Dominic Cummings is right: the Today programme is obsolete | Suzanne Moore

The radio show typifies everything that is wrong with the BBC. Newsnight, on the other hand, is now a great watch

There is probably not much that Dominic Cummings and I would agree on, but we’re on the same page regarding the Today programme. “I never listened to the Today programme for the entire year of the referendum and I intend to repeat this while I am here,” he is said to have told staff at No 10 last week, urging his colleagues to avoid it.

When I first went to work for another paper, the editor said I must listen to Today. I tried, zoned out and never felt uninformed. Thought for the Day is banal sentiment read out in a meaningfully slow voice. Politicans don’t answer questions. John Humphrys is rude and none of them appear to have realised that social media exist.

It is Westminster talking to itself: dull, insular, self-important. They treat culture as a joke that they might give five minutes to. The rest of the country? Where is that?

Women’s issues embarrass them. Miss it and you miss nada.

Newsnight, though, now revamped under Esme Wren, is a great watch. Emily Maitlis is a forensic interviewer who clearly conveys her frustration as politicians blather non-answers.

Emma Barnett is a total star, skewering chancers while appearing totally reasonable.

Time is given for serious but difficult subjects, such as Katie Razzall’s series on what happens to “looked after“ children over 16. Basically, they are shipped around the country and put into very dangerous environments.

Today is everything that is wrong with the BBC, the Westminster lobby and the cosiness of political reporting.

Often I have to turn off Radio 4 for class war reasons. The only time you hear a working-class accent is in some half-baked drama about domestic abuse.

Today doesn’t make news these days, but still acts as if it does. It simply amplifies the latest nonsense from politicians who don’t even sound as though they believe their own words.

It is completely missable. It shows the establishment does not know what is happening in this country at all.

• Suzanne Moore is a Guardian columnist


Suzanne Moore

The GuardianTramp

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