Saturday 20 February 2016

Martine is innocent - says BBC

You may recall this post from a week and a half ago:

Opinions R Us

BBC News 24 couple of nights ago: Vacant-looking Martine Croxall reviewing the papers with 2 achingly left-wing commentators. Comes to the story about the ECJ forbidding the UK from deporting Abu Hamza’s daughter-in-law for terrorist activities due to her ‘right to a family life’.  Martine opines: “That’s why we need the ECJ, to tell us what do do in cases like this”. Her two comrades nod sagely. FFS!
I have to confess that I thought the commenter must have misheard because Martine Croxall isn't stupid enough to say something quite as biased as that. So I watched it myself, as you can do from 10:12 here (for a while). 

The conversation went on much as Chilli at Biased BBC described, with Martine chucking in the odd comment, such as "It comes down to that idea that you can pick and choose who you allow to have human rights. And I don't think the law allows that", until, replying to what James Millar of The Sunday Post had said about the European Court of Justice, Martine said (beginning at 12:17):
Well, that's why we have it, isn't it? To tell us what we should be doing in this country, to keep...checks and balances so that everyone has the laws applied to them. 
And then, with her guests nodding their agreement, she moved straight on to the next story, in the Guardian.

So, yes, BBC News Channel presenter Martine Croxall really did give us her opinion in favour of the ECJ on Friday night's BBC News Channel. 

Wonder how the BBC Complaints Department will explain this one?

Well, here is how the BBC Complaints Department explained it:

Many thanks for getting in touch regarding The Papers, broadcast 5 February.
We reviewed the programme and Martine was explaining in a factual way the purpose of the European Court of Justice, summarising its relevance to the story and how it had been covered by the Press. We've done a similar thing here in the video part of our iWonder guide, outlining the remit of various EU institutions:

It's also mirrored by the factual way the CJEU explains its role as 'Ensuring EU law is interpreted and applied the same in every EU country; ensuring countries and EU institutions abide by EU law':

(Please note the BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.)
The Papers does invite opinions and occasionally the presenter will challenge and probe the discussion, but in this case the closing remark was simply setting the institution in context. Explaining the basics of the Court's role was not an attempt to create a sense of bias for or against the EU in general.
I hope this addresses your concerns. We value all feedback we receive and your concerns have been sent across to the programme and to senior management.
Thanks again for getting in touch.
Kind regards
BBC Complaints

You too can 'review the programme'. The moment in question remains at 12:17 here

Was Martine merely making a factual statement? Or was she stating an opinion by saying of the European Court of Justice, "Well, that's why we have it, isn't it? To tell us what we should be doing in this country..."?


  1. That's moronic. Either the person who wrote this is dimwitted or they're just sneering at the complainer. That the Court and its power over British law exist is a fact. Condoning it is opinion. It's a good argument for Brexit, but don't tell the BBC that.

  2. It's like, oh, I don't know... that BBC Complaints really are only configured to say they get it about right and know, deep down, there's nothing anyone outside the BBC can do to say different or change things.


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