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The Glass Box for Tuesday

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Eddie Mair | 16:36 UK time, Tuesday, 4 December 2007

In the PM office we meet ever night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxd.JPG

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too.

Comments

  1. At 05:19 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Nucular?

  2. At 05:24 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Tony wrote:

    Your wonder why politicians are not trusted - why did you let that Armed Forces minister get away with it ? If the real increase in budget is 1.5%, defence inflation is at around 7%, and we are buying large items like a nuclear missle upgrade and two carriers then YES ! something will have to be reduced , NOT managed , REDUCED ! (sorry to shout ..)

    Please do not let these people come on the radio and weasle their way out - you've got the right questions!
    They are not there to get a plug in for the government he was there to answer questions about the death of 14 servicemen in what may have been an antiquated system with no fire supression !!!
    If he won't answer the question , then tell him and get him off..

    I'm sorry but I have had enough - these people died fighting for their country and his refusal to answer a straight question with a straight answer is just galling

  3. At 05:35 PM on 04 Dec 2007, eeore wrote:

    Who is that doctor?

    He is clearly a moron.

    Is he really suggesting that doctors should be entitled to report people to the police on no basis?

    It is time doctors stopped thinking they are entitled to act with impugnity while draining the public purse. God knows why some many people trust these quacks.

  4. At 05:40 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Martin Wisse wrote:

    Very disappointed with the item on the NIE about Iran: the American ambassador got way too much leeway to provide his spin on the story without attention to the context of systematic lying by the US government about first Iraq and now Iran.

    Especially when it was followed by a largely content free puff piece about the troubles the US goes to to make sure Muslims are integrated in their country.

  5. At 05:46 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I've just been moved to almost shouting at the radio on the way home, listening to Dr Davis defending Dr Southall. Yes, it is right that paediatricians are able to raise concerns. However, to accuse someone of murder in open court based on a TV interview is NOT raising concerns! To hold certain medical records separate as he did was wrong. There are standards to which doctors have to work, and Mr Southall failed repeatedly. For that he was rightly struck off. To try and claim that this is a witch-hunt as Dr Davis did is deplorable.

    Just to make clear, I'm not a parent, and I have not been involved in any case like this at any time. I'm just outraged at what the profesional body in this case is trying to do.

  6. At 05:46 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Doc,

    Nucular is what ignorant folk say, even while they are protesting they know more about Iran's programmes than the assembled 'intelligence' of their best spies.

    In Scotland, where most of our 'nucular' weapons are kept (against the expressed will of the majority), we are well used to being lied to and ignored.

    Ignorance is no excuse, but it seems the Leader of Nu(scottish)Labour, Ms Alexander is ignorant of even that legal principle.

    Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.
    -- Plato (obviously an American translation)

    Slainte
    ed

  7. At 05:47 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    I agree with Martin Wisse (3) on both counts. Why was the 'blows it out of the water' question not followed through more resolutely?

    xx
    ed

  8. At 05:48 PM on 04 Dec 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Ugh. Nigel Farage (spelling?) spouting exactly the same rant about the CSA that he did on Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show at lunchtime.

    I'd have hoped Eddie would wring something other than his personal bug-bear out of him, but sadly not.

    I'm a bit disappointed that PM seemed to be acting as the Listen Again facility for Jeremy on this one.

    On the other hand, it was interesting to hear the interview with the Teddy-bear woman, not for what she said, but for the reporters putting words in her mouth and leading her to their conclusions.

  9. At 05:57 PM on 04 Dec 2007, alan hedges wrote:

    Sperm Doner ? Poor sod the moral is Lesbian are what they are _ Queer- dont get involved - straight women are dangerous enough, --- PM is great

  10. At 05:58 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Chris wrote:

    In any future interview with the American Ambassador, could Eddie Mair put forward the view that the American government isn't happy unless it has a perceived enemy. Iran is the latest in a long list. After acting on the false information gathered by the CIA on Iraq, the President and his administration should be aware that the CIA is inventing trouble where there isn't any to save their jobs.

