This afternoon's The World This Weekend was classic TWTW.
The programme, under Mark Mardell's strong and stable leadership, has established itself (at least here and at News-watch) for being among the most relentlessly biased programmes about Brexit across the entire BBC, and regular readers might recall this kind of re-cycled introduction to past posts:
I could have easily trotted that out again today. (Oh, I have done!) Yet again a long string of EU figures and pro-EU journalists/experts piled on the angst and agony for the UK over Brexit for most of the programme (about twenty minutes or so) before, in the last five minutes or so, a pro-Brexit interviewee (Kwasi Kwarteng) appeared and got interrupted by Mark Mardell - and, for good measure, got interrupted by another anti-Brexit interviewee too (Baroness Helena Kennedy), with (for good measure) the Baroness and the BBC man teaming up at one point to tell Mr Kwarteng he was wrong. Plus, Mark Mardell's tougher questions went exclusively to Kwasi Kwarteng. The whole thing seemed very far from impartial.
Of course, this wouldn't matter if The World This Weekend did other editions which balanced things out by biasing them the other way, piling on the pro-Brexit positives for about twenty minutes then giving an anti-Brexit interviewee a bit of a hard time for a few minutes. But that never happens. It always happens the same way, and that particular anti-Brexit bias happens often - and I've listened to every edition since the EU referendum was first called.
After last week's half-programme Brexit-bashing interview with Tony Blair, maybe TWTW can devote the whole of next week's edition to an equally easy-going interview with Nigel Farage to try (somehow) to begin redressing the bias. As. If.
Kwarteng is very good (haven't heard from him in ages), but he accepted a poisoned chalice on this one. He can't say anything about Theresa May possibly wanting the softest of Brexits, but then can't say anything about what he (and Brexiters) would ideally want, because that would be frowned upon by his superiors as well.ReplyDelete
The preceding segment with Mardell talking to the Irish politician and the various EU mouthpieces established the narrative that it there's no way real Brexit is possible, all of Europe is united in making sure Britain pays through the nose and will only get the best deal for the EU. So the segment with Baroness EU Kennedy and Kwarteng was all about supporting that narrative. Mardell was especially interested in making sure Kwarteng accept submission to the EU needs - paying a big divorce settlement plus continuing alimony to pay for previously agreed-upon infrastructure projects - and submission to the EUCHR. He told Kwarteng he wanted to address only the three things the EU mandarins wanted.
"Hello, guest, we're not here to hear to listen to your opinions on the issue at hand. You're here to tell me what I want to hear."