Saturday, 21 January 2017

Other reading

The BBC's Trump coverage this week reached an absolute crescendo of bias and other related blogs have posted such fine, details, excoriating critiques of this astonishing outpouring of overwhelmingly one-sided bile.

Not a John Sweeney fan

Over at The Conservative Woman David Keighley wrote that last Monday's Panorama -Trump: The Kremlin Candidate? marked the final "descent to the pits" of that once-proud BBC flapship, reducing it to scaremongering and further disseminating fake news:
So bad was this malicious offering that it does not deserve to be even remotely classed as journalism. It was a party political broadcast on behalf of the discredit-Trump-at-any-price party.
This week's Newswatch included another criticism of the programme, from viewer Ian Shaw, which also deserves quoting:

John Sweeney does an excellent job of irritating people, and does very little reporting whatsoever, managing to have two of his interviewees leave the set and refuse to continue in anger. It was genuinely uncomfortable to watch him ask questions in an undeniably accusatory way. Moreover, when they do leave or argue back, the show cuts to John Sweeney explaining that these people don't take criticism. Well, this is childish, absolutely galling. 
Then there was Harry Phibbs at Heat Street on why the BBC's Trump coverage in general has been a "disgrace". 

To summarise: Before the election the BBC were confident Trump would lose and Hillary win. They assumed Trump's support was largely confined to angry, white, older men. They didn't dwell on the danger for Hillary of calling such people "a basket of deplorables"; nor spend any great amount of time on examining why Hillary was unpopular. Too many BBC reporters were "fans" of Hillary. 

Used in John Sweeney's Panorama

Why did Trump get 29% of the Latino vote? Why did he get 42% of the female vote? Why did more African-Americans vote for him than Mitt Romney? The BBC was at a loss to explain any of those. Why have they ignored the fact that 43% of college graduates voted for Trump? 
Any false claims by Trump will be given great attention – even a typo in one of his tweets. Yet when he is the victim of fake news, the BBC is desperate to give the claims as much credence as possible. It aches to believe them, notably, of course, with regards to the dossier claiming that Russian intelligence operatives have compromising information on him which fell to pieces when the details were examined. 
There will also by a willingness by the pundits to predict disaster – some of the claims from election night have already proved wrong. For instance that the Republican Party would fall apart, or that news of his election would spark a crash in the Dow Jones Index. 
Even the BBC World Service – which traditionally took great care to be balanced – has been unrestrained in its message of contempt for the President-elect.
Alan at Biased BBC also gave the BBC's coverage a thorough going-over, noting the sheer range and extent of the BBC's Trump bashing in the days leading up to the inauguration, for 5Live to the BBC website, from Radio 4 to BBC TV. Alan calls it a "torrent of abuse, contemptuous mockery and sanctimonious lies".

I agree with them all.

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