In a programme on ITV1 Tonight, Buerk is interviewed in the aftermath of the Miriam O'Reilly unfair dismissal case. Those of you who are still young enough to retain this type of information will recall that Ms O'Reilly won a case for unfair dismissal from the BBC over ageism.
If you are really old, I mean, over 40, you will also recall that it was the report by Michael Buerk that had such a profound affect on Mr Geldoff. So much so that Boy George was affected by it and possibly a few people who nobody can remember, however young you are.
For Buerk has said this:
If you’ve been hired because you are young and pretty, because you are mincingly camp, because you’ve ticked a particular ethnic box and then you are no longer young and pretty or the fashions have moved on and you suddenly don’t have a job - get over it. It’s show business
The problem is that at the other extreme of the argument. The idea of putting people on television - which is a non-job, that is terribly well paid, where you don’t have to think too much, or work too hard - and giving people those jobs purely on the ground that we need another six Asians, or we need another six lesbians, or we need another six pensioners, is to my mind almost worse
Oh dear Michael. Was it a bet to see how many preening minorities you can offend in the least number of words? Great journalism if it was, since we all need to be brief and to the point.
Isn't this what most of us have been saying for 20 years? It comes hard upon the Peter Sissons story. Sissons' overall message, and it is a consistent one that others agree with, is a stifling climate of fear and conformity within the BBC that is not good for journalism:
BBC news producers have a perfect right to try to ensure that a news presenter sticks to their agenda — it is the BBC way. But too many of them are concerned not about what will be the best thing to do journalistically, but about what will best please the news executives on the floors above. The two are not necessarily the same thing.
So, what would you do with an organisation that has stifled integrity, individuality, opinion and experience, in favour of a fanatical devotion to youth for its own sake, and a fondness for mincing telecuties and dusky maidens? Snorting coke, felching and gay pride are part of our rich culture, but some of us are too old for it. Can we not be represented, just a little bit?
Moira Stuart must be turning in her grave. What? She's not dead? Well at her age, she should be.