  11. At 06:02 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Andy wrote:

    Could not agree more with Tony above. This government wants everything out of its military but will not pay for it. The fact that they do not even have a full time Minister for Defence is nothing short of criminal! Mr Browne has to go... the Nimrod is just one fleet that is getting very old... sadly there are many more, with little chance of replacement soon. Appalling!!!

  12. At 06:03 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Brian Breakwell wrote:

    When is some one going to ask that silly teacher from Sudan why she did not know that what she did was against Islamic law? When in Rome and all that. PM is a can't be missed program. Keep up the good work
    Brian

  13. At 06:06 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Angie Brown wrote:

    FYI: The description above the photo of the glass box contains a typo - you apparently meet "ever" night, which I assume should be "every"?

  14. At 06:15 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Keith Glazzard wrote:

    Dear All

    I normally listen (and write) to Radio 2.

    I discovered, very quickly, that I can't stand Chris Evans, so from 5pm I went back to Radio 3 for acceptable early evening entertainment. I had moved from 3 to 2 some time ago now when 3 hired someone called Petroc Trewlaney (well it sounded like that). I found radio 2 presenters to be of a higher calibre.

    So Monday came, 5 o'clock, hit the button - and there was the Pet Rock!

    In a panic I pressed 4.

    Thank you so much. I am as well informed as I would usually wish to be through my daily newspaper and other sources. But I have enjoyed being better informed, particularly by perceptive questioning of those wishing to persuade us. I think I'll stay.

    Any chance of going on to 7 0'clock?

  15. At 06:44 PM on 04 Dec 2007, martin mcdonagh wrote:

    Why does Eddie Mair say "your weather" and "your "everthing else. It is cringe making.
    Just say here is the weather

  16. At 06:52 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Shirley (Not that one) Williams wrote:

    I was concerned today that your reporter allowed Peter Herbert to make very pejorative and possibly slanderous comments about Andy Hayman. He offered no evidence to support his contentions and his comments were left unchallenged. His attitude was also shockingly vicious and brutal towards a man who did not have the opportunity to reply. Presumably, it is this kind of gratuitously cruel treatment that has led to Mr Hayman's decision to retire. The fact that Mr Herbert is a member of the MPA perhaps reveals to us the ack of support and understanding from that body that Mr Hayman may have been dealing with. A later BBC TV report alluded to the difficulty the MET will have in replacing a man of Mr Hayman's experience and ability. This is an extremely serious topic and I feel that the interview was one-sided and insufficiently serious.

  17. At 06:55 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Angie Brown wrote:

    Re. (15)
    Martin - Eddie is in Kandy right now, for the cricket. His weather is not our weather.

  18. At 07:01 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Peter Bolt wrote:

    For once,and only this once,I think you missed a trick with the Doctor attempting to defend Dr Southall.
    When confronted with your remarks about taking out documents from a file and withholding them,you allowed him to evade giving an answer.
    He should have been asked if ot was common practise so to do.

  19. At 07:02 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Chrissy wrote:

    Angie's observation about the typo also has a typo. I think she intended 'mean' instead of 'meet'. It must be contagious!

  20. At 07:15 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Charlie wrote:


    A very, very good programme this evening, I thought

    An eclectic, but topical choice of news items, thoroughly researched, robustly argued and, most importantly, balanced

    This was PM at its' best. Punching to its' weight, highlighting inconsistency and discrepancy and, leaving the listener and interviewed "adversary" in little doubt that was the case...

    I love it when "They" squirm

    Anyway, I actually stopped what I was doing to listen

    PM can dish-up as much as this as it likes...

  21. At 07:20 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Piper wrote:


    Chrissy @ 17

    Mmmm... don't think so...

  22. At 07:36 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Angie Brown wrote:

    Re. (17)
    No, no, Chrissy - the text currently reads "we meet ever night ". It SHOULD read "we meet EVERY night ". "Meet" is fine. I DO mean "meet". I think. Bah. Now I'M confused!!!

  23. At 08:12 PM on 04 Dec 2007, Keith Glazzard wrote:

    Shirley (nto) Williams, like any right thinking person realises that we need the police, as I do myself.

    Andy Hayman has decided to retire because remarks about him and presumably his expense account.

