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The Glass Box for Monday

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Eddie Mair | 16:34 UK time, Monday, 16 July 2007

The Glass Box is the place where you can comment on what you heard on PM. Did we get the right lead story? Were the interviews terrible, or the reporting bad? Or was it all great?

Just click on the "comment" link.

If you want to post a comment about something that is on your mind but was not on the programme - use the link on the right to The Furrowed Brow. Also on the right, you'll find FAQ: try it. And why not visit The Beach?

Comments

  1. At 04:36 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Well the trailer was very good - if I hadn't had a newsletter, I may have been surprised by the ''garden noise'' feature. However, I am none the less intrigued!

  2. At 05:09 PM on 16 Jul 2007, jeff watts wrote:

    The UK has expelled some Russian diplomats in protest against Russia's refusal to extradite the peson suspected of killing Litvinenko. Find, so why haven't we expelled some US diplomats over the USA's refusal to extradite the people suspected of killing Matty Hull?

  3. At 05:22 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Nice to hear some more background re the Russia situation. The Boris section was good, particularly the Ian Hislop bit. Good job getting hold of him. As for the TB/Sacred Cow issue (just finished), I think you need to get representatives of the Hindus involved on the programme to press them on this....

  4. At 05:23 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Graham wrote:

    Hear, Here, Jeff.

    Unfairness and confused thinking and blatant candidate for the 51st State. You cannot un-twine UK and US capital, their TNCs and therefore their 'National Interests'. Russia is not a market for us, therefore it's a rival.

    Long Live Castro- they'll never get him.

  5. At 05:31 PM on 16 Jul 2007, mac wrote:

    What did Brum City Council mean by saying prosecuting Cadburies was a 'big' decision?

    Well, Eddie, its simple enough. If you criticise a rich or powerful entity you can expect a great deal more difficulty sustaining the criticism than in the case of small fry.

    Like your interviewing technique, in fact, which is rarely rough on the powerful but positively scornful of every ordinary spokesperson.

    On Friday a contributer to this blog was called a cloth eared buffon. Sometimes your aimless vituperation is so pervasive I'm surprised anybody can bring themselves to listen.

    Quite what that sort of disproportionate rhetoric (buffoon) makes you I leave to your listeners to decide. Personally I find most of your interviews an exercise in bullying.
    You think you are being clever and evidently some of your listeners think you are too.

    But I suggest a simple test. After a Meir interview do listeners gather the gist of the material qua news or do they have the memory of some smart remark or another or even just the feeling that Eddie was ruthlessly snide.

    You are never at your most sarcastic with those who are known to be able to look after themselves verbally.

    It would be a 'big' decision for you, Meir, if you stopped picking on minnows and either took on only those of your own rhetorical weight or cut out the smart aleck stuff altogether and stopped thinking PM should be 70 percent your personality and 30 percent news.

    This is not a point about not being critical of people you interview. It is a point about badinage where the truth emerging in interviews with you at your worst, is deemed equivalent to your delivering super-sarcastic remarks.

    Mac, Leics

  6. At 05:31 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Neil Hainsworth wrote:

    There seems to be a bit of an irony that the BBC is using an Apple influenced name for its iPlayer, but Mac users will not be able to use it.

  7. At 05:37 PM on 16 Jul 2007, mac wrote:

    What did Brum City Council mean by saying prosecuting Cadburies was a 'big' decision?

    Well, Eddie, its simple enough. If you criticise a rich or powerful entity you can expect a great deal more difficulty sustaining the criticism than in the case of small fry.

    Like your interviewing technique, in fact, which is rarely rough on the powerful but positively scornful of every ordinary spokesperson.

    On Friday a contributer to this blog was called a cloth eared buffon. Sometimes your aimless vituperation is so pervasive I'm surprised anybody can bring themselves to listen.

