No, not ITV - that was twenty years ago. We're talking about the BBC and its near domination of news and current affairs. Question is, has the Beeb taken on the role of "official opposition" of late? And if so, can it still be viewed as impartial? A little tyke called Justin Webb, he of the Today programme, takes no prisoners when it comes to interviewing cabinet ministers. But when he's handling a subject dear to his heart - like ADHD or investment banking - he sucks up to the charlatans he ought to be taking to task.
But are standards slipping further than we think? Last week saw the nadir of current affairs interviewing, when first Jeremy "tough on politicians" Paxman conducted a sycophantic interview with Russell Brand... Later on, Andrew "jug ears" Marr used his Sunday morning slot to discuss "Strictly Come Dancing" with Bruce "Brucie" Forsyth. How much lower can the BBC stoop?
Here we reload the Paxman / Brand interview conducted last Friday - simply to give you all a taste of things to come:-
Paxman: Can I say what an admirer of yours I am, great one?
Brand: Course, Jezza. And I'm an admirer of yours, even though I don't who the fuck you are.
Paxman: Very drole, oh saintly one. I wish I had your wit.
Brand: Course you does, Jezza. Don't every geyser? But I bet you wish even more you 'ad my appeal what I has with women. Is I right or is I right?
Paxman: It is true, master. Though may I suggest I'm not so disadvantaged in terms of said appeal?
Brand: What? You saying you has as big a todger as like what I 'as, Jezza?
Paxman: Well, one wouldn't wish to boast. But there are certain ladies who are not unimpressed with the size of my John Thomas. Although, I would not be so bold as to compare myself to you, naturally.
Brand: Yeah, that's right, Jezza. Never a truer word was spoken.
Paxman: But it's not just fornication I'm thinking of. I do wish I could be as popular as you, great one.
Brand: Don't every bloke?
Brand: Maybe you need to do something about your style, Jezz, my man. You know like invest in some new clothing and 'ave your hair like how I has it, or speak different or something.
Paxman: Do you think that'd work?
Brand: Course Jezz. You'd have all the women and everyone like all over you. You could razzle like Russell.
Paxman: Or even rustle like Russell?
Brand: Don't know about that Jezz. I'm no rustler, I'll 'ave you know. By the way, you ain't talking about rustling, like sheep rustling, is ya?
Paxman: No, forgive me, great one. I didn't mean it like that.
Brand: Nah, I 'ope not. Cos I gave up doing sheep way back. And I'll sue anyone what suggests otherwise.
Paxman: Okay let's put that one to bed.
Brand: That ain't true, Jezz. I never put one to bed neither.
Paxman: No, I meant, let's put that issue to bed.
Brand: Tissues in bed, Jezza? I'm not no wanker, I'll 'ave you know.
Paxman: God forbid, oh great one. Nothing could be further from my mind.
Brand: Blimey, you don't half like talking about sex a lot, don't ya Jezz?
Paxman: Well who would not when in such esteemed company?
Brand: Yeah, ya not wrong there mate. By the way, is you angling for me to introduce you to some of my lady friends, Jezz?
Paxman: Oh, er, well... Would you? Could you?
Brand: I get it. That's what all this sick-a-fancy is all about, ain't it? You want an intra-duction to one of my lady friends?
Paxman: Well, if it's not asking too much.
Brand: You be nice to me like what you is now, being all sick-a-fantic like and I sorts ya sex life out. Is that it?
Paxman: Sort of.
Brand: You scratch my back, and I scratch yours?
Paxman: Not sure I'd go that far.
Brand: Ok, Jezz. Don't worry. I'll see what I can do for ya.
Paxman: Oh, thank you thank you, Mr Brand, oh saintly one, thank you so much.
Brand: Don't mention it.
Paxman: And of course... thank you for your time on this programme, Russell, Mr. Brand, sir. We are indeed blessed to have you here. Newsnight will never look the same again.
Brand: Say that again. Anyway, Jezz, you're most welcome. You can have me on this show any time.
Paxman: Thank you.
Brand: (Quietly) What a dick.