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Saturday 7 May 2016

Laura Kuenssberg - Still Not Good Enough

Some commentators did not exactly cover themselves in glory during and after Thursday’s round of elections across much of Britain. The press establishment is still coming to terms with its inability to frighten voters into the polling booths in London, and the inconvenient fact that the predicted collapse in Labour support failed to materialise caught out others as results came in which were not in line with their expectations.
Laura Kuenssberg

All of which brings us to BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg, whose behaviour passed before my inspection recently when a junior shadow minister resigned live on air two minutes before the start of PMQs, thus handing an advantage to Young Dave. It was not the scoop that raised eyebrows, nor the manner of revelation, but the very deliberate timing. The complaints of bias have not gone away.
Indeed, those complaints returned with a vengeance after Thursday night, and it is not hard to see why. Ms Kuenssberg’s first instinct was to talk up the prospect of a Labour leadership coup. “'Patience' - says Tom Watson, to colleagues who might agitate to move Corbyn if there are losses tonight … Any move to oust Corbyn almost impossible without Tom Watson either tipping it the wink or at least turning a blind eye”.
There was even a leaked document! “Document shows how traditionally low Labour's expectations were and how they planned to spin it”. Party has Line To Take no shock horror. It got worse: “Tories doing no more than holding their share so far, their vote down on average 3 points”. If they were down 3 points, they weren’t “holding their share”.
And worse: “Labour hold Harlow too - another big relief for them following Nuneaton”. Actually, Labour WON both those contests, but in the retelling, it is presented as some kind of desperate rearguard action. It was not an isolated incident: “Labour has held Crawley, crucial council for them in the South of England”. Labour in fact INCREASED its majority in Crawley, which is indeed a crucial council for the party.
Labour gained seats elsewhere, and the frustration of some observers was all too clear, typical being “Weird how you and Huw [Edwards] not talking about all the gains #Labour are making. Your bias is jawdropping” and “I’ve … had to turn off, the anti Labour bias is astonishing. And I'm not a Labour voter”. There were many more examples.
One dismayed Tweeter - apparently a GP, not the kind of people the BBC can afford to alienate - concluded “I didn't used to believe the talk about anti-Labour bias from BBC but it's just so obvious now”. Then Stan Collymore - that means he’s got a lot of followers and therefore reach - summed it up: “Is there a BBC producer in @bbclaurak 's earpiece? Or Conservative Central Office? Woeful anti Labour bias. Woeful”.

Those are not my views - they come from a cross-section of the viewing public. They suggest discontentment with Ms Kuenssberg’s perceived lack of impartiality. And they are not all raving lefties. I’ll just leave that one there.


Anonymous said...

As a Labour Cllr in Harlow, we did not hold it, we won it comfortable. Our vote percentage increased in every ward, even safe Tory ones, but the bias Beeb does not want to hear that. It runs deeper than national programs, when JC launched the local elections here, was not even mentioned on main local Beeb news program, instead ran a piece on a Tory visiting Milton Keynes!

Anonymous said...

Kuenssberg - fresh from Yank indoctrination when she came back to England - is a fraud. But so are all the other Beeb News front men and women.

She'll get worse as the general election looms.

The woman isn't worth the proverbial carrot. Bet she gets a big bribe from the Beeb, though. Does anybody know what they pay her? If we're going to subsidise her ponzi mortgage it's only fair we know by how much.

Darren said...

So Labour had thought about possible scenarios and planned what to say in the event. Better than deciding your narrative beforehand and sticking to it even in the face of the facts.

Tony Hatfield said...

You say 'a cross section'. A cross section of how many. Were there any pro Kuenssberg tweets you'd like to post?

Neil said...

One BBC hackess announced that Labour had lost the Labour stronghold of the South Wales valleys to Plaid Cymru. She didn't know or care that there's more than one constituency in the South Wales valleys.

I wasn't entirely convinced about a BBC bias against Labour but over the last few days I'm seeing a pattern developing with the results not fitting their assumptions and pre-prepared narrative.

Shawlrat said...

She cannot bring herself to give an objective opinion on Labour; no attempt at even handed reporting.
Mind you, John Pienarr took the biscuit this morning when he said of Sadiq Khan, and I quote verbatim, "he doesn't look like a terrorist".
Unbelievable stuff from our national broadcaster.

By the way, what does a terrorist look like? Please advise us BBC.

John Manners-Short said...

Just seen evening BBC News, framing Khan's win as 'a bright spot against a bad set of Labour results' type stuff. Clear that media are building a Khan v. Corbyn narrative. Khan has enabled that a bit, IMO, that's another story, but it certainly seems that the BBC are intent on repeating an overall false narratiative on behalf of Tories and Bitterites.

Rangjan said...

To Anonymous (7 MAY 2016 AT 15:11) - her contract was recently renegotiated to £200K per year.

Anonymous said...

To Rangjan.

Jesus wept..........

pete c said...

She is coming in as rather a desperate lightweight. Come back R Peston.

Mind you, he jumped ship at the right time I think. Sad to have to admit it, but the Beeb has taken a plunge into the shallow water recently.

(I ask you - Caravanner Of The Year competition on BBC2. And a 50% increase in East Enders output. Garbage. Don't think Whittingale has much to kick at somedays).

Rob Smith said...

ITV.com are reporting Labour hold Harlow too. A hold is reported when there is no change, its a hold for the party in power. A gain or a loss is reported when a seat, or a council changes hands.


Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, Laura K. is something of a balance.

Because the all new Newsnight Political Editor, Nick Watt,
is fresh from The Guardian.

Replacing another Guardianista, Allegra Stratten.

Now with ITN News.

Pam Smith said...

I get absolutely fed up of her non-reporting, saying what 'some senior figures in Labour' have told her. I could do her job if that's all that's required. The wider speculation that she gets into after her opening statement doesn't even bear that vague relationship to reporting.

She wasn't on her own that studio, though. The desperate search for facts to fit the 'Labour catastrophe' narrative was truly painful. 'Ah, well Labour have won all these seats - but if we look at these percentages, we can see ...' And Huw Edwards with his repeated 'I want to talk about ...' to bring things back on track.

No wonder Professor John Curtice insists on having his own balcony rather than end up in the fact-free zone below him.

Anonymous said...

How do we start an online petition against Laura.K and send it to the BBC. I am fuming

Anonymous said...

Terrorists used to be white when I was young in the 1980s.

Anonymous said...


Sue H said...

I'm amazed that Laura K got the top political job at the Beeb. She's not only biased, she's immensely boring in her presentation. The assistant political editor Norman Smith has more knowledge and fairness, broadcasting savvy and pleasant personality in his little finger yet was apparently passed over for the top job. Why? He is head and shoulders above LK.