Sunday 8 December 2013

Bring Back Greg

Do you remember when Greg Dyke resigned as Director General of the BBC and huge throngs of BBC staff lined his way, cheering and clapping, such was the affection they held him in and their sense of injustice that he'd been forced out after the Hutton Inquiry...

Well, their former boss has got into a spot of bother in recent days, having made a cut-throat gesture as the World Cup group draw was being made. That draw saw England being drawn against the (scary) likes of Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Greg's gesture appeared to write off England's chances. 

The UK newspapers have had an absolute field day with the story, with many of them claiming it was highly inappropriate behaviour on Greg's part - especially as he's the boss of the English F.A. and because he was sitting next to the England manager Roy Hodgson at the time.

Everyone seems to have joined in the feeding frenzy - the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Star, the Daily Mail, the Independent, the Daily Express, ITV News, even many of the Scottish dailies!

The BBC News website has reported the story...sort of, in a low-key way. You'll find nothing in their 'News' section, only a piece in their 'Sport' section by the BBC's chief football writer Phil McNulty

...and Phil presents Greg's plight in the best possible light, reassuring us that "it was all perfectly innocent of course" and implying that the "instant response on social media" which came about was because Greg's comments "appeared to mirror the feelings of the majority of England supporters". 

And that's that. Matter closed, as far as the BBC is concerned. 

Hmm, could their warm feelings for their former DG be making them protective towards him at this difficult moment? Are they being, shall we say, biased in their highly circumspect reporting of this story?

Personally, I'm sympathetic to Phil McNulty's point that it was "all perfectly innocent of course". This is a classic media & social media firestorm in a teacup but, that said, the BBC's old soft spot for Greg Dyke shouldn't be undermining their professed impartiality, should it?

As an aside, I've got to say that as people seem so shocked that Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95, that Tom Daley is gay and that England probably won't win the World Cup I'm seriously thinking of going into the fortune telling business.

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