Tuesday 29 May 2018


An American woman tweets a picture of herself and her two year old son.

You might think nothing of that but another woman at the Guardian regards it a malicious act (and, being a photo of a white mother and her white son, thinks it's racist too). 

Yes, seriously.

Even the Guardian's online commentariat found this very hard to swallow and have been calling the Guardian reporter out in large numbers...

...but (h/t DB) a 'Senior Reporter at BBC Stories' called Megha Mohan didn't just fail to call the Guardian writer out on that but instead chose to endorse her views by not only tweeting a link to the Guardian piece but also name-checking its writer author and quoting her too (without any distancing/balancing caveats): 

Is this the tip of a BBC iceberg?


Now I see, Googling around, that the BBC has also posted an online article about this (inevitably).

I've not read it yet so I don't know which way it will go - if it goes any way.  So this is 'live blogging'...

Clicking into it the headline is US child migrants: Ivanka's mother and child photo sparks backlash, and the piece begins:
As the daughter of one of America's most divisive presidents, Ivanka Trump is no stranger to controversy. 
But on Sunday, she sparked backlash by sharing a photo of herself holding her two-year-old son, Theodore.
i.e. the daughter of the 'divisive' president 'sparks' (i.e. causes!) a backlash. 

I think I can already guess where this is going (not so much 'slut-shaming' as 'daughter-of-Trump-shaming'!)...

Reading on...

We then get two paragraphs outlining 'the prosecution case' against Ivanka followed by two paragraphs saying that Ms Trump hasn't yet responded to the criticisms and had previously said she'd not work against the administration's policies (points that also help 'the prosecution case'). 

Then comes a section headed What prompted the current outcry? and if you expect the suggested answers might include 'anti-Trump hysteria spreading into hatred against Trump's daughter' and 'media groupthink' then think again...

...because the entire section is spent reinforcing the concerns of critics of the present US government's migration policy, especially as regards child migrants - complete with a link to a BBC video report headlined The missing - consequences of Trump's immigration crackdown (which is just the kind of report you'd expect from such a headline). The entire section is also part of 'the prosecution case'. 'The defence case' doesn't get a look-in.

What's next? Well, a section headed What are social media users saying? And, guess what? Yes, 'the prosecution case' wins out again by a large margin. The BBC reporter here gives us a 4:1 ratio of tweets against Ivanka. The one pro-Ivanka tweet is introduced by saying, "However, not everyone linked the post to the debate on immigration, with some praising its beauty."

Next comes a section headed What has the government's response been? Is this going to be the 'balancing passage'? Well, no. Within two paragraphs President Trump is getting it in the neck for "incorrectly" blaming the Democrats and a "fact check" by the Associated Press is then cited 'proving' the Trump administration to be the bad guys. And then various previous government statements are outlined before the closing image bearing the caption 'Around 700 minors have reportedly been separated from their parents by US immigration authorities' with a child's hand shown grasping a metal fence. 

The BBC has thrown so much detail at us here that it's hard to cling to the fact that there are at least two ways of seeing Ivanka's tweet of her and her son: One is to see it as a harmless photo of a mother and son; the other way is to see it as a malicious political act. 

If you support the first point of view you'll invite people to view the tweet and see it as a lovely tweet. If you support the second point of view you'll make it all about what Ivanka's critics claim it was about. 

The BBC here made it all about what Ivanka's critics claim it was about. It was a partisan piece, little better than the Guardian piece much criticised by those Guardian readers.

Did Megha Mohan write this piece? 

P.S. Katty Kay, the face of the UK in the US, is also on Ivanka's case today:

Oddly, it also seems to debunk itself. 

Please read it for yourselves and see what you think. It reads to me like a would-be carefully-hedged smear. 

The image turned out to be from four years ago, when Barack Obama was president. 

Despite being 'fake news', it trended 'bigly'.

I was hoping to read something from Mike Wendling & Co. at BBC Trending about it, who usually love a 'bigly'-trending bit of fake news. But I just somehow knew that Mike Wendling & Co. at BBC Trending, however much it was trending, would not be interested in it. And they haven't been (so far).

For goodness sake, Donald Trump - whose tweets they follow - even tweeted about it, gloatingly. And they've still managed to 'miss' it!

And I think that's easily explained: It was a clear example of 'fake news' from the anti-Trump camp, and it doesn't embarrass the people they enjoy seeing embarrassed so they choose not to report it. 

As Simon the Cat says: Simples!


  1. If you scroll to the bottom of that BBC page you will, incredible though it may seem, find a link to "Why you can trust the BBC". Does the BBC do irony?

  2. I hadn't realised until I looked her up that the Guardian writer of that piece is based in New York. Maybe that explains some of the content and attitude. It oozes such bile and bitterness based on skin colour that I'm surprised it has been published here. In the US, Mexicans count as a separate racial group, not included in white or black classifications...maybe that's why she refers to brown families, rather than Mexican. It still seems odd to me, though. Then there's the US constitutional right to freedom of speech. Here we have hate speech laws. Her diatribe is strikingly misogynistic and venomous. Malice eh! All in all, I get the impression of someone with deep-seated problems of attitude and mentality, not worthy of publication or being taken up by any broadcaster.

  3. There seems to be a kind of ethnomania spreading like St Vitus's dance through the mainstream media. Everything has to be viewed with ethnogoggles on.

    Some people are on board because they see personal advantage in the offing - more highly paid jobs coming their way. Some are on board out of fear because they see themselves losing their jobs if they don't pretend to be on board 100%. Some are on board out of guilt because they know their families' wealth can be traced back to slave owning and colony-exploiting, racist ancestors. Some are on board out of ideology because they see it as a way of advancing a left wing agenda. Some - no, many - are on board because they followed the sheep in front up the gangplank. Some are on board because they see it as useful cover for the advancement of Sharia.

    Whatever! This is extremely annoying!!

    It would be nice to have a rational debate. As far as I can see minorities are probably over-represented now in the medical profession, legal practice, accountancy, football, popular music and TV presentation. No one seems to find over-representation a problem.

  4. I wonder if Katty Kay does not identify as blonde? For professional reasons.


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