An indication that the way the BBC has covered alleged links between Oleg Deripaska, Peter Mandelson and George Osborne has been very ill-received is the comments thread to Robert Peston’s story on Tuesday. The BBC’s business editor is attacked by the overwhelming majority of commenters for giving so much focus to this political story – or non-story, as some suggest.
“what has all this speculation and innuendo to do with your post as Business Editor?”
“Mr Peston – close your Labour mouthpiece over a NON STORY . We know your background in politics. Labour. Why did it take Sophie Raworth to ask the questions that you so called reporters would not – and why grovel to a person who is proven to be corrupt – finally, WHY, when Nissan is cutting back production, the UK is dying, and the Clown is borrowing MORE money, ARE u not really quizzing Labour, instead of an if and but and maybe story. The answer, even as an ex Labour voter, is obvious. BIAS.”
“When Mandleson does nothing improper but his judgement is called into question it gets a couple of minutes on a Sunday morning BBC show. When Osborne does nothing improper but his judgement is called into question it gets wall to wall coverage on every news broadcast going at the BBC. Consistency?”
“This is beyond a joke! Robert Peston is supposed to be the Business Editor. When is he going to go back to doing his job, instead of commentating on political tittle tattle? There are very serious business stories in the news today!!!!”
“The BBC has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the worst spin doctors of the worst Government this country has ever has. You Sir are a parody of a serious journalist. It surely cannot be you are peddling this titttle-tattle because Mr Osbourne (quite rightly) is backing the complaints made about you to the SFA? You are a disgrace and the organisation you represent is a disgrace”
“I think you are flying very close to the wind sensationalising a non story. I was not impressed with your performance nor that of many others on radio 4 this evening. You were struggling to put a coherent sentence together when asked direct questions. I wonder why? Lord heseltine I thought was quiet brilliant dismissing your story as a non story.”
“Why in your original article ‘Rothschild v Osborne’ did you start with a background of Rothschild to suggest that you believed his side of the story …’does not make allegations lightly’. Would you consider that Osborne would make a denial of ‘soliciting’ a donation lightly – or were you not ensuring balance in your article? Should you not be disclosing your conflict of interests in your articles, namely that Senior members of the Tory party have asked for an FSA investigation into the leaking of market sensitive news in the last few weeks? You were Gordon Browns biographer were you not? Did the Independent not suggest that you were identified as being part of the ‘Brown’ camp in their review of your book back in 2005?”
“Why is business editor Robert Peston, now commentating on politics matters? Its the economy stupid is his job description! Has Nick been fired? Or is the fact that the BBC has lost control of what its reports choose to write on. In this case, will John Simpson be doing the football column from now on?”
The BBC apparently remains keen to keep the story going, publishing today an opinion poll it commissioned assessing how the public views the Shadow Chancellor – with mixed feelings revealed.