Saturday 8 June 2019

"Mad cat woman, Karol Kodswallop"

This Twitter thread from the influential Orwell Prize-winning Observer journalist Carole Cadwalladr (the one Andrew Neil famously described as a "mad cat women, Karol Kodswallop") is a classic case of Beeb-bashing from 'the other side'...

...and further evidence of the weakness of the 'complaints from both sides' argument.

She began it yesterday and continued with it today.

It's an attack on the BBC for 'platforming' the free-market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), especially one of her favourite targets, the IEA's associate director Kate Andrews. 

Let's begin at the beginning:

Of course, Carole has already got Kate's name wrong. She calls her 'Edwards', not 'Andrews'. (Probably not the best start!)

And then came this gem: 

The actual video, if you watch it, shows Kate talking about the NHS today - in "2018". Why? Because the video was broadcast on Newsnight in 2018, not this week! It was part of the programme's Viewsnight series. (I remember watching it at the time). 

And, no, Newsnight didn't repeat it this week either.

So Orwell Prize-winning Carole obviously (a) hadn't watched the video and seen/heard the date mentioned in it and (b) hadn't even checked to see if Newsnight really did report it this week (which they didn't). She was merely asserting something factually wrong.

Yet on she went:

Guess what? This wasn't broadcast on Newsnight this week either! It was broadcast in March. (March 14th, to be precise).

Seriously, what kind of journalism is this? 

And for her next example, oh, it's those chaps again!:

This one caused a good deal of hilarity on Twitter because, as you can see, this the same video she's used before. It wasn't Sky News, it was Newsnight and 'SHE' (Kate Andrews) is nowhere to be seen!

Of course, this one is just a mix-up, not an egregious error (unlike the others). 

That said, why Carole is citing Sky anyhow in connection with her grouse about the number of IEA appearances on the BBC? (A mystery surely only the most mysterious of cats could fathom!)

At which point Carole turns to religion: 

This, of course, really is Sky News!! Victoria Hewson of the IEA was on Sky, not the BBC!

And, no, you're not really, Carole. The only think you're 'up to' is 'making it up' - and getting it wrong!

And for her final flourish:

Maybe they don't take you as seriously as you like because of this kind of thing, Carole?


Actually, far be it from me to do what Orwell Prize-winning journalist Carole Cadwalladr should have done, but I have done it. By a complete fluke, her total of 5 proves to be right (even though she included one from 2018 and one from March) - though it's over 5 days not 3 days. 

Mark Littlewood, Today, June 7
Kate Andrews, Newsnight, June 6
Kate Andrews, Politics Live, June 6
Kate Andrews, The Papers, June 4
Kate Andrews, Start the Week, June 3

If she wasn't so influential (and the likes of Nick Cohen, for example, think she's the cat's whiskers), this would just be funny. But her ridiculous complaints of BBC bias are taken seriously by the BBC - and others. 

1 comment:

  1. Kate Andrews probably is over-represented. She is the sort of right wing Friedmanesque voice the BBC like to have around. She doesn't really challenge the BBC on its core values: all public spending is good, all cultures are equal, all religions are equal, the NHS provides the best health service in the world, all immigration (including illegal immigration) is good, women are equal to men except where they are superior to men,identity politics, pro-Islam, anti-free speech, equality of outcome is to be desired.

    Would they ever have someone on who really challenged these values without looking like a refugee from a CS Lewis discussion group (yes, I am referring to Peter Hitchens).


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