BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Thursday, 29 October 2009


This morning's double-interview between David Miliband and William Hague on the Today programme was not a pleasant thing to hear. Regardless of the content of the interview and the distasteful smear tactics employed by our foreign secretary (which cannot but do harm to our country's reputation in Eastern Europe), what concerns me is the pro-Labour bias again demonstrated by Jim Naughtie.
The interruption coefficients tell a part of the story, with that for Mr Miliband being a puny 0.1, while that for Mr Hague was a beefy 1.4.
William Hague was interrupted 9 times more often than David Miliband!
Miliband also got the lion's share of the interview (over 10 1/2 minutes compared to under 7 minutes f0r Mr Hague) and was asked fewer questions too.
Here is an outline of the interview (the colour-coordination marks the point at which the guests begin speaking):

0.00 Introduction
1.03 Question 1 (to Hague)
1.29 Answer 1 (Hague)
1.45 Abortive interruption
2.00 Question 2 (to Hague)
2.19 Answer 2 (Hague)
2.35 Naughtie heckles "Oh, come on!"
2.45 Answer 3 (to Hague)
2.57 Interruption (of Hague) 1/Question 3 (to Hague)
3.25 Abortive interruption
3.32 Interruption (of Hague) 2/Question 4 (to Miliband)
4.11 Answer 4 (Miliband) (which went on, without a murmur, for 1 min 23 secs before a faint abortive interruption!)
5.34 (faint) Abortive interruption
5.40 Question 5 (to Hague)
5.45 Answer 5 (Hague)
6.33 Abortive interruption
6.37 Non-question "Foreign secretary?" (to Miliband)
6.38 'Answer' (Miliband)
7.25 Interruption (of Milaband) 3/Question 6 (to Miliband)
7.51 Answer 6 (Miliband)
8.02 Abortive interruption
8.15 Abortive interruption
8.19 Hague takes over
8.45 'Clarifying' interruption
8.51 Abortive interruption
8.54 Interruption (of Hague) 4/Question 7 (to Miliband)
9.28 Answer 7 (Miliband)
10.00 Abortive interruption
10.36 Question 8 (to Miliband)
11.39 Answer 8 (Miliband)
12.50 Abortive interruption
12.57 Abortive interruption
13.01 Abortive interruption
13.19 Abortive interruption
All 4 of these half-hearted attempts to interrupt did not in anyway impede Miliband's flow, which continued for 1 min 40 seconds right through to its natural end!!
13.22 Question 9 (to Miliband)
13.46 Answer 9 (Miliband)
14.07 Abortive interruption
14.14 Comment, then non-Question (to Hague) "Mr Hague?"
14.17 'Answer' (Hague)
14.36 Abortive interruption
14.38 Abortive interruption
14.39 Interruption (of Hague) 5/Question 10 (to Hague)
14.43 Answer 10
14.45 Interruption (of Hague) 6/Question 11 (to Hague)
14.46 Answer 11
15.00 'Latvia, yes'
15.08 Abortive interruption
15.13 Question 12 (to Hague)
15.27 Answer 12 (Hague)
15.30 Interruption (of Hague) 7"Mainstream?"
15.48 Interruption (of Hague) 8/Non-question (to Miliband) "Mr Miliband?"
(Naughtie intervenes to let Miliband crash into Hague's answer)
15.52 'Answer' (Miliband)
16.10 Non-question (to Hague) "Mr Hague?" (Naughtie thought Miliband had finished - though he had another point to make).
16.12 re-puts non question "Mr Hague?"
16.13 'Answer' (Hague)
16.18 Miliband interrupts and takes over
16.26 Hague interrupts and takes over
16.31 Miliband interrupts again and takes over again
16.39 Hague interrupts and takes over
16.46 Interruption (of Hague) 9 to allow Miliband to make the point he hadn't got to make earlier!: "You had a second point Mr Miliband?".
16.48 Miliband continues the attack
17.04 Non-question (to Hague) "Mr Hague?"
17.06 'Answer' (Hague)
17.42 Interruption 10 (to allow Miliband to speak again - and get the last word!): "Last word, foreign secretary?"
17.44 'Answer' (Miliband)
17.51 (Hague)
17.54 (Miliband)
17.56 (Hague)
18.03 (Miliband)
18.22 Question 12 (to Hague)
18.26 Answer 12 (Hague)
18.29 Interview ends.

A disgraceful display by both David Miliband and Jim Naughtie.


  1. Naughtie's Labour interruptions usually take the form of a faint "Well..." which is no interruption at all! I wonder if Naughtie's been reading this blog and getting in his pseudo Labour interruptions just to "even the score".

  2. Fine work Craig. Naughtie is a disgrace.


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