Below I asked What’s the difference between an interview and a sketch?, as helpfully demonstrated by Brian Wheeler of BBC News Online. By way of a related follow-up: What’s the difference between new news and old news?
Unfortunately, News Online don’t provide an answer this time. Surprisingly, the same Gorgeous George Galloway puff piece, last updated on Friday 13AUG04 (allegedly!) is still featured on the main BBC News Online Politics page – over two and a half-weeks later – in a nice highlighted box near the bottom, with a picture of George (in full flight, “Sir, I salute your courage, your indefatiguability” etc., etc.) and the words “Due Respect? George Galloway says he is building a new labour party”, along with, it seems from this undue exposure, the tacit support of BBC News Online!
In the interests of thoroughness, I’ve looked at the timestamps of all the pages featured on the News Online Politics page. The Galloway puff-piece is dated August 13th. The next oldest article is an anodyne piece about the size of the civil service, dated August 19th. After that, everything else is dated from the 25th to the 31st of August (with two exceptions – they being ‘see also’ type links to the lead story about Tony Blair).
So, how much longer is Gorgeous George’s puff-piece going to stay in the BBC spotlight? The only thing we can be sure of is that someone at the BBC likes seeing George’s mug sitting there on that page.
Update: Within twenty to thirty minutes of this post going live the News Online Politics page to which it refers was updated, replacing the George Galloway feature with a link to another Brian Wheeler article, this time about fox hunting. Just shows we’re not alone – don’tcha just love ‘em!
Update 2: For those who require proof beyond my word for this, take a look at Google’s cache of the News Online Politics page. Google’s version is dated Sunday, August 29th, 23:52GMT 00:52UK (i.e. Midnight Sunday/Monday) – and look, there’s George’s mug jutting out at the bottom (until the cache is updated or the BBC nobble Google!).