Date: 13th February 2013 at 7:16pm
Written by:

BBC Scotland

Claims that James Traynor ran his stories past Craig Whyte before publication may be embarrassing for the Daily Record but pose a bigger question of BBC Scotland.

People can take or leave the opinions of the Record but unfortunately there is no opt-out with the state broadcaster.

For over a decade Traynor was given the freedom of the airwaves to push his views fronting various programmes in addition to his role at the Record.

Suspicions of objectivity are part and parcel of being in the public eye with Traynor’s blind obedience to whatever regime held power at Ibrox regularly becoming a focus of discussion.

The most famous incident occurred in April 2010 when he had an on-air rammy with Chic Young as they exchanged insults labelling each other Rangers cheer-leaders and puppets.

Earlier today on his Channel 4 news blog Alex Thomson alleges that Traynor ran stories past Whyte for approval and also prospected for a job at Ibrox shortly before the club went into administration.

James Traynor news

It’s the second time in the last six months that information of Whyte’s communications have been made public with earlier revelations about Duff & Phelps being under investigation.

The BBC have come under scrutiny across the UK in recent times with their indulgence of Traynor not showing up the Scottish operation in the best of lights.

Retrospectively there is little that BBC Scotland can do about a highly paid pundit who appears to be less than objective.

In order to restore their flagging credibility they could however question their current panel of experts, among them Billy Dodds and Stevie Thompson who both benefited from EBT’s from Rangers while keeping quiet as programming hours tried to shine some light on the issue.

Perhaps getting their current pundits to go on record confirming their objectivity, that they have never ran their stories past a club official before publication.

Independent newspaper publishers are at liberty to employ whoever they wish and push any agenda of choice. The state broadcaster however should set higher standards of objectivity and ensure that no one on their payroll has ever been a mouthpiece for any particular football club.

Until BBC Scotland publish a statement that their pundits and experts have never ran their stories through third parties for approval suspicions will remain that the state broadcaster is just another vehicle for spin.

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