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Lib Dems – go back to your constituencies and prepare to complain….

By Angela Harbutt
February 8th, 2010 at 9:48 am | 9 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

ITV has announced that on 14th Feb 2010 it plans to broadcast a one hour “interview” with Gordon Brown. Not a hard hitting political examination of the Prime Minister – his policies and actions over the last four years. Not a series of interviews where Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Nick Clegg (and possibly others) are likewise interrogated.

No. This is Piers Morgan interviewing the PM.  No other politician at any other point, just the PM. This is Piers Morgan – former editor of the pro-Labour party Mirror newspaper, up until 2004 (when he was sacked). This is Piers Morgan, Gordon Browns mate. Piers Morgan who interviews the likes of Cilla Black, Katie Price, Boris Becker,Dannii Minogue,Ronnie Corbett, Vinnie Jones,  and.. er…oh.. the Prime Minister (weeks before a general election must be called). Piers Morgan who says of Gordon Brown (presumably with a straight face (and fingers crossed behind his back)) He’s one of the most famous people in the country, yet remains a man of mystery to many.  I have known Gordon Brown for over 15 years – he is a man who has enjoyed great triumph, suffered terrible tragedy, and will soon face the biggest challenge of his career.” Sound like a one hour party political election broadcast to you too?

Much has been said about how cynical Gordon Brown is to use this programme as a vehicle to gain public sympathy etc. I dont care whether he cried or stripped naked and did the hokey Cokey – what I care about is how the hell those people in charge of ITV let Gordon Brown’s mate interview Gordon Brown within weeks of a general election without any regard to their internal or external commitments to impartiality.  

ITN must be spitting teeth. All that time and effort ensuring that their news coverage over the course of any one period is “balanced” and “fair”and then boom! some idiot head of Light Entertainment who can’t see past the ratings or dare not challenge the over-inflated ego of Mr-Big-Bucks-Morgan goes and blows it. What useless, dim-witted idiots are in charge down there these days?  

Personally I cannot see how this can be allowed under OFCOM rules – there is a whole section (Section Five) concerned with ..”Due Impartiality and Due Accuracy and Undue Prominence of Views and Opinions“.

The mad thing is, you can’t actually complain to OFCOM BEFORE the programme is broadcast. Once it has been broadcst and everyone complains, presumably ITV will have to ensure that Nick Clegg  and Dave Cameron get their moment in the sun with their best mates in the interviewers chair too …and before the general election is called. If I were Dave or Nick I would get my mates to nip over and get an interview in the can now and just send them to ITV for broadcast – seeing as how thats TV is made down there now. What a joke ITV are.


Sadly their website is broken at the moment. UPDATE: The website is now working – it makes it very difficult to complain prior to programme transmission but you can try or you can call OFCOM on 0300 123 3333 or 020 7981 3000 or write to them at  Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road,London, SE1 9HA and simply ask them to post date your complaint about the “Party Politcal Broadcast brought to you by Piers Morgan” to Feb 15th (day after the interview is broadcast). Just tell them it seems to break just about every rule in section 5.


This you can do by emailing (duty officers logs get sent round the big boys – or at least they used to) copied to the or call 0844 88 14150.

I understand that some libertarians out there will shrug and say that OFCOM should be scrapped and every broadcaster allowed to do what the hell they like. And I have some sympathy with that view. But until the point that OFCOM is scrapped and whilst ITV pretends to operate a news code of conduct then I think we have a right to expect it to adhere to its and OFCOMs rules.

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