Mr Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?

by Stephen Tall on December 21, 2006

Nick Robinson has posted a staunch defence of the BBC’s political reporting, defending Auntie from the charge levelled by the Indy’s Steve Richards that it is becoming ‘anti-politics’.

Mr Robinson’s argument – ‘This simply won’t do’ – would have been a whole lot more persuasive had BBC Online not been carrying prominently the story, ‘MP intervened in Cheeky Girl case’ – with its clear innuendo that Lembit Opik has abused his position as a member of Parliament to help keep his nubile new girlfriend in the country. Read the story, and it is perfectly clear that Lembit was ultra-careful at every stage to ensure he acted with scrupulous propriety.

So what was the justification for the BBC’s splash? None. It’s the usual cheap trick of hack journalism in which the quality press – and increasingly the BBC – specialise: the desire to peddle gossip trumps their wish to report news, and they’ll invent any spurious public service angle to justify the lapse.

(More on the Robinson-Richards’ spat tomorrow when I’m more awake.)