Is BBC Lying Over F-Bombgate?

Today the BBC told the Telegraph that an “unnamed producer” was responsible for an outburst of swearing on yesterday’s Morning Reports on Radio Five Live. I noted yesterday that a couple of tweets suggested that the racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght was to blame.

Compare the f-bomb clip with the one of Cornelius Lysaght taken from Radio Five Live today. Is it the same person?

If it is the same person (and it sounds like it to me) why would the BBC lie? It’s not as if Lysaght can be blamed for the error; in fact, if he’s forced to listen to tedious jazz fusion while waiting to file reports he deserves our sympathy. Is the BBC telling the truth, and if not, why not?

F-bomb Update

Further to my post yesterday, the following article just appeared on the Telegraph website:

BBC sorry for four-letter Radio 5 Live gaffe
The BBC has been forced to apologise after a member of staff delivered a four-letter tirade without realising he was being broadcast live on Radio 5 Live.
Thousands of listeners heard the unnamed producer swearing at a jazz music recording.
The incident happened on the early morning programme Morning Reports on Radio 5 Live on Saturday. At 5.42am, during a sports round up, listeners heard the unidentified voice say “f****** trumpet”.
The speaker continued: “It drives you mad that f****** Stanley Clarke.”
It appears the producer was listening to a recording by Stanley Clarke, an American jazz musician and composer, and was unaware that his own voice was being broadcast.

So it wasn’t Cornelius Lysaght, then. Still pretty funny.

Update. I have audio!

(The YouTube script should read October 3, not October 4.)

(Thanks Radiofail).

I may be wrong, but it sounds like Cornelius Lysaght to me. What do others think? Has the BBC lied about this, blaming it on an unnamed producer?

BBC F-Bomb Rant By Cameron Eton Schoolmate

Does anybody have a recording of today’s Morning Reports on Radio Five Live – specifically the bit where they played the wrong clip, a brief but very amusing f-bomb filled rant by one of the sports correspondents? I was only half awake at the time and missed the name of the reporter, but evidence suggests it was the racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght.

This is nothing to do with BBC bias – I’m just taking advantage of the blog in the hope of flushing out the relevant clip for no other reason than I’d quite like to hear it again. Unsurprisingly, the programme isn’t available on iPlayer.

If any tabloid journalists are reading this and need a little story to keep in the editor’s good books, the above headline should help point you in the right direction. Judging by Peter Sisson’s observations earlier this week, I imagine there must be someone on the BBC factory floor willing to pass on the clip in exchange for a few quid.

"Horrible for Chicago!"

Tweets from BBC Sports News Correspondent James Pearce today. (H/T David Preiser in the comments).

“Both Obamas were brilliant. In some ways Michelle upstaged her husband. She spoke with real passion”

“My analysis of Chicago presentation: Michelle Obama absolutely fantastic. President Obama very good. Rest average”

And then
“Just been speaking to Lord Coe. He reckons IOC members loved Michelle Obama”

Finally, heartache:
“Wow. Vow. Vow. Vow! We always knew first round would be close. But this is horrible for Chicago.” (I think those are all meant to be “Wows”, not “Vows”.)

This guy wasn’t as impressed as Mr Pearce:
“Pass the sick bucket – just listened to the Obamas’ begging for the Olympics and having their usual luv-in. Enough schmaltz already.”

Neither, apparently, were the Radio Five Live listeners:
“Michelle Obama: Listeners phoning 5live saying “Pass me the sick bucket” – :D”

Updated. The CNN anchor was as nonplussed as James Pearce. Very funny.

Obama Death Poll

The most viewed story on the BBC Americas site on Tuesday was “US probes Obama ‘death’ web poll” about a sick Facebook page asking if Obama should be killed. The story was given prominence on the main pages of the BBC’s News, World and Americas sections. Sky News also covered the story online, albeit with added alarmist undertones about racist protesters which the BBC, to its credit, avoided. However, unlike the BBC, Sky has done a follow up:

US Secret Service agents have revealed a teenager was behind a Facebook survey asking whether President Barack Obama should be assassinated.
The agency says it has spoken to the juvenile and his parents and determined there is no intent to harm the president.

