Saturday 23 May 2015

Ignoring a story

This morning's Today led with the Guardian's lead story (or non story) about the Bank of England sending a memo by mistake to a Graun journalist saying they are looking into the possible financial consequences of a Brexit from the EU. 

Except for a Labour MP who was trying (and failing) to score some political point or other, neither the programme's guests or their own reporter appeared to think it amounted to very much. And yet they still ran with it. 

They also ran with the Independent's lead story about "the secret CCTV switch-off", though the two media outlets took a contrasting tack on it. The Indie rejoiced in the fact on civil liberties grounds while Today focused on the negatives - i.e. the complaints of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner (yes, I didn't know we had such a person either) about the possible adverse effects of austerity cuts (which he blamed for the 'switch-off') on public safety. [Typical BBC!]

Conspicuous by its absence though was the Times's lead story. Today didn't include any features on it or even mention in during either of their paper reviews - and that's despite the fact that the story concerned someone who's appeared on their programme on many occasions, namely Sue Berelowitz, former deputy children’s commissioner for England.

The nub of the Times's story is contained in its first paragraph:
A child protection chief who was criticised for failing to speak out about widespread sexual abuse by British Pakistani gangs has quit her job with a six-figure payoff and been immediately rehired on almost £1,000 a day.
It's a story that's obviously bound to be of interest to many people. Other right-leaning media outlets - the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and Breitbart London - picked up on it and ran with it. Several parliamentarians, from George Osborne to Keith Vaz, have also picked up on it and run with it.

Yet this story of apparent public sector profligacy involving a famously politically-correct quangocrat doesn't seem to be of interest to the BBC, or other left-leaning media outlets.

The Times has a particular interest in Ms Berelowitz though:
The former official faced criticism after she attacked The Times for exposing child sexual exploitation by groups of British Pakistani men who were preying on white girls. She said that the coverage was fixated on Asian perpetrators . However, an independent inquiry found that at least 1,400 children in Rotherham had been sexually exploited by abusers of mainly Pakistani heritage between 1997 and 2013.
And I saw and heard her many times on the BBC making similar assertions, pretty much unchallenged (if I recall correctly).

It is revealing what interests and what doesn't interest the BBC, isn't it? Today clearly had no interest in this story whatsoever.


  1. #editorialbyomission One the the most pernicious in the BBC zero integrity armoury.

    Used more and more, and near immune from being successfully raised in a complaint.

  2. I'd never heard the phrase "quangocrat" before. It's a credit to the English language that I could automatically extrude the meaning. Such an apt description.

    I think Peter hits the nail on the head. They appear to be beyond reproach.

  3. the Bank of England sending a memo by mistake to a Graun journalist

    Somewhere this evening, Robert Peston is grinding his teeth.

    OT: Did you see him on HIGNFY? What an unappealing person. To make him even more annoying, he totally betrayed bias and sympathy for certain people. He audibly "awwwed" at a couple of digs at people he likes. Hislop, sadly unsurprisingly, laid off quite a few open goals. They're probably part of the same dinner party circuit.

    Back on topic, you know the BBC's defense will be that this story has run its course already, and they can point to a load of broadcasting and website articles on it, so they haven't ignored it over the long term, can't report every little thing, etc.

    1. It was about the time Ministers took to strolling past telephoto lenses with Top Secret memos facing the paps that I ceased to believe anything like this between Government and media, especially the BBC or Graun, is ever a 'mistake'.

      OT: I used to tolerate HIGNFY even though it is spiraling downhill terribly. Just one rule... if Jo Brand or John Prescott are on as guest or chair, wild horses wouldn't....

      However, I am thinking of extending this to included all pols and all incest media luvvies. Especially as chairs.

      Pesto was an embarrassment. The lines he was handed (I presume) to slag off folk with no right of reply should be social pariah level faux pas. Anyone seemingly in awe of Ian 'Apparently' Hislop or Paul 'Why Do I Bother?' Merton like giggly girl with a crush has serious issues.

      I understand the latest HIGNFY is still banging on about UKIP as labour clearly has failed to provide any satisfactory material, so it may slip off the watch list completely.

  4. How do we know it was "by mistake" ?

  5. I watched HIGNFY last week for the first time in years. Thank God for Frank Skinner. Can someone please tell Paul Merton he isn't funny any more ? And who was that boring long-winded guy, Jon Ronson, and what was he waffling on about ?

    1. I've always had a soft spot for Paul Merton but, yes, he did stop being funny well over a decade ago. Quite why he isn't put out of his misery I really can't say.


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