Computer problems prevented me posting this a couple of days ago, but there's no time like the present, so...
Charlie, on the Open Thread, noted that BBC Home Editor Mark Easton "does not like the emergency Jihadi legislation one little bit".
As I've said before, I personally think that Mark Easton is the BBC's most seriously biased reporter. He has a propagandist's gift for cleverly loading the language of his reports in such as way as to steer viewers and listeners in the direction he desires.
In his report on last night's BBC One News at Ten [Craig - well, it was 'last night' when I first wrote this] he could have said this:
This evening, the Government announced emergency legislation to keep new and existing terrorism offenders in prison for longer and with tougher controls on release.
But, being Mark Easton, a loaded word was added:
This evening, the government announced controversial emergency legislation to keep new and existing terrorism offenders in prison for longer and with tougher controls on release.
With Mark Easton something is "controversial" if he doesn't agree with it.
The worst was yet to come though. Mark Easton employs every trick in the book here to steer the argument his own way:
The trouble is we've been over this ground before: searching for a way to balance the rights of the public to be kept safe against the human rights of those dealt with by the courts. The government may well find even today's proposals come under legal challenge. The Government will most certainly get its emergency legislation through the Commons but will it get through the courts? For ministers to retrospectively basically increase the prison terms of people already convicted by court and change the terms of their release is certainly I think open to legal challenge. But perhaps the bigger problem with the Government's approach is that it won't necessarily stop actually extremely dangerous terrorist offenders being released from prison without anything in their way. It just delays that process. No, the Government could have gone for indeterminate sentences but, as we know, that idea is expensive and difficult to manage and some would argue it goes against the principles of fair justice. Many people, I think, would challenge that idea. And it just goes to show that governments, whenever they deal with this problem of radical extremism, discover there really are no easy answers.
Despite this, the BBC's 'degrees of separation', once again, fell down. In the BBC newsreader's introduction, the News at Ten said:
Critics say the new plans would merely defer the problem of what happens on release.
Later, as we've seen above, Mark Easton didn't even bother to pretend it was 'critics' saying it. He said it himself:
But perhaps the bigger problem with the Government's approach is that it won't necessarily stop actually extremely dangerous terrorist offenders being released from prison without anything in their way. It just delays that process.
So, ergo, Mark Easton is himself a "critic" of the Government's plans here out of the BBC's own mouth and, thus, took a side. QED.