The BBC has not done itself any favours in the recent past, what with the scandal over “Resignation - making the news on the Daily Politics”, political editor Laura Kuenssberg effectively taking dictation from Matthew Elliott over Vote Leave breaking the law, the setting up of the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr to be shouted down by mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott, and the invites for right-wing propagandists, all looked bad.
Questions for Lord Hall-Hall ...
... on how close the Corporation is to HIM
There was one reason they looked bad - because they were bad. Giving airtime to those who are prepared to talk well, but lie badly, goes against anything and everything in the Corporation’s founding ethos. And it has not stopped with the singularly unfortunate selection of talking heads: the implicit pro-Tory, or at least pro-Bozo, bias burst out into the open yesterday so clearly that it became obvious to all that something was wrong.
During Prime Minister’s Questions - note to Beeb people, remember what Speaker Bercow says when he introduces them, “Questions to the Prime Minister” - the BBC Politics Twitter feed told “‘Can he say now whether he would vote now in favour of Leave or Remain?’ …Jeremy Corbyn refuses to answer Boris Johnson’s question on how he would vote in a new Brexit referendum”. Who was answering the questions, Beeb people?
This was not lost on other Tweeters, with one posting a graphic asserting simply that “The BBC licence fee is now a subscription to the Tory Party”. Cruel. Cruel but fair. It was not for the Labour leader to answer questions. “Questions to the Prime Minister”, remember?
Gayle Letherby responded “Dear me … It’s the Prime Minister who is meant to ask the questions at PMQs … [BBC Politics] Is it really too much to ask you to just do your job?” She added a quote from Peter Hitchens: “A country where the media attack the opposition rather than the Government is a country where freedom is under threat”. Ouch!
Fionna O’Leary, who is most certainly not a Labour supporter, showed her exasperation. “You and Johnson are doing an absolutely marvellous job getting people behind Corbyn...and I am no fan. It was Johnson that provided NO satisfactory answers and you should not need me to remind you that it is HE & his Gov that is supposed to be held to account”. As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point.
Rachael Cousins, who most certainly is a Labour supporter, was on the same page. “Refuses? What a ridiculous thing to say. He’s the leader of the opposition, he doesn’t answer the questions. Don’t you understand how PMQs works?” Apparently not.
And the Tweeter known as Jim Horse-Dealer felt the need to return to first principles. “Dear BBC … You probably haven't grasped the actual purpose of 'Prime Minister's Questions’ … Its purpose is for the PM (or whatever passes for one) to be questioned, and then for the PM to provide answers, not the other way round … I hope this clarifies matters … Happy to help”. Meanwhile, David Allen Green had a warning for everyone.
“The relationship between [BBC Politics] and Number 10 is now as troubling, in its way, as the old relationship between the Murdoch tabloids and the Met before Leveson … Something worrying … Too close”. Too close is absolutely right.
The first B in BBC stands for British, not Bozo The Clown. I’ll just leave that one there.
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