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Wednesday 8 June 2016

Laura Kuenssberg - It’s Not Sexism

There has been much mileage made recently by those media outlets racing to defend BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg against allegations of rank sexism. Even the Daily Mail - the paper that went after the BBC with such venom last year when Ms Kuenssberg was promoted as Nick Robinson’s successor - was on board. But much of the criticism had nothing to do with sexism, and all to do with concerns over potential bias.
Laura Kuenssberg ((c) Guardian)

Last month, the Mail told its readers “Jeremy Corbyn has condemned the campaign to force the  BBC to sack its political editor Laura Kuenssberg, which accused her of biased reporting of the Labour leader … The online petition was scrapped yesterday after being hijacked by 'sexist' and 'hateful' abuse aimed at the presenter … This afternoon David Cameron said the Corbyn backers who made the remarks 'should be ashamed of the sexist bullying’”. It was all about lefty sexist bullies!

The Staggers’ Media Mole venturedMaybe there’s an alternative explanation for some of her more extreme detractors’ intense and personal hostility towards Kuenssberg, one more than hinted at by the petition’s removal from the 38 Degrees website this afternoon - that unlike all her predecessors in the job at the BBC, Kuenssberg is a woman”.

Sadly, neither was even remotely right. The unease began, as Zelo Street noted at the time, not in May with a petition, but in January with the pre-arranged resignation live on air by Labour’s Stephen Doughty from his shadow ministerial position. The problem for not only Ms Kuenssberg, but also the BBC more generally, is not having or breaking the story, but its timing, coming as it did just before the start of PMQs.

This handed Young Dave the advantage of being able to dodge questions by using Doughty’s resignation to attack Jeremy Corbyn. That this would happen was let slip in a blog entitled “Resignation! Making the news at the Daily Politics”. It was not adequately explained away by Robin Gibb, when he replied to a complaint by Corbyn’s spinner Seumas Milne. Nor could it be dismissed by shouting “Conspiracy Theory”.
It got worse: the round of local elections in May brought fresh claims about Ms Kuenssberg’s alleged lack of impartiality, and not just from Corbyn supporters. Tory vote share was declared to be holding up when it was declining, Labour retaining control of councils was painted as valiant rearguard action, and the whole exercise was swiftly framed as being all about Corbyn’s leadership being under threat.

Now has come Ms Kuenssberg’s belated intervention in the election expenses story, not over all the questions facing the Tories, but to tell “And in last few mins, Tories write to Electoral Commission suggesting all political parties spent cash in General Elex as they did”. An accompanying website article quotes the Guido Fawkes blog as if it were a reliable source. Yet anyone criticising her stance is hauled up as a rabid sexist.

Sorry folks, it’s not about sexism, it’s about genuine concern over the BBC - our national broadcaster, in case anyone lost sight of that - giving the appearance of partiality. The election expense story is just the latest manifestation of that. That is all.


Anonymous said...

Oh Christ not that tedious female copy of Douglas Carswell again.

There's nothing sexist at registering disapproval of her.

She's just shite at what she does. Which usually is an attempt to promote herself and her "controversiality" instead of informing the public.

Then again she's just doing what the rest of the Beeb News arse wipes do - waving arms, twitching, shouting emphases every third or fourth word. Presumably they all get this from the same Beeb suit that sends other female "presenters" to the Hyacinth Bucket School of Speaking and the Katie Price Academy of Deportment.

I just wish Kuenssberg'd fuck off back to the USA and join Fox News.

Anonymous said...

So no attention grabbing headlines on BBC about the emerging expenses scandal and excuses about Referendum purdah, live investigation are the excuses given, but as soon as Guido makes up a story about the opposition, but then has to report it to Police because those commenting on the story called him out, it becomes a BBC news story.

Something doesn't add up.

I wouldn't

rob said...

I suspect, going back to that Aaronovitch drawing line theory, it is more than just down to Laura K. There is a definite sympathetic brotherly concern link bewtween Robbie G and a Government Minister. And who is chief political editor but Jamie H, once of The Times (and of Nightjack fame), and now an alleged close pal of GeorgiO.

Now they are not necessarily linked to the bias but one need only look back a few years into GeorgiO to see how a media friend could be helpful in certain circumstances (re Nathalie Rowe).

Whether people have been leant on cannot be certain but perception is key to the media circus and too close links between the media and politicians can only lead to trouble as we found out with the NOTW debacle (and The Sun for some time).

Anonymous said...

The sexism can't be ignored. The petition to get this person sacked was hardly about the BBC bias.

rob said...

Police notice

Can Laura K and Robbie G (note NO sexism involved) help the police with their enquiries as to the missing reports from the BBC of potential expenses fraud @GElection 2015 (also non partisan - all Parties to where evidence leads)?

Last seen they were promoting a Guido article in a "look over there" response.

Reward for finding missing articles will be return of their credibility. Well, a bit of it.

Cheers, Spike D.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody believe a word coming out of British and Yank mainstream media news and its mouthpieces?

If so......see a psychiatrist NOW.