Quite often, I disagree with the BBC. I think Auntie is biased in favour of European integration, of wind farms, and almost every 'leftie' fad going. In Wales I always think she's is biased in favour of Plaid Cymru. But its never bothered me at all. Viewers and not daft and they allow for this bias. Always feel that if I answer straight, I get a fair deal and get my message across. And anyway, in a few years time she may be biased in directions I approve of. Despite all the above, I have a deep rooted love for the BBC and am very alarmed indeed by much of what is happening at present.
Personally, I did not think that George Entwistle needed to resign. Its a measure of his decency that he has done so quickly. He knows that a great wrong was done to Lord McAlpine by the BBC, and though he wasn't involved in the decision to broadcast the offending edition of Newsnight, he has decided, because he is editor-in-Chief to take the hit. Its tough, but its sometimes what happens to the person at the top. I just hope that whoever it was took the decision to broadcast is sacked as well. Such appalling journalism cannot be allowed to remain unpunished. It was driven by prejudice, and it must be rooted out.
I am horrified by the idea that Newsnight should be scrapped. Its my favourite programme. Its the only BBC programme I aspire to appear on (but that only happens to Conservatives in the 'favoured set'). I'm very happy with the New Channel paper review every three weeks. Come to think of it, that's my favourite programme. But Newsnight has been a part of my life for decades - even if I do think Jeremy Paxman sometimes poses like a clever dick prima donna. And some of the other presenters sometimes copy. Give me Eddie Mair any day.
Its important to understand what happened. Someone was so excited by the prospect of a mega-scandal linked to the name 'Thatcher' that normal journalistic standards went out of the window. An innocent man's reputation was shredded. Of course there was no intent to lie and defame in such disgraceful fashion, but such was the scale of sloppiness that the person/persons responsible must be sacked.
But this post is about balance and proportionality. The BBC is hugely respected across the world, and is one of Britain's greatest assets. We must cherish the BBC. While we try to ensure standards, lets remember just how important the BBC is. No doubt there will be a few jumping on the 'Kick the BBC' bandwagon. But I'm not. Bad mistake. Sack the offender. Apologise profusely. Learn what went wrong. Move on. Don't do it again. Its like when a much loved member of the family errs. They are still family and admonition must be balanced with rehabilitation. Come on BBC, hit us with quality and make us forget.