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Toby Young On Jody McIntyre

December 14, 2010

I must thank Toby Young for making very good points about the Jody McIntyre case in the Telegraph today.

Toby Young thinks, as most other sensible people do, that the way in which Jody McIntyre was treated by the police on Thursday afternoon was very wrong. However, he does not agree with those who are criticising BBC News broadcaster Ben Brown for asking McIntyre unfair questions on the BBC News Channel last night.

As Young rightly points out:

He may look a bit callous for not making allowances for the fact that McIntyre suffers from Cerebral Palsy and just treating him as he would any other interviewee, but that’s exactly how the interview should have been conducted. For Brown not to hold McIntyre to the same standard as he would any other person on the programme because he’s disabled would be deeply patronising. After all, there’s nothing wrong with McIntyre’s brain.

As a person who has spent a few too many years trying to tell the mainstream world that there is nothing wrong with the brains of people with Cerebral Palsy- or any physical disability- I have to agree completely with Young on this. I am very pleasantly surprised to find a person who doesn’t, as far as I know, have a disability himself being able to understand this and to make this point so well.

Young adds that McIntyre says himself in the interview that he sees himself as the equal of anybody else and expects to be treated in that way. So, reading this post has made me wonder if McIntyre himself really had a problem with Brown’s questions- or if he was simply glad to have been given a chance to express his opinion, and to be treated as any other interviewee would have been treated, knowing that those who really matter- the mainstream- were listening. I would be very interested to have an answer from McIntyre on that!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Natacha Kennedy permalink
    December 14, 2010 2:51 pm

    I totally disagree with that odious Toby Young on this. The whole interview just showed up the BBC’s ridiculous policy of automatically blaming the protesters and taking the side of the police. The idea that treating someone equally or equitably means treating them the same as anyone else is childish. Suggesting that a man in a wheelchair was a danger to the police is ridiculous and nothing to do with not being patronising and everything to do with trying to present him as a dangerous person. Toby Young’s article, like the Brown interview demonstrated how utterly stupid some journalists can be.

  2. December 14, 2010 3:33 pm

    So you didn’t think his approach was a little.. patronising even?

  3. Lee permalink
    December 14, 2010 6:43 pm

    I don’t think the issue here is one of Jody’s disability, but rather the interviewers patent bias in perusing a clearly flawed line of questioning with a apparent aim of discrediting Jody. It was clear from the outset that the interviewer was intent on finding a justification for the police’s actions on the day in question. You only have to look at the “wheelchair charge” apologism to see how ridiculous and juvenile the interviewers line of questioning really was, it played like something from Brass Eye!

    Toby Young has clearly misunderstood the complaints being made, none of the ones I’ve read have suggested that Jody should have been shown any extra leniency (beyond perhaps extra time to answer the questions, due to his speech impediment) for simply being disabled. In any case, Jody’s more than adequate performance in spite of the interviewers efforts would surely quell any assumption that such leniency was necessary.


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