An interview on the BBC News channel with Jody McIntyre, the student protestor who was allegedly pulled from his wheelchair during the student demonstrations, has received a “considerable” number of complaints, controller of the channel Kevin Bakhurst said on the BBC Editors blog yesterday.
In the post, Bakhurst said there has been a web campaign encouraging people to complain to the BBC about the interview with the “broad charge” being that presenter Ben Brown was too challenging. Bakhurst defended the interview, claiming that Brown “interviewed Mr McIntyre in the same way that we would have questioned any other interviewee in the same circumstances”.
In the interview, a copy of which is posted in the BBC blog, Brown questions McIntyre on why he has not yet complained, before asking him whether: he was rolling towards police in his wheelchair; provoking police; or if he was injured from the incident. (The quotes below are taken from part of the BBC video clip).
Brown: And you didn’t shout anything provocative or throw anything that would have induced the police to do that to you?
McIntyre: Do you really think a person with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair can pose a threat to a police officer who is armed with weapons?
Brown: But you do say that you’re a revolutionary.
McIntryre: That’s a word, that’s not a physical action that I have taken against a police officer. That’s a word that you’re quoting from a website. But I’m asking you, do you think I could have in any way, posed a physical threat from the seat of my wheelchair to an army of police officers armed with weapons. This whole line of argument is absolutely ludicrous because you’re blaming the victims of violence for that violence. In fact it reminds me a lot of the way the BBC report on the Palestinian conflict…
Brown: When are you going to make your complaint to the police then?
McIntyre: I will be making my complaint very shortly, in the near future.
Bakhurst says he is interested in hearing more from those who have complained, about why they object to the interview, as well as other views. His post has so far received more than 330 comments.