    Quite what that sort of disproportionate rhetoric (buffoon) makes you I leave to your listeners to decide. Personally I find most of your interviews an exercise in bullying.
    You think you are being clever and evidently some of your listeners think you are too.

    But I suggest a simple test. After a Meir interview do listeners gather the gist of the material qua news or do they have the memory of some smart remark or another or even just the feeling that Eddie was ruthlessly snide.

    You are never at your most sarcastic with those who are known to be able to look after themselves verbally.

    It would be a 'big' decision for you, Meir, if you stopped picking on minnows and either took on only those of your own rhetorical weight or cut out the smart aleck stuff altogether and stopped thinking PM should be 70 percent your personality and 30 percent news.

    This is not a point about not being critical of people you interview. It is a point about badinage where the truth emerging in interviews with you at your worst, is deemed equivalent to your delivering super-sarcastic remarks.

    Mac, Leics

  8. At 05:42 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Nick Godwin wrote:

    Oh, I know how to get rid of birdsong at 4:30am. It's easy. Make some very loud noises in the garden. Such as by banging dustbin lids together fot 10-15 minutes. That will scare the birds away. Problem solved!

  9. At 05:47 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Paul kearney wrote:

    I've just been listening to Eddie Mair's interview with the US Under Secretary of State. Ostensibly, it began as a piece abut Britain's expulsion of a few Russian Diplomats, but within nanoseconds it had moved on to changing attitudes of the Brown foriegn policy team. I think Mair is an extremely fine journalist, but this exchange left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. It was chasing an agenda, not the news of the day. And I know the old left-wing liberal BBC bias is something of a sacred cow by now, but rarely have I heard such insidious anti- Americanism displayed by Mair. I was disappointed in him.

  10. At 05:50 PM on 16 Jul 2007, huge wrote:

    Are the Russians lying when they say they cannot extradite their own citizens?
    At what point do we start lobbing nuclear missiles?
    Students of national and international law will despair over this government madness. If we cannot respect their laws haow can we expect them to respect us?
    The government has shown gross ignorance in this matter. Time to call in the men in white coats

  11. At 05:52 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Rachel G wrote:

    I hope you feel better for that mac...

    I'm not here to defend Eddie, but it is my general impression that he usually goes rather easier on 'members of the public' but rightly takes to task those who are paid to promote/defend a policy, business or organisation.

  12. At 05:54 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Jason Bufoon wrote:

    I think Eddie's quite kind with us, and handles the motor-mouths pretty well. Eddie cannot be everyones proxy. And I don't think he particularly wants a Knighthood.

    Pardon?

  13. At 05:57 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Ollie wrote:

    Mac (6) In my opinion the PM programme as hosted by Mr Meir is 99% personality and 1% news (that's on a good day).

    It is hard listening to this institusionalised, politicised version of current events. As I don't have a Television I am waiting with great anticipation for Channel 4 to start it's radio broadcasts.

  14. At 05:59 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Mac (5): At least Eddie Mair is not rude.

    It was a legitimate question to ask anyway. I was wondering just why the Trading Standards officer made that remark. Indeed, I've wonder a lot recently about Trading Standards' role in protecting the consumer - but that's another matter.

    The Trading Standards' officer laid himself open to Eddie's question by making it sound as if they wouldn't normally prosecute a large company. I do realise that their resources are limited - and, indeed, that their funding comes from our taxes. But he said what he did, and Eddie queried it. Correctly.

    Eddie's style is different. He has a great sense of humour, and a quick wit, which prompt some ready repartee. His success on the PM programme, on Broadcasting House, and elsewhere, show that this style is popular with many listeners.

    One thing that I really like about Mr. Mair - he is self effacing. There is no cult of personality of his making - though there are many fans out here who would elevate him to that status if he wished. But my guess is that he doesn't. Off air, he disappears. And that's fine.

  15. At 06:21 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Yvonne Murray, PM Reporter wrote:

    Re: Item on Internet TV.

    Hello, a few listeners have emailed in to point out that the iPlayer will not be compatible with Apple Macs.

    The BBC's Director of Future Media, Ashley Highfield, told me that they the iPlayer is indeed only compatible with broadband-enabled PCs at the moment but that the BBC will be launching a Mac version of the iPlayer by the end of this year.

    thanks,
    Yvonne.

  16. At 06:42 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Bina Cossar wrote:

    Bin
    Well the issue on the Hindu bullock has amazed me. What is the Publick Health Officer saying about it. I'm glad I do not live in Wales.!!!!!

  17. At 06:48 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Peter Coghlan wrote:

    I would like to have learnt from the Cadbury piece just why the chocolate manufacturer believed, even for a nanosecond, that a small bit of salmonella was ok. One million pounds is nowhere near enough for such a callous disregard for public health.

  18. At 06:49 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Ollie wrote:

    Big sister. You say "at least Eddie Mair is not rude". That's true if you agree with his viewpoint.

  19. At 06:53 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Kevin wrote:

    I'm sure the iPlayer will be very popular, assuming Apple's legal department don't take exception to the name.

    Personally, I'd settle for getting digital radio back. Thanks to a transmitter "repair" in June, I can't receive it anymore.

    Never mind. With Cold War II getting under way maybe I should listen to shortwave instead, and watch out for news items containing the words "Boris bicycle chaos".

    Oh, oops. Anyone got a copy of Protect and Survive?

  20. At 07:00 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Rose wrote:

    I consider myself a professional in that I leave my politics and prejudices at home when I leave for work.

    I occassionally listen to Radio 4 news broadcasts just to see if there is an improvement on professionalism. Sadly, I am always disappointed.

  21. At 07:03 PM on 16 Jul 2007, John Wilson wrote:

    Yvonne (14) you may have a scoop on your hands:)

    I have not been following this issue too closely (I have several Macs but no TV licence). However I think that this is the first time a BBC executive has given a deadline for non Windows support. It deserves a wider audience.

    The BBC has lost quite a bit of respect and goodwill in certain areas of the Tech community over it's rather clumsy handling of the iPlayer. The BBC techies are pretty good but the management sucks, I'm afraid.

  22. At 07:06 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    No, rudeness isn't comparative in the way you suggest, Ollie.

    And Eddie is interviewing people from across the spectrum five days a week.

    Okay, I guess you and Mac don't like his style of wit - that's fine, we're all different. But it would help your case if your criticism was objective, rather than sounding just like two people who don't LIKE the presenter of the PM Programme.

    There are many presenters I can't abide, like Mr. Clarkson, and I vote with my fingers.

  23. At 07:28 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    John W (20);
    It's probably more to do with the fact that 95-odd% of home computers are Wintel systems. Mac look good, but were underpowered until they adopted the Intel chips.

    Those who complain of the Wintel monopoly would do well to wonder why Mac's cost so much for so little? It's because they keep the manufacture of everything in-house, thereby maintaining a monopoly and maximizing their profits at the expense of a gullible public. They repeated the formula with the iPod and iTunes. Hoorah! Which just goes to show how foolish we all are.

    They've actually borrowed a few ideas from Microsoft in recent years. Having designed items which are attractive and stylish, but hideously expensive, they have produced some of the best marketing ever seen, exactly the way that MS sold Win95 to a world which ignored OS2 (the far superior product).

    Steve Jobs is no fool. he promises much at MacWorld with delivery far in the future, whips up a feeding frenzy, fails to deliver, but the public don't care. They've bought into the dream, not the reality. Apple have realised what MS knew long before, you don't have to be the best, just the best marketer!

    I'd expect BBC or any other organisation to feed the majority market first, it's financial common sense.

    Si.

  24. At 07:32 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Ollie wrote:

    Big Sister. I think it is true to say that when one listens to a current affairs programme it is because you have a wish to listen to national and international news. I value humour and wit but, I don't value being on the recieving end of a presenter's political and personal views, that in my opinion is not professional.

    The issue of bias in the BBC has been widely reported and in my opinion it is the height of arrogance to dismiss this and carry on regardless. I refer specifically to Anti-Americanism and Anti-Israeli sentiment.

    As the BBC is a public broadcasting organisation it should listen to those who point out it's bias. It is not members of the public who should 'vote with their fingers' but, the BBC who ought to listen to the concerns of all members of their listenership.

  25. At 07:41 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Ross wrote:

    What breathtaking arrogance on the part of Cadburys to suggest that a small amount of Salmonella in their chocolate bars was acceptable. What about the most vulnerable of their customers, young children and older people.

    A one million pounds fine was insufficient. What next a small amount of Botulism.

  26. At 08:40 PM on 16 Jul 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    Not bad......nearly as good as real life as the events that have unfolded in Bournmouth via this blog have shown.......ttfn.......init


  27. At 09:35 PM on 16 Jul 2007, Peter Rippon PM Editor wrote:


    Hello,
    We were happy with the programme today. I did wonder if we should have done more on Russia.We did bid for the Russian Ambassador and we nearly did Malcolm Rifkind but I liked the other material so was reluctant to junk things. The BBC/RDF apology also happened when we were on air. It was a marginal call to stick with what we had and the programme could have been quite different.
    Paul (8), I dont accept the Nick Burns interview was 'anti-American'. He was primed and happy to speak about Russia and the special relationship between the US/UK. We moved off Russia quickly because, as he said, there is a limit to what he can say about a row between Britain and Russia. The apparent shifting British government position on the US has been heavily reported for days now and this was the first US government response. It was newsworthy.

  28. At 09:39 PM on 16 Jul 2007, John Wilson wrote:

    Simon (22)

    I'm not complaining about the Wintel Monopoly (I own several Wintel machines as well as the Macs and I'm not ashamed of it in the least).

    My point was not to criticise the BBC for not supporting Macs (and Linux machines) from day 1. It was to criticise them for not having any credible commitment to vendor neutrality.

    The BBC has dug itself a rather large hole as far as vendor neutrality is concerned and the Trust seems to have been rather badly advised on this point.

    The issue has very little to do with which PC flavour is supported. In the longer term the devices which run the "iPlayer" will be set top boxes not PCs. If a the BBC only support proprietary Digital Rights Management systems then the owners of these systems will tax the viewers.

  29. At 01:10 AM on 17 Jul 2007, Peter North wrote:

    I could get a bit fed up with PM. I finish at 5.30. When I leave work I do not want light hearted chatty drivel. If I want that I have a whole array of other BBC radio stations to choose from.

    I listen attentively if ever there is anything challenging but for the last few weeks the preferred option in the car has been the off switch.

  30. At 06:22 AM on 17 Jul 2007, Paul wrote:

    Peter Rippon.
    Peter I have to disagree with you and re-iterate that the interview with the Under Secretary was indeed Anti-American, as usual. This has now become a 'given'. This is well documented. It's a shame that this issue is not given any consideration by all at PM.

    Regards
    Paul

  31. At 06:24 AM on 17 Jul 2007, Paul wrote:

    Peter Rippon.
    You responded to Paul (8).

    I unintentionally responded to the comment made by Paul Kearney. However my comment to you still stands.

    Regards
    Paul

  32. At 10:27 AM on 17 Jul 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Paul (29) - what makes you believe the interview was "Anti-American". Please provide the documentation which proves this has become "a given". Thanks.

  33. At 11:40 AM on 17 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Eddie, Peter and colleagues,

    I second all that Big Sis has said. I also would like to see a constructive response from Paul to Eddie's polite request (presently 31). I'm not holding my breath, though.

    I enjoyed the entire programme, but was disappointed not to hear more birdsong, not that I'm deprived of it here.

