BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


The Beeb has been at it again, stirring the embers of the Coulson/'News of the World' phone-hacking 'story'.

This time there was a story to report, as both News International and Andy Coulson ("the now-head of Tory communications and one of David Cameron's closest allies", in slurry Kirsty Wark's words) have just appeared before the Culture & Media select committee , but the story was - as before - that nothing new has been revealed.

It remains a non-story.

Matt Prodger's 'Newsnight' report admitted as much, but such is the BBC's investment in the story that non-existent rats were still being smelt.

To MPs' probing on the Guardian's allegations Colin Myler, current editor of the 'NOTW', asked (reasonably) "Where is the evidence?". To which Prodger said, "Evidence may yet surface to back up the Guardian's claim that as many at 3,000 public figures had their phones hacked into. Yet, try as they might, the MPs struggled to breach News International's defences."

So, as I say, a non-story. As for "evidence may yet surface to back up the Guardian's claim", I would say "and it may not!"

Prodger's report went on, "But the star attraction was Andy Coulson, former NOTW editor and now, of course, David Cameron's right-hand media man". Try as they might, MPs stuggled to breach his defences too! "Those looking forward to Mr Coulson tripping up" (who would that be, BBC?) "were disappointed," said Prodger. "His job with the Conservatives looks safe." As I say, a non-story then, but...

...still the BBC will not throw in the towel: "The committee hearings will continue though, with more News International figures to be questioned, The story, as they say, has legs."

The story never had legs, Matt.


Earlier in the day, on 'The World at One' Martha Kearney interviewed (naturally) a Lib Dem. Chris Huhne was allowed over four minutes to talk about the non-story. He insinuated a lot, but offered very, very little - other than the old 'but there can be no smoke without fire' argument. Until there is a fire, Mr Huhne, stop spreading smears! Prove it, or shut up!

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