During a live interview about Parliamentary expenses on the BBC News Channel, Lord Foulkes clashed with journalist Carrie Gracie after she asked if MPs who had abused the system should pay the money back.
Lord Foulkes, formerly Labour/Co-op MP for Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley, accused the media of ignoring the good work MPs do and demanded to know how much she was paid.
Ms Gracie did not reply immediately, but Lord Foulkes kept up the pressure, citing the Freedom of Information legislation.
When told by Ms Gracie that her salary is £92,000 a year, he said she was being paid “nearly twice as much an MP — to come on and talk nonsense”.
He added that BBC presenters such as John Humphrys and Jeremy Paxman were paid hundreds of thousands of pounds “to come on TV and sneer at democracy and undermine the democratic system.”
Lord Foulkes said politicians were constantly being harassed and undermined by TV journalists during interviews and pointed out that most MPs were doing a good job.
He said there were “far more important things going on in the world” than the issue of MPs expenses and allowances and urged programme makers to focus on the salaries being paid to BBC personnel.