Saturday 29 September 2018

Innocent until, etc....

Not a fan of the patriarchy

Last night's Newsnight made the decision to frame the controversy over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, along with the recent testimonies of Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser Professor Christine Blasey Ford, as being about the success - or otherwise - of the #MeToo movement.

As well as interviewing Ana Maria Archila, the left-leaning activist who confronted a Republican senator in a lift yesterday, the programme interviewed three very similar-minded women (albeit with wildly different tones of voice) - Emily Birnbaum from The Hill, writer Mona Eltahawy, and author Sadie Doyle

The whole thing sounded like what I imagine a Guardian editorial meeting to sound like (with added Americans).

Accept for a couple of 'devil's advocate questions' from Emily Maitlis, Newsnight's own narrative echoed that of its four guests, for example:
But for many, there have been inescapable echoes this week of an almost identical situation 27 years ago. In 1991 Anita Hill made claims of sexual abuse at the hands of Clarence Thomas - a prospective Supreme Court judge who was nevertheless confirmed. She faced an all male, all white panel - who chose to humiliate her testimony. So that perennial question - what if anything has changed? 
And after all four guests had piled in on Judge Kavanaugh and in support of his accusers, Emily brought the section to a close by saying, in a somewhat tagged-on way:
Thank you all very much indeed. We should add that Brett Kavanaugh, of course, denies the allegations against him. We really appreciate your time here on Newsnight
Hmm, especially if Judge Kavanaugh is innocent (and he's not been found guilty of anything yet), this certainly wasn't very fair broadcasting. Would it have harmed to to have included someone who took a different view?

P.S. You'd hope the presumption of innocence was still a commonly-believed thing, but please watch today's Dateline London and see what happens when Alex Deane tries to argue for it in this case. He finds himself on his own. 


  1. I heard the Today R4 "newspaper review" yesterday morning. They led with the allegations against the US Supreme Court nominee (well of course, it's the BBC which loves lying to us about the USA) and quoted from The Guardian, Huffpost and The Independent. Of course all 3 took the, well let's summarise as, "metoo" angle.

    And Craig, whilst you are correct that "he's not been found guilty of anything yet", it's more notable that he's not even on trial in any legal sense.

    What's going on seems a very worrying trend of denunciation with untestable allegations which are amplified and used for political ends, including by the BBC.

  2. It's trial by social media and court of public opinion (led by the MSM) which Jon Ronson wrote about in his book.

    Who needs a fair process when the complainant is 'The Left' and the accused is 'The Right'.

  3. Under Sharia law, the BBC loves all things Islamic, Christine Ford would have to have four men- all Muslim, to back up her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. Failure to do so would lead to her being stoned to death for adultery.

    1. The weird thing is there is no satire in your post, Anon, just a statement of the plain facts. But our Fake News Media, the BBC in particular, refuse to address the facts.


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