Saturday 21 September 2019

Deeply Dipping

Sometimes I wish I didn't have a life because having a life makes blogging so bloody difficult (as John Simpson might put it).

I might, for example, want to watch a month's worth of Newsnights to track Emily Maitlis's interruption stats but, alas, I really don't have the time these days.

So what to do? 

Well, I randomly clicked on a Newsnight episode this evening and landed up on Tuesday's edition, starring Emily Maitlis. 

I knew that Newsnight had rebranded itself and had read complimentary things about it from BBC fans on Twitter, but those crossed Ns look startlingly like a 1940s/2010s Eastern European fascist logo to me.

I'm guessing that wasn't Newsnight's intention (unless they wanted to win over some BBC-hating, Jew-hating Corbynistas). 

Anyhow, I rather enjoyed the programme.

The Brexit discussion was varied in terms of voices. I remember MB's comments about ex-BBC political editor John Sergeant's anti-Boris mouth-frothing (truly something to behold!), but I didn't mind the overall mix of panellists. 

All I'd say on the bias front is that Emily let us, the BBC and, most of all, herself down (and let her bias slip) by asking arch-Boris-basher Lord Charlie Falconer a question about Boris couched in loaded anti-Boris language which, inevitably, resulted in His Lordship happily agreeing with her that Big Bad Boris is a wrong' un:
Emily Maitlis: This man from right inside the Establishment can make him seem like an outsider, when he takes on Parliament, he takes on the judiciary, he takes on anything that sounds lofty and abstract, as James said, [Craig - somewhat twisting the point of what James said] and he wins those fights. Or he loses those fights. He loses against Luxembourg and it's still written up as somehow, you know, two fingers up.
Lord Falconer: Em, I fear you're right about that. It doesn't matter whether he's right or whether he's wrong. It doesn't matter if he pushes it too far or breaks the law or breaks the Constitution or smashes up the institution. The only thing that matters is the point that James is making. [Craig - It wasn't actually the point James was making.] It's the people who have no interest in the detail of the Constitution who will see him taking on the Establishment. 
Ah yes, those stupid Leave-voting oiks, eh, Lord F?

And there was also a piece on Bibi Netanyahu, in the light of the latest Israeli election (cue Brenda from Beersheba saying, "You're joking? Not another one!"), by Newsnight's Everywhere correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse - a man whose carbon footprint must make poor Greta absolutely sob her heart out. 

Now Gabriel is an interesting reporter, but here there were three 'talking heads', all introduced with neutral-sounding taglines featuring posts and dates. 

Not one of them was sympathetic towards Bibi - or Donald (who got strongly tagged into the report). 

Obeying my blogging instincts, I googled and quickly found that Tal Schneider is from the centrist Globes newspaper, Anshel Pfeffer is from the left-leaning Haaretz (though I already knew that), and Hady Amr, the critical US envoy, served under Democrat President Obama.

Not a right-winger in sight.

No wonder, then, that they sang from pretty much the same hymn sheet.

Seriously, wouldn't it have been better for Newsnight to provide their audience with a broader range of voices? And is it simply because they don't like Mr Netanyahu (and everything he represents) that they failed to do so?


Minutiae? Or evidence of BBC bias? You decide!


  1. As a fairly regular Newsnight viewer I would say Emily had a bit of an off night in terms of overt bias on that occasion. Maybe she had exhausted her store of mockingly dismissive laughter, interruption excuses and eye rolls.

  2. Emily Maitlis, Kirsty Wark, Evan Davis, Beth Rigby, Robert Peston, Nick Robinson...your boys took a helluva beating...Now 15 points behind the Boris Party.


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