Bias by News Agenda Choice and Bias by News Prioritising are top of the shop on THE BBC's OFFICIAL FESTIVE FIFTY BIAS TECHNIQUES with good reason.
The first is 'the biggie' - 'If we don’t report it, it’s not news' - but the second is often its partner-in-crime: 'Sometimes we can’t avoid reporting something but we can certainly give it very low priority. It only needs to appear for a nanosecond for us to be able to say that we have done our journalistic duty'.
I was reminded of that by how the BBC has been reporting the latest dramatic development in the story of the Steele dossier [an early high-profile element of the fake Trump-Russia collusion story]: the arrest and indictment this week of Igor Danchenko - a key source for the dodgy dossier - for allegedly lying to the FBI about his connections with the Democratic Party [his main source being a senior Hillary Clinton ally].
I've used TVEyes and scanned BBC One, BBC Two and the BBC News Channel. Both BBC One and BBC Two haven't reported it at all.
Let's not forgot that the Steele dossier [which included the infamous claims about Donald Trump, a Moscow hotel, prostitutes and 'golden showers'] led BBC One's News at Six back on 11 January 2017, with then-BBC foreign correspondent Paul Wood lending it credence.
[Mr Wood even went on to write a Spectator piece in early 2018 headlined In defence of Christopher Steele and a piece last year [12 August 2020] headlined Was the ‘pee tape’ a lie all along? where he still attempts to stick up for Mr Steele's dossier].
Now, however, it's apparently not worth reporting.
That's Bias by News Agenda Choice. 'If we don’t report it, it’s not news'
Now for Bias by News Prioritising - 'Sometimes we can’t avoid reporting something but we can certainly give it very low priority. It only needs to appear for a nanosecond for us to be able to say that we have done our journalistic duty':
This is a classic. The BBC News Channel did cover the story. They reported it just once, at 9.15pm on 4 November, and their coverage lasted all of 22 seconds. And that was it for the BBC News Channel too.
And: blink and you'll have missed it [as I did], but the BBC News website covered the story too. You won't find their report now unless you actively search for it because it's nowhere on the site's main pages [Home, World, United States and Canada], though it doubtless had its 'nanosecond' in the sun.
The BBC website report itself is striking for its sheer chutzpah:
A Russian analyst who worked on a dossier that made unsubstantiated claims linking Donald Trump to the Kremlin has been arrested in the US.The Department of Justice charged Igor Danchenko, 43, with lying to the FBI.He was detained as part of an inquiry into the origins of baseless claims that Mr Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.The so-called Steele Dossier was used by the FBI to obtain surveillance warrants on a top Trump aide.The document was held up by Democrats to paint Mr Trump as a Russian puppet, a narrative amplified in a feedback loop by most US media for much of the president's four years in office.
I believe that's called a 'reverse ferret'.
P.S. Now, here's another conspiracy theory for you - and it's unfolding as I'm writing this piece.
A few minutes ago I went back into that second Paul Wood Spectator piece mentioned above - Was the ‘pee tape’ a lie all along? - and the timestamp had changed to today's date...
Then the piece vanished...
And now it's back again with the original date...
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