Dear BBC News
I am writing to express, in the strongest terms, my dismay at your broadcast interview on News24 with Jody McIntyre, a disabled young man who was talking about his experiences with the police at the demonstration in Parliament Square on 9 December 2010. The attitude taken by your interviewer was condescending and accusatory. He even stooped to imply that Mr McIntyre shouting was in some way justification for the police pulling him out of his wheelchair. The interviewee was rightly taken aback by the suggestion and stood up for himself admirably. But the point is that you were not dealing with a convicted criminal nor a career politician and such a bellicose interview technique on a young man who has clearly been the recipient of violence (we have evidence on film of this) is quite beyond the pale.
What I will finally ask you is, if you had interviewed the Prince of Wales or his wife about their experiences that night, would you have taken such a confrontational stance in questioning them? I think that we all know the answer and so we are faced with the truth, that the BBC are taking the side of power and privilege in the reporting of this story - and how many other stories might we say that about? Mr McIntyre was correct to draw a comparison with your reporting of the Palestinian conflict.
I work at a University where we all work very hard at ensuring that especially vulnerable students and staff, for example those with disabilities, are treated with respect and allowed to recount their experience with dignity. No doubt the BBC believes that it practises to the same standard. On the evidence of this interview, in which your journalist showed his opinions and colours only too clearly, you have failed to live up to any kind of civilised standards. If your interviewer were a member of staff here and had spoken to a disabled student in that fashion when listening to a complaint, he would be on disciplinary as a result.
You can follow Jody Mcintyre, and offer your support, on twitter. Details of how you complain about BBC news are here.
UPDATE: The interview is on YouTube now. Every one can see and hopefully many will complain about Ben Brown's appalling behaviour.