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Former head of the BBC criticises corporations disrespectful tone

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Former head of the BBC criticises corporation’s ‘disrespectful’ tone

The former head of the BBC has criticised the broadcaster’s coverage of certain political events, saying the tone is “gleeful and disrespectful”.

The former head of the BBC has criticised the broadcaster’s coverage of certain political events, saying the tone is “gleeful and disrespectful”.

Lord Michael Grade said the corporation was right to hold the government to account but added that its “macho culture” was “unnecessary”.

Grade, 78, has held top jobs at all three of the UK’s main broadcasters – the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph he said: “What I don’t like is the tone.”

“Take the BBC’s coverage of the current political crisis. It’s the lead story, of course – I’m not questioning their news values.

“Nor am I questioning the BBC’s objectivity, and the reason I don’t is that if you talk to Jeremy Corbyn… he would think the media were a nest of vipers because they gave him a hard time, and very rightly, over anti-Semitism.

“The BBC was on that story in the same way they’re now on the ‘partygate’ story.

“But the tone is too aggressive. It’s so gleeful and disrespectful.

“‘Are you lying to the British public?’ It makes them sound as if they’ve made up their minds, which I don’t think they have, but it’s: ‘We’ve got a story – we’re going to nail this b******’.

“They’re right to hold the Prime Minister to account. I have no problem with that.

“But there seems to be a sense at the BBC that if you ask difficult questions politely, your colleagues are going to say: ‘You let him or her off the hook’.

“It’s a macho culture. It’s unnecessary, and I don’t like it.”

Grade currently sits as a Conservative peer in the House of Lords after being appointed by David Cameron in 2010.

He also admitted that he has “kept my hat in the ring” for the position of Ofcom chief executive, after having had “second thoughts” about applying.

The process to fill the senior position at the media regulator has faced a series of delays since it began two years ago and is now being rerun after an initial round of interviews failed to find a suitable candidate.

Former Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre was reportedly Boris Johnson’s preferred choice during the initial interviews, but he withdrew from the race, claiming the civil service had influenced the process because of his right-of-centre “convictions”.

“I became suspicious of the process, until I realised Sue Gray was back in charge of the appointment after her ‘partygate’ exertions,” Grade said.

“I was fully reassured and am now happy to keep my hat in the ring.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

Written by: ES1

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