    Seven bullets into the head of an unconnected, totally innocent man because he looked "asian", and the routine lies that were told by people like him in the aftermath might have had some effect on his conscience. Who knows?

    In several decades I have noticed that police officers tend to resign (usually with pensions - I don't know in this case) before the case goes to retrial and a miscarriage of justice comes to light.

    Not these days of course - its all progress isn't it.

  24. At 11:21 PM on 04 Dec 2007, karlin wrote:

    This may be too late. The interview with the US ambassador......who said Iran must abide by UN resolution re nuclear weapons development.....the BBC always fails to follow such responses with the question of Irsrael's nuclear weapons and that countty's non compliance with similar UN resolutions concerning both its bombs and its illegal occupation of Palestinian land. If Israel did not have nuclear weapons, Iran would probably not be interested in developping its own. I have yet to hear a US politician questioned about Iran's potential nukes (which has happened many many times), with a link made by the interviewer to Israel's illegal nukes. Next time perhaps?

  25. At 06:52 AM on 05 Dec 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Hang on, who is being described as a moron?

  26. At 08:12 AM on 05 Dec 2007, Peter Rippon - PM Editor wrote:


    Cat (8). Apologies if Mr Farage had appeared on JVine too. We try hard to avoid doing the same journalism as other BBC outlets. The question of whether the Today programme has done something already haunts most of our editorial discussions. We do not monitor JV as much as rule. Maybe we should.
    Anyway should you not have been listening to Martha on the World at One? It was not on there.

    Peter Rippon, Editor
    World at One, PM

  27. At 08:54 AM on 05 Dec 2007, Arthur Hutchins wrote:

    How much does it cost to make one PM programme?

  28. At 09:30 AM on 05 Dec 2007, whisky-joe wrote:

    Martin @ 15

    Any mair ay yer cheek an' ye'll get a cuddy lug, ye wee bugger!

  29. At 09:51 AM on 05 Dec 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Peter (26):

    Thanks for responding. I don't think you should worry about covering the same stories as JV - I've noticed it happening several times in the last few months - because usually it's a different angle on PM. This time, the woman (apologies to her but I missed her name both on PM and JV) had slightly different things to say, but Mr Farage seemed word-for-word the same as his earlier appearance.

    I expect that's a problem with a story that's been doing the rounds all day: by the time PM comes round you may well have a guest who has been doing the same interview all over the place and has got into a rut with his responses...

  30. At 10:25 AM on 05 Dec 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Karlin (24) - it's not too late! Thanks for the comment. I think it's unfair to say "the BBC always fails to follow such responses with the question of Irsrael's nuclear weapons and that countty's non compliance with similar UN resolutions". I know that I have on a number of occasions raised those very issues with American spokespeople and others. I know colleagues have too. Next time? Quite possibly.
    But your substantive point is an interesting one. In the time available for an interview, it's not possible to raise every valid point.
    For example, people who're against the Iraq war might legitimately have wanted me to raise the cost of the conflict last night during the interview with the armed forces minister about the crashed Nimrod.
    When it's something you're passionate about, its exclusion can be infuriating - I know that feeling as a listener myself. But in the example you raise, we also know that many Radio 4 listeners will be as aware of the wider Middle East context...indeed we expect a bit of knowledge...and hopefully the exclusion of the question on this occasion can be seen for what it is. Thanks again for writing.

  31. At 11:41 AM on 05 Dec 2007, vyle hernia wrote:

    Martin (15) ff It's a wonder it hasn't become "The BBC weather" yet.

  32. At 12:09 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Roger Sawyer wrote:

    Morning All...

    You've had the boss, you've had the presenter... now you've got me (the bloke editing the programme on Tuesday).

    Many thanks for all your comments. Extraordinary day for breaking stories... so lots to cover and quite a lot we had to leave out. On reflection, we could have done without the discussion on sperm donorship.

    I can't agree with those comments saying Eddie let the US ambassador to the IAEA off the hook. I thought it was a robust interview... and there comes a point where you have to let go.

    All the best...

