You know me, I'm not one to nitpick, but when the BBC starts blurting out details of anonymous sources to all and sundry, well really, it takes the biscuit!
Here's the story so far:
1. BBC journalist asks me for a contribution to the BBC Radio Kent feature on blogging.
2. I agree on the basis that I remain anonymous and record, edit and disguise the contribution myself, here in my £250,000, state of the art recording studio at the old cliff top mansion.
3. Dr Biggles claims on his blog that he has 'unscrambled' the disguised voice, and publishes the results.
4. I then might have been a bit, er, rash and 're-scrambled' Dr Biggles's contribution thus:
5. OK, pause here to call me petty if you like.
6. Dr Biggles becomes so enraged that he calls the BBC journalist demanding more information about me, and said journalist reveals without batting an eyelid that his anonymous source recorded and disguised his contribution himself!
I know it's not exactly blowing the beans on who I am, but if I was an IRA supergrass I think I'd be a bit hacked off. Or, more likely, a bit would have been hacked off me by now.
Here is what the BBC's own Producer Guidelines say about protecting anonymous sources:
Protecting sources is a key principle of journalism for which some journalists have gone to jail. We must take care when we promise anonymity that we are in a position to honour it, including the need to resist a court order.
'Resisting a court order' presumably doesn't encompass 'Resisting some geezer who rings up and wants to know who it is'. Fortunately, however, there's also a handy tip a few paragraphs later:
We must ensure that if anonymity is necessary it is effective. Both picture and voice may need to be disguised. A "voice-over" by another person is usually better than technically induced distortion, which can be reversed...
Being a belt and braces kind of a guy, I always think it pays to combine both options. And besides, my old mate Barrymore was desperate for the work.