Posted by: Ciaran | April 28, 2010

Gord let it out

The 24-hour news channels are currently in overdrive after Gordon Brown got caught on a microphone calling a constituent in Rochdale “bigoted”.

Yet again the media are drumming up a personal agenda against Mr Brown and seizing on any opportunity to make the election a circus rather than a policy debate. The columnists are trotting in to the studios to issue withering put-downs about the Prime Minister’s ‘gaffe’ and choosing to ignore the fact that it’s an inevitable consequence of the media-driven society we live in.

Gordon Brown was in the back of a car having a personal conversation which, in his defence, he did not know was going to be broadcast. He is, like all of the other leaders and prospective candidates, under an intense microscope.

But he reasonably believed he was having a private discussion with his advisers rather than chatting on the record, and yet his comments are being treated like a vicious personal attack. What he said was probably over the top – having seen the full exchange with Mrs Duffy, he appeared to deal with her rather well – but just proves again that he is a politician rather than a showman or a broadcaster.

Going in to tomorrow’s final debate, it’s just about the last thing he needed. It will be interesting to see if Nick Clegg and David Cameron pick up the baton and run with it in the same way with the media has today.

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