Gary Lineker is a ‘monster of the BBC’s own creation’ who scares his bosses at the company after ‘grotesque’ Twitter spat, warns John Humphrys
Gary Lineker is a “monster of the BBC’s own creation” who scares his bosses, veteran presenter John Humphrys said yesterday.
The former Radio 4 Today presenter, 79, labeled Lineker’s tweet comparing language about the small boat government crisis to that of Nazi Germany in the 1930s as “morally repugnant”.
But Humphrys also criticized Director-General Tim Davie’s handling of the “grotesque altercation.”
He highlighted how public confidence in the BBC’s leadership was waning, saying: ‘That’s partly because it’s become clear that the Corporation has never figured out how to deal with monsters of its own creation.
Hard on Lineker to call him a monster? Naturally. But isn’t that how we see those we fear the most? And BBC bosses are clearly afraid of him.’
Gary Lineker is a “monster of the BBC’s own creation,” said John Humphrys
The former Radio 4 Today presenter, 79, labeled Lineker’s tweet comparing language about the small boat government crisis to that of Nazi Germany in the 1930s as ‘morally repugnant’
He struck when Lineker returned to Match of the Day after being suspended over his tweet, sparking a massive boycott of sports presenters and pundits over the weekend.
Humphrys said in a newspaper article that before the controversy the BBC had ‘blurred the distinction’ between the strict impartiality it imposes on its news staff and ‘the thoughts of a former England footballer advertising crisps’.
He added ‘it was an accident waiting to happen’ and Davie made a ‘crucial mistake’ in suspending Lineker, leaving the BBC chief with ‘no room for maneuver’ in his view.
“If he hadn’t chosen the nuclear option to take Lineker off the air, he wouldn’t be in so much trouble right now.
‘He could also simply have said: ‘We are an accountability organisation, we have a complaints procedure, I will ask the complaints cell to take a look at it and report on it.’
Instead, he chose to suspend him and fellow sports presenters effectively went on strike. The result is that a sports presenter has shown himself to be much more powerful than the director general.’
In a separate article, former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman said the BBC’s “management class” has “made a complete fool of themselves” by climbing over Lineker.