When politicians complain about media bias it is often right for people to take it with a pinch of salt, especially when they tweet it within a few minutes of the end of the Today programme on Radio 4.
I am great lover of both the station and the programme and find both a bulwark against the gradual progression towards flabby journalism and the uncritical fawning that often surrounds modern celebrity.
So, when I received Ben’s tweet I thought it was a case of ‘methinks he doth protest too much,’ but I was surprised, on listening, that the report and interview were quite superficial and in no way delved into the clear holes in the Tory policy of £7 billion worth of cuts. Forgive me for having a memory; I just don’t trust the Tories to make cuts that will be reasoned and fair to those who can least afford any serious cuts in their income, or their benefits.
As Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw has a key role in making sure that the media, especially the state owned BBC, maintains a reasoned equilibrium between all the political parties over the next few months.
My concern, on a deeper level, is that journalism, so often these days, is almost entirely interdependent with the political class and the quality of real investigative journalism has diminished. The fact that the Today programme thought the most appropriate commentator on the George Osborne speech was Michael Brown, a former Tory MP, saying how great he thought it was, appears lazy. Just accepting that the Conservative agenda of cuts should not be challenged, in any way, is presumptuous, and might lead to a Government being elected unchallenged as to its real agenda.
Change is a reaonable agenda for any political party to champion, but we need to know what change would mean, rather than accepting the political and journalistic establishment’s view that the Conservatives can do no wrong at the moment.