Car crash radio?
Oh dear, a moment on Broadcasting House this weekend has upset a lot of listeners. It featured an exchange between the former Labour insider Derek Draper and the Liberal Democrat acting leader, Vince Cable, in what is supposed to be a review of the Sunday papers. They were discussing this. (Click here to listen to it). Among the comments:
"There is one guest taking over the discussion and voicing his biased political opinions. There should be a briefing of guests prior to the programmes informing them of protocol and the BBC's constitution."
I agree the BBC should not be deliberately manufacturing confrontations. We did not in this case. We should also not allow bullying and intimidation. I do not think we did that either. Vince Cable is very capable of defending himself. However, I would resist the urge to avoid confrontation altogether. There should be a place for strongly held views vigorously expressed. People get angry because they care about things. Whilst it may have backfired in Mr Draper's case this time, radio should show how deeply views are held. Good programmes should not always be gentle and friendly. They need to be challenging and uncomfortable at times as well.