Sunday, 15 November 2015

Nick Robinson (apparently) agrees that the BBC has been 'rubbishing' Jeremy Corbyn

Moving briefly away from the heavy stuff, here's Nick Robinson in the Sunday Times, as interviewed by Lynn Barber.

(As ever, I avoid all the interesting non-bias-related stuff and go straight to my usual subject area instead).

Nick maintains his 'impartiality' throughout, so nothing new there.

His readiness to agree with Lynn Barber regarding the BBC's 'rubbishing' of Jeremy Corbyn, however, is certainly newsworthy - if Lynn is playing entirely fair (and not, as they say, merely 'projecting'):
As a BBC news presenter, Robinson is not supposed to have any party allegiance. But we know from his CV that he was a founder member of the Macclesfield Young Conservatives and president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. On the other hand, it seems to me blindingly obvious from his book that he was much fonder of Ed Miliband than of David Cameron. He sort of tut-tuts over him like a worried parent, wishing he were better at presentation, wishing he hadn’t eaten that bacon sandwich. And at one point someone offers Robinson the job of top Labour spin doctor, which they would hardly have done if they didn’t believe he was on their side?
Robinson coughs a lot and exclaims “Good question!”, which is what politicians always say when buying time. “The person who offered it to me certainly thought that I was, not necessarily on their side, but willing to help their side. But actually, quite a lot of the people who go and work for politicians aren’t necessarily on their side — I can think of at least two people in very senior jobs who really aren’t working for the right party — and no, I can’t tell you their names. So I have no idea why they approached me.”
But he says he always got on well with Miliband and had several conversations with him about how he could better get his message across. “The thing about Ed Miliband, I thought, was that he was at core much more interesting than people thought he was. And in terms of his ambition, he saw himself as an Attlee or a Thatcher — someone who would change the rules of the game, not just go along with it. Yet somehow he was scared to properly articulate that. I did a couple of interviews in which I invited him to say things I knew he thought privately, but he shied away from saying them. I found it frustrating, because it would have made for a much more interesting interview.”
Was Robinson as shocked as I was by the way the BBC (and other media) rubbished Jeremy Corbyn? [see his replacement as BBC political editor, Laura Kuenssberg]. They couldn’t seem to get over the fact that he didn’t always wear a suit. “Yes. Oddly, although I was off work, I did drop a note to a few people after his first weekend saying this is really interesting and we owe it to the audience to sound as if we’re interested. What makes Corbyn so intriguing — and hard to report on — is that he’s jettisoned all the old rules, all the laws of political gravity. These assumptions, for example, that you can’t possibly be elected if you reject nuclear weapons, have been around since I was 18, but maybe things are not that frozen. You can find certain retired generals and admirals who are sceptical about spending money on Trident. Even though I was off work, I was so frustrated that I couldn’t cover Corbyn’s election, I took myself off to a Corbyn rally. My wife thought I was very sad, but I thought, I’ve got to go and see this for myself!”

1 comment:

  1. New job, same bias. Nick Robinson's first instinct is always to defend politicians against too much personal criticism. It doesn't matter which party they belong to. Recall his foolishness during the height of the expenses scandal. He couldn't shut up about how MPs were walking around hanging their heads, feeling sad and depressed about how the public suddenly hated them and they had no idea what to do, poor lambs.