Sunday 6 October 2013

James Naughtie does it again

On the subject of the Daily Mail controversy, here are a couple of intriguing exchanges from last week's Today programme. 

The first was James Naughtie's interview with former Conservative press advisor Nick Wood on Wednesday's edition of the programme, where Jim betrayed his contempt for the Mail and then got defensive when his guest called him out on his display of bias:
Nick Wood: I suppose Mr Miliband is doing what he...I mean if Mr Miliband had ignored the Daily Mail, which I assume is what the Labour Party do most of the time, then...
James Naughtie [interrupting]: Well, what anybody does most of the time! 
Nick Wood [laughing]: Well, maybe on the BBC, I don't know... 
James Naughtie: No, no, come on, be serious Nick. What I mean is that people under that kind of attack quite often say they'll just let it go. 
Saturday's edition saw a couple of exchanges between  Evan Davis and Neil Wallis, former journalist at the People, Sun and News of the World, that are also worth savouring:
Neil Wallis: This storm this week, that I think had legitimate beginnings but has become just another political campaign to attack the press and try to influence the press charter and Leveson this coming week..erm, you know...It's a storm that attracts the BBC and the chattering classes but frankly it doesn't really impact on the readers. It's a bit like the whole 'ban Page Three' debate. It's all run by people who don't actually read the papers in the first place...
Evan Davis [interrupting]: Oh, I can tell you people at the BBC read the Mail. I don't think that's...definitely read the Mail. A lot of people read the Mail
Neil Wallis: You mentioned there about people working for the Mail, well, you know, you don't get many right-wing Tories working for BBC Newsnight, do you? If you'd watched Newsnight this week...
Evan Davis [interrupting]: It's a bit more complicated...yeah, yeah...I mean...
Neil Wallis: If you'd watched Newsnight this week there was no doubting the position that the programme was taking. 

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