Saturday 7 May 2016

Big Bird Singing in the Dead of Early Evening

Of all the things about the UK election coverage yesterday, it was the social media reaction to Laura Kuenssberg that most caught my attention.

From lunchtime to early evening I learned from the BBC that the SNP had won big in Scotland again.

Their [near] triumph and Nicola Sturgeon's victory comments led the BBC One News at One and News at Six.

Both bulletins - especially the News at Six - also made much of the remarkable revival of the Scottish Conservatives under Buffalo Ruth and Labour's astonishing, absolutely humiliating third place there. [The striking (if modest) rebirth of the Lib Dems also got the briefest of mentions.]

Also in the headlines of both bulletins (and the BBC website at the time) was Jeremy Corbyn claiming that Labour had "hung on". The bulletin I watched most closely was the BBC One News at Six and, though the exact opposite of a Corbynista, I have to say that I watched Laura Kuenssberg and John Pienaar's reports and thought (especially whilst watching Laura's piece), "Oh dear! I bet the Corbynistas on Twitter are going to go completely mad about this!"...

...and the Corbynistas on Twitter did go completely mad about it. A 38 Degrees petition (of Leftists) demanding that Laura K be sacked from the BBC has rocketed up ever since. (Anti-Laura Rightists might like to join in).

And, to be honest, I really can't say I blame them (though I smiled at the thought of their discomfort throughout). Laura put on a sneering tone and was largely negative about Labour's performance here.

I was going to transcribe it to show you what I mean but the BBC iPlayer has been experiencing major difficulties over the past couple of days and that bulletin hasn't been available to re-watch.

All of this backs up an earlier exchange here at ITBB over Laura K's strange confrontation with John McDonnell which seemed unusually aggressive - and pointless  - on her part.

And - as the Corbynistas on Twitter would also point out - Laura's Twitter feed has been Labour in-fighting-obsessed (and not to Mr. Corbyn's advantage).

This isn't, of course, necessarily 'complaints from both sides'. That the far-Left, the SNP and the Right feel aggrieved at the BBC while the centre and the centre-Left don't feel aggrieved (anywhere near as much) suggests that 'both sides' might have a point and that the BBC is biased towards the 'soggy' centre-Left.


  1. Laura K hasn't hidden her soggy left beliefs. Her antipathy towards Corbyn and co is palpable. She was left looking ridiculous by John McDonnell's calm dismissal of her hysterical "revelation" about some leaked media notes, which McDonnell then announced he had probably written!

    Going with her soggy left views, she is a complete Remainiac and can't hide that either, bending all her Referendum reports to do down Leave and big up Remain points like Obama's non-impactful intervention.

    It's a great shame as in many other ways she is highly professional. But if you can't control your bias you shouldn't be working for an "impartial" broadcaster. Still at least she wil be getting "complaints from both sides" so that's OK.

    1. Laura K is establishment, so it's not surprising. As for the inevitable Complaints From Both Sides, is there anyone aside from people at B-BBC seriously complaining that the BBC is pro-Corbyn?

  2. It's funny. The SNP were supposed to practically sweep the field, but they only managed to make a marginal increase. Yet the story is framed as them winning big. Meanwhile, Labour was annihilated, not exactly unexpectedly. Who seriously thinks Labour has a reason to exist in Scotland at this point? Even with lurching and staggering much further to the Left under Corbyn, they don't offer FREEDOM, can't take a single vote from the SNP. There shouldn't be any surprise about what's happened. But since the losses weren't so terrible in England, they're trying to spin it as not so bad for Corbyn after all. London should save Labour normally, but unfortunately for Corbyn the racialist and Muslim angle will take all the energy.

  3. Regarding the leaked Labour memo on election night, was it definitely leaked to Laura K? Because the ex-Guardian's Nick Watt also "broke" the story, but didn't seem to get the heat from those claiming "Tory bias". Also, if Labour MPs are continually briefing / plotting against Corbyn, surely the likes of Laura K are going to report that he is under pressure - that in itself is not bias, in fact it would be biased if Laura was to try to cover it up


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