Home » Media » Things the BBC forgot to ask Jody McIntyre

Things the BBC forgot to ask Jody McIntyre

BBC newsroom to be added shortly (Image from thetvroom.com)

BBC anchor Ben Brown has proven himself an ace investigative reporter, revealing during an interview with disabled victim of British police violence Jody McIntyre that the latter has not yet launched an official complaint with the police—despite the fact that the incident occurred several days ago! Thus, McIntyre’s brutal treatment must be a fabrication, even though it is recorded in video footage shown on the BBC.

In case the incident really did happen, Brown accusingly interrogates McIntyre about reports that he wants to start a revolutionary movement and that he was rolling toward police in his wheelchair, obvious provocations that warrant being dragged across asphalt and hit with a baton. He then cuts off McIntyre’s attempt to liken BBC coverage of the tuition fee protests with BBC coverage of the Palestinian issue, both of which focus on blaming violence on the victims.

Brown’s tour de force would have been even more awe-inspiring had he not left out the following important questions for McIntyre:

  1. Why do you care about tuition fees if you’re not in school?
  2. In your poetry you mention something about “coke lines.” Is it possible that you were under the influence of illegal substances when the alleged incident with the police occurred?
  3. If it’s true, as you say, that you can’t operate your wheelchair by yourself, how did you get to the studio today?
  4. The Iranian foreign ministry has also expressed disapproval over police handling of demonstrations in London. Does this mean that you approve of hanging political dissidents?
  5. Has it not occurred to you to thank the metropolitan police for removing you from a potentially dangerous situation?
  6. Speaking of the Palestinians, is that where you learned how to provoke casualties?
  7. Do you have an official doctor’s note certifying that you have cerebral palsy?
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1 Comment

  1. David says:

    At least two interesting developments in the last day or two

    1. The BBC has turned down a number of FOI requests asking for the number of complaints received on the grounds that this is information held for the purposes of journalism, the arts and literature.

    2, Ofcom has e-mailed complainants saying that this matter falls outside its remit.

    BBC News Channel, 13 December, 8:15pm

    Thank you for contacting Ofcom about the above programme. We acknowledge viewers concerns that Ben Brown’s interviewing of Jody McIntyre was too robust, displayed a perceived bias, and was unfair to Mr McIntyre.

    While Ofcom can investigate complaints relating to a range of programme standards, in the first instance it is the broadcasters themselves who determine programme content, mindful of Ofcom rules.

    The Ofcom Broadcasting Code does contain rules relating to matters of due impartiality and accuracy in programmes. However, under the terms of the Communications Act the BBC is not licensed by Ofcom in the same way as the commercial broadcasters, and to reflect this situation a Memorandum of Understanding exists between Ofcom and the BBC Trust whereby the Trust regulates these areas rather than Ofcom.

    While the BBC is therefore ultimately accountable to the BBC Trust with regard to the issues you highlighted, including its handling of complaints about this issue, the BBC has a formal complaints process and your complaint should be escalated with them in the first instance, as outlined in the BBC’s complaints handling procedures on its website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle.shtml

    Before contacting the BBC through that route, you may wish to view the following link to their website, in which the BBC News editor discusses recent complaints about the interview:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/12/interview_with_jody_mcintyre.html

    It does remain open for Ofcom to investigate instances of unfair treatment or misrepresentation in television and radio programmes. However, the legislation in terms of the area of fairness and privacy does not permit Ofcom to consider complaints made by the general public on the behalf of participants in programmes, and can only entertain complaints of unfair treatment when they are brought to our attention by the those directly affected in the programme, in this case Jody McIntyre or his formal representative.

    While unable to pursue your compliant on this occasion, thank you nevertheless for taking the time to contact Ofcom on this matter

    _____________

    So in essence this response just refers people back to the ‘closed loop’ of Kevin Bakhurst’s editorial blog. Readers will recall that Bakhurst asked readers to tell him just what was objectionable about the interview, Many did but the BBC’s response was to close the comments thread (with just over 1000 responses) and bot to provide any feedback statement.

    The only redress for those who did complain seems to be the second stage of the BBC’s complaints procedure, though I would be amazed if that yeildl results. People who complained received this e-mail.

    ___________________________

    Thank you for contacting us regarding the recent BBC News Channel interview with Jody McIntyre. I note that you have seen the statement and explanation by the Channel Controller, Kevin Bakhurst.

    We believe Kevin Bakhurst has explained the background and reasoning in his blog; we don’t have anything further to add except to point out that there’s been a considerable amount of online discussion and debate about this interview by many people.

    We are sorry we are not able to send you a more personalised reply because of the high volumes of complaints we have received and it is for this reason that we have engaged with it as effectively as possible by both publishing the blog and inviting further debate and reaction on The Editors’ website.

    If you believe there was a specific breach of the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines during Ben Brown’s interview with Mr McIntrye, you can write to the Editorial Complaints Unit at Stage 2 of the BBC Complaints process, so that your complaint can be investigated independently of the programme-makers. You should do this within 20 working days of receiving this correspondence, explaining what you believe the breach has been so that your concerns can be properly investigated.

    You can write to them at this address:

    Editorial Complaints Unit,
    Room 5170,
    White City,
    201 Wood Lane,
    London
    W12 7TS

    Alternatively you can e-mail the Unit at the address: ecu@bbc.co.uk

    Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Audience Services

    ____________________________________

    So much for the open organisation!

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