By a Newsnet reporter

Herald journalist Iain MacWhirter was involved in a dramatic loss of control this morning as he launched a furious attack on First Minister Alex Salmond’s dealings with Rupert Murdoch.

Listeners to Radio Scotland were treated to an uncharacteristically angry outburst after the journalist took issue with another guest who had defended First Minister Alex Salmond over the News Corp bid for BskyB.

Macwhirter, a Unionist and regular contributor to BBC Scotland Political programmes, was heard angrily talking over and interrupting former SNP media advisor Euan Crawford as the latter tried to address accusations made by Unionist politicians.

The interview started off as expected with both men silently listening as the other made his point.  However it very quickly descended into chaos as presenter Gary Robertson appeared to step back and allow Macwhirter freedom to launch a tirade against his opponent.

Responding to Mr Crawford’s claim that we were witnessing hysteria from Unionist politicians over the Salmond/News Corp email saga, Mr Macwhirter described Mr Crawford’s view as “seriously distorted”.

The Herald journalist suggested that a similar SNP led furore would have ensued had it been a Labour First Minister who had been “found to be in bed with Rupert Murdoch”, a suggestion that had already been acknowledged by his opponent in his opening remarks.

When it was pointed out that Alex Salmond would have had no influence over the eventual BskyB decision, which was in the hands of a UK Minister, Mr Macwhirter responded, “that makes it even worse”.

The journalist then accused Mr Salmond of being “prepared to put the office of First Minister into the hands of Rupert Murdoch.” and described the First Minister as “Rupert Murdoch’s lapdog”.

The discussion descended into chaos when Mr Macwhirter’s claims were described by Mr Crawford as an example of the hysteria he had referred to earlier.

Almost immediately, Mr Macwhirter launched an angry attack on both his opponent and the First Minister, calling Alex Salmond’s stance “a massive moral and political miscalculation by the First Minister of Scotland”.

As Mr Crawford sought to compare the situation with Mr Salmond, who it is claimed was seeking investment and jobs, with the emerging scandal over the apparent behaviour of UK Minister Jeremy Hunt, Mr Macwhirter appeared to lose control completely – talking over his opponent and badgering him with questions.

Incredibly, BBC Scotland host Gary Robertson allowed the hectoring to continue, only stepping in when Mr Crawford himself attempted to respond with a question of his own.

Mr Crawford claimed that the real reason for the outcry over Mr Salmond’s relationship with Rupert Murdoch had nothing to do with politicians seeking favourable headlines and more to do with the fact that the SNP now, after many years, appeared to have a newspaper that was willing to give the party a fair crack of the whip.

“There seems to be a great anger about the Sun now, why? Because it supports the SNP, and that seems to be the big issue for the SNP’s opponents.” said Mr Crawford who added:

“There is no issue of principle here whatsoever from the SNP’s opponents.  Their anger is purely directed, as we even heard from Rupert Murdoch yesterday ... at the fact that here we have a situation where the SNP’s getting support from newspapers and apparently that’s completely illegitimate when it was totally legitimate for them to support other parties.”

Hear the full discusision here, apologies for sound quality:

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# J Wil 2012-04-26 19:33
I was glad, when listening to the recording, that Euan Crawford refused to be browbeaten by McWhirter.
# Clydebuilt 2012-04-26 22:28
To nulify the BBC Scots have to be educated on what the BBC are doing.

Spread the word on Newsnetscotland

email articles to your contacts

Print of copies of this article and push them through letterboxes.

Newsnetscotland ..should place adverts in papers, launch a fund to cover costs
# aiberdeen sheep 2012-04-26 19:38
Classic Fox News technique by Robertson as the "impartial" arbiter and a fellow traveller "guest" gang up on the enemy.

Rupert would be very proud of Gary lol.
# J Wil 2012-04-26 22:55
Gordon Brewer did something similar tonight when Lamont and Sturgeon were being interviewed. It was all very even handed until Brewer's parting shot to Sturgeon revealed his antagonism towards the SNP.
# John Lyons 2012-04-27 08:49
All very even handed? As usual, th SNP representative wasn't allowed to finish a single comment. Right from the first question Brewer asked her he talked over her.

And what was Johnn Lamont all about? Unable to make eye contact with Nicola? And NLP, or body language experts out there assessed the footage? My wife suggested maybe it's a TV thing and they're told were to look for the cameras etc, butI doubt they would be told to look at the table in front of them.

Is t just my imagination, or was Lamont unable to look Sturgeon in the eye becauseshe does not hve the courage of her convictions and secretly knows that Salmond has done little wrong and this is just rabble rousing?

And whilst we're on the subject of the other leaders, Did Ruth Davidson really admit support for independence on Scotland Tonight? She said something like

"Local government is about taking power away from Central Government because local people know better than Holyrood what's best for thier local community."

Can we assume Ruthie hs the same point of view when it comes to Local Scots and Westminster? Can Newsnet Scotland run a story on that please!
# proudscot 2012-04-27 13:00
Quoting J Wil:
Gordon Brewer did something similar tonight when Lamont and Sturgeon were being interviewed. It was all very even handed until Brewer's parting shot to Sturgeon revealed his antagonism towards the SNP.

