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The Director General and the BBC

Eddie Mair | 16:46 UK time, Wednesday, 18 July 2007

What do YOU think?

Comments

  1. At 04:43 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    The biggest mistake they made, Eddie, was not taking you seriously.

    Seriously.

  2. At 05:02 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Bob wrote:

    Umm, ERR mmmm ahhh umm er!

    I think you stumped him, Eddie!

  3. At 05:09 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Charlie wrote:

    What the people concerned did was wrong

    One would have thought obviously wrong...

    By any other name, what's taken place would appear to be, FRAUD

  4. At 05:09 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Flustered, I would say.

    Phone-ins etc are such a money-spinner and so popular in the quest for interactivity that it is little wonder that this sort of thing has happened.

    It doesn't help that none of us are real froggers but sit in the bowels of Broadcasting House typing varying degrees of nonsense and pretending to participate. Let's hope no one tells Sony....

    And, Eddie, I hope he doesn't sack you after the grilling you've given him!

  5. At 05:14 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Mustapha Grype wrote:

    I trust that you will now ensure, Eric, that pseudonymous froggers will have their postings blocked.
    "Not before time!" I say.

  6. At 05:17 PM on 18 Jul 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Listening to the DG just now, I just have one question:

    Who is "Wee Willum"? The DG just mentioned him twice in a row...

  7. At 05:19 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Norma Bone wrote:

    Why is just the BBC being hauled over the coals for this. The same independent companies work for all the channels. I cannot believe that this problem is with the BBC only.

    It strikes me that the BBC is, in this case, being the most honest in coming out first.

  8. At 05:20 PM on 18 Jul 2007, David Doughan wrote:

    So tendentious and misleading editing is something done by the odd bad apple? Not in my experience, both as an interviewee and as a former BBC radio producer.

  9. At 05:21 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Alison Keys wrote:

    It was no surprise to me that the trailer featuring the Queen turned out to be inaccurate. There are just too many trailers for programmes these days, and anyone who watches a TV prog after having seen the trailer will more often than not find that the sequence of events in the programme turns out to be rather different from the version in the trailer. Events and comments are routinely chopped up and rearranged to make the trailer more exciting. Presumably the justifcation would be that everything we see in the trailer does eventually turn out to be in the programme itself, but I still think this is misleading. This applies to both documentaries AND fiction; those "next week" segments with which the end credits are regularly ruined are often misleading when you finally see the episode.
    Stop endlessly trailing programmes. Stop squeezing and talking over end credits.
    There is a feature in thie new Radio Times about TV on demand. When that becomes more straightforward, do the broadcasters actually think we will stick with their scheduled progs, interrupted by trailers, ruined credits and on-screen channel IDs, when we can download what we want, when we want it? Not unless they start to treat us with more respect.

  10. At 05:23 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Michael Wherly wrote:

    Well done on the grilling you gave Mark Thompson. However, I query that item being the lead.
    While you had him in the hot seat, you might have asked him why BBC television output is so often mediocre, and why these mediocre programmes merit endless - endless - trails. A poor Newsnight watcher is forced to witness endless repetition of mind-numbing 'attractions' that ain't.

    So the big question is: Where does ALL our money go? That's the question that needs an answer. Sometimes I think BBC staff make producers to impress one another, rather than the viewers who want a Public Service alternative to all the nonsense on offer.

    Michael Wherly

  11. At 05:24 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Tony Gardner wrote:

    If all BBC journalists accepted their responsibilities and behaved responsibly as demonstrated by Eddie's no-holds-barred interview with his boss, the BBC would not be having the problems it has today. Well done Eddie Mair!

    Tony Gardner (from sunny Belgium)

  12. At 05:24 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Phillip Brown wrote:

    Sounds like the DG could do with a course in - presentation. Or was he squirming so hard, especially when you asked about his resigning he could only mutter and avoid the point (and any real responsibility). Whatever happened to 'on my watch'.

  13. At 05:25 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Robin Goodfellow wrote:

    The Director General is effectively making the statement; "We've defrauded you on many occasions, but hey, what are you going to do? You're only the chumps that pay my wages"

    It really is a metaphorical two-fingers to the licence fee-payers.

    Resignation DG, today, please.

  14. At 05:27 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    Looking at the list of programmes involved, the problem generally seems to have arisen as a result of technical glitches. If you lose all your callers, you have a choice: be honest, and just tell us what's happened; or indulge in a pretence and get a member of the production team to pose as a member of the public.

    Why has the BBC opted for the latter path? Perhaps just because they don't like us to think they can be hit with technical hitches (they are the experts after all). I don't think it's consciously dishonest - it's just giving people what you think they want.

    It rather looks as if you're going to have go for the former option from now on - 'Sorry, all the phone lines have gone dead. Here's a video of a kitten playing with some wool.'

    Sid

  15. At 05:28 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Tony wrote:

    Dear Eddie,

    I thank both you and Mark Thompson for being so frank. Mr Thompson's actions are to be applauded.

  16. At 05:30 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Anthony Edwards wrote:

    Errr ummm errr well ... I just wonder who is actually going to pay the fine or should that now be fines? Don't tell me you are all going to make a contribution to the 'honesty box' errr

  17. At 05:30 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Conrad Jenkin wrote:

    The Director General of the BBC seems to want us to believe that all the misleading programmes are concerned with Phone In Programmes. Not so; even programmes such as The Apprentice are permeated with mini-falsehoods, expressly designed to mislead the Viewer with the aim of making 'Better Television'. Conrad Jenkin

  18. At 05:31 PM on 18 Jul 2007, jazzie wrote:

    Only editors, producers, directors, series producers and executive producers make decisions in the cutting room. So for RDF to pass the blame on to a "junior member" of staff is another act of blatant dishonesty. Both the BBC and RDF know exactly which individual is responsible for this blunder. What a shame you didn't put this point to Mark Thompson.

    PLEASE NOTE: I WISH TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

  19. At 05:32 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Susan Stauffer wrote:

    Gosh, did that BBC D.G. sound shifty! You really had him squirming - well done!

  20. At 05:33 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Ralph Bird wrote:

    I have listened to the BBC since the 1950's
    I have always trusted and been proud of our Flagship Radio station, The envy of the world.
    It represents our country. In the last few years
    It has been slowly degenerating in standards and content.
    Can we get back to basics, Honest reporting, high class programming and less channels, This need to compete should stop. You were already the best. The whole system seems to be decending into cheap and nasty third rate programming regime. Fly on the wall type programs etc. Radio 4 has thank goodness
    held the moral high ground in this increasing chaos. The people concerned with the latest problems, Should without doubt be sacked. Not sent on courses. Bring back high standards on the rest of the system is what I say.

  21. At 05:34 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Aud wrote:

    It seems to me that if you choose to live in a country, you must accept the laws of that country.

    If you wish to be subject to a different justice system you should live in a country where your chosen system is practiced.

  22. At 05:41 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Pat Moran wrote:

    Well done Eddie! You absolutely grilled him! He was...all..um..over the...err...place.

  23. At 05:44 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Andrew Briggs wrote:

    Brilliant - I loved the spoof interview with the DG. Who says drama and comedy are dead on the Beeb ?

  24. At 05:44 PM on 18 Jul 2007, jazzie wrote:

    just to confirm I do not want my name to be included in the comment I just posted. I work in tv so there would be serious consequences for me if my name was printed or read out. You can however refer to me as Jazzie.
    Many thanks.

  25. At 05:50 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Mustapha Grype wrote:

    Oo-er.
    There are several duplicated postings, above.
    I hope you're not going to fall foul of the regulators when it comes to totting up the scores.
    We wouldn't want any allegation of lack of probity.

  26. At 05:54 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Phil W wrote:

    Why do people get so worked up over this sort of thing? Do people really take what the media says or shows at face value, or is this just another hysteria bandwagon? There's always an agenda of some form.

    And why won't interviewees answer the tough questions? No bottle I guess...

  27. At 06:02 PM on 18 Jul 2007, John Hollingsworth wrote:

    If the BBC want to put someone up to justify the cheating that has gone on with regard to quiz questions, they ought to get a spokesman who doesn't sound so shifty!

