It was a strange Newswatch this week.
There was nothing strange about the BBC editor, Rob Burley of The Andrew Marr Show, coming on and saying that the BBC had got it right (over that interview with Marine le Pen - about which "hundreds" of people had complained to the BBC) because that's famously what BBC editors normally do on Newswatch...
...but it was strange that Samira Ahmed was interviewing the man who normally edits Newswatch (the selfsame Rob Burley) yet completely failed to mention the fact. It took someone on Twitter - after the programme was broadcast - to take Samira up on the point:
She didn't explain why it wasn't spelled out though.
The other strange aspects were:
- (a) the beyond-parody fact that the regular editor of Newswatch was appearing on his own show and, instead of going out of his way to be different to nearly all of the other BBC editors who've appeared on Newswatch, simply went through the usual 'we got it about right' routine. and
- (b) that Samira was actually more vigorous in her questioning than usual. That could be either because (i) she was projecting her own views through her viewers or (ii) because she was being professional and making her own editor sweat even more than other BBC editors or (iii) both of the above.
- (c) the 'ordinary BBC viewers' featured were well-known journalist Tim Walker and Joseph Young, founder of the Arts for EU campaign.
All of that said, Mr Burley seemed a personable enough fellow and made sense. (The BBC did get it about right this time). And his appearance has, inevitably, brought out the certain elements on the Left: