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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Dear BBC, Lord Fellowes is a politician...

The BBC reports (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17396825) that Lord (Julian) Fellowes, the writer of Downton Abbey, supports Chancellor George Osborne's mooted tax breaks for UK TV drama production. Well of course he does. He's a Conservative, professional politician. He sits in Parliament as a Conservative (http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/julian-fellowes/90418). You cannot sensibly report that a Tory politician supports the Tory Chancellor without mentioning, as an important background detail, that the Tory politician concerned actually IS a Tory politician. It's like if you said that "the historian Tristram Hunt" agrees with Labour's policy on history teaching, without mentioning that Mr Hunt is a Labour MP. I'm sure that Lord Fellowes might support the mooted policy even if he was not a tame Tory politician (I probably support it myself), but you cannot report that a Tory Parliamentarian supports a Tory policy without putting that support in its proper context. Anyone who does not know that Lord Fellowes is not only a writer, but also a professional politician, will not be in a position to make up their own mind about this BBC News story. Basic error and very sloppy.

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