As discussed on the open thread Jeremy Vine revolted many people with a particular exchange with a caller on his moonlighting-from-the-BBC Channel 5 show:
Jeremy Vine: If you put on a uniform for Putin and you go and fight his war, you probably deserve to die don’t you?
Caller: Do you? Do kids deserve to die, 18 and 20 years old, who are called up and conscripted?
Jeremy Vine: That’s life, that’s the way it goes.
Iain Dale: Jeremy Vine on his ‘dread’ of cancel culture as he faces storm over Russia remarks. One of Britain's most popular presenters Jeremy Vine has become embroiled in controversy after suggesting Russian soldiers 'deserve to die' on his talk show this week.Giles Dilnot: Be fair Iain, it was a pretty dumb and unpleasant thing of him to say.Mike Love: We should not censor people who say stupid things.Giles Dilnot: I didn’t and wouldn’t say we should. JV said he was “worried”…..all I said, and stand by, was it was an incredibly dumb think to say. I don’t need him sacked, or even penalised. Be nice (not compulsory) if he recognised how dumb it was though.Mike Love: Isn’t that part if his brand though? It keeps people talking about him.Giles Dilnot: Maybe.
The Drum piece says that JV himself defended himself by saying he was merely doing his job, “replying to a caller with the counterpoint to his view”, adding “My views are neither here nor there.”
It possibly is true that this was a cack-handed attempt at devil's advocate questioning, but JV doesn't seem up to 'fessing up to it being in any way a mistake on his part.
For your further delectation, the article continues:
Vine has always been studious in his neutrality. “I don’t think you’d know, if you [analysed] my output from the last 10 years, you wouldn’t have a clue which way I voted,” he claims (speaking ahead of Thursday’s controversy).
On his computer he has created something he calls his “bias wall”, where he charts audience complaints, according to where they place him on the political spectrum. “It’s amazingly 50-50. It’s actually a beautiful thing and I’d like to create some wallpaper out of it because some of them are fantastic,” he says, recalling that he was accused of being “up Boris’s arse” and a “Corbyn lover” in two separate complaints made in “the same minute”.
Ah, the tiresome, fallacious 'complaints from both sides' argument is deployed yet again, with a twist. Here impartiality is proved in a computer-generated Jeremy Vine chart where he, Jeremy Vine, statistically proves that Jeremy Vine is innocent of bias. Nice.