  28. At 06:15 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Electric Dragon wrote:

    Many moons ago (well, about 11 years), I was a contestant on a TV quiz show. This quiz show was broadcast with sounds of applause from the audience: however, there was no audience in the studio, merely sound effects. At one point, one of the other contestants got a question wrong, but for technical reasons the question had to be refilmed. The contestant had to give the same wrong answer in the retake. Was this duplicitous, or was this merely presenting the essential truth?

    A common trope in filming property shows is to show the presenter knocking on a front door, then cut to inside the house showing the owner opening the door. The owner of the house appears surprised to see the presenter - yet surely the camera crew in the hallway was a hint?

    The truth is that all prerecorded TV or radio is to a greater or lesser extent a confection. This is called "editing".

  29. At 06:18 PM on 18 Jul 2007, John Wilson wrote:

    As others have already said, most of the instances seem to involve trying to cope with technical problems. In these cases it's understandable that people may take bad decisions.

    However, The Liz Kershaw Show is deception of a different kind. The producers of the show knew that the phone in was going to be faked. The contributors to the show knew that they were doing to take part in a deception some time before it happened. I'd be very interested to know what happened to the listeners who phoned in whilst the recorded show was being aired. Did they get an engaged tone, were the phones answered so that the punters incurred a charge?

    If PM covers this story again I'd very much like to know more of the details of this particular incident.

  30. At 06:21 PM on 18 Jul 2007, N Tomlinson wrote:

    I've never heard such an abject performance on the radio as the one by Mark Thompson just after 5.00pm. I had to keep reminding myself that this was the Director General of the BBC speaking (or attempting to). Presumably communication skills are listed in the person specification for his job?

    The only positive outcome of hearing Mr Thompson's effort his is that it helped to explain why the BBC has declined to its current state.

    Well done Mr Mair. I don't think the DG answered the question about whether he should resign, but perhaps the Trustees will answer it for him.

  31. At 06:24 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Nick Henshall wrote:

    Three cheers for Eddie Mair! His lethal grilling reduced the Director General to shifty evasions and inarticulate bumbling. Mark Thompson clearly has no grip on the BBC and would fail GCSE English.

    The interview deserves to become a classic of forensic interrogation. How/when can I get a recording? Perhaps you could replay it as part of your 'On the Ropes' series.

  32. At 06:29 PM on 18 Jul 2007, T.Ford wrote:

    How far though does honesty go ? A while back I read somewhere that 'Songs of Praise' Easter show was recorded directly after the Cristmas edition .... they just decorated the church with flowers for the former. The reason was to save money.

  33. At 06:33 PM on 18 Jul 2007, scratcher wrote:

    Phil W makes me feel a bit better. I was beginning to think I'm the only person in Britain who never takes any of this media stuff at face value, and therefore a massive cynic. I once worked on a comic and the editor always wrote the letters in the letters page... The majority of programme content in the Beeb, apart of course from R4, is utter tosh paid for by a regressive tax levied at, OK not gunpoint, but finepoint. Are we supposed to think it has some sort of moral credibility? Per-lease!

  34. At 07:15 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Kevin wrote:

    While the DG is ultimately responsible it would help if people could resist the current fashion for demanding a resignation every time something goes wrong.

    The organisation needs to learn. It cannot do that if you keep chopping off its head.

    Once a group of people start to believe that everything they do must be OK because it's them that's doing it, then this sort of thing is bound to happen. Turning that around will take years.

  35. At 07:18 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Denise Coles wrote:

    I agree that standards at the BBC have fallen. In addition to fake winners and deliberately manipulated trailers, basic courtesy has taken a downturn. The DG may not have been fluent in his responses, but he remained courteous. The same cannot be said for Eddie Mair who too often seems to be modelling the John Humphrys, Robin Day style of interviewer. The late Nick Clarke, Brian Redhead & even Richard Dimbleby were models of intelligent and probing questioning without ever having to resort to brusque or 'clever' interruption.

  36. At 07:40 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Hugo Rudd wrote:

    Does the ban on interactivity phone-ins mean no more pointless and embarrassing viewer polling on The Daily Politics? My goodness.

