I was saddened earlier in the month to learn of the death of Charles Wheeler. Last night there were various programmes broadcast in tribute, including a couple of powerful documentaries on BBC4. These follow the Newsnight tribute to him. Wheeler in action was marvellous – watch the clip there around 6 minutes 10 seconds to 8 minutes 53 seconds where he investigates allegations of torture against Palestinians by Kuwaitis in the aftermath of the first Gulf War and his killer question at the end of the interview; or watch the filmed embarrassment of JOhn Birt – being questioned on his desire to increase analysis of news stories.
When we watch the news now and see the preening and posturing of some reporters it’s sad to reflect that we’ll probably never see someone of Wheeler’s class – with his awareness of history – again.