    Peter Rippon, I agree that the US interview was appropriate and germane. I also think the question in the Cadbury interview was appropriate to some degree, but, on listening again, I think the Council man's original statement was pretty clear. The message was strengthened by repetition.

    Rachel G (10), I agree with your perception.

    I am, of course, among those who feel Eddie is one of the best and rarely puts a foot wrong. I detect no personal opinions intruding and no malice, just probing questions, often helpful in getting the interviewee to make his/her point more clearly.

    I also note our double standards with regard to extradition, but who's surprised on that account?

    Keep up the good work
    Yours Aye,
    ed

  34. At 12:42 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Paul wrote:

    Eddie After a year long investigation the BBC itself concluded that there is institutional bias in the BBC on politics, race and other issues. In an article in The Telegraph online by Gary Cleland it was noted that the 'BBC report finds bias within corporation'.

    In an article by Richard Brooks and Binesh Gadher in the Times online it was stated that the 'BBC admits we are biased on religion and politics'

    In 2005 Tony Blair attacked the BBC for anti-US bias as reported in the Observer.

    In the Israel News Hagit Klaiman reports 'BBC seeks to suppress bias report'. The network asks the High Court to overturn the decision that it publishes it's report into bias on coverage of Middle East Conflict'.

    I don't think there is a lack of documentation which shows the inherent culture of bias in the BBC. Also, I would draw your attention to comments left on this blog regarding bias. If a considerable amount of people notice the bias then it is far from being a matter of preference for one individual. I say that your stance on interviewing on certain issues is a given because it has become so predictable.

  35. At 12:45 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Paul, (33) - thank you for all of that.

    Little of it supports your specific allegation of anti-Americansim, apart from reporting the opinion of Tony Blair. You said it was "usual" and well documented and ask us to give it consideration, but you offer no evidence. This is surprising for something which you say is "a given".

    You moved the goalposts to raise a number of other points but did not respond to the request for evidence to support your assertion. Please let us see it.

    Also, again, please show us how the interview on the programme last night was anti-American.

    Thanks.

  36. At 01:29 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Paul wrote:

    Eddie, I agree with Paul Kearney (8) I felt that the interview with the US Under Secretary of State "left a very bad taste in my mouth. It was chasing an agenda not the news of the day'.

    If you are asking me to give a psychological analysis of why I felt it was bias, that's impossible.

    I think that the bias I refer to which is well documented is significant because it shows a continuing bias for example, on Amercia, Israel, Muslims, Downing Street. This is not just my opinion.

  37. At 01:33 PM on 17 Jul 2007, paul wrote:

    Eddie. Just to clarify when I refer to bias I refer to the negative bias shown towards America, Israel and Downing Street. The bias towards Muslims is a positive bias as documented by many other including the BBC itself.

  38. At 01:41 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Paul,

    Assertion, no matter how often repeated is not evidence or documentation.

    Salaam/Shalom
    ed

  39. At 01:49 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Paul, (35), thanks for that. Opinion about interviews is one thing - we all have our view on them. The Glass Box thrives on it! We love it - when it's praise and when it is criticism. I completely understand what you "felt" about the interview, but your post went considerably further than feelings - which as I say, we encourage people to express.

    Opinion is free - but facts are sacred. You accused us of conducting an interview which was "Anti-American" but can offer no evidence for the assertion. Further, you said it had become a "given", but can offer no evidence for the assertion. You have again asserted that there is anti-American bias in your most recent post, but I'm at a loss to understand what "I think that the bias I refer to which is well documented is significant because it shows a continuing bias for example, on America" means.

    If I may say so, that is strong opinion, presented as fact. If we did that on the air you would be very annoyed, and rightly so.

    For what it's worth, the interview had a purpose - we try to make sure all our interviews have that. But please don't confuse purpose with some kind of "agenda". Asking people questions, and challenging their answers does not betray an agenda. A lot of our complaints (I'm not suggesting this is the nature of yours) come from people who "like" a politician or a party or a viewpoint, and they get annoyed when the person speaking is challenged or interrupted. I'm afraid that's what we do and I believe it's vital.

