Devil and details

is the BBC's media correspondent. Twitter: @BBCTorinD

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"Far be it for me to downplay any threat to the licence fee - particularly given yesterday's outbreak of support on Twitter, at #proudoftheBBC - but how many people have actually read Jeremy Hunt's interview with the Daily Telegraph

Did he really say:

"The broadcaster has been responsible for 'extraordinary and outrageous' waste in recent years"?

As far as I can see, those words don't appear at all in his half-page interview, though in the front page news story he does talk about:

"things many people thought were extraordinary or outrageous".

The newspaper's splash was headed: "Licence fee for 'wasteful' BBC will be cut." Many people got the impression that the Culture Secretary had thrown down the gauntlet and upped the ante last week - hence the rush to 'save the BBC' on Twitter.

Were they right to do so? Judge for yourself.

In the interview, he went out of his way to say the licence fee would not come up for discussion for a full year.

"All the concerns I had in opposition about executive salaries and use of licence fee funds for things many people thought were extraordinary or outrageous - that (next year) will be the moment when I express them."

Yes, he could envisage 'The People' paying less for their BBC - "Absolutely." But so has the BBC Trust, which suggested last year that part of the licence fee could be handed back.

Yes, he said "huge numbers of things ... need to be changed at the BBC. They need to demonstrate the very constrained financial situation we are now in."

Yes, he said:

"The BBC should not interpret the fact that we haven't said anything about the way licence fee payers' funds are used as an indication that we are happy about it. We will be having very tough discussions."

Given the coverage in the Telegraph, and those statements, it was right for the BBC to cover the story. It was the first time since taking up the job that Mr Hunt had said the licence fee could be cut. And it never does any harm among his own supporters for a Tory culture secretary to be seen to be bashing the BBC.

But the idea that anything has really changed and the Government is currently turning up the heat on the BBC is wrong. I wonder if Mr Hunt will say this on the Andrew Marr Show this Sunday?

Torin Douglas is BBC News' Media Correspondent, @BBCTorinD.

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