Sometimes it’s the slip of a tongue which gives away the greatest details. Now I think the BBC is biased in being left leaning and all the political upholstery that goes with that sort of thinking and no I don’t accept the argument that because the far left complain just as much as the right do that somehow this means that the BBC are somehow treading the middle ground. Impartial after all does not mean running down the middle, it means showing lack of favouritism or being free from undue bias or preconceived opinions and sadly the BBC fails in spades with either of those definitions.
However what director general Mark Thompson admitted to the Leveson inquiry appears to show an arrogance that goes beyond all I’ve suspected from the BBC over the years.
THE BBC has spent £310,000 of taxpayers’ money on private detectives – including a convicted investigator – director general Mark Thompson revealed for the first time yesterday.
He told the Leveson inquiry into press standards the corporation used Steve Whittamore, who in 2005 was convicted of illegally accessing data. In total, BBC staff used investigators 232 times between 2005 and 2011, Mr Thompson said.
The inquiry heard the BBC was mentioned in documents seized during the investigation into Whittamore’s activities known as Operation Motorman. A current affairs journalist asked Whittamore to supply details about whether a paedophile was on a flight to Heathrow in 2001. The programme, never broadcast, was about whether people with convictions for child sex offences in the UK could get jobs giving them access to children in other countries.
Mr Thompson maintained the case was in the public interest. In July last year, Mr Thompson commissioned a wide-ranging review of the BBC’s editorial practices but it found no evidence phone hacking or improper payments to police officers.
He said the probity, integrity and conviction of BBC journalists was “not to be questioned”.
So we are not to question the probity, integrity and conviction of BBC journalists?
To paraphrase Inigo from the Princess Bride, “You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
I’m fairly sure he meant beyond reproach, though even that might be pushing it a bit on the BBC’s political bias and certainly doesn’t come anywhere near the truth in their reporting of the Middle East, but it does give an insight to the type of thinking that goes on in the BBC and like you I suspect I don’t think any journalists BBC or no, are beyond reproach or should ever be in a position where their probity, integrity and conviction cannot be questioned. Yes sources need to be safeguarded, but if you are tapping phones illegally or even using private detectives to source information, you’d better make damned sure you are operating within the law. After all despite the public’s supposed need to know, the end does not always justify the means.