    That's not to say we always get it right, or don't hold our hands up when we get it wrong. I did so myself recently in the Glass Box, and I think PM is one of the most open programmes when it comes to constructive dialogue with listeners.

    But it's unfair to stick a label on us, and claim it to be fact when in truth it's a strongly held opinion.

  40. At 02:00 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Paul wrote:

    Eddie. I haven't stuck the label on you or the BBC that is self inflicted. The facts are there for all to hear, the only strong opinion I hear is from you, on your preferences.

    I don't wish to be argumentative or impolite but, I am simply stating some widely held views not strongly held opinion.

    Regards
    Paul.

  41. At 02:18 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Sorry Paul (39) you continue to provide no facts to support your labelling, and appear to believe that something must be true if it's a widely held belief, having rowed back considerably on your initial boldness.

    You have perfectly proved my point.

  42. At 02:22 PM on 17 Jul 2007, James wrote:

    Dear Eddie,

    I read your response(s) to some of the comments regarding the PM show's interview with the US Under-Secretary of State on Anglo-Russian relations yesterday (16th July 2007).

    As some individuals commented, I do not believe the interview was overtly anti-American, however that is not to say that there was a agenda which compromised the standard of journalism conducted.

    It was announced at the start of the PM show that the US Under-Secretary of State would be interviewed with regards UK/Russia relations in the aftermath of the extraditions. This was stated again while introducing the Under-Secretary of State.

    Indeed, you began by asking the gentleman on his views on the "deepening political crisis between Britain and Russia". This was followed by a second question on "where the US sympathies lay" and an assessment of whether "Britain was still the US' closest ally". This in itself was an obvious method of building up to where you always wanted to go with this interview.

    What do I mean by this? The interview lasted approximately 5 and a half minutes. The first 50 seconds were spent on superficially addressing the topic as introduced at the start of the show and the interview itself. The next 4 and half minutes were spent firing (the same) questions at the Under-Secretary of State on whether Britain was moving away from the US in the aftermath of the formation of a new cabinet.

    In short, that is poor journalism which has been swayed by an preconceived agenda. Anti-American it may not have been, shoddy one-sided journalistic endeavour it certainly was. This is sadly becoming too common in the BBC's handling of news, current affairs and politics.

  43. At 02:49 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Gillian wrote:

    James(41) I have to agree that Eddie's question about the US/UK relationship was a bit like listening to a dead horse being flogged - there was no way that the Under-Secretary was going to deviate from his diplomatic stock answer. In this instance,both he and Eddie were doing their jobs, and Peter Rippon has already informed us that the Under-Secretary was primed and happy to have such questions put to him.I fail to see how that can be construed as poor journalism.
    I also fail to see how you can describe the perception that Britain is moving away from the US as Eddie's ''preconceived agenda'', since this idea came from a statement made by a representative of our own Government.
    I found it interesting to hear how The Under-Secretary used his skills to deflect the point being made, and it was the first US response I had heard.

  44. At 03:10 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    All,

    I noted that the Undersecretary twice mentioned talking "about Iran". Not an idle or mistaken remark, it seems:

    The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President George Bush leaves office in 18 months, the Guardian has learned.

    The shift follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the state department over the last month. Although the Bush administration is in deep trouble over Iraq, it remains focused on Iran. A well-placed source in Washington said: "Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo."
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2127115,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

    A chilling thought, eh?
    ;-(
    ed

  45. At 03:20 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Paul wrote:

    Eddie. I beleive that something certainly has a strong element of truth if it is repeated on several occassions through different mediums and supported by evidence.

    I can assure you I haven't rolled back on my initial boldness as you so arrogantly suggest. The point is that the BBC acknowledge there is bias within their organisation. On the report commissioned by the BBC it was stated "This report is about looking forward and how we are going to face the challenge of impartiality in the modern world". Why impartiality is a challenge is a mystery unless, you employ people of a likeminded political and ideological persuasion.