J Wil, if you regard Brewer's interviewing technique last night as "very even handed", then I hope you are never employed as a referee in any sporting contest. He allowed the ranting Lamont free rein to pour out her unsubtantiated anti-Salmond bile unchallanged, even when she slipped in the lie of the Forth Bridge being built by China instead of Scotland!

On the other hand, Brewer then joined Lamont in constantly interrupting Sturgeon and talking over her responses. He eventually realised how biased this would all be coming across to the viewers, and stopped Lamont in her tracks by commenting that she was criticising Salmond for doing exactly what her own Labour Party had been doing over a 15 year period, namely cosying up to the Murdoch empire!

By then it was too little too late for any discerning or neutral viewers in the audience.
# J Wil 2012-04-27 14:18
"I hope you are never employed as a referee in any sporting contest"

That would never happen as, fortunately for me, I am not motivated to have my world rotate around sporting contests. From what I have seen the referees get a hard time from these, 'so called', sporting chaps.

What I do have is 30 years of experience in adjudicating business meetings.

I also consider myself the most sceptical of viewers when it comes to observing the practices of the BBC.

Sorry you do not agree with my interpretation.
# eibbar snrub 2012-04-27 11:09
C'mon. I'm an SNP and Independence supporter and I don't think the BBC man was particularly biased. Anyway he wouldn't have been able to get a word in when McWhirter was ranting. Also, it was better for the full scale of McWhirter's ranting to be heard. It really showed him up as being a political Noddy. The SNP man explained the SNP's case very well in a reasonable manner and explained very clearly the bias in the Scottish media. Thank God for the SUN!
# barcelona 2012-04-27 15:34
Amid all the astonishment at Iain McWhirter losing the plot no one seems to have noticed that on BBC TV Margaret Curran was allowed to go on an extended rant by BBC's David Porter (I doubt he could have stopped the flow anyway). Alongside her Angus Robertson didn't need to say a word - his wonderful expression was worth a hundred words.
# Leswil 2012-04-26 19:51
Yes, all about the SUN being fair to the SNP. What about all the others who support the Unionist camp, including without doubt, the shabby BBC. They should ship all the BBC political reporters to Russia, they would feel at home there as to gang up and try to bully your opponents into submission, is the norm. I am disgusted by the BBC over all their clear and undoubted BIAS! I wish someone had the means to prove it in court!
# Siôn Jones 2012-04-27 06:29
Russia Today (RT) reports fairly and with balance, and would have no use for these biased BBC hacks.
# zedeeyen 2012-04-27 07:15
RT is an absurd parody of a news channel. It suffers from all the problems of the BBC, magnified to the Nth degree by not even having to pretend to be balanced. The only thing it's in any way useful for is finding out precisely what message the criminal oligarchy who own Russia wish to convey on any subject.

The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend.
# Leswil 2012-04-27 07:38
That is not what was reported during Putin's election.Almost exactly the same as the BBC and general media are spinning against the SNP. Who reported this unfairness? The BBC!!!!! certainly the pot calling the kettle black!
They might be more balanced in responses at the moment, AFTER they pulled off their dirty deeds and of course until the next time.
# J Wil 2012-04-27 14:23
I watch RT from time to time and I cannot say that I have any faith in what is being reported. A bit like BBC Scotland.

It certainly looks at events from a different viewpoint, but anyone who thinks it is the unvarnished truth must be more than a little bit naive.
# balbeggie 2012-04-26 19:52
Salmond hunting.......

# J Wil 2012-04-27 14:26
Is this a variation on 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen'?
# RJBH 2012-04-26 19:56
Bizarre... How Ian Mac lost control.. Its not as though hes a fan of the Westminster establishment.. too bad.. I guess he just had a bad day.
# Leswil 2012-04-27 07:39
Maybe he should just apologise for a slip in ethics!
# Louperdowg 2012-04-26 20:08
It was the Liberal in him rising to the surface.

John Wayne once said:

“…I always thought I was a liberal but I came up terribly surprised when I found I was a right wing conservative extremist…I have always listened to every human being I’ve ever met about how I should feel. But this so-called new liberal group… they never listen to your point of view and they make a decision as to what you think and they’re articulate enough and in control of enough of the press to force that image out for the average person.
# Jim1320 2012-04-26 20:14
Is it just me or have the anti Salmond (and it is anti Salmond rather than anti SNP or anti policy) stories got really shrill and really regular. Barely an hour seems to pass without another one crawling onto some page or other. Severin Carroll seems to do about three a day.

What are they going to do if next Friday the SNP are on top in the polls?
# Robabody 2012-04-26 21:59
Forgive me Jim, the old memory banks going and all that but was there not something on this site, an article or a comment by some-one that said the unionist had agreed to target Salmond specifically? I recall something being said last year but not exactly when I'm afraid.
# tartanfever 2012-04-26 22:06
Rob, many of us have said that, I posted it last week. It's clear that the unionist camp has shifted position in the last couple of months from attacking SNP policy to undermining Alex Salmond personally.

