Anorak News | Devil’s Advocate

Devil’s Advocate

by | 30th, January 2004

‘WINSTON Churchill once said that, if Hitler invaded Hell, he would have a nice word to say about the Devil in the House of Commons.

Greg Dyke

The same could be said by the Daily Mail of Tony Blair and the BBC.

The BBC is not an obvious candidate for the Mail’s support – it is publicly-owned, accountable to no-one but itself, left-leaning, politically correct and run (until this week) by two men who were not only New Labour supporters but were (or had been) beard-wearers.

However, on the age-old basis that mine enemy’s enemy is my friend, the Mail emerges today as the Corporation’s staunchest supporter in the tabloid press.

Once again, the paper is happy to exploit the dead to press its case against the Government.

“While Dr Kelly lies in a grave too fresh for a headstone,” it says, “and his widow grieves in dignified if furious silence, a Government swaggering with triumphalism and driven by spite seeks to dismember the BBC.”

Having extracted a pound of flesh on Wednesday with the resignation of BBC chairman Gavyn Davies, the Government yesterday got the equivalent of a Happy Meal, with director-general Greg Dyke’s departure and an apology “so cringing that Lord Reith must be turning in his grave”.

The Mirror emerges this morning as another champion of our public broadcaster, castigating the corporation’s governors for caving in to the Government.

“The BBC’s broadcasting, and particularly its journalism, has long been the envy of the world,” it says, “and it will not lose that reputation because of this one blow, grave as it is.”

However, it has lost one of its most popular and effective director-generals in Dyke, a decision that sparked walk-outs in BBC offices around the country and which, says the Mirror, will leave the corporation as a poorer place.

Needless to say, the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun does not see it in the same way.

“The Government won, the BBC lost. Game over,” is its summary of the Lord Hutton report – as it goes on to wonder how Andrew Gilligan, the “hapless hack who cost the BBC’s two top men their jobs”, has still got his.

It is a good question and perhaps the Sun could pause to consider what would happen if Sun journalists resigned every time they made a mistake.

Wapping would have become a ghost town years ago…’

Posted: 30th, January 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink