The plethora of variously right-leaning pundits who worm their way into TV studios seemingly knows no bounds, as yet another example of their stuffing panel discussions has emerged. And, as so often in the past, it is the BBC which has allowed itself to be gamed by them, suggesting their media bookers need to revisit their research.
Claire Fox - not left-wing ...
... and nor is anyone else from this outfit
What appears to confuse the Beeb’s people is the people from Spiked, so called because it should have been long ago. Because many of those associated with the publication began their political journey with a group called the Revolutionary Communist Party, they are assumed to be on the left. They are not, and to suggest they are is fraudulent.
The RCP adopted a right-libertarian stance in the early 1990s; its adherents have been out there on the right ever since. Three of them stood as candidates for the Brexit Party in last year’s elections to the European Parliament. It was with this in mind that Mitch Mitchell observed “Tonight's ‘Any Questions’ on Radio 4 is bound to be fair and balanced (ha ha….Ed). The panel is Andrea Leadson, Tory MP, Liam Halligan, economist [!] who writes for the Sunday Torygraph, Wes ‘Effing' Streeting, and bloody Claire Fox
So three right-wingers and one from the centre-left. Peter Jukes had seen this before. “BBC gamed again. Halligan was Cummings flat mate in Russia, meanwhile he is ‘balanced’ by [Claire Fox] of the Brexit Party and that well known left wing group of Spiked Online out of which comes Boris Johnson’s Head of Policy and Brendan O’Neill
”, adding “The group think is Spiked Online and its adherents, who run the Number 10 policy unit and swamp TV debates for such a tiny group
”. Chris Mason responded for the Beeb.
“Peter, you have no evidence of the BBC being ‘gamed’ - because it hasn’t been. We strive over time for as broad a range of voices as we can; politically&geographically. Here’s a guarantee: there’ll always be opinions you disagree with. That’s the whole point
Jukes remained unimpressed. “Since you’ve said this again, I’ll have to repeat. Having Claire Fox on as someone representing the left is either inane, poorly researched, or something worse. She was a Farage MEP. Spiked Online took far right US money [Koch Foundation] and provides No 10’s Policy Chief [Munira Mirza]
Mason seemed affronted. “Peter, I never said Claire was representing the left. So far this evening you’ve made an accusation you can provide no evidence for, quoted me saying saying something I didn’t say and now this
”. Jukes put him straight. “You’re falling on a sword made of straw. I’m saying Any Questions appeared to bill her as coming from the left (when she doesn’t) which is the whole origin of this conversation
Meanwhile, Ali Naqvi added a coda: “Having someone who is associated with Srebrenica denial on the anniversary of Srebrenica is something you should really think about … She's been on every BBC platform the BBC can provide for her, but the whole AWL’s [later corrected to RCP] Srebrenica problem is never talked about. Largest post WW2 we crime on European soil never talked about
”. Another BBC Spiked blind spot.
Mason fought his corner bravely. But the fact remains that too little research is done on pundits, and too much reliance placed on a small number of them, many of whom take a deeply conservative line. The result? Jukes was right - the BBC was gamed. Again
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Mason is right: the BBC do broadcast "as broad a range of voices as we can". It's just that - as in the broadcast referred to in the article - the range to which they are restricted is far-right, far-right, centre-right and lunatic-fringe libertarian-right. Why are the representatives of Spiked never balanced by someone of a similarly extreme position on the left? Have all the members of the Red Army Faction passed away or something?
One gormless, supercilious gobshite , that mason. Couldn't tell his arse from YOUR elbow, nevermind his own.
If a nazi petted a kitten would THAT make them a communist, chris?
Don't even think they've been gamed - they know exactly who they're putting on. Think of all the times the Taxpayer's Alliance has commented on public sector spending stories and not once has the BBC been remotely concerned that they're a right-wing astroturf group.
If the BBC was that naive and didn't check their guest's background (or conversely were as leftist as the right pretends) then you'd be seeing the Chapo Trap house guys discussing American politics on Newsnight or lefty nerd HBomberguy popping up on Question Time.
Similarly do you see many proper scientists on politics programmes discussing technical topics? Muppet political hacks talking about Covid or global warming, sure, but very rarely do we see actual specialists.
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