Stumbling Over Truth The Inside Story and the Sexed Up Dossier By Kevin Marsh
The 2004 report of the Hutton Inquiry created today’s BBC. It cost the corporation its Chairman and Director General and seemed to many to usher in an age of self-doubt and caution. It was also the end of the most extraordinary experiment in news management Britain has ever seen the decade of Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s spin doctor, charged with delivering what Peter Mandelson described as New Labour’s mission to create the truth’. But Lord Hutton condemned the BBC and its journalism without hearing a single word from the man who put the sexed up’ dossier story on the air: Today editor Kevin Marsh. Had Hutton done so, his conclusions would surely have been very different. Now outside the BBC, Marsh can tell for the first time the inside story of Andrew Gilligan’s notorious 6.07 broadcast on the Today programme. He explains how he was certain the story of the sexed up’ dossier was true, but also how Gilligan’s flawed reporting’ fatally damaged the BBC’s case. And he tells of his growing disillusionment with the British media’s aptitude and appetite for holding power to account or even telling the truth. Stumbling Over Truth is an important book for anyone who wants to understand the toe-to-toe confrontations between Tony Blair’s government and the BBC, and the fight to resist unremitting government attempts to manipulate the media.