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Monday 15 January 2018

McDonnell - Sunday Politics In Trouble

Among media outlets, those most trusted by the public are the broadcasters. And the most trusted of this group is, and has been for many years, the BBC. That trust brings with it significant responsibility, something of which the overwhelming majority of the Corporation’s staff will not need reminding. So when the impression is given that the Beeb’s impartiality is slipping, it is a cause for concern - whatever one’s political stripe.
Oi! Sunday Politics people! I want a word with you

As Zelo Street regulars will be aware, the flagship Daily Politics has been there before, when then junior shadow minister Stephen Doughty resigned live on the show, this occurring at 1155 hours on a Wednesday, five minutes before PMQs and with Jeremy Corbyn, his party leader, being put at a disadvantage as gleeful Tories made sure David Cameron had the information before he got to his feet in the Commons.
The attempts by the BBC to brush this off were sunk by the inadvertent release of an internal blog post titled “Resignation! Making the news on the Daily Politics”. So one might have thought that, despite the departure of Robin Gibb from the Corporation, lessons would be learnt. But maybe they have not, after the Sunday Politics took a stance on shadow chancellor John McDonnell which has rung alarm bells in Labour circles.
Sarah Smith, new Sunday Politics host

After the Tories declared that they were taking a more respectful tone, and challenged Labour to do likewise - an easy stunt to pull when you have the boot boys of the Fourth Estate to do the smearing for you - shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner was questioned by new host Sarah Smith over comments made by McDonnell in a video some time ago, regarding Work and Pensions minister Esther McVey.
McDonnell, as is now well known, was not expressing his own opinions in the recording played back to Gardiner, but recounting his experiences in a visit to Liverpool, and particularly the unexpectedly strong adverse feeling expressed to him about Ms McVey. He made it clear that the comment “Why aren’t we lynching the bastard?” had come not from him, but by a group who “kicked off” over the “Sack Esther McVey” campaign.

This did not stop Ms Smith confronting Gardiner with the assertion that McDonnell had repeated the comments “with approval”, as if the Sunday Politics team retrospectively knew the state of mind of the shadow chancellor. It also caused disquiet among some Labour supporters that the audio released on Twitter was faded out immediately after McDonnell quoted the comments. Sarah Smith had to issue a clarification later.
It was not the only part of yesterday’s Sunday Politics to cause adverse reaction: the so-called “Commentators who count” included right-wing Talk Radio host Julia Hartley Dooda, who was not challenged when she blatantly and dishonestly claimed that Keir Starmer was responsible for the decision not to bring more charges against “Black Cab Rapist” John Worboys. The program’s host has changed; the tired old pundit parade endures.

We need trusted media sources. So it is imperative that those sources show no undue favour - or hostility - to any political party or grouping. And while the clarification is welcome, it’s a little too late when it comes after the event The BBC needs to do better.


Starbuck said...

well, it should be clear by now that the BBC is not trying to be impartial
it is trying not to look too pro right-wing establishment

Anonymous said...

It needs privatizing.
The one thing the Tories WON'T touch because it's already front loaded with them.

Nigel Stapley said...

Sarah "I Didn't Get A Cushy Number At The Beeb Because Dad Was A Former Labour Party Leader, Oh Dearie Me No" Smith has recent form for this sort of dishonesty:


And if anyone thinks that the Broadcorping Castration can be trusted in its news coverage nowadays, they should take a look at how it has covered Scotland in the last four or five years; the parroting of Unionist newspaper headlines and smears against the Scottish government, the use of FoI requests from the BritNat parties as if they were legitimate sources of news, the lot.

I wouldn't agree with the previous commentor that it needs to be privatised, however; but I am clear that its news department - which has been fatally compromised ever since the Hutton Report - needs scaling back; it has been living for years on past glories and false consciousness.

Anonymous said...

We don't have trustworthy media in this country.

So what's new?

The lot of them are a far right, lying disgrace to civilised discourse.

Which is why McDonnell was greeted by resounding applause and cheers when he brushed asde that Beeb robot Marr and went straight to the public via a camera. Also when he got right in Green's face and destroyed him - before the porn stuff was known. Which is why they're shit scared of "interviewing" him. He won't be controlled by urfascist slobs like Neil or empty headed morons like Davis or Maitlis.

Unknown said...

I do not agree with anyone having abuse or being abusive... but, maybe if the BBC was not so biased then maybe their news reporters wouldn't need to have body guards to attend the Labour party conference.