Sunday 13 September 2015

Another BBC bias blogger caught in the act (an updated post)

Here's another YouTube video that shows a BBC reporter going 'above and beyond' as regards the migrant crisis. [Update: or doesn't show any such thing]. (Please feel free to share.) [Actually don't bother!]

Here the BBC reporter goes out of her way to show her support [or more likely goes over to ask for an interview] for a pro-migration, pro-Palestine speaker (who brings "a flavour of Gaza" to Exeter) at a 'pro-refugee rally' in Exeter: 

The video was posted by someone who accidentally caught the BBC reporter unawares in the act of filming. The YouTube poster was clearly taken aback by [what he saw as] a BBC reporter's off-camera display of apparent strong pro-immigration (or, maybe, anti-Israel) bias:
Watch how pally the BBC Journalist is towards the speaker at the end! I thought that the BBC had to remain impartial and just report on events not endorse them.
Stumbling across that video, I wondered if the reporter in question really was a BBC reporter - as the YouTube guy seemed so certain she was. It was necessary to check. 

And, if it was, which BBC reporter?

Well, being a Northerner, it took a lot of digging around to discover that it was a BBC South West reporter for the local news programme there, Spotlight, called Leigh Rundle

With ten minutes to spare (before it vanished from the iPlayer forever) I managed to find the relevant edition of the programme and screen-grabbed the following (representative) images from it:

And for those who watched the above video, proving (once and for all) that it was Leigh Rundle, here's the speaker in question being interviewed by her on that edition of Spotlight

Suaad, incidentally. was described by Leigh, on the programme, as "a refugee from Palestine". (Suaad's also a local Labour activist).

Now, I watched Leigh's report before it vanished from the iPlayer and there was a bit in it where she said that local opinion was divided and where she showed a (fairly friendly) encounter between a pro- and an anti- local, but the vast bulk of it was given over to the protest itself - the speakers and attendees - duly publicising it, and its message.

All in all then, another telling insight (I think) into BBC reporters' thinking (and feeling) - and how they behave on and off camera,

Update: Actually, this appears to be much more a case of a blogger (me) jumping to conclusions. 

As David says in the comments, Leigh Rundle could just have been asking Suaad George for an interview - especially as, come to think of it, an interview did then happen.

I thought I'd leave the post up, however, just to show the danger of bloggers leaping to conclusions (and to keep myself in a state of appropriate embarrassment for a few days!). And if she ever reads this, also to leave it as a permanent apology to Leigh Rundle.

Update. Another un-called for intervention by Sue.

Well Craig, you may have inadvertently maligned poor Leigh Rundle who was very likely only doing her job, but as Spotlight is my regional BBC area “The news, where you are”, I might as well add that
most of the local and regional media, including BBC South West and ‘Spotlight’ is somewhat parochial, and I’d go so far as to say not particularly clued up on world affairs, let alone what’s happening politically ‘up country’.  

The fact that Exeter University has a substantial Saudi-funded Islamic studies department probably accounts for a localised  spike in ethnic diversity. 
The distinctly monocultural nature of the rest of the south west combined with the kind of left wing hippy outlook (profoundly ill-informed about Islam, anti-capitalist, and deeply anti-Zionist) means that people like Dr. Suaad Genem-George can be sure of a sympathetic hearing.

Suaad joined the Black Panther squad, affiliated to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Her belief in human rights led to prison. She was incarcerated for a total of three-and-a-half years under three separate sentences.
The Exeter Express and Echo may be dumb enough to consider the PLO a human rights organisation,
but others see it differently.

I missed the interview (I hardly ever see Spotlight) but I fail to understand how someone who had been living in Haifa until 1994 could be a refugee.


  1. Fantastic spot , Craig. Tangible evidence of what we all know to be true.

  2. I couldn't understand half of what the woman said, but I got the "Free Palestine" essence of it. Always helpfully vaguely defined, of course. But I honestly can't tell if this is a problem or not. I didn't hear anything the Beeboid said, and it looked to me as if she could have been asking for an interview. I didn't hear any praise or see any sort of gesture. What am I missing?

    I can only assume something is wrong because the episode has been pulled from the iPlayer. There's only one reason that happens.

  3. The Spotlight episode is still 'unavailable', unlike all the others. Today's episodes are already up. Something must have been up with that interview.

  4. Still 'unavailable'. Curious.

  5. Still 'unavailable'. The interview must have been problematic, so the charge of advocacy maybe not so wrong after all?


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