Jeremy Paxman is at it again. He accuses the BBC of "fawning" over the monarchy and seeing itself as "a courtier." This is in a BBC Radio 4 programme, "The Palace and the Beeb", broadcast on 11 October. He gives as an example, the BBC's reporting of the death of the Queen Mother in 2002.
"It was unclear whether the BBC was announcing this as a piece of news or in its capacity as mourner-in-chief, really, and it got into a terrible muddle," he said.
Paxman obviously does not accept that the passing of the Queen Mother should be attended with dignity and gravitas.
This is not the first time Paxman – who said he converted from being a republican to becoming a self-confessed monarchist when researching his 2006 book, “On Royalty”, – has attracted controversy.
Perhaps Mr. Paxman should concentrate on his journalism.
…the Kitty Kelley school of journalism…
His book was marred by a practice which is now widespread.
This seems to have been introduced by Kitty Kelley, relying on the inexplicable repeal by the US Supreme Court of almost all laws in any way designed to protect reputation in that country.
The practice is to publish damaging rumours and hearsay without reasonable grounds which would indicate the story is true.
Too often stories are published today without even asking the person disparaged to comment.
…the agenda behind the story….
At least Paxman did not accuse Prince Charles of fraud. But he portrayed the Prince as if he were extremely self -indulgent and arrogant.
Until you remember that, the story just seems harmless. It’s when you recall it comes with an agenda you understand what is going on.
Paxman claimed the Prince was so fussy staff had to cook him seven boiled eggs to allow him to choose one with a perfect consistency.
"If the Prince felt that number five was too runny, he could knock the top off number six or seven," Mr. Paxman told The Guardian.
That passionately republican news paper had acquired the right to publish extracts from the book, so a controversy in the news columns did not go astray .
….Paxman caught out…..
When it comes to this level of silly gossip, the practice in any respectable newspaper or broadcaster used to be to ignore it.
But for a long time, an out of control self editing commentariat has been able to use this sort of thing – in this case to portray the Prince in unflattering terms.
This has nothing to do with objective reporting – it is part of an agenda ranging from republicanism to a desire to damage him.
As Reuters pointed out on 23 September 2006, many commentators would portray him, without challenge, “as a dull, slightly loopy eccentric with a habit of talking to his plants.”
This time Reuters was able to report something which was unusual- a spokesman for Prince Charles had come out to answer the story.
The spokesman declared, without any equivocation, that the story was, as everyone expected, untrue. It was a complete fabrication, as is much of what is written about the Royal Family by so called royal watchers.
So what was Mr. Paxman’s embarrassed explanation?
The story must be true. The source he said, was…. one of Prince Charles’ “friends.”
To tell the truth, this story about eggs left Paxman with egg on his face.
So who is he to accuse the BBC of being fawning when it reports major events with the dignity and gravitas the world audience expects from the world's leading public broadcaster ?