The unionists have nothing to offer in terms of policy, hence why they never talk about policy. It's become clear that the offer of 'jam tomorrow' for a no vote is not going to win over the Scottish electorate, so what do they have left ? Start attacking Mr Salmond in person.
# Robabody 2012-04-26 22:55
Oh dear, the memory banks are going - but well done TF and everyone else, it did sink in!! ;-)) A case of play the man not the ball.
# ituna semea 2012-04-26 23:42
Just because you are paranoiac doesn't mean they are not out to get you.
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-04-26 20:20
Donation made. You are a credit to us all.
# ramstam 2012-04-26 20:22
I was lucky eneough(?)to hear this live, and was certainly surprised to hear the usually mild-mannered MacWhirter losing the heid awthegither to the point of not allowing Euan Crawford to even answer his(MacWhirter's) own questions. Nae doot he is under a bit of pressure from his bosses to give the SNP a hard time as everything else is failing. Trouble is this kind of behaviour is just embarrassing from a journalist I regard as one of the better and more analytical of the breed. Screw the nut Iain!!
# J Wil 2012-04-26 22:58
McWhirter should be grateful to Alex Salmond for still being asked into the BBC Scotland studio.

We thought we could be sure of a bit of balanced reporting, but will he be all anti-SNP from now on, now that he has opened his own personal can of worms?
# peter,aberdeenshire 2012-04-26 20:25
The desperation of the unionist side is there for all to see, they know that if the SNP do well in the council elections then the union is finished.
As for McWhirter oh dear this is a life changing moment, as in your career and reputation will never recover from this episode. F.... :-)
# Marga B 2012-04-26 20:34
It's also not good for his health. Remember he had a serious heart op. a while ago.
# Robabody 2012-04-26 22:10
Indeed Marga he did and I'm wondering if that is related to the behaviour. It appeared to be so out of character and has not done him any favours.

As I type this I've just noticed the comment below from zedeeyen and concur with para three. Although it was a bit much for Iain to complain about private monopolies of news when of course we have the wonderful non aligned BBC to present impartial news to us - harrumph.
# zedeeyen 2012-04-26 20:42
I must have listened to a different interview to the rest of you.

I like MacWhirter a lot. He's one of the good guys, and if he's a unionist then he's as fair minded a unionist as you'll ever find.

He was clearly furious but I don't think he was motivated out of a desire to fling mud the SNP, I think his rant was born out obvious (and quite correct) hatred for Murdoch and his odious organisation, and genuine frustration at Salmond for not living up to his own high standards.

At around six minutes he says:
"The way Alex Salmond justifies this is he says 'all politicians do this, we all have to get into bed with media moguls. Why should the SNP not try to get a newspaper onside?' Well, I don't think he realises that the reason he's had so much support in Scotland is precisely because he's not like the Westminster politicians. He's not someone who in the past has been so eager to get into bed with rich individuals and media moguls, and I think that's going to be a serious problem for him from now on".

That is absolutely nail-on-the-head, in my view. The SNP are going to suffer in the local elections over this and find it a problem from now on, and it's not down the opposition mud-flinging, it's down to Salmond's own actions.

"I'm only as much of a hypocrite as that bunch of hypocrites over there" isn't going to reassure anyone.
# roboftheburnawn 2012-04-26 21:33
zd - Maybe we're all just not used to the the truth from Politicians- then up pop's our First Minister and does just that. He did'nt deny it, he did'nt apportion blame, he did'nt make an advisor resign. He said what most of us know- In life, now and again you have to do things that you may not like and goes against your principals, but now and again moral sacrifices have to be made.
When your in a fight and there numbers ganging up against you day in day out, seriously uneven odds, then if the big guy in the corner that nobody likes says do you need "handers" you say yes.
You don't become penpals, you say thanks and leave.

IMHO AS is looking after Scotland's interest, first and foremost, and if he has to duck and dive along the way - fair enough
# Hing em high 2012-04-26 22:10
What utter rubbish!

Hatred for Murdoch is the lamest excuse yet used for an anti AS and anti SNP tirade.

I heard no such tirades when Cameron, Brown and Blair sat down and supped with Dictators. Indeed I heard none when they all sat down and supped with Murdoch.

I would supp with the devil if it brought jobs to Scotland and put bread on the table of Scottish families and I for one would make no apology for that and certainly not to any moral hypocrits.

The majority of Scotlands citizens cant afford to be holier than thou!Especially when Westminster politicians are asset stripping from Scotland whatever they can get thier grasping mitts on!
# Marga B 2012-04-26 22:45
Now I've actually listened to the tape, I have to agree with Zedeeyen that one very valid point was made. The promised phone call was clearly a faux-pas and Salmond should learn from this, though to be fair, he is usually very careful, not getting caught up in media rows even when the temptation must be great.

However that does not justify the timely and heated exaggeration by all opposition and agents - heck, he only met the guy 3 times, according to Sev Carrell's time-line. To imply an ongoing relationship and say as Carrell says elsewhere: "The emails, published by the Leveson inquiry on Tuesday, confirmed that Salmond and his advisers had close and increasingly regular contacts with Rupert Murdoch, his son James and senior News Corp executives" is just nonsense.

