Monday, 25 August 2003

Gilligan's Suspended

InstaPundit passes on word from The Guardian that Andrew “008” Gilligan, the reporter at the center of the David Kelly scandal in Britain, has been removed from his day-to-day reporting duties to prepare for his likely grilling by the inquiry investigating Kelly’s death. Quoth The Guardian:

BBC executives denied that Gilligan’s departure from day-to-day reporting on the Radio 4 Today programme was linked to revelations last week that he sent emails to two MPs on the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee suggesting questions they could ask Kelly that would be ‘devastating’ for the Government. ...

Gilligan sent his emails to a Liberal Democrat and a Conservative on the committee. The messages came to light when the Liberal Democrats forwarded their copy to the inquiry.

In related news, I have a very nice bridge over the Thames I’d be willing to sell you.

Nevertheless, government ministers have apparently decided to start making nice with the BBC by planning to continue to exempt it from government oversight:

Critics have long urged the Government to bring the BBC under the ambit of the new communications watchdog, Ofcom, which is to regulate all other broadcasters.

But following extensive lobbying from the commercial sector, the Government rejected this suggestion on the grounds that the BBC needs to remain independent of any government.

Of course, if Ofcom is going to regulate the behavior of other broadcasters, doesn’t it seem rather silly that the tax-financed BBC will be less regulated—and hence less subject to political meddling—than broadcasters who don’t receive their funds via the government treasury?