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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Today's show 06/07/11

Listening to the BBC radio news yesterday proved to me yet again that journalists fail to do the easiest and simplest of research. The job losses at Bombardier in Derby were a lead item all day, yet the differences in pronunciation of the company name differed wildly. It is pronounced Bom-BAR-dier, and not BOM-bar-DIER (as in a military rank). But then, when did journalists ever do their job properly?

Can we guess what the top story will be on your programme today? I bet it won't be this one:

Leaked email reveals BBC Wales journalists being paid to tidy desks
Dozens of BBC Wales journalists have been told to tidy their desks, archive old tapes and fill in expenses forms over the summer – instead of working on programmes.

But hang on, why would you want to talk about that? The story does, after all, talk about the continued failings of your beloved BBC, and that particular aspect of the BBC is not to be discussed, is it? Things are different when an upcoming BBC programme is to be promoted, of course.

So let's see what we have on today's edition of Junk Mail On The Radio...

1) NEWS OF THE WORLD - The News of the World is at the centre of a firestorm as the phone hacking scandal escalates. Former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott tells us that readers should boycott the paper. Is he right? : I think I need more than one paragraph for this...

Prescott is hardly the upholder of virtue that he claims to be, surely? His affair with a secretary was so well reported by the BBC that a special web page was created ( entitled Timeline: Prescott's problems which detailed not only his affair but all of the other dubious shenanigans that he was involved in around that time. Perhaps you would care to remind him of this episode, just to check what his view of the BBC's coverage of his own life might be.

Guessing that you would talk about this today, I decided to do a little research. Looking away from the obvious story, I was more curious as to why the BBC was hysterical about it and wondered if there was the usual hidden agenda dragged up from the depths whenever a chance to knock the Murdoch news empire arose. I was not disappointed: me to quote at length:
"... there is a commercial interest at stake – and the one element of the story the BBC seems coy about is that it is itself a player in a particularly frenzied media battle. The Corporation is bitterly opposed to News Corporation’s bid to to buy the 61% of BSkyB it doesn’t already own (as is much of Fleet Street). Indeed, it is so opposed that the BBC’s director general Mark Thompson took the extraordinary step last autumn of putting his name to a letter of protest objecting to the deal – for which he was forced to apologise by the BBC Trust. The BBC’s treatment of the hacking story suggests the Corporation still sees the value of blackening the reputation of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire as thoroughly as possible whenever the opportunity arises. As the Beeb’s own Robert Peston notes, it leaves hanging in the air the idea that News Coporation may not be a fit and proper company to acquire complete control of a major broadcaster."

I could not have put it better myself. Reporting of Mark Thompson's apology can be found here:
So what is your agenda today? Are you looking at phone hacking, or are you just attacking Murdoch? I can probably guess the answer to that question.

Let me ask you these questions Jeremy:
 - Has there been a senior management meeting to discuss the coverage of phone hacking and was a decision made to use it as a vehicle to undermine the BSkyB takeover?
 - Has the BBC ever used information gained illegally in its news reporting?
 - Has the BBC employed anybody who has attempted to hack the phones of victims, suspects or their relatives?

And what is the difference between Murdoch and the BBC? Well, not much from where I am sitting ... except for one thing. I can choose to boycott the Murdoch empire by not purchasing their products. The only way to boycott the BBC would be to not buy a TV licence. Now that sounds like a good idea!

I believe that the journalist (i.e. scum) involved in the phone hacking was somebody called Glenn Mulcaire. Despite his ability to completely upset the lives of others, it appears that he doesn't like a taste of his own medicine ( This is typical of the hypocrisy rife in this sordid industry.

I will, of course, be boycotting the News of the World. I but then I also boycott all of the other national newspapers, as do 80% of the UK population. The Press Gazette web site ( continues to document the slow and agonising death of the Dead Tree Press and tells me that just under 10 million national newspapers are sold every day, so 50 million people choose not to buy them. I continue to be puzzled why you make them out to be so important.

Interesting too that you have nobody from News International on your show to put their side of the story. There is nothing like balanced reporting, and this is nothing like balanced reporting.

Journalism and your precious "Media" are in a sorry state, but that is nothing new. The only new thing is that more people know about it and will, hopefully, question what they read and hear in the name of "news" more often.


2) SREBRENICA - A court rules that Holland was responsible for the deaths of three Bosnian Muslims during the Srebrenica massacre because its forces failed to protect a UN safe area. We discuss Dutch shame over Srebrenica : "Are you ashamed to be Dutch?", you just asked. Errrr... no. Are you ashamed to be involved in journalism? You should be! It is items like this that make me wonder if Radio Rotterdam has an equivalent programme to yours, where they discuss the current state of the UK NHS. Somehow I don't think they do. Next...

3) AFRICAN DROUGHT - Has too little been done to help animals caught up in the African drought? : I can only hope that today you are going to launch the Jeremy Vine Campaign for African Animal Welfare. No? Oh. So, what are you going to do then? You're going to talk about it. Hmmm... that won't make much of a difference, will it? You treat news stories like buses ... there will be another one along in a minute. Next...

4) SEXSOMNIA - And a man is cleared of rape after arguing that he suffers from a condition which means he has sex in his sleep. Find out more in this Telegraph article : The saddest thing about this is that you have chosen to give this man some publicity. Well done.

The Jeremy Vine Show - telling it like it is some of the time.

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