    Rog

  33. At 02:01 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Karlin & Eddie,

    It has been mentioned here and there that the latest intelligence report, in downgerading the potential nuclear threat from Iran may trouble US-Israel relations.

    We can all guess why that might be so.

    Eddie, I do tend to take Karlin's side. The 'balance' in tends to be on the side of omitting any mention of Israeli Nuclear weaponry or defiance of UN resolutions and rules. You use the term "exclusion" (freudian?) where I would use "omission".

    On the occasions when you did raise the Israeli nukes in any interview regarding the (supposed) Iranian threat, can you recall getting a satisfactory answer?

    Of course, we all know Israel doesn't have any nukes because she refuses to admit their existence. We also know she is under continuous attack from her aggressive and expansionist neighbours. In fact, she has had to kill dozens of Palestinian children to stop them from throwing stones or crossing the border.
    http://www.btselem.org/english/statistics/Casualties_Data.asp?Category=13

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi
    ed


  34. At 02:13 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    The body count in Palestine

    29.9.2000-30.11.2007
    Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces
    (in Occupied Territories;; in Israel))
    4269 66
    Palestinians killed by Israeli civilians
    41
    Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians
    234 471
    Israeli security force personnel killed by Palestinians
    236 87
    Foreign citizens killed by Palestinians
    17 36
    Foreign citizens killed by Israeli security forces
    10
    Palestinians killed by Palestinians
    568
    Source: B'Tselem

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi
    ed

  35. At 01:02 PM on 06 Dec 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Eddie & Karlin,

    Thanks for both comments. I tend to go with Karlin, in that the 'balance/context' is more honored in the breach than in the inclusion.

    Eddie, your use of 'exclusion' where I would use 'omission' may say more than intended.

    We all know Israel is embattled and surrounded by folk with unreasonable objections to having been dispossessed and displaced. Their reactions to this minor inconvenience six decades ago has compelled the Israelis to reluctantly restrain children from throwing stones and trying to cross the 'fence':
    http://www.btselem.org/english/statistics/Casualties_Data.asp?Category=13

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi
    ed

    P.S. Of course, like Iran, Israel denies the existence of any Nuclear weapons programme....

    Will this one get past the silent watchers? I wonder...502 Thrice +4 so far
    (AND YESTERDAY'S SECOND POST HAS JUST APPEARED. WHERE'S THE FIRST?)

  36. At 01:35 PM on 06 Dec 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Eddie & Karlin,

    Thanks for both comments. I tend to go with Karlin, in that the 'balance/context' is more honored in the breach than in the inclusion.

    Eddie, your use of 'exclusion' where I would use 'omission' may say more than intended.

    We all know Israel is embattled and surrounded by folk with unreasonable objections to having been dispossessed and displaced. Their reactions to this minor inconvenience six decades ago has compelled the Israelis to reluctantly restrain children from throwing stones and trying to cross the 'fence':
    http://www.btselem.org/english/statistics/Casualties_Data.asp?Category=13

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi
    ed

    P.S. Of course, like Iran, Israel denies the existence of any Nuclear weapons programme....

    Will this one get past the silent watchers? I wonder..

    Six 502s later, all that's happened is that the second of yesterday's posts has been shaken loose, together with Roger's note. WHERE IS THE FIRST?

    Bah! HUMBUG!

  37. At 02:45 PM on 06 Dec 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Mutter, mutter, mutter,,... When is this supposed 'fix' expected?

    GRRR!
    ed

    (666-164)d, 0f course!
    and again
    and again

  38. At 02:56 PM on 06 Dec 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Mutter, mutter, mutter,,... When is this supposed 'fix' expected?

    GRRR!
    ed

    (666-164)d, 0f course!
    and again
    and again
    "
    "

  39. At 06:03 PM on 10 Dec 2007, Keith Glazzard wrote:

    Private schools as charities? Well they must be. Eton College received one of the first grants from the National Lottery to build a new sports hall. I wonder what they named it? 'Dedicated to the Stupid' perhaps.

    That, of course, according to one contribution, makes me envious. I prefer the other put down that the privileged try on those who they dislike - 'too clever for your own good'.

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