This morning's Today featured, among other things, interviews with two Conservatives. Daniel Kawczynski was given the forensic treatment by Jim Naughtie (I.C. of 0.9) over his criticisms of the government's recent handing of the issue of WPC Yvonne Fletcher (murdered by a Libyan in 1984), whereas a clearly amused Ken Clarke was badgered by Justin Webb (I.C. of 1.3) over Lord Mandelson's comments about the Conservatives "salivating at the prospect of cuts in spending". Lord Mandelson himself was given an equally strong grilling (I.C. of 1.3) by Jim Naughtie, in one of Naughtie's strongest performances (though a couple of Naughtie's interruptions concerned scrapping Trident, which seems to be close to his heart). Between them the Conservatives amassed 9 minutes 28 second's worth of interview time, to Mandy's 10 minutes 23 seconds), which is fair enough. Was this balance reflected in the programme as a whole?
Well, at 7.16 Declan Ganley's return to the fray in Ireland's 'NO' campaign for the latest referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was discussed by Deaglan de Breadun of the liberal-left Irish Times. The TUC general secretary Brendan Barber (attacking the Tories and opposing all public spending cuts) was back at 7.32. The issue of trade unions and the Labour Party was discussed (at 8.40) by the former Industrial Editor of the left-wing Daily Mirror Geoffrey Goodman (who now writes for the liberal-left Guardian) and the ubiquitous Chief Executive of the Work Foundation, Will Hutton - another left-winger. The programme ended with a discussion about 'What is progress?' by the liberal-Left's favourite living economist Joseph Stiglitz (who worked for Clinton and now works for Obama) and "economist Lord Layard, author of Happiness - Lessons from a New Science" - as the Today website describes him. The Today website forgets to mention that he's also a Labour peer. At least a Conservative was discussed (at 8.48), as Alan Clark was recalled by the editor of his diaries Ion Trewin (a publisher of no discernible political position, who has also edited the Hugo Young diaries) and that ubiquitous doyen of the liberal-left, Anthony Howard.
All in a morning's work at the biased Beeb.
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