And so it came to pass, with Paul Waugh of the HuffPost (see the full report HERE) telling “This would be timed across school half-term to minimise disruption to pupils. Plan would mean: non essential offices closed, households not allowed to mix, all pubs, bars and restaurants closed but with compensation, UK Parliament moving to remote working”.
At times like this, straight reporting is essential, especially from online and broadcast sources. This thought, though, appears not to have entered for BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, who swiftly waded in with “Senior govt source responds to Starmer - 'Keir Starmer is a shameless opportunist playing political games in the middle of a global pandemic. He says he wants a national lockdown but he’s refusing to vote for targeted restrictions in areas that need them most.’” Slow handclap.
Chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings and his pals are more than capable of doing their own self-promotion, thanks. David Allen Green broke the news to her gently: “Repeating a political attack on the opposition from an unnamed source is not journalism. This is just an extension of the government comms operation. Shameful stuff”.
Sadly, the appetite to spin for the Polecat has also infected Beth Rigby of Sky News, along with the more predictably compliant Tom Newton Dunn, non-bullying Times Radio pundit, and his successor at the Murdoch Sun, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole. This was swiftly noted by Ross McCafferty, who mused “Cummings' group texts working then”.
The Client Journalism Expert was also on the case: “‘Senior govt source’ - The BBC Political Editor indulging in client journalism to get the Government line out again”. Meanwhile, Andrew Bartlett observed that Ms Kuenssberg’s propensity to client journalism (not to mention taking dictation and rank stenography) was becoming ever more obvious.
“2019 … The Left: Kuenssberg is a client journalist for the Tory government … Centrists: Boo! Hiss! How ‘Trumpian’! This is bullying. This proves you're authoritarian dangers … 2020 … Centrists: I've just noticed that Kuenssberg is a client journalist for the Tory government”. He later added “If you say LK *isn't* a client journalist for the Tory government, well <shrugs> fair enough … If you are now saying that LK is one, but that she somehow only became one after December 2019, well <disappointed head shake>”.
Every time Ms Kuenssberg veers erratically across the partiality median, the excuses are made, as they were when she took dictation from Matthew Elliott over Vote Leave lawbreaking, and getting a shadow minister to resign “live” on the Daily Politics. But it is now screamingly obvious that those excuses are wearing very thin indeed.
We know what the Polecat thinks, thanks. Now get out there and do some journalism.
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