You people will recall, I believe, how on the eve of another election, things escalated so far that a hang-man's noose appeared on a certain newspaper front page (of course, you all remember how much effect it had on voters). History repeating itself? I think Salmond's not the only one who should have learned a lesson.
# J Wil 2012-04-26 23:08
Phoning London is like p****g in the wind for the SNP. They are never listened to.

In this case it was pretty obvious that Hunt had his head down to get the Sky takeover approved, come hell or high water. He was far too ready to cross every I and dot every T on the matter, but only for public consumption, that there was suspicion that his motives were not entirely honourable.
# John Lyons 2012-04-27 10:03
Zedeeyen, that quote sounds reasonable, and maybe it's true, maybe people do like him because the SNP haven't pandered to the media in the past. But much of the SNPs past has been on the fringes of politics. Those days are gone now. We are mainstream. We are Government. And that brings different challenges that bring different approaches to how we do things.

It's an interesting point though. Murdoch himself said the Scottish sun HAD to support the SNP or it was finished. The SNP maybe don't quite need to go pandering to the newspapers as much as the rest of the parties that have formed government have done. And maybe with Technology we don't need them at all. I get a lot of my news via sites like this one these days. But the problem with sites like this one is that they are preaching to the converted. You generally don't get many undecided voters on here, and you don't get many staunch unionists unless they're looking for a fight. (as we do when we visit LabourHame and ToryHoose) So the SNP do still need to court the media to a degree. But Salmond should remember he's in charge. Murdoch should be trying to curry favour with him, not the other way round.

As for Trump, I'm so glad he had his day in court. A classic example of the technique "give him enough rope and he'll hang himself." Even the BBC have pretty much given up Salmond Bashing (on this subject!) because everyone has seen what a total Heidbanger this guy is.
# eibbar snrub 2012-04-27 11:30
"...That is absolutely nail-on-the-head, in my view. The SNP are going to suffer in the local elections over this and find it a problem from now on, and it's not down the opposition mud-flinging, it's down to Salmond's own actions..."

I totally disagree with your statement. Your normal voter knows the score. And he knows that what AS did is small beer compared to what other parties are doing and have done in the past. This nonsense in the Scottish media over the last few days IS mass hysteria, a storm in a teacup, manufactured by the supporters of Labour and the unionist media to try and prevent a Labour wipe out. And McWhirter burst a blood vessel because he was told that. And while the Opposition politicians have the excuse that it is their job to oppose, the unionist media do not.
It will all be forgotten once the old boy comes down off the throne and the results of the Local Elections are in.
# Marga B 2012-04-26 20:51
Presume people have seen this:
# X_Sticks 2012-04-26 21:52
And this...

"Alex Salmond fails to explain what Scotland gained from Murdoch ties"
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-26 22:23
Johann Lamont, the Scottish Labour leader, said Mr Salmond was using the economy as an “alibi” for courting the media mogul,

Sounds like he was trying to boost the economy, but worse than that, he was doing it deliberately.
# EphemeralDeception 2012-04-26 20:53
The thing is why did IMW react so strongly?
He doesn't get so emotive when Salmond is the topic of other discussions.

I think it is his animosity against the Murdoch empire and thinks that Salmond has used his office to help a figure IMW hates.

He refused, point blank, to believe that Salmond was acting out of interest in Scottish jobs. Certainly Scottish jobs was not Salmonds only interest despite what Salmond has said but it is fairly clear to an impartial observer that it is and was a factor. This denial to me shows that IMW is not as 'compos mentis' on this topic as he normally is. Maybe it isn't just Murdoch, but it IS something and more than just a bad day at the office.

I won't hold it against him.
# 8jlogan 2012-04-26 20:54
The BBC in general has lost much of my respect. I emailed to complain about being unable to comment on what used to be blogs on their Scottish section of the website, when Welsh and English sections of the site allow comments. Their response was as follows:

"After careful consideration, BBC Scotland has decided to disable the capacity for public comments to be regularly appended to both the Brian Taylor and Douglas Fraser online correspondent pages; the pages will, however, occasionally be opened for comment. This decision has been taken on editorial grounds. We believe that by determining which particular issues might best be explored by the inclusion of public comment online, we will allow a more flexible and a more adaptable approach to be taken to how we cover the main news issues in Scotland.

Different editorial decisions are made in different geographical areas of the BBC, in accordance with editorial priorities and with the full intent of best serving local audiences. We are sorry if some online users do not agree with our decision to reduce the number of occasions on which comments to the two correspondent pages can be offered, but we do hope that our decision will result in a better service overall to Licence payers in Scotland.

Thank you, once again, for taking the time to contact us."

No clear answer, and it seems incredibly biased.
# X_Sticks 2012-04-26 21:55
Daniel Maxwell and the bbc Scotland mgt have decided that the people of Scotland shall have NO say on THEIR website. Dissent and questioning of their propaganda will not be allowed.
# Lintie 2012-04-26 23:13
8j, I think "editorial priorities" tells us everything.
# Jediirnbru 2012-04-27 12:45
fired off a wee complaint myself today. Had some time to kill, sorry it's not the most articulate, not my strong point:

I find it staggering that there are no Comments facility on BBC Scotland and in particular on regular bloggers Brian Taylor and Douglas Fraser (BT and DF)pages. The Uk is in the middle of the biggest debate it has ever experienced yet our State Broadcaster is refusing that debate to had in Scotland? Why? There is no use saying its to allow for different subjects to be opened up for comments that you believe are important as 1) I've hardly seen any opened up since BT and DF were closed and 2) Politics and Business are important subjects to virtually everyone every single day as they affect every walk of life.

