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Article summary:

1. Boris Johnson's appointment of Richard Sharp as chair of the BBC was a mistake, as it compromised the independence of the broadcaster.

2. The practice of politicians appointing allies and chums to public roles needs to stop, particularly in the case of the BBC where independence is crucial.

3. The BBC is a precious institution that should be defended, and this starts with getting politicians out of the way and treating it as a publicly funded broadcaster rather than a state broadcaster.

Article analysis:

The article by Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian criticizes Boris Johnson's role in appointing Richard Sharp as the chair of the BBC and argues that politicians should not have the power to pick its boss. The author claims that Johnson has a history of damaging reputations and turning good names bad, citing examples such as Christopher Geidt, Allegra Stratton, and Simon Case.

Freedland argues that Sharp's resignation was long overdue and questions why he did not realize earlier that his involvement in brokering an £800,000 loan arrangement for Johnson made him unsuitable for the job. He also suggests that Sharp's political affiliations as a longtime donor to the Tory party make him a partisan figure who is not suited to lead an independent organization like the BBC.

The author highlights the importance of independence for the BBC and draws parallels with Fox News in the US, which has been accused of promoting partisan views and spreading misinformation. Freedland argues that trust levels in the BBC may have declined but it remains a valuable source of non-partisan information in an increasingly polarized landscape.

While the article raises valid concerns about political interference in public appointments, it could be criticized for being one-sided and lacking balance. The author does not explore counterarguments or acknowledge any potential benefits of having politicians involved in selecting public officials. Additionally, some claims are unsupported or lack evidence, such as when Freedland suggests that efforts to create partisan TV channels in Britain have largely failed.

Overall, while there are valid points raised about independence and impartiality at the BBC, readers should approach this article with caution and consider alternative perspectives before forming their own opinions on this issue.