Monday, September 19, 2005

BBC on revelations: silence

A new political kiss-and-tell book, written by Lance Price, a former aide to Tony Blair's government, is coming out soon, excerpts of which were discussed in yesterday’s Sunday Times. Price, who left the government in 2001, is actually the former deputy to Blair’s former spin-doctor, Alistair Campbell. One of the more interesting (to me) among the many embarrassing and salacious revelations is this:
[Price] claims that the media was bullied, browbeaten and bribed with favours to report Labour favourably and that the BBC reveals its questions in advance to Blair at press conferences in return for their reporters being chosen to ask their questions first.
Yes, that would be the same BBC which proudly proclaims its independence from “political interests”. How, you might wonder, would the Blair government go about making such an arrangement? The Times doesn’t say, but the fact that Price himself was a former BBC reporter turned government aide certainly couldn’t have hurt. Given Price’s departure from the government in 2001, presumably he doesn't know whether this arrangement continued following Blair’s support for the Iraq war, but I’m guessing that the BBC probably discovered its “independence” again once it found its own agenda contrary to Blair’s.

You also might wonder whether the BBC itself, given the revered place it holds in reporting all the news worthy of being heard, reported on Price’s new book. It did indeed, although, strangely, the revelations about the BBC itself are notably absent from its report. Just an inadvertant oversight, I'm sure.


Blogger Richard John said...

Also the BBC seems to have overlooked the fact that this man was an ex-BBC reporter. Strange.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Price's revelations also gave the media the opportunity for headlines such as

Blair 'relished' sending troops into Iraq

The casual observer at the newsstands would assume 2003, not 1998; to further inflame the anti-war feeling.

6:35 PM  

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