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Saturday 18 July 2020

Fred Dimbleby’s Dead Cat Bounce

The surname Dimbleby is one of broadcasting legend: from Richard Dimbleby, the war correspondent who became a central figure of news, current affairs and documentary television, whose last commentary on a state event was covering the funeral of Winston Churchill, to his sons David and Jonathan, longstanding TV hosts and commentators, it is a name that is synonymous with the highest standards of the genre.
Fred Dimbleby ...

Now has come the next generation of broadcasters: David Dimbleby remarried in 2000, and with his second wife had a son, Fred. The Mail told its readers last yearWith David and Jonathan Dimbleby retiring from Question Time and Any Questions? respectively, you might think it would mark the end of the distinguished broadcasting dynasty. Not so, for I can reveal that David's son Fred has been accepted for a place on the ITV News traineeship scheme, which is due to start in August”. There was more.

Fred, who is Dimbleby's only child with second wife Belinda, showed he had inherited the family's broadcasting gene when in 2016 he chaired a student Question Time at his £30,000-a year school, Brighton College, eliciting praise from guest speakers Matthew Parris and Jacob Rees-Mogg … 'Most professional,' Parris said afterwards, noting that young Fred had his father's habit of looking at the audience over his glasses”.
... missing the obvious suspect ...

But now that Dimbleby fils has been at ITV for almost a year, he’s been judged fit to send out to do some Real Reporting. And here a problem enters, as he became the face of a dead cat chasing exercise that went nowhere. Dimbleby was dispatched in pursuit of a story after claims of Russian electoral interference last year.

He might have stopped and thought for a moment: the claims of interference hinting strongly that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was part of some Russian plot had come from the Tories, the leaked trade talks documents had been on Reddit for some time, and the first to publish last November was not the Labour Party, but the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog.
... ending up hassling Jezza ...

How would a Dimbleby approach what was looking increasingly like a dead cat? How would the family tradition be maintained? Sadly, Fred Dimbleby did not stop and think, but hot-footed it to Corbyn’s doorstep. It was exactly as the Tories wanted: their own shortcomings, and the Russia Report’s non-appearance, were forgotten as a supposedly impartial broadcast journalist threw their own dead cat on to Corbyn’s front garden.

The Evening Standard later toldITV shared a video of the exchange with the caption: ‘Jeremy Corbyn refuses to answer questions about Russian involvement in last year's general election’ … Mr Corbyn’s wife Laura Álvarez then shared a video that appeared to show the reporter, along with the comment: ‘Why [are these] journalists harassing us and not asking the government about the suppressed #RussiaReport?’
... by chucking one of these at him

Why indeed. While the Standard tries to elicit support for Dimbleby fils, telling readers “David Dimbleby’s son has faced an onslaught of online abuse after he was apparently filmed questioning Jeremy Corbyn over Russia on his doorstep”, they miss that he went with a Tory Party dead cat, missing the bigger picture that was staring him in the face.

How the famed Dimbleby research has declined over the generations. Sad, really.
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grim northerner said...

I think the quoted article mistook the word 'nepotism' for 'journalistic gene'.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes...Matthew Parris.

The same far right Murdochised tory Parris who years ago undertook a TV programme to "live" on "welfare".

After a few weeks he was borrowing money simply to keep the lights on and the rented flat reasonably warm. After which he declared "welfare" was "Just about right."

In short, a classic far right tory liar, hypocrite and propaganda bullshitter. Which is why he now gets the Murdoch shilling.

The Dimbleby brat? Merely more of the corrupt same. Which is why he was sent on his grubby little errand. Training for when he joins aged sociopaths in corporate media. Bought-and-paid-for already, conscience-free like them.

Anonymous said...

Sixty million people and the top media consists of a tiny incestuous group who all went to the same few private schools/Oxbridge.

Perhaps if we had more journalists from working-class backgrounds there might be a bit more honesty in the modern business?