Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Sunday 27 September 2020

BBC + Ofcom Dead Cat UNRAVELS

It was said of the Murdoch Sunday Times, in the days after John Witherow first became editor, that some of its lead stories did not make it into the next day before unravelling. In the case of the infamous Michael Foot “Agent Boot” splash, the unravelling came on the morning of publication. Today’s ST has beaten even that record: today’s front page lead has already unravelled, to the shame of political editor Tim Shipman.

Yesterday evening, Shippers told the world “Boris Johnson has asked former Mail editor Paul Dacre to run the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom. Charles Moore is close to a done deal to be BBC chairman”. He then overreached himself by adding “Dacre will use Ofcom job to tackle BBC bias and bureaucracy - but will also go after internet platforms who peddle fake news”. There are two glaring howlers in that second Tweet.

One, Ofcom does not have the power to “go after internet platforms”. And Two, Ofcom does not have the power to tackle alleged bureaucracy. Broadcasters can structure their organisations as they wish. This is a dead giveaway, and highlights one of the media establishment’s current failings: not interrogating its sources properly, or even at all.

The impression was already being given that the Dacre and Moore claims were yet another effort by chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings to sling a big enough dead cat on the table to “win” the next iteration of the news cycle, and of course “trigger the Libs”. And that impression was only reinforced when Peter Oborne examined the ST claims and concluded that they did not stand up to scrutiny.

Keep everything in proportion. Dacre would have even less power at OFCOM than Moore at BBC. This is a smart piece of news management to distract media attention from the mishandling of Brexit, the Covid tragedy and looming economic disaster. Don't fall for this confected row” he told, before concluding that the story was not a serious one.

This is feeding Dacre to the papers to distract attention from lockdown etc. Read the story carefully. Our friend 'No 10 sources' and our other friend 'Whitehall sources' loom large. Note the application process hasn't been opened for either job. Translation: load of bollocks …I smell Lee Cain, former Daily Mirror chicken man, at work here. Maybe he's the Whitehall source and Cummings is the Downing Street source”.

This was then underscored by Peter Riddell, who is currently Commissioner for Public Appointments, reminding us “Public competitions for the new chairs of the BBC and Ofcom, both regulated by [the Commissioner for Public Appointments], have not yet been launched. Each will involve a Senior Independent Panel Member to provide assurance of a fair and open process as in the Government’s Governance Code”.

Shippers and his fellow hacks appear to have taken dictation from the Polecat and his pals, while failing to interrogate those sources, to produce a story that suits the Murdoch mafiosi, but looks too good to be true. Because it is too good to be true.

The claims are in other papers today, too. But they had unravelled just after 2100 hours yesterday. Cummings whistled the press poodles. And they fell for it - again.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at



Arnold said...

One, Ofcom does not have the power to “go after internet platforms”. And Two, Ofcom does not have the power to tackle alleged bureaucracy

You know that. I know that. But does Bozo know that?

Anonymous said...

Right now, I suppose the only comfort one can draw from this shitshow is that even Johnson's own MPs are starting to get fed up with him simply enacting what Cummings tells him to do without putting it before Parliament.

The sooner this Poundshop Trump/Bannon tribute act are gone, the better.

Anonymous said...

Thing is, even as a 'dead cat' strategy, it just opens up a whole other can of worm-flavoured Whiskas regarding the appointment process along with the records and public statements of both Moore and Dacre. Shades of Toby Young and the Office for Students all over again?

Uxbridge No Analytica said...

Anti-freeze Peach.

Come, Come, Come and tell lies to me said...

Deep in the bunker
Down Murdocho Way

Jonathan said...

Well if as suspected the Polecat is bringing out bigger tins of fish flavoured Whiskas
, things must be bad in No10.

Bozza never a man to do his homework, admittedly, he's been doing this since his Eton days.

Rumblings from Tory backbenchers fed up of the polecat running the country and basically making a pig's ear of it, big time.

How long will Tory backbenchers put up with Bozza increasingly miserable appearances and the whispers from his press pals his health and wealth are fast disappearing southwards like the British economy?

Anonymous said...

So the tory Murdoch Sunday Slimes lied yet again.

Abnormal service for the gammons and wannabe nazis.

Andrew Barker said...

I think you are correct. Even if Moore is appointed to be Chairman of the BBC there is little he can do on his own to change things. The BBC Board consists of 12 or 13 individuals, about four are from within the BBC, four more are appointees to reflect each of the four nations. I expect that most of these will be happy to overrule any anti-BBC activity he attempts.

Also Paul Dacre is singularity unqualified to run Ofcom. He has no experience of broadcasting, he is not a competent adjudicator on taste and decency, he knows little about telecoms infrastructure, and is a man of the 20th century, not the 21st.

This is all a dead cat issue, end of.