Sunday 19 March 2017

Not a lead story

(h/t DB)

There's been a bit of breaking Trump news within the past hour or so - news about Trump and Russia. The House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes has told Fox News that he's seen "no evidence of collusion" between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia

Given the prominence the BBC has given to this story, and the heavy attention paid to it by BBC reporters like John Sweeney to Paul Wood, you might have thought that the latest twist in the story would have immediately appeared (as previous twists have done) near the top of the BBC News website's home page as a lead story. 

Curiously, however, the BBC's article about this - and, yes, there is one - isn't on the BBC's home page. It's only appeared (less than an hour ago) on the website's World page as the seventh-ranked story (beneath Bangladesh v Sri Lanka in the 100th test). 

The BBC's report is very scanty regarding what Rep. Nunes actually said. This is its summary of his words in its entirety: 
There is no evidence so far that President Donald Trump's campaign team colluded with Russia during the 2016 US election, a top lawmaker says. 
Devin Nunes, head of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, made the remark on Fox News. 
Mr Nunes, a Republican, said the leaking of Mr Flynn's name was the only crime "that we know that's been committed". 
Mr Nunes also told Fox News on Sunday that a review of justice department documents provided on Friday indicated there was no such wiretap.
What The Hill's account gives us that the BBC doesn't give us is the substance of Rep, Nunes's remarks, complete with plenty of quotes.

On the question of collusion between the Trump team and Russia he replied:
I'll give you a very simple answer: 'No'. Up to speed on everything I have up to this morning. No evidence of collusion.
On the question of whether he thinks elements inside the intelligence community or the FBI have been leaking information to undermine the Trump presidency, he replied:
It's pretty clear that that's happening. There's even been stories written about it in numerous newspapers talking about how they said they left breadcrumbs around to hurt the Trump administration.
On the question of whether he still thinks they are leaking information he said he doesn't "think so anymore":
I think it was largely people maybe who were there, had classified information, who are now no longer there and decided to leak it. Clearly to leak Michael Flynn's name talking to the Russian ambassador, that was clearly designed to hurt Gen. Flynn and the president's national security adviser.
I would have thought that reporting what Devin Nunes actually said would have helped BBC website readers to understand this story - especially given how dramatic what he says is. As it is, the BBC's account was barely worth publishing, given how little it actually tells BBC website readers.

What's the betting though that if Rep. Nunes have said something about him thinking there is evidence of collusion that he'd have been quoted at much greater length and the story would presently be leading the BBC News website?


  1. Rep. Nunes is a Republican, so it's filed under "Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?" Not worthy of much attention for partisan Beeboids.

  2. Maybe the Republicans can woo Thandie Newton?


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