Don’t shoot the messenger

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I have lost count of the number of times a sneering dullard has gleefully informed me they don’t read newspapers anymore, before immediately contradicting themselves by recalling every word written by yours truly and my fellow scribblers.

The main reason journalists receive such stick is because there is always going to be somebody who disagrees with what they produce. But, rather than simply saying “I don’t agree with that”, some of those with an opposing view will go out of their way to trash the reputation of that particular journalist. Perhaps the best example of this is the BBC - an organisation of which we should all be proud, yet there are so many out there who seem to make it their life’s work to blame the Beeb for the nation’s ills.

Only last week it was described as the Boris Bashing Corporation by those who would like to see Boris Johnson bumble his way into Number 10. Front page headlines slammed the way the brilliant Emily Maitlis, one of our most considered inquisitors, handled the live Conservative leadership debate, although I would argue that she did well not to banish all of them to the naughty step.

But it isn’t just paid-up members of the Tory party who are indulging in Beeb-bashing - the Left and those who would describe themselves as Liberal are also sticking the boot in. According to some Europhiles, it is partly the fault of our national broadcaster that we are on the brink of leaving the European Union. Almost inevitably, those unimaginative critics have dubbed it the Brexit Broadcasting Corporation.

Then there is the whipped-up outrage at the decision to scrap free television licences for all over 75s, irrespective of whether they are sitting on small fortunes. Those currently hammering the BBC for this are overlooking the fact it was the Government which effectively pulled the plug on this, when they told the corporation’s bosses they would have to find the £700m each year to pay for this subsidy.

After the NHS, the BBC is the organisation of which we can be most proud of - even if we don’t always agree with every word its journalists write or say.