Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The right-wing bloggers (such as Reynolds and Jarvis) can barely type this afternoon, so gleeful are they at the BBC's discomfort.

And who can blame them. It's a black day for the Corporation and I'm as dismayed as anyone at the finding that the BBC's editorial processes were lacking,

I'm not going to defend the indefensible but I would say this.

The BBC is the biggest newsgathering organisation in the world. It employs thousands of journalists and produces hundreds of hours of news on radio, television and online every single day.

The Hutton Report, damning as it is, focuses on one story, put together by one journalist and broadcast by one programme. It does those of us who go to extraordinary lengths to get the facts right a huge disservice to tar all BBC journalism with the same brush.

Andrew Gilligan made a mistake when he claimed the government had "sexed up" its dossier on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. As a result, one person died -- Dr David Kelly. That's tragic.

But let's look what's happening as I type over at the Senate Armed Services Committee, coincidentally at the same time that the Hutton firestorm is raging. David Kay is telling senators that the intelligence agencies also made a mistake about Iraqi WMDs.

So far more than 500 American soldiers have died.


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