Saturday 24 May 2014

"A worrying sign"

If you want to hear the BBC projecting bien pensant thought at its clearest, then Gavin Esler's Dateline London remains one of the best places to go.

Thus it was that the first issue up for discussion - UKIP's electoral successes and, more widely, the European elections - began with the Economist's Edward Lucas (a self-declared "a pro-European") downplaying UKIP's success, describing their tactics as "deplorable", regretting "this mood of national introspection and resentfulness", and advancing several pro-EU points for good measure. 

Then came BBC World Service journalist Irena Taranyuk who was just as downbeat about UKIP:
As far as the European elections are concerned we can safely claim that UKIP will do probably better according to all forecasts.
It is a worrying sign because of what Nigel Farage said about Putin, about immigrants, about Romanians rather unguardedly.
She was was as opinionated about her hopes and fears about the result of the EU elections as a whole, noting that the European parliament is likely to be "more to the right" after Thursday/Sunday's vote and that "mainstream European parties will lose ground." 
But let's hope that the European voice will be strong in Ukraine and in Russia because, even though they will lose ground, they'll still be pretty strong as a force to stop Russia from further expansionism.
Don't you just love it when BBC journalists express their "hope" that mainstream, pro-European parties will still be strong after these elections? It's BBC impartiality at it's best /sarc

Thomas Kielinger of Die Welt talked of "the far-right fringes", though whether he was including UKIP in that epithet is open to question. 

Stephanie Baker of Bloomberg stressed the importance of the European parliament and complained that "no one really drove home the point with Farage during this election campaign that UKIP has the worst voter participation rate of any European party at the European parliament with more than 3 seats. Farage has, like, the 10th worst attendance record". 

Edward Lucas conceded that Nigel Farage is filling a need resulting from the disconnect between voters and the established parties but that it doesn't have the answers, "Indeed, his answers are horrible." 

At least Gavin Esler tried to put a few counter points. I'll give him that.

Then it was onto Ukraine, Putin and Prince Charles, and Irena Taranyuk sounded off about "thugs" and terrorists" - yes, the t-word from a BBC World Service journalist! - in Eastern Ukraine, and described Vladimir Putin as having "a very dangerous world vision".

At least the debate got livelier at this point and broke free from the programme's tendency towards consensus with Edward Lucas and Thomas Kielinger getting into a passionate (and interesting) argument on the subject. 

I am intrigued though about the opinionated nature of some of Irena Taranyuk's contributions here. 

Everywhere she's described as being a BBC journalist, not a freelance journalist. She even describes herself on Twitter as being a "BBC WS journalist".  

So why is she telling us that Nigel Farage's success is "worrying", or saying "Let's hope" with regards to the parliamentary strength of mainstream pro-European parties in the EU, or describing Putin's outlook as "very dangerous"? Is she allowed to be biased?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.