This turn of events can’t be unknown to the BBC, and given the evident interest in the story it seems a strange editorial decision not to provide an update explaining that it was just a stupid kid doing a very stupid thing. Why would the BBC not be keen to allay the fears of its readers? Was the bland denouement such a disappointment to BBC journos that not one of them can be bothered reporting on it?

If the BBC does decide to update the story, the following information from Michael Deacon might be worth including:

But try typing “George Bush” and “die” into Facebook’s search engine.
You’ll be hit by a Niagara of groups with titles such as “George W Bush should die”, “I vote that George Bush can die”, “If this group reaches 1,000 [members] then George Bush will die”, “I want George Bush to die”, “Die Bush die”, “George Walker Bush should be killed”, “Will someone please kill George W Bush”…
These groups were there while George W Bush was in office. Eight months after he left, they’re still there.

Also possibly worthy of mention could be this plea for the assassination of George Bush, written in 2004:

The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?

That was Charlie Brooker, Guardian columnist and now, er, BBC TV presenter.

BBC: Overpaid execs, too much opinion

Peter Sissons has had another excellent pop at the BBC.

Peter Sissons, the retired BBC news presenter, last night attacked the corporation for paying huge executive salaries while allowing BBC newsrooms to become “factories” run by “poor kids”. The presenter, who left the BBC during the summer, also said that there was far too much opinion on BBC news programmes, and not enough straight reporting of facts.

Sissons, 67, who is writing an autobiography covering his career first at ITN, where he was happiest, then from 1989 at the BBC, told a Media Society dinner last night that the huge gulf between the salaries paid to the top tier at the BBC and everyone else was a real problem, especially in the 24-hour newsroom at BBC Television Centre…

“And then there are these panjandrums on huge numbers. If you tried to devise a way of undermining morale, you couldn’t find a better way. They [top executives] are working in the public service, and all this is taking place after we’ve found MPs with their snouts in the trough. Public service is taking second place to their pecuniary interests.”

Sissons also criticised the growing tendency of BBC journalists to offer analysis and opinion on news stories. “I say go back to basics. Report on the news,” he said. “The term reporter is the noblest word in the language, not this term ‘correspondent’. Increasingly, reporters are being invited by presenters to give their opinion. Far too much opinion is creeping into news reporting, with pay-off lines, to steer the viewer into what to think. Let them make up their own minds on the facts.”

See also: The BBC became too PC for me, says veteran Sissons

Radio Five Live Guests

In a column from last November titled “BBC must end its smug comedy consensus” the Guardian’s Martin Kelner said he was helping produce some pilots of a talkshow for Radio Five Live; he explained that he was keen to avoid the “cosy broadly leftwing” consensus found on shows such as Richard Bacon and Gabby Logan. I was reminded of this when, flicking through the stations this morning, I heard Mrs Logan chatting with her studio guests – Mark Steel, the old school leftie comedian, and Mark Thomas, the old school leftie comedian.

I can only assume that Kelner’s proposals were rejected as I’ve heard nothing from Radio Five Live to suggest anything has changed, consensus-wise, since he wrote that column. Perhaps the controller thought that a Guardian columnist would be too tentative in addressing the obvious problem of bias and has asked Richard Littlejohn to make a programme instead. Or maybe the BBC is simply happy with things as they are, thank you very much.

(Gabby Logan on this morning’s show: “What did you make of Obama holding hands with Sarah Brown then? There’s a lot of women in the world would’ve liked to be in THAT position!”)

Meanwhile, In The Left Field

Remember Ben “left of centre” Stephenson, the BBC’s Controller of Drama? Last week he was a panellist at a BFI discussion on “the theatre’s relationship to television drama.”

Here’s one guy, writing on his production company’s blog, who wasn’t impressed with Stephenson’s attitude to the classics (emphasis added) :

‘I just worry that they are not going to be that stimulating on screen,’ he said.
With which words the central creative figure in BBC drama wrote off — as far as television goes — not only the theatrical tradition outlined above but also pretty much everything stretching from Harold Pinter back to the Greek tragedies. The only way that the drama canon could work for television, he suggested, was if the plays were treated in a radical way, and most especially if significant cuts were made to their texts. And this, he was worried, wouldn’t be appropriate.