- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > War On Terror

Dyke goes down

And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger.

29 January 2004

Just a quick note on the resignation of Greg Dyke.

That Andrew Gilligan didn't have the journalistic nous to ask Dr. Kelly whether his hunch about intelligence being doctored was based on evidence or hearsay is pretty shoddy. Very shoddy, in fact. In and of itself, it suggests a fairly clear course of action:

  • Gilligan not to work for a flagship news programme any more (actually, not to work at all);
  • the Today programme to have a big old meeting where everyone is reminded about evidence and claims;
  • a correction to be made;
  • the story to be pursued with more vigour and reported properly.

For it to get to the point where the chairman of one of the most valuable institutions resigns - valuable for our cultural, intellectual and democratic life - this takes something very odd to happen. Why is the response so disproportionate to the crime?

Let's recall why Dyke is without a job today. It's not because Andrew Gilligan lost the news. It's because Number 10 responds with terrifying fury to criticism. To hear Blair and Campbell talk, you'd think there was something wrong in criticising the government. You hear them gnashing about "impugning the integrity" and "negative coverage" far more than anything to do with accuracy.

And the fury took the form, not of a rebuttal, but of weeks of muck-raking, intimidation over the charter, character assassination and righteous invective. Some shoddy reporting is not a matter of national crisis. But when you unleash a fury, things fall apart. Obviously, Greg Dyke resigning is nowhere near as much of a personal tragedy as Kelly's death, or as sickening as a war which is still awaiting justification.

But democracy is about checks and balances. And on a day when a judicial inquiry is repeatedly regarded by the citizens as a whitewash, and an institution which can report on matters of state free of commercial or governmental interference loses its head and has to genuflect before the leader, the snow is the least of all our problems.

From the archive:
Why the TFT
loved Greg Dyke

More Hutton-related hooey in this week's Friday Thing.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free

Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved