On 18 September, #SackLauraKuenssberg started trending on Twitter. Social media users expressed outrage after she tweeted that the man who confronted Boris Johnson at a children’s ward was a Labour activist and then identified who he was. People claimed that by identifying the man, Kuessenberg was ‘inciting’ a Twitter pile on.
But Piers Morgan came to Kuenssberg’s defence by claiming her critics are “ignorant bug-eyed bullies”:
This ludicrous #sacklaurakuenssberg campaign just about sums up the pathetic, fact-devoid, hysterical tribalism that now infests political debate.
You can’t get more impartial, or superbly professional, than @bbclaurak – so leave her alone, you ignorant bug-eyed bullies.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 19, 2019
Unsurprisngly, it didn’t end well.
Who’s the bully
Some people argued that Morgan himself is a bully:
Here’s a good example of bug eyed bullying from a clearly partial hysterical practitioner of tribalism. Hypocrite. pic.twitter.com/X5F3F651Xk
— Mark Waring (@MarWaring) September 19, 2019
Says the man who uses his platform daily to humiliate complete strangers.
— Barney (@Happy_Misery) September 19, 2019
And as others pointed out, having Morgan come to your defence isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement:
Just when she thought it couldn’t get any worse, here’s a Piers Morgan endorsement.
— Gammonslayer (@Gammonslayer1) September 19, 2019
When Piers Morgan comes out on your side, you know you're in trouble.
— Andrew Potter (@potterandy) September 19, 2019
You know you’re in trouble when…
But it wasn’t just Morgan who leapt to Kuenssberg’s defence. And some of the other people rushing to defend the BBC‘s chief political editor didn’t do her any favours.
Her fans included Julia Hartley-Brewer:
People are using this pathetic hashtag #sacklaurakuenssberg to call for the BBC to sack @bbclaurak because she tweeted an *accurate fact* about a man who spoke to the PM. Laura was – and I know this is going to be too complicated for some people to grasp – simply DOING HER JOB.
— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) September 18, 2019
And editor of Brexit Central Jonathan Isaby:
Sad that this statement even needs to be issued. The hateful social media mobs going after @bbclaurak for doing her job are a deeply depressing development in the political discourse of today. https://t.co/5wYELhS3mL
— Jonathan Isaby (@isaby) September 18, 2019
And if that wasn’t enough, the right-wing Spectator stepped in to defend Kuenssberg:
— The Spectator (@spectator) September 19, 2019
This speak volumes
The BBC is supposed to be an impartial broadcaster. Time and again, Kuenssberg and her colleagues have shown this often doesn’t happen. But it’s because of this supposed neutrality that people feel the need to call her out – especially when they believe her tweet could open up someone to abuse.
The people rushing in to defend Kuenssberg speaks volumes. And when your loudest defenders are people like Morgan, it has to be obvious you’re going to be on the wrong side of history.
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