  37. At 07:59 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Alex Upton wrote:

    Hi Eddie,

    I've just listened to your interview with the DG. Regarding the actual issues themselves, my first reaction was horror. Why would people take it upton themselves to fake phone-in competitions. It makes absolutely no sense to me, unless the people involved think they are working for a commmercial company. Mindboggling. I am deeply saddened that the BBC has been so tarnished by this.
    But then the DG interview itself. Good grief he was terrible. All that erring. I couldn't believe that someone in his position could be so bad at presenting himself and his position.
    A sad day for the BBC but to you and your team, thanks as always for an excellent show that I listen to every day, really enjoy and rely on to keep me in touch.

    Best regards,
    Alexandra Upton (a Brit in Northern California, where its raining by the way).

  38. At 08:03 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Martin A. White. wrote:

    FAKED BY THE B.B.C. !!

    Am I right, after revelations regarding faked B.B.C. programmes, that I must be wary of the possibility of "The Archers" may not indeed be true.

  39. At 08:08 PM on 18 Jul 2007, T Ford wrote:

    O.K. , this really happened for a current affairs prog. If you were the producer with money constraints what would you do ? You have blown the budget on a doc. in Costa Rica .... when you get back to the U.K. you find that a 'piece to camera ' of your reporter shot there has a factual inaccuracy .... (1) go back to Costa Rica and film it again regardless of cost , or, (2) go to Kew Gardens and film it in the Great Glass House with lots of tropical foiliage in the background and edit it into the film ?

  40. At 08:11 PM on 18 Jul 2007, CJ McAuley wrote:

    The interview with Director General did nothing to engender any faith that what he said, er, um, will actually happen. This clearly was an example of someone who is incapable of being "on-air" in charge of those who actually possess the talent to do so. This could also be called the "Peter Principle" at work.
    Mind you, I haven't noticed anything untoward in my internet listening here in Canada, but I still enjoy helping to stir the pot!

  41. At 08:20 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Phil W wrote:

    Electric Dragon at number 28: Absolutely Fabulous! Come to think of it, was that Reality TV show faked (and who was laughing in that house)? ;n)

  42. At 08:21 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    Gobsmacked at how inept the DG sounded, well done Eddie for pursuing him.

    As for resignations I think it is debatable in this case whether chopping off the head would benefit the organisation, so on the whole I'll reserve judgement and see whether the multi-point ethics plan works. Clearly it is essential to the survival of the BBC as a respected entity that it should. Equally, it does make one wonder about all the other media outlets out there.

    Perhaps all schools should be teaching media studies, with a module on how to spot a fake, a fudge and downright lying.

  43. At 09:44 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Chris wrote:

    As I listened to the Mark Thompson interview I was left wondering why certain questions were not asked of him.
    There seems to be a view of responsibility abroad at the moment in which someone further up the hierarchy is thought to be directly personally responsible for the off the wall actions of others beneath them in the scheme of things. This infantilises everyone concerned both those taking part and those looking on. Mr Thompson has clearly acted responsibly to try to solve the problem that has emerged, in line with his position overlooking the function of the BBC. What I wanted to know was what is going to happen to the individuals who took these clearly disreputable decisions. I wanted to know if the DG is going to find who was responsible and sack them. To my way of thinking where he is questionable is in respect of retraining everyone which runs the risk of patronising a significant proportion of the staff given that a moderately well brought up child would not have perpetrated these gormless deceits.

  44. At 09:57 PM on 18 Jul 2007, madmary wrote:

    This would never have happened when Val Singleton was on Blue Peter!

    Mary

  45. At 10:13 PM on 18 Jul 2007, John Ciriani wrote:

    I was impressed with the interview. Well done Eddie for a revealing insight into the investigation. I do not believe that the DG should resign. He should have coaching in media interviews however. I am concerned that the investigations have being continuous since March 2007 but many of the issues have only just come to light. Why so long? Fear? If the truth is to be found from the staff then there must be no risk to their jobs. I believe that in the past people have been fired and it later turned out they were telling the truth. A statement from the DG to explain that staff telling the truth about an issue will NEVER result in a sacking would be welcome. It would give us confidence. The honesty of the BBC is reflected in the country so please help us achieve an improvement - we need it. We have suffered from spin for too long.

  46. At 10:36 PM on 18 Jul 2007, mittfh wrote:

    In an idle moment, wondering cynically if Eddie Mair & co. were pseudonyms, and somebody else was (quite literally) stepping into their shoes...

