Saturday 18 July 2015

"Comments are disabled for this video"

James Purnell, on the right - or not

Samira Ahmed's Newswatch also covered the Newnsight debate with the BBC's head of strategy James Purnell and the Daily Mail's Stephen Glover. A viewer complained:
Never was the gravitas of Jeremy Paxman more missed than on last night's debate. The behaviour of James Purnell, in never allowing Stephen Glover to get a single point in, without shouting him down, was an utter disgrace, and Evan Davis did nothing to control the discussion whatsoever.
This was definitely the much-discussed "aggressive" new face of the BBC on display. James Purnell was clearly intent on interrupting and rubbishing every point Mr Glover made, come what may, Stephen Glover took it in good humour, though he must have found it frustrating.

Newsnight has posted the whole thing on YouTube. What tickled me about them doing so is this -which you'll see if you watch it on YouTube (rather than here at ITBB):

Yes, the BBC that wants to hear from us, the public, doesn't want to hear from us on this YouTube video. 

(A candidate for "You couldn't make it up!" status?)


  1. I cannot stand Davis' constant restating of his guest's answer. "Just to confirm..." Just shut up already. Obviously it's fine when the guest is being vague or trying to dance around something and he's just being responsible in attempting to get a proper answer, but here Purnell couldn't have been more clear, after each time Davis did that ("You're perfectly happy to have the debate"), yet Davis kept doing it. He was clearly thinking that Purnell was approving of the Government's reasons for the debate, even though no one in their right mind would think that was the case.

    Perhaps the worst moment was when Davis tried to diminish Glover's position by questioning how much his criticism was really driven by political ideology. The phony stammering and dramatic pause while asking the question...ugh.

    If the BBC has a weather app, isn't that really the BBC using the Met's work as their own? The BBC promotes their own content all the time. As long as they don't charge for it, promoting an app is essentially the same thing. Although it's just more evidence of Auntie extending the tentacles again, that imperialist instinct George Osborne spoke about, and Glover repeated here.

    Purnell told a little white lie about the letter, didn't he? It probably sounded perfectly reasonable to the Beeboids to say, "They've been asking us how they can help for a long time, and we told them they could help by doing this." In other words, the BBC came up with a propaganda campaign, and had a ready list of luvvies to sign onto it. I noticed Davis did not try to recharacterize his answer this way.

    Having said that, Purnell was there to argue against Glover. Now Davis will try to claim credit for asking tough questions - the BBC exposing its problems and being the most transparent in the world, etc. - even though Ian Katz and BBC management set this up and he was just reading the questions on his cards. He certainly let Purnell walk all over Glover, and didn't even try to get a debate going. It was all one contradicting the other, all heat and no light. Which was probably their goal all along. My bet is that the viewer will come away thinking that the person who won the argument was the one the viewer already agreed with beforehand.

    1. Then there's the Davis Confrontational Summary e.g. to government rep "So you're saying, really, the government couldn't think of a better idea, so best to come up with something half-baked than nothing...We've covered that, so let's move on..." (Not an actual quote but it may sound familiar).

  2. The BBC has become a self-parody without being aware of it !

  3. Purnell only showed his Labour credentials.
    Only the Left are seemingly trained to howl over any opposing views-the likes of Owen Jones do it all the time.
    When will the Tories wake up to this serial railroading of their agenda.
    The likes of Glover are way too nice, they need to mock and point out the Lefts Freisler tendency.
    The Left aren`t used to arguing-they lost the habit with the demise of Callaghan in 79.


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