Saturday 12 November 2016

Bias, bias everywhere. And not a drop of impartiality to drink.

Flag of Liberland

Today's From Our Own Correspondent began with a piece from Ireland by playwright Vincent Woods on how: 
...the political temperature has changed in Ireland as a result of Britain's Brexit vote and Donald Trump's Brexit Plus. In a country slowly recovering from its Celtic tiger mauling the potential consequences of Brexit come in a count of hard minuses and the potential fallout from a Trump presidency may add to our woes...
...thus combining negativity about Brexit with negativity about Trump (a double whammy).

Then the BBC reporter I suspected might actually have been crying with dejection at Trump's victory during BBC One's election night coverage, Katy Watson, told us about post-Trump "dejection" in Mexico. ('No me gusta'' might sum up the mood there). She sounded perkier today, bless her, but her tale certainly wasn't a cheery one and she let us into a secret (albeit a secret that wasn't hard to guess a few night's ago on BBC One):
As a journalist my job is to be impartial but it is impossible not to feel for my friends here. 
She certainly showed her feelings on Tuesday night. This morning, in contrast, she gave the Donald a thoroughgoing 'fisking' for his false impressions of Mexico, calling some of his comments "laughable". Courtesy of a friend (one degree of separation) she even got to name check "bigotry, racism, xenophobia and nativism" and connect them to Mr Trump and his supporters.

Hearing all of which (plus having seen her as the US election results were coming in), I don't think it's at all unfair to say that "impartial" BBC journalist Katy really doesn't like the US president-elect.


After a piece on Somalia's "negotiated democracy" from Alastair Leithead full of classic FOOC alliteration and assonance (within just ten seconds I noted "complex clan conflicts", "mixed militia", "war tore" and "state structures crumbled"), came a piece on libertarianism in the Balkans (the would-be Free Republic of Liberland - "a gun-toting libertarian utopia", in Jolyon Jenkins's words - between Croatia and Serbia), provoked by the libertarian candidate in the US election (about whom Kate Adie was duly mocking in her introduction).

And, to end, there came a piece by our old (pro-EU) friend Anand Menon "tracking again across a pro-Brexit Europe" [as the programme's website puts it], "doing it again across borderless Europe, tasting the food and experiencing unity as well as division" [as Kate Adie put it, before being sarcastic about Donald Trump].

Our [anti-Brexit] Anand was tasked by FOOC to tell us how we in the UK are viewed by "other this delicate moment". He's still "amazed" at the EU's lack of borders - and he meant it in a good way, finding it wonderful. He used to love travelling across Europe by brain. They love English, "my mother tongue". But there's diversity too - good for food, back for politics. "The Brexit threat" in the Netherlands is that it might strengthen "populist firebrand Geert Wilders", for example. A Czech journalist "in perfect English" was angry about "how some Czech in England have been mistreated since the referendum". Can we capitalise on EU divisions and carve a great future from the EU? asked Anand. Guess what his answer was: No. "Sadly" not. Though they regret our leaving and love us, they are united against us over Brexit and will make us pay. Woe for us! "And isn't it just typical that, just as we're on our way out, the EU is discussing giving free Interrail passes to all its citizens from the age of their eighteenth birthday", he ended. Woe, woe for us for leaving the EU!

It really is amazing just how much bias From Our Own Correspondent manages to cram into half an hour. 

1 comment:

  1. It's always interesting that other people's opinion should influence yours: when it's a BBC-approved opinion. It's juvenile peer pressure. Who thinks this is good journalism?


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