Leveson avoided the task of examining the culture, practices and ethics of the BBC as it was outside his remit….If Cameron had any sense he would have changed that remit….and should now set up another ‘Leveson’ to look at the publicly funded BBC in particular.
‘This Inquiry has covered the “culture, practices and ethics of the press” which obviously includes newspapers whether printed or online: it does not include broadcasters (ultimately regulated by Ofcom). Thus, although the Director General of the BBC, then Mark Thompson, gave evidence, he did so only to provide a comparison between the approach adopted internally by the BBC Trust along with the oversight from Ofcom. In those circumstances, although there have been many calls during the Inquiry for me to expand the terms of reference to investigate other organisations (most recently the BBC in the wake of the allegations against Sir Jimmy Savile), it is simply outside the Terms of Reference within which I am working.’
The BBC are outraged by the report…a ‘damning report’….. and know who to blame:
Never mind the politicians who ‘bought’ favourable coverage by whatever sordid little backroom deals they arranged…never mind the police officers or others who sold sensitive information…….there’s only one main target for the BBC…the man at the head of News International.
Report rejects wrongdoing by the government around the BSKyB bid, with “no credible evidence of bias”. Must learn lessons around quasi-judicial processes. “We were right to stand by him.” [Says Cameron]
No evidence of a “deal” between David Cameron and News International to trade policy favours for positive news coverage
So two major BBC news stories….one generated from the dark recesses of the inventive mind of Labour’s Peter Mandelson and which was accepted as ‘true’ by the BBC, the other a story that the BBC itself played a part in concocting about BSkyB….both stories wrong and unfounded.
Impartiality in its DNA? I don’t think so.
The funny thing about Leveson was that New Labour and its extraordinary, incestuous, closeness to the Murdochs and their media empire goes almost unmentioned…Gordon Brown managing to evade any serious questions at all during the inquiry….it is Cameron who gets rapped over the knuckles for his closeness to ‘Murdoch’…though in fact to Rebekah Brooks…who happens to be the wife of his old school friend Charlie Brooks.
It was the very same Labour Party which had Murdoch Journalist and now Labour’s communications spinner (Senior Advisor (Communications and Strategy)), Tom Baldwin, plant stories in the Times on behalf of the Labour government:
Tom Baldwin is back in London, writing political stories for The Times. Before a stint as a reporter for the same newspaper in America he became notorious for writing stories that bore Downing Street’s imprint. His close connections to Alastair Campbell are still evident in the number of stories he has helped write in recent weeks about Blair’s chances of becoming EU President.
This is what the BBC has to say about that…..
New Labour is also criticised for introducing a culture of ‘spin’ in Government
Guido Fawkes is less enamoured by Leveson and his plans for Press regulation:
‘The Leveson Report suggests Ofcom could soon wield considerable power over the press. It is recommended that the new regulatory body will be ‘validated’ by Ofcom, the government is to consider allowing Ofcom to regulate newspapers that refuse to join or even becoming the regulatory body itself if the new system fails. So who is the man in charge of Ofcom?
Ed Richards is a former adviser Gordon Brown, who worked in a small office with just the former PM and his PA. He was also a senior policy adviser to Tony Blair. The Guardian describe him as having a background “rooted in New Labour”. Now he could well be the guardian of the guardians. Do we really want Gordon Brown’s henchman in charge of regulating the press?’