Saturday 5 September 2015


Talking about unprofessional behaviour from BBC presenters...

For any of you haven't seen the BBC News Channel's usually mild-mannered Simon McCoy go wildly OTT yesterday with UKIP's Douglas Carswell, well, here it is (the main outburst/rant begins around 8:05):

Simon McCoy (interrupting): And there should be a limit on that number or not? 
Douglas Carswell: Parliament should decide on that number. There will be some people like Yvette Cooper...she's opened the bidding at 10,000...un.... 
Simon McCoy (interrupting): Did you really say that? 
Douglas Carswell: Sorry? 
Simon McCoy: Did you really use the phrase "open the bidding"? I mean, I...This is the problem with this. The language surrounding this is so emotive and careless words upset people. People on Twitter... 
Douglas Carswell (interrupting): I'm not sure in a parliamentary democracy where the House of Commons will decide the figure annually, which is what I'm advocating, you should take umbrage with me talking about somebody "opening the bidding". I'm very comfortable with the use of that language and I think you taking umbrage perhaps reflect more on you than it does on the crisis... 
Simon McCoy (interrupting): Well I would rather hope so, because I think the idea of bidding for the number of people fleeing the country for their lives I find abhorrent! I'm surprised you don't!


  1. Placing the focus on the human traffickers is a very smart move. Carswell's argument gets a little muddled beyond that, but at least he's figured out a useful approach. Although, even trying to guess numbers is foolish. It would be better to say that if they allowed only real, serious asylum-seekers, the numbers wouldn't be all that great, and nobody would mind. Instead, he gave McCoy a huge opening for his "You don't care" attack.

    "Where's the humanity?"

    Narrative? What Narrative? They must notice how often they use that word. Media professionals must notice how they all sound like parrots. It's going to lose its currency if they keep it up. But they don't care, because, as Mark Easton has explained, influencing public opinion is their job.

    "My problem is..."

    Clear advocacy of a position. It's one thing to express sympathy for dead children - a bias charge would be dismissed out of hand on that one - but it's quite another to advocate for certain policies and explicitly against something his guest is saying.

  2. Outrageous bias. About the worst I've seen since Evan Davis' absurd "Paddington Bear" interview.


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