Friday 24 April 2015

Smearing UKIP

Kim Rose

At the time of writing (6.40pm, Friday night), only the BBC News website, the Daily Mirror and the Southern Daily Echo are reporting the latest 'UKIP scandal' (as revealed by a Google search).

The headlines used by the Mirror and the Daily Echo pretty much tell you what the 'story' is about:
Ukip candidate compares EU to Adolf Hitler days after being cleared of sausage roll 'bribe'
UKIP candidate under fire after comparing the EU to Adolf Hitler at Southampton hustings
Yes, UKIP's Kim Rose has broken whatever's the real-life equivalent of Godwin's Law in condemnation of the 'undemocratic EU'. 

The BBC's headline, in contrast to the above, doesn't "pretty much tell you what the 'story' is about" though. 

In fact, I think it risks seriously misleading readers into assuming it's about something very different - and far worse:
UKIP "sausage roll" candidate Kim Rose quotes Hitler
The first line of the BBC's article, written in bold type, doesn't clarify matters either and risks amplifying that possible misconception on its readers' part:
A UKIP parliamentary candidate has said he does not regret quoting from Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf at a hustings.
Only as the BBC website reader reads on does it become clear why the UKIP candidate was quoting Hitler (i.e not approvingly). 


A probably unnecessary graphic

And if you think that's bad...

Curiously, the Daily Mirror is much kinder to Mr Rose than the BBC, quoting him extensively and noting straight away that - vis a vis those sausage rolls - the police dropped any action against him:
A Ukip candidate cleared of trying to 'bribe' voters with free sausage rolls last night likened the European Union to Adolf Hitler's 'evil dictatorship'.
Kim Rose, 57, quoted the Nazi dictator's autobiography, Mein Kampf, at a hustings event as he claimed the EU runs Europe like a dictatorship.
The BBC's article, in comparison, omits much of the context and repeatedly mentions 'the sausage roll affair' without mentioning that the police refused to take action against him:
Mr Rose was previously questioned by police for providing sausage rolls at a campaign event....
Mr Rose was recently called in for police questioning over allegations he tried to influence voters by giving away sausage rolls at a party event featuring snooker star Jimmy White.
Electoral Commission rules state food and entertainment cannot be provided by candidates to "corruptly influence" votes.
The last two of those three sentences actually comprise the article's closing sentences. Again,  they seriously risk misleading BBC readers into assuming that Mr Rose is still being investigated by the police for corruption.

That's just not good enough, is it?


  1. It's a constant barrage from the BBC it would seem. I've gone from supporting their future to wishing them gone. No publicly funded organisation should show such utter contempt for balance. It has not gone un-noticed this time and it feels very much as if they're going for broke in an attempt to get Ed in to power.

    Frequently they sensationally demonise at the expense of fact, stifling debate when it's needed the most.

    I can't be the only one who feels like this, having found this site after searching the net in frustration. I wonder if the number of visits to this site has jumped since the election started in earnest.

    If the Right get in to power in May - it will be the champagne socialists at the BBC I will laugh at first.

    1. I think a lot of people must be feeling like you at the moment.

      The BBC is getting caught out on so many fronts. We've not even managed to cover some of them here - such as the apology at the end of 'Newsnight' for misusing the food banks statistics (an error compounded by the BBC News website, which also had to tack on a correction).

      Your suspicion about site visits is correct - the view count has leaped up significantly, especially over this past week.

      The BBC really isn't helping itself.

  2. That is just sheer laziness, both intellectually and professionally. They knew what they were doing and didn't care.

  3. Off topic, but on World News yesterday, the BBC described Istanbul as the capital of Turkey and no correction appeared by the end of the programme. Professional ?

    1. Today's BBC is what you get if your selection criterion for staff is not talent but 'diversity' - Evan Davis is an excellent example of this.


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