A week in the life of Today that has made me despair of BBC bias: Flagship news show offers only a Left-wing progressive take on everything from Brexit to statue toppling and the NHS.
On Wednesday a jury in Bristol acquitted four people responsible for toppling a statue of the 17th-century slave trader and philanthropist Edward Colston in June 2020.
The following morning, Today interviewed the distinguished black historian David Olusoga. He declared that the acquittal, which he enthusiastically supported, was a ‘historic landmark’.
During a sympathetic interview by Nick Robinson, Professor Olusoga stated that the jury’s decision hadn’t created ‘a legal precedent’. That is highly debatable, yet he wasn’t challenged. Nor did Mr Robinson care to mention that Mr Olusoga gave evidence for the defence during the trial.
Colston was obviously responsible for many wicked acts. But no one was given an opportunity by the Today programme — Mr Olusoga being the sole interviewee — to say that it is wrong to go around toppling statues of long dead people, whatever some may think of them.
Yet another example of Today ignoring one side of an argument because it doesn’t approve of it.
Update: David Olusoga was also interviewed about it by BBC Breakfast that same morning.
Further Update: I see that blog favourite Dominic Casciani has been reporting developments in this story as impartially as ever yesterday evening and this morning, giving a wholly one-sided take on the matter:
If the Attorney General asks the Court of Appeal to review the case, it won't be able to reverse any of the acquittals, let alone order a retrial, but the judges could consider whether the case's outcome means the law needs clarifying for future cases. The protesters had told the jury the deeply divisive statue belonged to the city's people, who largely wanted it removed. They added that its continued presence amounted to crimes of indecency and abuse that caused distress, and far from damaging its value the graffiti-daubed statue was now worth vastly more since its installation in a museum. They also argued the prosecution was disproportionate in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling on the boundary between protest and crime. One of the defence team Raj Chada said there was no confusion about the law other than among some Conservative MPs. He said the review would smack of Trumpian politics and would undermine trial by jury, a cornerstone of British justice.
That defence case-style contribution evidently got the seal of approval from whoever edited Radio 4's Six O'Clock News and Midnight News.