  46. At 03:22 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Another mention of the Undersecretary:

    The vice-president, Dick Cheney, has long favoured upping the threat of military action against Iran. He is being resisted by the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and the defence secretary, Robert Gates.

    Last year Mr Bush came down in favour of Ms Rice, who along with Britain, France and Germany has been putting a diplomatic squeeze on Iran. But at a meeting of the White House, Pentagon and state department last month, Mr Cheney expressed frustration at the lack of progress and Mr Bush sided with him. "The balance has tilted. There is cause for concern," the source said this week.

    Nick Burns, the undersecretary of state responsible for Iran and a career diplomat who is one of the main advocates of negotiation, told the meeting it was likely that diplomatic manoeuvring would still be continuing in January 2009. That assessment went down badly with Mr Cheney and Mr Bush.

    Eddy, I hope you get a chance to explore this dimension the next time Mr Burns allows an interview.

    Yours Aye,
    ed

  47. At 03:29 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Paul (44),

    "I beleive that something certainly has a strong element of truth if it is repeated on several occassions through different mediums and supported by evidence."

    You've done the first part more than adequately, now for the evidence?
    xx
    ed

  48. At 03:38 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Paul (44) you supplied no evidence for your assertion. And you've moved the goalposts so far on "bias" I can no longer see them. Throwing some more random points into the mix doesn't mask that, I'm afraid. People can read all the comments and arrive at their own judgements.

  49. At 04:14 PM on 17 Jul 2007, James wrote:

    RE: Gilian (41)

    Dear Gilian,

    In response, it makes for 'poor journalism' and poor listening/viewing when a set of questions is brought to bear which have little relationship to the topic as advertised - like opening up a can labelled 'spaghetti' and finding 'beans'. Crude analogy, I know.

    Imagine J.Paxman stating at the start of Newsnight that he was going to interview Menzies Campbell about his views on Council Tax restructuring and then spending 4/5 of the interview talking about his views on the handling of Blair's govt on Iraq. That would be bad journalism, would it not?

    With regards 'agenda'. It is interesting that you say "I found it interesting to hear how The Under-Secretary used his skills to deflect the point being made, and it was the first US response I had heard". He WAS the first US official talking about the UK/US relationship after the formation of a new cabinet, and it was quite obvious that this section of PM had been set up under a false pretence. I have no opinion on the UK Govt's shift, I DO have an opinion on the BBC's methods of reporting on it which last night were unprofessional and something to be expected from a university newspaper. Why not INTRODUCE the topic for analysis as the special relationship, NOT Russia?

    The quality of the BBC's reporting has not so much been faltering of late, but imploding. As Paul (44) quite rightly states: the BBC has been criticised in multiple reports - internal and external - on the quality of its journalism. When 'getting a story' outweights 'getting the facts' and multiple perspectives, journalism is in danger of losing credibility.

    After all, let us the remember the Hutton debacle and the even more recent farce with the Queen's photoshoot. The two are hardly comparable in scale, but both point to an ongoing subtle shift in the BBC to tabloid journalism of the crudest kind. Story at the expense of substance.

  50. At 04:26 PM on 17 Jul 2007, Gillian wrote:

    James(48) Bad journalism? I hardly think so. Bad ''trailing''? Perhaps. But then, I don't expect to be given a copy of the script before the programme.....I doubt whether the Under-secretary felt he was there under false pretences. If he had, he could have said so.

  51. At 12:27 AM on 18 Jul 2007, Zeno wrote:

    18 July 2007

    Those of you complain about the left/liberal and anti Americanism bias of the BBC are waisting your time.
    Everyone knows this but it dosen't bother the BBC at all.
    They are a law onto themselves obsessed with race ,homosexuality and anti Americanism.

    Cheers - Zeno

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