Saturday, 21 January 2017

#nosheshouldnt (update)

Just an update on this post from a couple of days ago...

Alice has now deleted her tearful Twitter tribute to Barack 'What a guy!' Obama. She's clearly taken DB's point and realised just how clearly such tweets compromise her 'BBC impartiality'. 


  1. The BBC will probably bring in a workplace course for their cub reporters: "Hiding Your Bias".

    Rules (as witnessed by older hands):

    1. Ask a question, never make a statement yourself. "Is Trump now officially agreed to be a dangerous, totalitarian sociopath?" is much better than "I hate Trump."

    2. Retweet extensively. No one can blame you for finding interesting a quote from the Chair of the Vermont Democrats Anti-Trump Coalition when she says
    "Trump's racism is worse than that of the KKK."

    3. When retweeting, a further protection is to offer a wry or slightly humourous comment e.g. for 2 above, you might observe "Trump not popular with everyone, it seems..." This suggests a kind of good natured worldy wise detachment, whereas in reality you get your point across very firmly.

    4. They can't nix pics! A photo is the perfect way to get your message across. It's not you who wrote the poster saying "Brexit will bring war" in the photo of that demo and the photo is not biased - there really was such a demo and such a photo.

    5. Every tenth tweet or so, throw in some weak bit of "balance". If the issue is Brexit, throw in something like "Gove optimistic on Brexit"...but if possible, you can probably get it to confirm your overall position e.g. couple it with a photo of Trump and Gove together.

    6. Academic studies offer very good cover. If you can find something from the Slovenian Academy of Sciences that says Brexit will lead to a new Dark Age, then quote that rather than giving your own opinion. Academics are especially good for expressing very extreme opinion e.g. if you want to say "old people should be prevented from voting in referendums" then don't express it yourself, find an academic who has said it. Remember there are about 6 million academic researchers around the world. It is a safe bet that there will be at least one who has already voiced the opinion you wish to air.

    7. Keep an eye on who you are retweeting. Rosie O'Donnell used to be very retweetable but since she went super-loopy and called for martial law in the USA to stop Trump becoming President the BBC has stopped using her. So always google to see whether the person has been used recently by BBC. If they have you know they are safe to use. Top people on the BBC list: Lily Allen, Barack Obama, Bob Geldof, Jesse Jackson,Joanna Lumley, Carl Bildt, Gary Lineker, Angela Merkel.

    1. Have you by any chance seen an advanced copy?

      Your seven guidelines are quite uncanny. There are plenty of BBC Twitter feeds that already seem to be following most if not all of them to the letter - though they tend to be a bit slapdash when it comes to applying Rule 5.

  2. 8. If there is a torrent of criticism about impartiality on any particular article, contact a friend in one of the progressive groups like HNH or a Marxist-Leninist group to make a complaint. That way you can claim honestly that you have received accusations of bias from both sides.