The right-leaning and EU-hating part of our free and fearless press loves to indulge in the most shamelessly biased, selective and often downright dishonest portrayal of current events - while at the same time whining at broadcasters for what turns out not to be bias at all. So it is that the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have gone after the BBC, and in particular The Andy Marr Show (tm).
Murdoch press about to get some stick
This attack comes from the Murdoch goons’ paranoid perspective on Brexit, which holds, roughly, that any media outlet which does not share its rabid Europhobia must be biased, unpatriotic, and in league with all those imaginary forces looking to block Britain’s departure from the hated European club, which Creepy Uncle Rupe despises, as it refuses to allow itself to be bent to the interfering foreigner’s will.
“BIASED BEEB'S BREXIT BASHING … BBC puts FOUR TIMES as many Remainers as Brexit fans on telly … Since last year's referendum, BBC1’s Andrew Marr has had 129 pro-Europe guests compared with just 33 Leavers” screams the headline, under the aegis of what is claimed to be a “Sun Investigation”, a contradiction in terms if ever there was one.
So what’s the beef? “BBC1’s Andrew Marr has had 129 Remainers since last year’s referendum, compared with just 33 Leavers … And its Sunday Politics show had 78 pro-EU campaigners but only 37 Brexiteers … The bias has got worse since 72 cross-party politicians wrote to complain to BBC Director-General Tony Hall in March … Now senior MPs are calling for action by watchdog Ofcom”. Note the circular argument - bias is assumed in order to prove bias. And they whine about The Canary.
The BBC Press Office noted “Oddly the story seems to have omitted the line we sent to @TheSun on Tuesday, so here it is”, telling “These are ludicrously misleading numbers that do not reflect the reality. Not considering a Cabinet Minister or even the Prime Minister to be accountable for delivering the Government’s stated policy on Brexit is bizarre, especially when the Sun is willing to count Benedict Cumberbatch who talked about his acting career. Nor was every politician interviewed asked about Brexit”.
This gives us a flavour of how the Sun fiddled the figures - counting all pre-referendum Remain Tories as Remain, whatever the subject discussed, and throwing in every guest it could find, whatever the subject under discussion. The idea that Ofcom would do any more than laugh this drivel out of the room does not bear serious analysis.
So it was no surprise to see Andrew Marr’s long-suffering editor Rob Burley observing “The Sun have a ‘story’ about Brexit coverage on #marr. No fair person would regard their figures accurate. Here's BBC response they omitted” before asking the hack who wrote the Sun’s article “Why didn't you include the BBC's response Joe?”, to which Marr himself responded “He'll eventually mumble, 'the subs cut it' which is up there with famished dogs and homework”, or indeed A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away.
Marr concluded by saying directly what he thought about this phoney exercise: “Fake news”. Spoken with characteristic BBC understatement there.
The Sun has once again bent the facts beyond their limit of elasticity. No change there.