Who is the authority that determines which particular issues might best be explored by the inclusion of public comment online? by being selective it just opens up the belief that someone is working to an agenda of sorts.

I've noted that you say that, "Different editorial decisions are made in different geographical areas of the BBC", So can it be taken that the editorial decision in the geographical area of scotland is to stifle debate? That BT and DF blogs are not worthy of being opened up to discussion and comments? If this is the case then I think both should be replaced with journalists whos opinions and pieces are deemed good enough to "be explored by the inclusion of public comment online"

One final thing, how can i get info on the number of complaints made re the shut down of comments on BT and DF blogs?

I look forward to your response
# pa_broon74 2012-04-26 21:05
Iain MacWhirter.

Obviously not a morning person.
# mountaincadre 2012-04-26 21:07
One thing Ian McWirter is not is a unionist, come on now folks thats blatant nonsense, does he have an almost pathalogical dislike of the Murdoch empire? well aye i think he does. My own take on this is that Ian shares the same hopes and aspirations as we do, and that when any Scottish goverment minister, let alone the first minister swims with that shark, he gets worried, bear in mind that he will know an awful lot more about the inner workings of the Murdoch empire than any of us.
# Peter 2012-04-26 21:09
Not sure how to post a link but i listened to radio 4's PM while driving home tonight.

Some interesting stuff from a guy called Micheal Cockerall about Blair and Brown's infactuation with Rupert Murdoch. It's on bbc iplayer, starts about 19 minutes in.
# ScotFree1320 2012-04-26 21:25
It wasn't the first time the FM was discussed by the state broadcaster on today's Good Morning Scotlandshire.

At around 7:20, Gary Robertson was interviewing two BBC political correspondents (Glenn Campbell & David Porter, IIRC) about the Murdoch e-mail and upcoming FMQs. There then followed a 5-minute discussion, for the majority of which the FM was accused and his actions likened to Mr Hunt's as closely as could be. As is typical there was no defending voice for this opinion piece.

I really shouldn't listen to GMS first thing in the morning. It does my blood pressure no good at all.
# Edna Caine 2012-04-26 21:30
It is being said that Mr McWhirter’s performance was brought about by dislike of Mr Murdoch rather than Mr Salmond. If this is the case, I wonder how deep this dislike runs to cause such irrational behaviour in someone who is supposed to be an impartial analyst and reporter and what could be the reasons behind it.

It has surprised me that Rupert Murdoch has bothered to spend so much time appearing before the Leveson enquiry.

NewsCorps’ interests in UK newspapers represented less than 5% of their global income in 2010 (and is probably somewhat less now after the closure of the NOTW). Ref -

They effectively already have a controlling interest in BSkyB (39%) and UK activities are minor compared with their film, publishing and media footstep elsewhere. Ref -
(Section 7 of

(Sorry it’s Wiki but it’s easier to read than the source –

Maybe it’s a fear of prosecution under the illogical laws of the USA .
Maybe it’s a genuine concern for truth and honesty which he can broadcast on Fox.
Maybe it’s an abiding respect for the honest, non-expenses-fiddling members of the Mother of Parliaments.
Or maybe it’s a desire to keep the ball in the air so that the truth can come out about how many other UK media outlets were involved in similar activities and to what extent. N.B. This should not be taken as a suggestion that any specific outlets have been involved in such activities, especially Mr McWhirter’s employers.

(P.S. I can remember the days of my youth, sadly long departed, when the News of the World built the goalposts for media sleaze, sex and payments for dubious stories. Perhaps Rupe should never have bought it.)
# cokynutjoe 2012-04-26 21:44
An astonishing display today of simian behaviour by the Inverclyde MSP who sits directly behind Lamont. This individual is a case for the "Caper Hoose", there's wiser eating grass.
# 1scot 2012-04-27 07:58
I thought the same. Do they not know that while wee Jimmy speaks they are in full view of the camera. You are correct there are wiser eating grass.
# dave1297 2012-04-26 21:49
Very uncharacteristi c from MacWhirter. When he used to present Politics programs for the beeb I often felt he was fairer to the Unionist argument/politicians but that was probably more to do with the fact he was fronting EBC political coverage. Didn't he leave the beeb down to the fact they didn't want him to continue writing columns and that they felt he was softer on the issue of The SNP and Independence than them (the beeb)? I might be wrong on that and will no doubt be corrected! I felt he did go OTT and could have conducted himself in a far more controlled fashion and still provided an eloquent argument, his lap dog and prostitution of office jibes went to far. My own view is that while I appreciate the First Minister's actions were no doubt a combination of protecting or creating further jobs in Scotland, he should certainly tread a little more carefully. Hopefully he has learned from this.
# Robert Louis 2012-04-26 22:21
Salmond has done nothing wrong. He has nothing whatsoever to, as you put it, "learn from this".

