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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lazy journalism

It never ceases to amaze me how lazy some journalists can be when they have a column to fill and a deadline looming. There is a good example in this morning's Wales on Sunday in which the Spin Doctor column refers directly to a blog entry from Miserable Old Fart.

Alwyn ap Huw referred to a near-faux pas by Eleanor Burnham during First Minister's Question Time last Tuesday. During this session Eleanor got carried away on her pet subject of Wales' transport system and very nearly demanded that Rhodri Morgan get his 'arse in gear'. The point is though, that although it was fairly obvious what she was going to say, she stopped herself and produced instead a more parliamentary imperative. This is recorded in the record of proceedings:

The electrification of the railway from Crewe to Holyhead could well be within your sights, as could getting freight onto rail. Do you not agree, First Minister, that you lack vision, and that it is about time that you got your act together?

The Spin Doctor column however prefers to believe that Alwyn ap Huw's version of events is correct and alleges that the official record has been sanitised to spare Eleanor's blushes. It is a shame that he or she did not check.

Perhaps the journalist concerned would like to visit the Welsh Assembly's website and review the incident as I have just done on Senedd TV. The link is here. Go to the search facility and look for the Plenary meeting on 17 June. The relevant part is 45 minutes in. Enjoy!
The word "arse" did actually escape Ms Burnham's lips before she corrected herself. I'm surprised that the First Minister did not point out the contrast between the language of the Senedd and the language of the hockey changing room. ;-)
I have just listened to it again and I am certain that she did not pronounce the full word, only half the first syllable.
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