    Let's see what an anagram generator can turn up:

    Eddie Mair --> Dire Media (no doubt the "BBC is biased" bunch would agree)
    Eddie Mair --> Amide Ride (ooh err!)

    Carolyn Quinn --> (The online generators have trouble with her - they can rearrange carolyn but not quinn)
    Carolyn Quinn --> Lycra on Quinn (makes a change from Glastonbury wellies!)
    Carolyn Quinn --> Quo in Lynn car (but presumably not their instruments!)

    Hugh Sykes --> She hug sky (ooh err missus!)

    Peter Rippon --> Protein prep (nutritious!)
    Peter Rippon --> Proper inept (ouch!)

    -oOo-

    And I can't finish without a dig at myself...

    Ben Norwood --> Be own donor
    Ben Norwood --> Be donor now

    Very topical :)

  47. At 10:54 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Peej wrote:

    Of course these things shouldn't happen and its good that they've come out, but on a scale of 1 to 10 how much am I bothered? About a 2. The big issue for me is balanced reporting. There has been a good deal of vitriol dripped over the blog these last few days, but I really, honestly feel that too often BBC reporting lacks perspective. I can understand the desire to present both sides of a story, but that often manifests itself in giving equal weight to criminals or terrorists or some other tiny anti-social minority. I know that for many people bias equates to the BBC not giving prominence to their particular viewpoint, and I try hard not to fall into that trap. I'm a passionate supporter of many bits of the BBC, not least of PM, but taking its output overall I no longer have any confidence that it can even objectively assess the balance of its reporting. If relatively mild-mannered Archers-listening moderates like me are starting to think like this, I think you do have a bit of a problem guys.

  48. At 11:49 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Eddie,

    I just listened again, and, as someone said elsewhere, you've got titanium cohones.

    "You're making my point!" Indeed!

    I'm still laughing! Poor DG.

    xx
    ed

  49. At 12:15 AM on 19 Jul 2007, whisht wrote:

    Eddie!

    "What do YOU think?"

    aw c'mon......

  50. At 12:24 AM on 19 Jul 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Excellent interview - well from Eddie's angle.

    Shocked, surprised and angry!

    I think he should be.

    Having been in Broadcasting House today I can imagine Mark must have been stressed. At one satage everyone was glued to the 'ringmain' - Sky TV and other media crowded outside the rotating doors and at the rear exits waiting for information.

    On coming down back to the BBC R4 /R7 floor Chris and I were nearly knocked down by Mark Damazer and a very official looking woman running up the internal staircase.

    What struck me was Mark Thompsons confidence when reading the statement and 'lack of confidence' when responding to Eddie's questions.

    I'd be interested to hear a speech analaysist's reaction to all the Err Err Umm Umm Err's --?

    However - when all's said and done, Mark Thompson has accepted that the buck stops with him and has implemented a number of measures to prevent these sort of things recurring. As for resigning? If he resigned over this we would have a new DG every six Months.

    Today I was looking at the editorial compliance procedure that the BBC has to already fulfill with my friend Peter at BBC7.

    It really is a nightmare and very time consuming. The amount of 'man hours' and discussion just to reach a conclusion as to whether the word 'Sambo' can be transmitted was mind boggling. - and this was a debate about pre-recorded material.

    Live broadcasting is very stressful - often involving snap decisions and mistakes on hindsight, will always occur. PM has made some real clangers over the years, as has every producer and presenter worth their salt. In reality the Blue Peter incident was no big deal.

    In 15 years of broadcasting I've more than once asked a member of staff to go on-air and give the correct answer to a competition and never thought twice about it - however no prize would have been given to the particular member of staff. The usual reason was due to not getting the correct answer.

  51. At 01:01 AM on 19 Jul 2007, jonnie wrote:

    mittfh (aka Ben) - the Dire media one has surfaced on the blog last year I recall - but love your Carolyn Quinn and Peter Rippon one's.

    But Ben - Isn't 'Online Generator' a nice trendy name?

    Is he/she a friend?

    Well if we accept Peaches Honeyblossom or Fifi Trixibelle Geldof, I think it's certainly a possibility of someone being called that. :-)


  52. At 01:16 AM on 19 Jul 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Oh Peej,

    I agree with your first point entirely but I think you should quote some examples to substantiate the second half?

