ITN’s recently-retired political editor Michael Brunson published
his memoir entitled A Ringside Seat this week, with some vicious jabs at
the PRO community he worked with for over 30 years.
Brunson’s major target is the mysterious Downing Street ’spin
In assessing those whom he claims stood in the way of the juggernaut of
journalistic truth, he finds our very own columnist and former prime
ministerial press secretary Sir Bernard Ingham as guilty as that modern
Machiavelli, Alastair Campbell. ’Bernard was a spin-doctor. His
observations on events were ’spin’ of the purest kind,’ he writes.
Ingham disputes this, saying, among a host of colourful phrases, that
’Brunson is a pompous prat who does not know the difference between a
real press officer and a spin-doctor. The way he has kowtowed to new
Labour is quite nauseating’.
Interestingly, Brunson pays tribute to Peter Mandelson’s work as Labour
party PR chief in the late-1980s. ’He never let an inaccuracy go
uncorrected, or what he regarded as unfair comment go unchallenged’ he
writes. ’His operation, though, went much further ... to try and ensure
that coverage went according to his game plan rather than anyone
Shock, horror! PRO tries to control press! Diary would ask for the front
page were it not wary of a late night call from Mandelson demanding a