THE media was in the firing line from Lord Steel who returned to Linlithgow for a lecture at the Burgh Halls.
Lord Steel of Aikwood, first presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament and former son of the Manse at St Michael’s Parish Church highlighted the “steady coarsening of the public media”, in the second of the Kirkgate lecture series organised by the church.
Speaking to a large audience in the Burgh Halls, Lord Steel said: “I must admit I hanker after the vision of Lord Reith that it should be an instrument to entertain and to educate.
‘‘In places it still does that splendidly but my excitement that the Borders was the first TV region to go digital was short-lived when I discovered that our enlarged choice consisted mostly of a hundred or so channels of rubbish.”
He lampooned the country’s tabloid newspapers, adding: “I saw in one of the tabloids, a front page close-up photograph of an ear.
“It belonged to a TV personality and the speculation was whether it demonstrated the person whose ear it was had had a facelift.
“That, in the opinion of the editor, was the most important issue of the day!’’
Lord Steel also touched on the years he enjoyed in Linlithgow when his father the late Very Rev Dr David Steel was minister in the 1970s.