While some are still sceptical on the question of BBC News’ bias, and the trust that voters place in the Corporation, others have been less inhibited. Worse for the Beeb, which is also facing an assault from alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pals in Parliament and the media, is news that the viewing public has already made its feelings known - and their feelings are bad news for the BBC and its defenders.
Lord Hall-Hall - time to start listening ...
But first perhaps the charge sheet can be considered, and recent lapses by those working in service of the Corporation have been summarised by Joel Benjamin. No-one should have trouble understanding their significance - or their gravity. His points are:
“Editing out BBCQT audience boos of [Boris] Johnson to insert audience applause;
Newsnight edit out Johnson challenged re: status & release dates of withheld Russia report;
Running a news ticker on so-called ‘Labour anti-semitism crisis’ during holocaust package;
Weaponisation of anti-Semitism allegations against Jeremy Corbyn & the Labour Party;
Laura Kuenssberg broadcasting non-verified Tory Party claims on made up Leeds ‘punch’;
Laura Kuenssberg illegally revealing postal voting information, likely to affect voter behaviour;
News reporter broadcasting live on air speaking of ‘the majority [Johnson] so deserves’;
Failing to cease newspaper reviews during purdah, despite a well known right wing bias”.
To this can be added (a) the use of newspaper columnists, editors and press hangers-on in paper reviews, allowing the press to mark their own homework and therefore perpetuate right-wing bias, (b) the blatant use of the BBC’s Sunday Politics by veteran presenter Andrew Neil to push climate change denial, and (c) Neil and political editor Laura Kuenssberg, along with Robbie Gibb, orchestrating a resignation from the shadow cabinet live on the Daily Politics just before PMQs to the benefit of the Tories.
You want more? There is also (d) Ms Kuenssberg effectively taking dictation from Vote Leave’s Matthew Elliott over the campaign breaking electoral law, (e) Refusal to discuss the misbehaviour of Cambridge Analytica, to the extent of having Carole Cadwalladr shouted down during a paper review on The Andy Marr Show™, (f) a whole string of instances where the Question Time audience has been infiltrated by Tory plants, and (g) loading panel shows with right-wing pundits and other hangers-on.
... before Bozo takes your manor apart
That list may, whisper it quietly, have missed the odd howler or three. And while the latest set of excuses are readied, those prepared to give the Corporation a clean bill of health should note that the latest YouGov poll (not some self-selecting Rotten Leftie™ poll) has brought news that trust in BBC News with the wider public has fallen to a historically low level - it has dropped below 50% of those interviewed.
In October, fully 51% of respondents trusted the Beeb, with 41% not trusting it. But by earlier this month, those in the former category had dropped sharply to 44%, with the latter climbing to 48%. With trust in print media falling yet further, one might expect the public to trust the BBC more. Instead, they are trusting it significantly less.
Not everyone will agree with Joel Benjamin’s points, or his longer analysis (read the full text HERE), but perhaps they will understand his frustration, especially given the Corporation’s inability to listen to licence fee payers, some of whom are rapidly losing faith.
Now that Bozo The Clown and his fellow Tories are planning to emasculate the BBC yet further in their search for a more pliable and ideologically pure media landscape, Lord Hall-Hall and his minions are likely to find themselves high and dry.
That is, unless they rediscover the process of listening, and admit there is a problem.
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