    'objectively assess the balance of its reporting'

    Are you implying that too much weight was being put upon today's lead, ie: this story?

    Or

    Is it something deeper and possibly more worrying?

    If it's the first, then I'd agree with you.

  53. At 01:31 AM on 19 Jul 2007, mac wrote:

    Hi (37).

    Well, Micheal Grade was on Newsnight on all this tonight, a Daniel to the fight.
    God he was plausible.
    It turned out he'd been up to all sorts when doing World This Weekend.
    He laughed, acknowledged it and then continued his so plausible 'I am trustworthy' presentation.

  54. At 06:08 AM on 19 Jul 2007, Chris wrote:

    Your Editor in Chief was let off the hook last night.

    Most if not all of the 'errors', 'scams', call them what you will, were on his watch.

    A true leader would resign now that the truth has been discovered. The fact that he hasn't says it all.

    Chris

  55. At 06:25 AM on 19 Jul 2007, Edward wrote:

    If only so much fuss were raised over the general everyday BBC dishonesty of not representing the views of the majority over matters of race and immigration that has been going on for years

  56. At 09:15 AM on 19 Jul 2007, Stephen, Leader of STROP wrote:

    A question - and more for some of the contributers to this than the BBC.

    Is a man that Errs and Umms and Hahs "on the rocks" necessarily, or is it possible that he is pausing because he is genuinely trying to give an honest answer to the question?

    We are so used to Blair-spin, where each answer was so carefully scripted, that we have forgotten that human beings occasionally need to think about how to respond to questioning.

    I think that a man who will come on air and say "we screwed up royally, and I will try and make sure we stop it" should be applauded.

    Who would want a DG that said "This was all justified in the light of a confidential dossier, that I can't reveal to you" or even (with apologies to Yes Minister) "I have looked into the allegations and can find no eveidence of intentional deception of the public"?

    One side question - how stupid does a producer need to be to think that a "live" phone in on a recorded show is a good idea? I hope that (s)he at least has their position reviewed

  57. At 09:51 AM on 19 Jul 2007, Billy Binks wrote:

    Eddie - when I was much younger man I loved the BBC and all that she stood for. In those early days she gave much pleasure and entertainment. I had nothing but respect for her. She was a great communicator and life and soul of the party. But over recent years, somehow we sadly grew apart. She repeated herself a lot and became obsessed by the American way of doing things. She seemed intent on destroying our own way of life, by sacrificing her own high standards on the low alter of commercial greed. She became surrounded by vain glorious personnel who didn't really care about her or indeed what would happen to her. Of late, I have been deeply saddened to see her slouched, bedraggled and alone, scrounging from old friends and embarassing herself in public. She's now 85 years-old, and a shadow of her former self. if the truth be known I think the end for her can't be all that far away.

  58. At 10:00 AM on 19 Jul 2007, Carl wrote:

    Another couple for the DG... BBC Medway playing a recording of the pips instead of the real thing, because the presenter couldn't 'hit' the real thing. Mind you that was twenty years ago.
    Then last week BBC Look East blatantly 'advertising' an Essex crisp manufacturer, pack shots, reporters taste test, etc, and all on the flimsy story of Tescos are now stocking them! There was even a ridiculous price comparison with Tesco value crisps. How many boxes did she come away with I wonder?

  59. At 10:10 AM on 19 Jul 2007, Arthur Hutchins wrote:

    The police should be investigating the BBC.

  60. At 10:41 AM on 19 Jul 2007, David Public wrote:

    Silver lining to the mis-reporting of the Queen's recent photo session.

    Now at least the Queen will understand how the miners felt when deceptive editing of news reels showed the strikers attacking the police first, when the reverse was the case.

  61. At 11:29 AM on 19 Jul 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Hello Stephen! (56), Haven't seen you on Earth for a while! :-)

  62. At 02:48 PM on 19 Jul 2007, David Hadley wrote:

    Send someone down into the BBC's archives and get them to make a list of every change that has been made since Birt was first put in charge.
    Then change it all back to how it was before.

  63. At 03:43 PM on 19 Jul 2007, Grumpy Tyke wrote:

    A BBC radio journalist upsets the PM and the government, no physical or fiscal harm involved and he and the Director General of the BBC have to resign. The BBC cost thousands of people thousands of pounds in wasted phone calls to competition lines that are not run correctly and no one resigns. Where's the justice in that?

