Sunday 30 June 2019

On the BBC's Nick Bryant

Nick Bryant

I've just found a post I prepared in July 2010. I was between blogs at the time, so I never published it.

(I'd forgotten I hadn't published it though, so I've had to look hard to find it tonight as it wasn't where I expected it to be).

It concerned the BBC's then Australia correspondent Nick Bryant, now the BBC's New York correspondent (though, famously, it's a rare day that you hear him reporting on news from New York).

This is it:

No worries

The BBC is nothing if not consistent on illegal immigration. It is always 'intensely relaxed' about it.

Looking at Nick Bryant's Australia blog shows this to be the case.

The BBC's Australia correspondent is always on message on the issue of immigration. He is squeamish about Australia's "messy debate over asylum seekers, which never arouses the nobler aspects of the Australian character". He repeatedly characterises illegal immigration as "the most paranoiac issue in Australian politics" (that word 'paranoiac' crops up in at least three of his posts) and is fond of using the phrase "dog whistle" whenever a politician talks tough on the immigration issue.

He quotes at significantly greater length from those advocating a liberal immigration policy and peppers his blog with posts praising Australia's 'multi-culturalism'.


The BBC, represented by Nick Bryant, is clearly disappointed by Australia's new Labor prime minister Julia Gillard. Whereas the chucked-out Kevin Rudd was an out-and-out left-liberal (and a pal of Obama), Julia is rather more conservative and isn't wholly on message over immigration - and isn't pushing hard enough either over 'climate change' (for the BBC's tastes).    
Nick Bryant, of course, still prefers her to the Liberal leader Tony Abbott, who is far more conservative than his predecessor, the Cameron-like Malcolm Turnbull. Tony Abbott once famously described climate change as "absolute crap" and Bryant is fond of quoting attacks on his immigration policies (lots of 'dog whistles'). Nick Bryant's welcome for the "highly erratic" Abbott's election? "By installing Mr Abbott, have the turkeys just voted for Christmas?"  
Several of Bryant's posts swoon (at length) over the memory of Gough Whitlam's left-wing Labor government of the 1970s. He even seems to believe the conspiracy theory that the CIA was involved in Whitlam's removal from office.    
Kevin Rudd is viewed as a tragic figure by Byrant - a fallen hero, once feted by Barack Obama, brought down brutally by his failure to force through plans for an emission trading scheme.    

On Obama:
"I said that a new cadre of politicians was emerging, like Barack Obama, who find partisan politics rather tiresome, counter-productive and ugly." Really?     

In fairness to Nick Bryant though, he is surprisingly fair in his reporting of the debate over AGW. He acknowledges there is a debate for starters -  and, unlike so many of his BBC colleagues, has done for some time now. He even quotes opinion polls that Richard Black wouldn't touch with a ten-mile barge-pole (namely one showing that less than 40% of Ozzies supported Rudd's emissions trading scheme in February.)

How's that for a trip down Memory Lane? (Ex-Ozzie PM) Julia Gillard and (ex-BBC environment reporter) Richard Black in one post? Ah, happy days!

And I did enjoy Nick's typical BBC failure to make predictions. Rather than "turkeys voting for Christmas" by installing the "high erratic" Tony Abbott as Liberal leader in 2010, the Liberal/National Coalition beat Labour in the following 2013 election (under his leadership) by over 12%.

So why am I mentioning all of this?

Well, firstly, because it will make it much easier for me to find it again....

....and, secondly, because that post did put in print some very clear examples of Nick Bryant's often highly overt bias during his time as the BBC's Australia correspondent - especially over the issue of immigration.

But, thirdly, because Nick Bryant has subsequently gone on to be non-too-impartial BBC US correspondent.

On listening to yesterday's Radio 4 Six O'clock News, and hearing that Nick Bryant was doing a report on the G20 Summit in Japan, I began playing my usual Nick Bryant game. I knew some biased comment or other was bound to come, and I guessed it would about Donald Trump (not exactly a difficult guess!), but where would it be - the beginning, middle or end of his report?

I guessed (from past experience, so - again - not a difficult guess!), the end. (It's a bit of a habit of his).

And, yes, his perfectly-coiffured and heavily-loaded dig at Donald Trump, President of the USA, re his proposal to shake hands with Fat Boy Kim of North Korea during his visit to South Korea, landed just where I expected it to do - and with just as much of a deadpan sneer as I expected too at the very end with these sneering words:

...but will he get his date at the DMZ the with his friend from the totalitarian North?
In what way are those words not a sneer from 'impartial' BBC reporter Nick Bryant?

1 comment:

  1. Very sneery!

    By the way, which Borough of New York is Japan in?

    Nick Bryant must be p'd off. No signs of Sopel ever giving up his quarter million for doing nothing more than regurgitating CNN/Democrat talking points. And even if he did, being a stale pale male he will be passed over (yep, and you can forget the top job as well Zurcher - you have the added disadvantage of sounding like Marvin the Paranoid Android from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).


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