Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Stamineus homo

Malcolm is aware that BBC bias is a favourite sport among the blogista. Most of this seeming partiality is little more than carelessness or the result of the pressure of "rolling news". Provided both sides are bashing the beeb for bias, it must be doing something right.

Today was a case in point. The Cherie Blair "That's a lie!" theme was being rehearsed as the only balance to Gordon Brown's deliberate and effective oration. Someone had to spoil the occasion. That was, on the morning shift, delegated to Jon Sopel.

Here's the scenario: a young lady going by the name "Carolin Lotter", so prominent that, apparently, she does not merit a single hit on google, is variously a "producer" or a "reporter" with Bloomberg. She seems, on this occasion, to be in the highly-responsible rôle of minding a display stand while the more important players were committed to the main event. She claims to have overheard a chance remark. Ms Lotter (who is not even allowed sole credit for her story on the Bloomberg site) is backed up by "a telephone interview" with an Essex University academic. Which begs the question: was this "lecturer in government" also present or was he called in at long distance to give verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative?

Anyway, back to Sopel (who should know better). He asks an interviewee why should Lotter not be telling the truth? Note the implications of that:
  • someone must be fibbing, but it cannot possibly be a fellow journo;
  • an unknown on the make, trying to carve a career in the trade of news-chatter, has no motive for "puffing" a story;
  • Bloomberg are rock-solid reputable, because they are involved in "finance" ("Whoopy-doo!", says Malcolm);
  • all this has some great, world-shattering significance;
  • that this is part of a binary, antinomial world where there can be no half-way between "truth" and "lie". Where does an honest "mistake" or "mishearing" fit in such a world?
Malcolm would have just two comments to make to Sopel and his editor:
  • bollocks;
  • get a grip.
O, and Malcolm would like you to know that the latin headline means "man of straw". Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Subscribe with Bloglines International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Add to Technorati Favorites