The irony is that right now the Leveson enquiry is looking into press Behavior. Perhaps it also needs to look at press abuse of Alex Salmond.
# balbeggie 2012-04-26 21:53
FMQ via Peter Curran
and Joan McAlpine's article in the Record.
# km 2012-04-26 22:36
Thanks for the link.

How does Lamont get away with calling the First Minister "Eck" during FMQ? Where's the protocol and respect?
# Robert Louis 2012-04-26 23:39
Exactly. I raised this very point earlier, as she was verging on being abusive.

The protocol in the chamber is to use correct names. The presiding officer needs to put a stop to it, as it is NOT the first time that Lamont of Labour has resorted to calling the First Minister names, merely because she has no coherent argument to make.
# J Wil 2012-04-27 20:30
Where was the Presiding Officer? She should have chastised Lamont.
# tartanfever 2012-04-26 21:58
What I find most bizarre and distasteful about this whole episode is the sheer lack of evidence. A couple of e-mails retrieved between News International employees ? I mean come on, thats reason to accuse Alex Salmond of putting the office of First Minister into the hands of Rupert Murdoch. It's laughable.

Also, and Alex Salmond mentioned this today at FMQ's to Lamont, she, when asked by Robertson on GMS if she were First Minister would she meet with Murdoch she said 'Yes, sometimes you have to meet these people.'

The bottom line is that the Murdoch Empire is still here, and will be here for years to come - politicians in Scotland will have to talk to News International executives in the coming years, it's a fact of life, whats the alternative - refuse to meet them ? This current episode has nothing to do with phone hacking or the NOTW, this has to do with BSkyB. It seems to me that for all the disgraceful events surrounding Murdoch, you get equally misinformed, selective and completely partial reporting from reporters who are meant to be aligned with a more 'responsible' press whose agenda has spread from reporting facts based on evidence and asking pertinent questions to mud flinging.

Let us remember the funding that the labour Party in Scotland directly give to the Daily Record, this from the Daily Record Wikipedia entry:

The paper supports and has a close relationship with the Scottish Labour Party. For example, Helen Liddell, a former Labour Secretary of State for Scotland was employed on the newspaper. The then Labour-led Scottish Executive also gave the Daily Record £1 million in advertising revenue while only giving £40,000 to The Sun, despite both newspapers having similar circulation figures
# X_Sticks 2012-04-26 22:02
"attacks against Salmond reach fever pitch"

This suggests to me that the unionists are in fear of an SNP landslide at the council elections. The panic is palpable. They are trying anything to damage the SNP. Problem is the only thing they can do to achieve this is to try and damage Salmond.

It's just making them look nasty and I think it will backfire spectacularly. Bring it on.
# Robert Louis 2012-04-26 22:04
Rather astonished at Ian. I cannot recall him ever behaving in such a way before, so maybe he was having a bad day-it happens to the best of us.

However, I do think there is a seriously sinister process of media character assassination going on directed at Alex Salmond. It is disgraceful.

That this vilification of Alex Salmond is seemingly being led by the supposedly impartial BBC, is nothing short of an affront to democracy.

To date, there is not anything which suggests the First Minister has done anything except look after Scotland interests.

I am in all seriousness, to use a BBC phrase 'incandescent' with rage at the shameful, disgraceful way the media, but especially the BBC, are treating the man.

This week shows quite clearly why the BBC is an unfit broadcaster, and simply is incapable of providing balanced, unbiased coverage of the independence debate.

My message to Alex Salmond is simply this; keep going, we are all behind you, and don't let the BBC liars get you down.
# Jim1320 2012-04-26 22:29
It is what passes for political discourse these days. Gordon Brown took the most incredible abuse. Cameron likewise is vilified personally when there is a wealth of material to attack with regards his policies. Ed is more difficult to attack because he doesn't have a personality or policies.

To date Salmond has risen above most of this nonsense and a good result next week will put a lot of this into perspective.

The part of the email that mentioned support should the Sky bid go to a consultation was a PS - the actual body of the email talked about the First Minister's backing for the Sun's support of Scottish Fishermen. In other words the FM doing his job.
# roboftheburnawn 2012-04-26 22:24
Watching Newsnicht - listening to lamont I feel happy and comfortable that we will have a landslide on May 3rd
# Robert Louis 2012-04-26 22:27
Indeed, all these unionist lies make me all the more determined to ensure success for the SNP in May.
# J Wil 2012-04-26 23:15
Its true. All this will go over the heads of the general public. When they once again realise the benfits they have received via the Scottish government (those benefits which are making the English envious) they will know which side their bread is buttered.
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-26 22:31
What could Alex have offered Murdoch and how - and when - was he supposed to have delivered it?

Newspapers are interested only in circulation, so they pitch their editorial policy towards whatever brings in the readers. If the Sun decided to support the SNP, it was because it could see which way the wind was blowing. No deals were done. The Sun took a commercial decision to back the popular party.
# Robert Louis 2012-04-26 23:44
This is EXACTLY the point I keep making. Just what 'favours could Alex Salmond possibly deliver to Murdoch??

Even if we imagine that in some bizarre parallel universe, Alex Salmond said he would 'push the Tories to support the BskyB bid', does anybody of sane mind seriously believe that David Cameron, the London Tory Prime Minister would say "oh, I'd better do what Alex Salmond says".

I mean seriously, seriously, seriously, this is all so freaking dumb, it truly beggars belief.
# Clydebuilt 2012-04-26 22:32
To nulify the BBC Scots have to be educated on what the BBC are doing.
To do this we need to increase the readership of this website

Spread the word on Newsnetscotland

email articles to your contacts

Print of copies of this article and push them through letterboxes.

Newsnetscotland ..should place adverts in papers, launch a fund to cover costs.
# ds12 2012-04-26 22:41
I think Ian has had a bad day at the office.
I don't think this is about Alex Salmond but more about Murdoch.
But good grief to hear him completely lose control like that.What on earth will he be thinking when he listens to it.
# Jim1320 2012-04-26 22:46
He will be disappointed - when newsmen become the news they know they have blown it. He will have to pick himself up and move on.
# balbeggie 2012-04-26 22:45
Another good article for you all to read:
# balbeggie 2012-04-26 22:58
o/t Scottish union leader backs Scots Govt referendum timetable:
# src19 2012-04-26 23:48
This will annoy the Northern branch of Labour :-)
# xyz 2012-04-26 23:07
LOL, well done Mr Crawford .. MacWhirter's mask slips .. I'm shocked really. How dare he attack our first minister for working to secure jobs in Scotland .. and also try to bring at least one MSM over from the anti Salmond side.

What's the big deal about Murdoch anyway? I have the crazy notion that journos regularly sail close to the wind, sometimes they go too far and end up in prison, quite right, a bit like Westminster politicians really. Now they really are rotten.
# alicmurray 2012-04-26 23:28
A little bit of relief from the FM bashing.
# xyz 2012-04-26 23:46
"If Scotland were independent, its state spending would be the third highest in the world."

That's b*llsh't surely from Fraser Nelson as described by Stephanie Flanders here
# Robert Louis 2012-04-26 23:49
Quoting alicmurray:
A little bit of relief from the FM bashing.

A very interesting piece, surprisingly free from 'salmond accused'.

I especially like this wee gem;

"The battle for Glasgow next week will pit Labour supporters, who can barely name their latest Scottish leader, against a band of nationalists for whom taking Glasgow City Chambers would represent a historic victory."

Let's make sure it happens.
# Louperdowg 2012-04-27 05:47
And there's more...

THE millionaire brother of Labour peer Lord Sarwar and uncle of the party's Scottish deputy leader, Anas Sarwar, has switched his allegiance to the SNP.

Mr Ramzan said: "I am delighted to be supporting the SNP at this year's local elections on May 3. I have been a businessman in Glasgow for over 35 years and I have always wanted what is best for the city.

"Unfortunately, under the current Labour administration the city has not moved forward, there is a lack of ideas and innovation, and they now spend more time squabbling among themselves than trying to help ordinary Glaswegians.

"That is why I will be supporting real change under the SNP."
# Jiggsbro 2012-04-26 23:44
Tucked away in that article is a neat summation of why Westminster politics is broken:

becoming more popular in northern cities is as useless to Labour as becoming more popular in southern shires is to the Tories: both parties need to win seats, not grow majorities

In other words, it's not important just to win votes, you have to win votes from the right people. And the three main parties chase that relatively small group of 'important' voters, to the detriment of everyone else. The majority - rightly - feel unrepresented.
# border reiver 2012-04-27 00:42
IMW certainly lost his cool and made himself sound histerical, dont think it will have gone down to well with mainstream public. In the Scottish Borders we dont have access to STV and Borders reporting of Scottish issues is virtualy non existent therefor something like 100,000 Scots have to rely on the biased reporting from the BBC and its get one sided stories. Does anyone no of a way apart from the iplayer to get STV on SKY of Freeview as the reporting seems a bit fairer than the BBC?
# Mei 2012-04-27 08:46
This explains how to get STV on SKY in the ITV Border region.

Note that there are 3 STV transmissions
# Mei 2012-04-27 08:48
The ITV Border region has a population of 250,000 Scots (5% of the population).
# ScotFree1320 2012-04-27 13:37
There's also STV Player
# colin8652 2012-04-27 04:46
mmm. the radio in my truck has been broken all week. result, lower blood pressure and less tendency to throw things around the cab. I wont be bothering to fix it.
# colin8652 2012-04-27 05:35
Could I suggest a concerted text protest against bbc radio Scotland against their behaviour. It migh cost up 10p a go but it might get the strength of feeling against them. So text your protest against to 80295
# Louperdowg 2012-04-27 05:43
I'll believe that this will have had an effect on the public when I see mass burnings of the Sun and pyres of Sky dishes.
# Macart 2012-04-27 06:02
Rupert Murdoch is an emotive issue in whichever context you find him. The highly uncharacteristi c outburst by Mr MacWhirter is a small example of this. The FM did what he always does - put Scotland first and had to deal with one of the most unpopular media moguls in the world to do it. Why? because no other member of the established MSM is in our corner. Simple as that. Scotland and independence is what the FM lives for, no mystery.

