Sunday 4 February 2018

Mark Mardell is back

You know that thing where I keeping on saying that every time Mark Mardell does a Brexit-focused The World This Weekend it's always turns out to be heavily biased against Brexit? Well, today's edition was no exception.

This was today's introduction - as typically negative about Brexit in its framing as ever:
Welcome to The World this Weekend. This is Mark Mardell. The Home Secretary says she has a surprise for Brexiteers: the Cabinet is more united than they think. But if they can agree and get a deal, what then? We talk to Chukka Umumna who is heading a campaign arguing we all deserve a say. And a medicine based on cannabis which could make a big difference to people suffering from a rare disease.  
Teresa: "My life just revolves around Nancy. I don't know when she's going to have the seizure. She's been in hospital. She's had a fractured eye socket. Id love her to be seizure-free". 
But will access to new drugs be put at risk when we leave the EU?
The first item was an interview was with strongly anti-Brexit Labour MP Chuka Umunna about his call for us to hold another EU referendum...

...and this was followed by a somewhat scare-mongering report about the Brexit implications for medicine licensing after we leave the European Medicines Agency, raising the possibility that the mother featured in the introduction might not get future drugs for her daughter as quickly because of Brexit.

The segment ended with an interview with Sir Michael Rawlins, chair of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, where Mark pursued that point about the mother and daughter again. He seemed a little taken aback that Sir Michael had become less gloomy about Brexit": "You didn't have every confidence before the vote", he said. "You said you hoped and prayed we wouldn't leave the EU. You said you didn't know how you'd be able to cope with the new burdens and the loss of income after Brexit." Sir Michael now thinks he's going to be able to cope after all.

Both Sir Michael and the boss of the pharmaceutical company were keeping admirably calm. (Mark used the word "sanguine" to describe the latter).

Not one speaker in this entire segment appeared to be a Leaver.

Typical The World this Weekend. 


  1. Yes, it was a textbook TW2. I particularly liked Mardell's bias innovation in his interview with Chukka. The novel technique is to play it like a game of two halves. In the first half (the most important half, first impressions and all that) you let the interviewee kick the ball about at will and score as many goals as they like. In the second half you (the interviewer) suddenly start tackling - albeit half heartedly and ineffectually - at every opportunity, with a lot of huffing and puffing to suggest effort where there is none. I predict the young uns will soon be following Wise Ol' Owl's cunning game plan in future interviews on Brexit.

    As usual there was the absurd, wrong, Fake News claim that Norway, though outside the EU is a member of the single market. Mardell allowed him to get away with that false claim unimpeded. Norway is a member of the European Economic Area, by virtue of its EFTA membership, in the same way we are by virtue of EU membership. But the EEA is not the Single Market.

  2. Does MM have an editor in the Burley mould, fending off questions about only hauling in one kind of guest to agree with him?

  3. Whenever MM is mentioned I always think of this report about him

    Licence-fee payers have been left to foot a £4,500 bill for damage to a Brussels house rented by BBC foreign correspondent Mark Mardell.

    The Corporation has agreed to pay for scuffed floors, broken fixtures and the eradication of a ‘peculiar smell’ – thought to have been caused by his family pets, which include a pair of rats.

    Mr Mardell left the £3,000-a-month rental property last month to take up a new posting in America, but his landlady has been forced to spend thousands on repairs following his three-and-a-half-year tenancy.

    Licence-payers foot the bill for damage to BBC correspondent Mr Mardell's home
    Licence-payers foot the bill for damage to BBC correspondent Mr Mardell's home
    The Mail on Sunday was invited inside the property, where workmen are currently mending skirting boards and parquet flooring, and repainting sections of wall.

    Work began after former Europe Editor Mr Mardell moved out last month to take up his new role as the Corporation’s US Editor in Washington.

    Landlady Gaelle Trentesaux said: ‘I’m aware that Mr Mardell is a famous journalist, and am sorry this has happened. I have sent the BBC the bill for damages.’ She is also missing out on rental income while the work is carried out.

    A source said: ‘Fixtures and fittings were left broken, and floors and ceilings were damaged along with the architect-designed staircase.

    Bad News: Mr Mardell's family are said to have damaged this Brussels home
    Bad News: Mr Mardell's family are said to have damaged this Brussels home
    'There were food and wine stains everywhere. There was also a peculiar smell from animals which were kept by the family, and this has been particularly difficult to get rid of.’

    In his blog, Mr Mardell has admitted that one of his three teenage children has ‘a couple of rats’, while family pets have also included rabbits and cats.

  4. I didn't listen to the programme, but I did here a trailer for it whilst out in the car. That alone annoyed me enough to post the following on Going Postal:

    I've just heard BBC's Mark Mardell say the following in a trailer for his programme The World This Weekend shortly:

    "Following Brexit will the way we regulate drugs change (slight pause) for the worse?"

    Just a small thing, but so telling, and so annoying.

    It doesn't even make sense. It's like informing two people sat at a table in a restaurant that the first must have the salmon, and the second can choose anything from the menu, and the second person moaning because he might choose something worse than the salmon.

    So if it doesn't even make sense, why say it at all? Why didn't he just say "today we examine the choices available to us in regulating drugs following Brexit?" Because they can't help themselves, everything to do with Brexit has to have some negative spin to it.


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