|The face of the BBC in the U.S.|
This Thursday's From Our Own Correspondent began with 'Kate Adee of the Bee Bee Cee' saying:
Today headlines here about sexual harassment but our correspondent fears a backlash against 'Me too' in the United States or a suspicion that old habits die hard.
My first thought on hearing that was to think, "OK Kate, but why is a supposedly impartial BBC correspondent 'fearing' a backlash? Isn't 'fearing' something that an activist should be expressing rather than a supposedly impartial BBC correspondent?"
An 'Aha!' moment came later when 'our correspondent' was named.
Yes, it was Katty Kay, the face of the impartial BBC is the U.S.
Our Katty's piece didn't even try to disguise the fact that she is an activist on the issue - albeit a somewhat conflicted one.
She explicitly said "We thought. I thought" and "We hoped" in describing the Me Too campaigners' hopes and anxieties.
Their campaign - "a revolution long past its due" - was openly expressed as her campaign too.
It's odd, isn't it, what you can get away with, impartiality-wise, if you're the face of the BBC in the U.S.?
Shouldn't Katty have at least tried to maintain a mask of impartiality here?
And as she didn't, another question: Why are BBC journalist-presenters allowed to get away with this kind of thing, despite all the 'BBC impartiality' guff the BBC puts out?
And further, what do people at the BBC who do try to maintain the BBC's claim to be impartial make of such comments on BBC Radio 4 from a high-profile BBC colleague? Doesn't it embarrass them?