Saturday, 4 October 2008

Auntie returns

I've just been watching the latest edition of Newswatch on BBC. Newswatch is the BBC's pretence of accountability on its news coverage and is slightly more credible than Points of View. Sometimes the presenter will put viewers' complaints directly to journalists and BBC managers and challenge their answers.

But this week it was the BBC's gossipy political coverage in the firing line and Nick Robinson was put up to rebut every complaint. The format was to have a viewer's complaint read out, followed by Robinson doing a piece to camera explaining why he was right and the viewer was wrong.

Robinson insisted that the BBC was right over its "Heseltine moment" story, pointing out that David Miliband had never denied using the words. But there is no doubt the BBC sexed the story up. It claimed:
David Miliband has been overheard telling aides that he toned down his speech to Labour's conference to avoid it being seen as "a Heseltine moment".
Which implied that Miliband had a strong version of his speech that he then "toned down". But he BBC reported that he said:

"I couldn't have gone any further. It would have been a Heseltine moment."

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