Tuesday morning's on-air spat between Labour peer George Foulkes & BBC News presenter Carrie Gracie left neither protagonist unscathed (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8045414.stm ).
Forced into a corner & defending the indefensible over MPs' expenses, Foulkes set a trap for Gracie into which she fell headfirst. The BBC presenter's naive statement about her £92,000 salary will only serve to fuel the arguments not just about the licence fee, but about the future of the BBC itself.
Gracie is an experienced hack; she reported with some distinction during her stint as the BBC's Beijing correspondent (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/may/12/carrie-gracie-bbc-news-salary-profile ). However, her studio presentational skills (not to be confused with journalism per se ) were clearly shown to be limited by the exchange. Paxman dealt better with such an encounter when Tony Benn jocularly remarked about his salary on Tuesday's Newsnight. Paxo remained silent while wearing a cross between a smile & a grimace.
Foulkes' on-air claim that Gracie's salary was nearly twice as much as an MP's basic salary of £64,000 clearly demonstrates that economics is not his forte.
Meanwhile, on the same day, unemployment rose by another quarter of a million (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/interactive/2009/jan/21/unemployment-map ).
Something for highly paid hacks & MPs to consider, perhaps, when they've stopped fretting about their "perks". Or perhaps not.