Audio Clips - All Entries

Audio entries 11 to 20 of 33.

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Jon Sopel Makes Slanderous Generalisations about Occupy London

BBC News - 30 November 2011

Reporting from inside the police kettle at Panton Street in London, Jon Sopel remarked: "Although this is an Occupy London protest, so far no violence, no criminal damage, no... kind of... burning or looting of buildings or any of that description".

His comments misleadingly suggest that Occupy protests do normally involve all of the above.

Listen to the audio clip from 30 November 2011:

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Justin Webb on the UK Border Agency

BBC Radio 4 (The Today Show) - 5 November 2011

Casual xenophobia on the Today Show from Justin Webb, who defines the UK Border Agency, as "the body meant to be keeping us safe from undesirable outsiders".

Listen to the audio clip from 5 November 2011:

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Irish cuts and tax rises: positive effect?

BBC Radio 4 (The Today Show) - 30 August 2011

The BBC Today Show website reported on the 30th August that “a tough prescription of cuts and tax rises” seems to be “having a positive effect” in Ireland. In his report, Jim Fitzpatrick interviews a number of people in Ireland about the economic changes there.

The report, like many reports on economic conditions, gives more attention to a small number of people who are ‘bucking the trend’, not representing the majority of the country so well. Those interviewed with positive reactions about the changes are:

Simon Barry, chief economist at Ulster Bank, who says that “exports grew” and that “tourism is up about 15%, so that’s all going pretty well”.

David McGrane, who is “bucking the trend” selling specialist cigars and whiskeys (Old Comber, he says, is €550 a bottle).

Martin Murphy, the Hewlett Packard boss, who says that “what Irish people are starting to realise, I hope, is that competitiveness is not ‘let’s make a few adjustments and then we’re back on track’”. “we need to get that into our DNA.”

The words of Damien English, recently elected and from the Fine Gael party, are summed up by the presenter as “there is no alternative”.

Listen to the audio clip from 30 August 2011:

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Wrongdoing by politicians always described as 'mistakes'

BBC Radio 4 (The Today Show) - 17 August 2011

Discussing the recent revelations surrounding the News of the World scandal, Ian Katz describes the NoTW scandal as something that "dogs him [Cameron] through the course of his term in office". He suggests that people will turn around and say "how did he get it so wrong?” The 'vetting' process is blamed for David Cameron not knowing of Andy Coulson's past.

Like much discussion about wrongdoing by a high-ranking politician, the whole thing is based on the presumption that any misconduct was nothing more than a mistake. The comparison to "Tony Blair's Iraq" suggests that the mainstream does not necessarily see it as the wrong thing to do, but rather something which may have been a mistake and as a result had implications on the leader’s political career.

Listen to the audio clip from 17 August 2011:

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Terry Smith: 'there haven't really been any cuts yet'

BBC Radio 4 (The Today Show) - 29 July 2011

Terry Smith, the CEO of Tullett Prebon stock brokers, spoke on Radio 4 about the eurozone crisis and UK austerity. Much of what he said echoed the libertarian agenda of the government. Remarkably, he suggested that there "haven't really been any cuts yet". At the end of the interview, he lists his own assets, which suggest a contradiction with his statement that "we will all be significantly poorer than we thought we were in the last 20 years".

Other statements of his were:
- "the size of the public sector will have to shrink";
- "we have absolutely unsupportable pension liabilities";
- "I think one thing is worse than fear and that is living in fantasy. Sooner or later you have to grasp reality".

He tells the interviewer that his own finances are in equities which are "in very big safe companies that sell our everyday luxuries and necessities", gold, and "currencies of countries which are very safe".

The interview is yet another example of treating a guest with a predetermined ideology as an expert. Smith faces no challenging on any of his opinions from the interviewer.

Listen to the audio clip from 29 July 2011:

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More Subtle Defence of News Corp?

BBC Radio 4 (The Today Show) - 14 July 2011

Michael Cockerell voices his concerns on the Today Show while speculating about who else may want to run The Times if not News Corp. He refers to a "Russian oligarch" and "someone who runs adult TV channels [Richard Desmond]" as though these are the only nightmarish possibilities. This is followed by talk of how Murdoch showed that he was a "fit and proper person to run The Times" thirty years ago.

This kind of discussion, implying that it could be worse, is certainly worth considering but the tone is less critical of Murdoch than about a situation that may never come to reality, and suggests that we are lucky to have The Times in the possession of the current owners.

Listen to the audio clip from 14 July 2011:

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Toby Young's Defence of the Murdoch Press

BBC Radio 4 (The Today Show) - 7 July 2011

On the Today Show, Toby Young cites three reasons why he thinks it would be a shame if the Murdoch empire crumbled as a result of the NoTW phone-hacking scandal.

- The tabloid newspapers break important stories about sports corruption;
- "If Murdoch hadn't existed, I wouldn't be able to [watch the apprentice on Sky Plus]";
- "He has ink for blood", and has kept The Times afloat even though it runs at a loss.

Listen to the audio clip from 7 July 2011:

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Brian Haw was 'in the wrong place'?

BBC Radio 4 (The Today Show) - 20 June 2011

While discussing the death of Brian Haw, the peace campaigner who camped on Parliament Square for ten years, a bizzare question is posed to Bruce Kent (from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). There is a suggestion that Brian Haw would have been better off taking his protest to an embassy of one of the "evil repressive regimes" represented in London.

Given that Brian Haw's entire demonstration regarded UK foreign policy, the suggestion is certainly an odd one.

Listen to the audio clip from 20 June 2011:

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Libya not the only one practicing 'media manipulation'

BBC Radio 4 (The Today Show) - 7 June 2011

In a report for the BBC about Libya's propaganda efforts, Wyre Davies admits that the Libyans are "not the only ones practicing the dark art of media manipulation", adding that "they're not very good at it".

The report comes following an attempt by Libyan officials to fool western journalists by pretening that a child injured in a car crash was injured by a bomb. The event has since equally been exploited by the UK media.

Listen to the audio clip from 7 June 2011:

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Discussion of the human rights abuses by Libyan rebels

BBC Radio 4 (The Today Show) - 2 June 2011

A UN Report has found that both Gaddafi and the rebels are guilty of war crimes and abuses of prisoners in Libya. That NATO are now supporting a group who are guilty of human rights abuses is not apparently up for discussion.

Reporter Wyre Davis even says that "whatever this UN report says is not going to change anything on the ground" for the Libyan government, the rebels, or NATO. Given that the premise for the mission was to do with saving human lives, one might expect that such revelations would change things for NATO.

Listen to the audio clip from 2 June 2011:

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