Rentoul to BBC on Iraq Inquiry – “No, it’s NOT a trial”. (I was witness to this too!)

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    1st February, 2010

    Now that the Independent’s hard-working and tenacious pro-Blair journalist John Rentoul has mentioned it himself, he will have no objections to my confirming this, I’m sure.

    They try ... they really try

    On Friday night, after the public hangi… hearing of Tony Blair, I spent some time with John Rentoul in his office at Westminster in the Houses of Parliament.

    I’d never met Mr Rentoul before, but as co-members of “we few, we happy few” we need to stick together. He is a gentleman, and a gentle man with classy taste in trilbies.

    He was constantly on the phone, being interviewed on how the condemned had done in his plea (or not) for mercy for his decision-making (or not) –  dependent on the meaning of “not.”

    John told me he had been on the interview job since 7:00am that morning.

    “So, how did Blair do at his trial”, asked the BBC journalist

    John Rentoul in his Westminster office, responding to press requests for interviews following the "Not A Trial" evidence of Tony Blair, Friday 29th January 2010. (Copyright, please link back here if used.)

    I almost fell off my chair as John responded gently, as is his way, to a young female interviewer from a London BBC radio channel – “It wasn’t a trial.”

    We exchanged glances in a similar way as the two ladies had done sitting in front of me at the Inquiry hearing earlier that day. Only we, or at least I was far more incredulous than “knowing”.

    Just note this, PLEASE.

    This was a BBC employee, presumably involved in politics, who in all seriousness had asked Mr Rentoul how Tony Blair had done at his trial. I asked Rentoul if she was using the word in the sarcastic way I do frequently here, here, here and here, to mock the widespread pre-judgement or to draw attention to the various agendas. But he said that she was definitely NOT joking or being facetious.

    This, my trusting friends, is the quality of reportage that we are being subjected to from at least some at the BBC and the rest of the press if truth were told. Blissful, misleading, dangerous ignorance.

    So perhaps John Justice of the Ban-Blair-Baiting petition had a point after all.

    As in my approach to Mr Blair I don’t agree or expect to agree with like-minds on everything. For instance, I disagree with John Rentoul on this:

    “He (Blair) was not going to change any minds by his evidence on Friday, but there was a chilly self-regard about him that suggested that he had given up trying. I can see why he went for the defensive option, but I think it was a mistake. He should have acknowledged the audience in the room. He should have turned to them at some point and paid his respects to the fallen. Of course, he must feel contempt for the way the Socialist Workers Party, which wanted Saddam Hussein to prevail, has exploited a tiny minority of the families of servicemen, and there was a risk of a negative reaction, but it was a risk worth taking.”

    WHY do I disagree with John here?

    Later. Next post. (Here –  “The Politics of the Apology”)




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    2 Responses to “Rentoul to BBC on Iraq Inquiry – “No, it’s NOT a trial”. (I was witness to this too!)”

    1. Tony Blair, Iraq Inquiry: Apologising to bereaved relatives of the troops « Tony Blair Says:

      […] the end of a recent post on Rentoul and the BBC employee I mentioned that I disagreed with Mr Rentoul regarding Tony Blair’s failure to apologise to […]

    2. So, who said British journalists aren’t nuts? « Tony Blair Says:

      […] this BBC radio reporter/journalist who thought that January 29th at Chilcot was “Tony Blair’s TRIAL”. I […]

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