Saturday 28 April 2018


As I've not been able to blog much recently, I'm having to confine myself to short surveys at the moment and, as a result, suddenly remembered one of Charles Moore's two questions for testing bias, "Who is in the dock?"

("In almost all major stories, you can tell very quickly who this is.")

I then thought I'd apply it to this week's editions of Newsnight and see what happened.

Well, for what it's worth.....

....and it may be very little as some segments - such as the Macron/Trump visit, and the various Korea bits - didn't actually put anyone in the dock {you may be surprised to hear!} so can't actually be included.... list reads as follows:

Amber Rudd
A Maoist cult

Amber Rudd
Bill Cosby and other male stars
Viktor Orban 

Amber Rudd
Bullying MPs (very briefly)
Incel/alt-right supporters

Jeremy Corbyn
Putin's Russia, 'pro-Russian internet trolls'
(Possibly Alastair Campbell for the Iraq War dodgy dossier)
Rev. Giles Fraser (for allegedly giving the Assad regime cover by visiting Christians in Syria)

Amber Rudd
The Government's Brexit policy 
(Possibly Donald Trump, over the issue of more women trying to enter US Politics)

If we're looking for patterns here, the fact that Amber Rudd's awful week wasn't made any better by Newsnight stands out for starters! Windrush was a main story on four out of five editions. (That's an easy one). 

The 'bad guys' of the internet - people who post in apparent sympathy to the viewpoints of Putin's Russia or Assad's Syria (for whatever reason - individual or state-sponsored), or who join woman-hating websites linked (it's said) to the alt-right - were another focus. (Newsnight has been focusing on such people for some time now, as old surveys on this site show).

The abuse of women by men (in various forms) got two outings this week (thanks to MPs and Bill Cosby). 

The three foreign governments in the dock this week were those of Hungary, Russia and Syria. 

(Those of the US, France and North and South Korea were discussed but not placed in the dock).

Jeremy Corbyn had a bad night on Tuesday over antisemitism (Jonathan Arkush being the only interviewee). And a Maoist cult was made the focus of a worthwhile report on Friday. So the further ends of the Left (of various shades) certainly didn't get off scot-free. 

If you can see any other patterns here (or don't see the patterns I've seen), please have your say below...

1 comment:

  1. I commented elsewhere there was a pattern to Thursday's Viktor Orban piece (Alan Little) in that it was virtually a carbon copy of a Channel 4 News piece (Matt Frei) that went out earlier the same night. It made the same points, interviewed the same organisation and also defended Soros in the same way. Neither piece as I recall underlined just how stunning was Orban latest election victory and neither piece in my opinion fairly reflected the migration issue fairly (both seeking to suggest, in line with the old elephant powder joke, that the absence of migrants was a sign there was no problem). Merkel got off scot-free I seem to recall as well.

    How odd they both seek to delegitimise Orban's democratically elected government (elected with over 50% of the popular vote) at the same moment. It was almost as if a panel of advisors had sat down, scratched their heads and asked "How are we going to deal with this annoying problem of the populist win in Hungary?"...and had come up with a set of answers: delegitimise the win, raise the spectre of resurgent fascism and encourage the EU to sanction Hungary.


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