Here’s one for newswatchers: a lesser spotted on-air apology from the BBC. During the
Conservative Party conference, you may remember, they purported to show footage of Steve Hilton taking Andrew Tyrie into a corner to persuade him of the government’s line. But they are about to
publicly admit, during the 5pm bulletin on the BBC News Channel, that they misrepresented what actually happened — and they’re sorry about it. Peter Oborne detailed the misrepresentation in
his column last week; drawing attention to the clarifying blog post that the BBC’s James Landale graciously wrote on the matter, two weeks ago.
Anyway, here’s the text of the BBC’s apology:
"Last month we broadcast some reports from the Conservative Party conference which fell below our usual standards.
Or reports gave a misleading impression that Andrew Tyrie MP had been influenced by a Downing Street official to say something he did not believe to be rue.
We have apologised to Mr Tyrie for our broadcasts."
This apology is something of a boon for Tyrie. His reputation as an insistent and
independent voice from the backbenches had been dented by this hyped-up incident, but no longer. The Spectator’s Backbencher of the Year 2009™ has been absolved of collusion, and very