Charlie Whelan says . . .

Don't believe it - "Blunkett attacks media war coverage"

They do say that attack is the best form of defence, but was there ever a more audacious and absurd political attack than that which David Blunkett made on the media on 2 April?

Blunkett's criticisms are breathtaking. They are also sickening, given the number of journalists who have been killed or injured trying to bring us the truth. The aspiring prime minister thinks he can get the top job by being even more right-wing than his boss - if that is possible.

According to Blunkett, the media are encouraging a "progressive and liberal" public to believe the Iraqi version of the news. He is particularly scathing about al-Jazeera Television, saying it is a puppet of the Iraqi government. How then does he explain how its man in Baghdad got banned but the BBC man didn't?

The Home Secretary made the claims in a speech on a visit to America, where every ambitious cabinet minister likes to be seen. There, the media are craven to the government and the TV networks treat the war as entertainment and showbiz.

Blunkett no doubt wants all the news reports to be like those from the so-called embedded hacks. They report what the army allows them to report. Scenes of troops taking over a presidential palace are broadcast with shots of gold taps; dead bodies are never shown. Arab TV is the only place you will see the real results of war, which is probably why the British government is so dismissive of al-Jazeera.

The western TV media may be criticised for failing to show the true horror of war, but to suggest they are all closet Saddam supporters, as Blunkett does, shows just how far out of touch with reality he is. Perhaps that is why he thinks he should be the next Labour PM.