Monday, 19 May 2014

The Richard Caseby spat

Another story you will have missed if you rely on the BBC.  I first came across it when the Guardian's Patrick Butler tweeted the link this morning to a "guest blog" piece on the Press Gazette site.  It's a nasty attack on the Guardian for what the author calls smears and inaccuracies about the DWP.  It's personal and vicious.  And it's written by Richard Caseby, who happens to be Director of Communications at the DWP.  And he also happens to be a former managing editor of the Sun and the Sunday Times, which explains the personal animosity.  But he's a civil servant now, so the abusive article is inexcusable.
Butler continued to post links which helped to explain the background.  Then the Huffington Post took up the story, giving the context.  Finally (perhaps) there came a masterly piece by the veteran journalist Michael White in the Guardian.  The attack on the Guardian was "reckless", he says, considering that he is a civil servant, and IDS should "have a quiet word with his pit-bull".
(I have to amend that last para.  It wasn't "finally"; there's another Guardian piece tonight.)
All this really does matter.  The DWP press office has long been a joke, and no wonder.  IDS has very successfully put the frighteners on the BBC, which now declines to report anything to do with his department.  Now Caseby is trying to bully one of the few sources of honest reporting left in the media.

1 comment:

  1. It is no coincidence that the BBC stopped reporting on the activities of IDS, McVey and the DWP at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME as the Tories threatened to scrap the BBC license. The BBC has a history of avoiding reporting unemployment and benefit cuts. In the 1930's it was criticised for the lack of interest in many social and economic issues in favour of 'highbrow' arts and culture.

    Reith argued at the time that it was their role only to report the news and not analyse it. My argument would be that by not investigating the claims of politicians and accepting their words as the absolute truth the reporting by the BBC is biased.


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