BBC – an apology is not good enough, we need an inquiry

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by Ken McNeil

The stench of the corrupt relationship between the media and politicians grows ever more obnoxious.  For nationalists it gives further impetus to the struggle to break free from a deeply flawed system in terminal decline.

David Cameron has announced an inquiry which we can confidently predict will be a whitewash with the odd minor sacrificial lamb offered up to appease the masses.  Then it will be business as usual.

One thing about the News of the World scandal is that it has led already to jail sentences, we can but hope for more.

But what of that other organ of the state, the fearless, unbiased and benevolent BBC? Readers of Newsnet Scotland have made their views plain in the past and judging by the comments on the McCoist smear that feeling is getting stronger.

But is it enough?  Editing film to distort a report and smear individuals seems endemic in the BBC and not just BBC Scotland. Editing McCoist’s interview to make him appear indifferent to bigotry, distorting the parliamentary record by editing a film to apparently show the First Minister mocking John Swinney and even editing a program about the Queen to show her apparently taking umbrage with photographer Annie Lebowitz.

The Queen incident cost the jobs of the controller of BBC1 and the Creative Director of the independent company that made the documentary.  But what of BBC Scotland?

They managed an apology to McCoist, more likely due to their fear of being cut out of Rangers coverage than any desire to right the wrong done to Ally McCoist.  As far as the Scottish Parliament scandal (because that’s what it is) is concerned, nothing.

It is not good enough.  Who is responsible for this editing? Who instructed it and why?  There should be an inquiry and heads should roll.  The BBC needs to clean up its act every bit as much as News International.

Surely manipulating film reports to smear individuals and distort facts to mislead the viewing public should be a criminal offence?  Or is it now morally acceptable to trash the reputations of football managers, leaders of government and an 85 year old lady who also happens to be Head of State?