Sunday 16 September 2018

Reality-checking the new editor of 'The Andrew Marr Show'

My Twitter feed this morning contained a lot of people speculating on whether Andrew Marr would question Sadiq Khan on his record as Mayor of London, especially over knife crime, or whether he'd let Mr Khan 'remoan' throughout the entire interview.

So I got out my trusty stopwatch and found that eight and a half minutes were given over to the second Brexit referendum question and under a minute to Mr Khan's record as Mayor. 

And these were Andrew's not-so-sharp questions on Sadiq's record:

  • Is this a distraction from your own record as mayor? Because you have been under a huge amount of attack on knife crime, housing and transport, and much else as well. 
  • You're under huge attack, under attack including from London's main paper, The Evening Standard, which ran the Khan Files. You can see the front page. They've been doing this day after day. Are you concerned that this is starting to cut home with London voters?

Yes, that was it.

Is that true? Well, there have been three previous interviews with Sadiq Khan during his time as Mayor of London:

If you look at the linked transcripts, you'll see that the last one - in July this year - devoted less than one-fifth of the interview to Sadiq's record on violent crime (including knife crime), splitting the rest of time between Trump and Brexit, while the one in November last year gave over about three-quarters of the interview to his record on transport and housing. (The one in May 2016 was just after he was elected, so can't really be considered in this respect). 

So, as you can see, John Neal was correct to say that the Mayor's record has been discussed before but he's considerably overstating his case when he claims "we have done previous interviews with the Mayor that concentrated on crime and youth violence", as that hasn't really happened. The only interview that featured questioning on the issue spent over four-fifths of the interview talking about other subjects. 


  1. Here's a c&p of the comment I posted on the Open Thread below:

    Readers of this site will know the ways in which pics are used to convey messages which fall beyond the bounds of the story itself. For example:

    .... London mayor Sadiq Khan calls for second Brexit vote ....

    Credited to Press Agency, the photo carries no clue whatsoever as to the context in which the photo was taken - when, where etc. If this had been a propaganda image for the Soviet Union, it would not have looked so different - heroic realism - taken from well below eye-line, with a protruding chin, Kahn looks every bit like a trainee dictator in waiting.

    It's clear what image and persona the BBC are projecting upon Sadiq Khan for us the viewers to lap up.

    1. Maybe someone at the BBC read your comment because that image has now been removed! There's a video clip from the Marr show instead.

    2. The lunchtime cover for the pics editor, whoever he or she is, will have his/her knuckles rapped for the second Sunday in succession.

    3. He/she should take her BBC bosses to the union for bullying. As John McDonnell might say, knuckle-rapping is unacceptable in this day and age.

    4. Stella Creasy would call for outlawing of the phrase "kunckle rapping"... Yvette Cooper would support her stance: "For far too long we have allowed a macho office culture to develop that disadvantages women. Bare knuckle fights, knuckle rapping and knuckling down have no place in the modern office environment. The sooner we move on from this archaic "knuckle culture", the better." Jo Swinson for the Liberal Democrats would also support the move but call for the outlawing of fist references as well : "Are we really going to get rid of knuckles while still allowing fists? What woman hasn't been intimidated by talk of iron fists, making a good fist of something or being ham fisted. The fist must go as well." No. 10 would comment that "We support the aim of eliminating from the modern office environment all male-orientated language and will be examining these proposals in detail."


      When the BBC does any 'editing', i always go to the wayback machine. The above link is to the original piece with the original picture. The wayback machine is also great for reading deleted tweets. In fact, it's brilliant. Though, not quite as good as Craig's steely-eyed detective work!

    6. Aha. I checked the wayback machine too for that!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.