, Mr Dowden says: 'I am sure you will agree that it is vital that public confidence is maintained in the BBC's long-standing reputation for fair and balanced reporting, and that any damage to that would be deeply concerning.’” Yes, yes, but what was factually inaccurate? We don’t get to find out.
Circular argument, anyone? The statement, which will have originated not a million miles away from chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings, assumes guilt has been proved. It has not. The key revelations in the Panorama programme were not brought to the table by any of those interviewees, who were there to share their experiences as front line workers. The kinds of people the MoS and its daily stablemate likes to call heroes.
Owen does the job that has been assigned to him: smear the BBC and bolster the idea that the Corporation is some kind of hotbed of Rotten Lefties™. His problem is that neither he, nor indeed Oliver Dowden, has cited one single inaccuracy in the edition of Panorama about which they are complaining. The interviewees’ testimony is not even mentioned - it’s just a series of personal attacks. Just crude tribal politics. Approved by Government.
While we don’t expect any better from the Mail on Sunday, it’s sad that rather a lot of the lying is clearly being driven by Polecat Dom and his pals. Paid for by We The People.