Portmanteau Commentary: Journalists in shock - Roitfield leaves French Vogue vs BBC covering for police brutality

As the fashion world is shocked and going into jitters at the news of "the end of an era" - the resignation by Carine Roitfield from French Vogue, I myself am still caught up in as story that is actually shocking. Hmm, let's see... someone (sure, that someone is very fabulous) decides to leave their job. Oh blood and horror. She seems pretty happy about it and it's not like she's dying, she'll still be doing her projects we can see. Have a look at the following, and muse about the situation we live in, where police brutality is covered up and justified by the BBC. Now that's a story that should "shatter the reality" of any journalist. Having said that, I wish it was Ben Brown leaving his job, not Carine Roitfield.

To start you off in the "get your priorities straight" journey, have a look at this interview. What follows, is my letter of complaint to the BBC, it's the first one I felt I needed to make.



In the interview Ben Brown conducted with Jody McIntyre there were so many points that this actually fits into several complaint categories - bias, offense, and standards of interviewing.

There are so many things wrong it's difficult to know where to start, so I'll go through it step by step.

1. The topic of coverage, which was an interview with a VICTIM of police brutality, was not addressed in any of the questions. The entire interview was conducted in the manner as if the person being interviewed had in some way something to answer for.

2. Instead, Jody McIntyre was repeatedly posed leading questions on the assumption that he must have provoked the police to attack him even after clarifying that he had in no way done so and even clarifying to a clueless interviewer that he is physically incapable of having done so.

3. I am deeply annoyed by the fact that throughout the interview Ben Brown is not bothering to take into account the very straight forward and clear answers by Jody, which rendered following questions ridiculous. What kind of biased, unprofessional and bullying idiot asks someone with cerebral palsy, who just TOLD YOU that he can't operate his own wheelchair, whether he "threw rocks at the police"?!

4. If that weren't enough, implying that "rolling towards the police", which considering they were everywhere would be a) not an act of threat in any way and b) not exactly something he could have avoided - rolling in any which direction, aka "moving from the spot" would have been in the direction of police.

5. Questioning his belief as if they had anything to do with the incident was particularly annoying considering, may I point out once again, the issue at hand was POLICE BRUTALITY. Unprovoked. I do wonder whether that method of questioning would have been applied to, say, Camilla and Prince Charles, to wonder why they were there, and how their beliefs could have had anything to do with provoking anybody to an attack and that it may just have been their own fault?

6. The interviewer was insensitive and rude. Instead of reacting to the clear answers being given to frankly ridiculous and irrelevant questions, as I pointed out earlier, answers were clearly not listened to or acknowledged and in some points an apology would have been in order - for example when Jody points out that he can't "roll" towards anything due to his condition, Ben Brown's reaction seems to imply a wordless "whatever", which I must say makes him look like an idiot.

7. Throughout the entire interview Ben Brown did not once acknowledge the fact that police brutality is out of order - the issue actually at hand. The line of question was merely to establish that what the police had done was appropriate while it doesn't take a lot to realize that not "even" shouting or rolling would justify tipping someone with cerebral palsy out of their chair and dragging them across the street.

8. I've seen this clip a while ago and waited with my complaint because I was hoping to see a swift and immediate apology by the BBC. Instead, I have watched a meager attempt at defending an inappropriate approach to interviewing a victim as "equality of treatment" by Kevin Bakhurst. Would anyone ask a victim of rape whether they might have provoked the attack, repeatedly, even after the victim had pointed out that it was physically impossible for them to do so? Treating people EQUALLY does not mean treating them the SAME. It means treating them with respect and a genuine interest to finding out what actually happened. None of which was done in this interview.

9. I have in the past respected the BBC and their ways of reporting but have been ashamed to say that their coverage of the student riots have been atrociously one sided and biased - and this interview is the pinnacle of the entire coverage. However, I am still hoping that the BBC will come to realize that they need to distance themselves from poor interviewers such as Ben Brown, who not surprisingly covered a lot of the riots, in order to regain their respect in many, many reader's view.

10. I am still waiting for an OFFICIAL APOLOGY from the BBC and hope that if Ben Brown cannot see the error of his atrocious approach and resign, that he shall be sacked.

11. I am happy to see that the outcry against this interview has been so widespread and hope that the BBC editors will apologize for condescendingly implying that a widely spread and appropriate outcry against a dreadful interview where, I am sure, many reasons were given in each complaint had Kevin Bakhurst bothered to read them, is merely a herd of sheep following the crowd without realizing what they are talking about.

12. Where is the "hard hitting", "firm" and "equal" interview with the police officers in question? At the end of the clip itself one can see another officer pulling away the officer in question - very clearly showing that even police officers were very aware of the immoral and unnecessary brutality happening. Is the BBC really covering up for this violence against humans, while painting unarmed minors in a broad brushstroke of rioting, which may I point out is directed at BUILDINGS and not humans? This is what was being done in this interview, and without a formal apology, this is the line the BBC is taking.

13. The only person so far who has had an inkling of decency so far is commissioner for London Deborah Glass from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and I truly hope the BBC will follow suit with an apology and the resignation of Ben Brown.