Can the other party leaders claim their intentions were so pure in their dealings with Murdoch? Doubt it. Is it proper that the press is so intertwined with power and politics? No it is not. Perhaps if the media world in general was less politically biased I would take their pious shock and horror more seriously, as it is they are each and every one of them up to their hips in political favouritism and what's good for the goose.....
# cokynutjoe 2012-04-27 06:05
MacWhirter's volte face is proof, if proof be needed, of the veracity of Dr Johnson's maxim that "None but a blockhead ever wrote but for money!" Professional journalists have their own agenda's, their own career prospects to look to, and their own requirements in the ego massaging department.
If you're expecting the Scottish press corps to deliver independence, the rocks will melt first.
Media moguls may indeed be fickle but lay not your trust in these scribblers either.
# dave1297 2012-04-27 07:13
Shades of Adam Boulton Versus Alistair Campbell? Euan dealt with it incredibly well. He has been on form of late, really good pieces in The Guardian and Hootsman over the last few weeks. I don't think all this Murdoch/Trump stuff will be detrimental to what should be good council results for The SNP.
# zorbathejock 2012-04-27 09:06
I wonder if Lamont,Grey,Dav idson,Goldie,Re nnie et al have ever met with Murdoch or any other Newspaper owner/editors and if so what were their reasons
# admiral 2012-04-27 10:04
Quoting zorbathejock:
I wonder if Lamont,Grey,Dav idson,Goldie,Re nnie et al have ever met with Murdoch or any other Newspaper owner/editors and if so what were their reasons

One will never know, because AFAIK Labour has refused to publish details of their meetings.

Re the faux-outrage of the Scottish MSM- I wonder where they were hiding when real scandals such as Purcell and his criminal cronies and Labour's use of ALEOs needed investigating and reporting? Not to mention other scandals such as the erstwhile speaker of the House of Commons and his "expenses" or ex-MP David Marshall, or any number of other instances of Labour nepotism, cronyism and consorting with the criminal fraternity (Paisley cab firms, anyone?).
# Taighnamona 2012-04-27 10:43
I too have been outraged over much ado about nothing by the media while real scandals go unreported.
I saw Eric Joyce (Channel 4, 33 mins in) being interviewed last night in which he revealed a history of car stealing/law breaking and other acts of violence in his youth/not so much his youth. He also tried explaining away his recent violent act as nothing much to make a fuss about and pretty standard for those who frequent pubs. Fitness for job/Lamont's role?
# bigbuachaille 2012-04-27 11:05
Media witch-hunt, led by the BBC. Google "Salmond accused" and you get 619,000 results.
# balgayboy 2012-04-27 11:05
I look forward to the day when an Independent Scotland is rid of this anti Scotland bbc scotland, msm and the present london labour, tory & liberal political party's and look forward to a free, independent and impartial Scottish Broadcasting Company "subscriber only I hope" and a truly free, impartial Scottish MSM Press along with a totally untainted Scottish Opposition who genuinely have the good of the people and their country at heart. Roll on 2014
# eibbar snrub 2012-04-27 13:15
What does a little red dot with a white X in the middle against my post mean?

It is the delete button, any poster who has second thoughts about what they post can delete and start again - NNS Mod Team
# proudscot 2012-04-27 14:21
Quoting eibbar snrub:
What does a little red dot with a white X in the middle against my post mean?

Run your cursor over it - if the red dot is alongside a little notepad and pencil logo, both positioned under your post, these allow you to edit or cancel your post.
# proudscot 2012-04-27 14:15
balgayboy, I was in full agreement with your post, right up until you mentioned your hope for "a totally untainted Scottish Opposition who genuinely have the good of the people and their country at heart."

My question - where are you going to find such people to fill the bill? Certainly not from among any of the current opposition MSP's, with the possible exceptions of Murdo Fraser and Malcolm Chisholm, and even those two can be a bit tainted by their core political beliefs at times.
# J Wil 2012-04-27 14:31
Andrew Neil's Politics Today got their Alexs' mixed up on the programme today. They were talking about the Jeremy Hunt debacle and Neil said it should be referred to the keeper of the ministerial code, one Alex Allan. During their conversation, both Neil and the Tory Chairman on the programme called the man Alex Salmond.

Alex (oor Alex) must be getting to them.
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-04-27 22:20
I think Alex Salmond is the cleverest bloke that I've ever come across.

At a time when Rupert Murdoch was "toxic", Alex invited him for tea and caramel wafers at bute house - masterly!

He knew there would be political fallout but the longer term benefits outweighed the short term stushie that was inevitable.

Mate in 5 moves.
# creag an tuirc 2012-04-27 22:31
I'm hoping for a front page in The Sun a month before the referendum "Secret Document: McCrone report reveals how Westminster ripped off Scotland for 40 years"
# Caadfael 2012-04-28 08:38
Or perhaps the MSM will pick up on this ..
Plenty of ammunition there!

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