  64. At 03:55 PM on 19 Jul 2007, tony ferney wrote:

    I think suitable chastisement of the waffling DG would be to display, between programmes, a photo of said DG with Richard Nixon-type five o'clock shadow and captioned "Would you buy a used phone from this man?"

  65. At 05:38 PM on 19 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Edward (55),

    "the general everyday BBC dishonesty of not representing the views of the majority"

    It isn't the duty of the BBC to "represent" ANY view, majority or minority, but to report matters and elicit comment from a vaiety of sources. This it does exceedingly well, but of course far from perfectly.

    Who's gonna throw the first stone?

    xx
    ed

  66. At 06:43 PM on 19 Jul 2007, Dr. John David Leaver wrote:

    I thought your questions were excellent and rather flummoxed the DG. I wish there was more of this type of thing on US media, but then again I might have to take more interest in what was in my immediate surroundings if there were.

    I fear that many media types are now our unaccountable leaders, with the result that many people are losing interest in all things public, and the lowest commmon denominator remains the play-ground of so called media gurus, not least David Cameron.

    Loved Matthew's Paris's mock tirade satirizing Alistair Campbell, too. Paris was a Tory MP once, right? The tirade was on Broadcasting House.

    Many Burnley fans, like me, feel a sense of disbelief that Campbell would wish to associate himself in anyway with the Clarets (BFC), since the team is also supported by Chambawamba, an anacist, anti-Christ to media hype.

    'Boff' Whalley and Alistair Campbell on what, in the US, we call 'soccer' and contemporary society now that would be an interesting joint interview, rather like Roy Keane and David Becham on the same team, oh yes . . . I guess Sunderland are happy with the first and America is welcome to the second. What real problems is Campbell destined to sort out?.

    Ex-Pat, Savannah, Georgia.

  67. At 10:41 PM on 19 Jul 2007, Peej wrote:

    Jonnie (52) - sorry been away all day, just catching up. The view that I've come to isn't the result of coming across a smoking gun, although Orla Guerrin was badly shown up last year when she made a very selective report at the time of the Israeli-Hezbollah contretemps, and ITN (I think) visited the same site and put things into a very different perspective. I'm a bit of a current affairs junkie, and sometimes when you contrast the BBC's coverage of an event with that in a variety of other media its markedly one-sided, but thats only my opinion of course. Funnily enough I came across a very apposite quote from Churchill this evening. 'I decline utterly to be neutral as between the fire brigade and the fire!' What I regret not making clear is that its not all (or even most) reporters or programmes. But it happens a bit too much and too often, and I'm genuinely saddened because I think the BBC is a bl**dy marvellous institution on the whole. Naturally I exempt the sainted Edward from any hint of criticism, he sticks the boot in with total impartiality (just ask the DG)

  68. At 12:48 AM on 20 Jul 2007, Paul wrote:

    Edward (55)

    Bias in BBC current affairs is well documented as I am sure you are aware. This has been highlighted in both external and internal reports. The one thing it does not do is elicit comment from a variety of sources. For example, John Humphries on the Today programme rolled out George Galloway as an 'expert' on the Middle East conflict.

    On PM George Galloway stated that most of the population of this country share his views. On both these occassions there was no counter argument. The mind boggles.

  69. At 03:59 PM on 20 Jul 2007, Truthyness wrote:

    Can't fathom the blog structure here.
    So we have chapter headings, fine!
    So a subcategory devoted exclusively to THE DIRECTOR GEN & The BBC is especially created? Yeeeees! But to which category does it belong? Glass box? furrowed brow?

    Have to have a sit down... I'm beached, the surf-sickness is getting to me. Where is the blog editor anyway!

  70. At 04:05 PM on 20 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Truthyness (69),

    Some things are beyond categorising, no?

    xx
    ed

  71. At 09:06 PM on 20 Jul 2007, Truthyness wrote:

    Ahhhh! Ed (70): the philosopher of the domain, thank you for restoring my reason;)

    Psssst! I'm only new 'ere! Shhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  72. At 01:19 AM on 29 Sep 2007, truthyness wrote:

    testing

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