Jeremy Corbyn calls out Andrew Marr’s bias straight to his face

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CORRECTION: This article was amended at 11.40am on 26 September to make clear that Labour supporters elected Corbyn on the biggest mandate in Labour’s history, not the UK’s. 

Jeremy Corbyn called out BBC presenter Andrew Marr’s pro-establishment bias straight to his face on 22 September.

“Wishful thinking”

Facing out of the blue comments about whether he will stand down, Corbyn said:

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It’s wishful thinking by some people. Probably yourself.

This exchange begins at 25:10

Labour supporters elected Corbyn as leader on the biggest mandate in the party’s history.

Still, Marr continued down the line of questioning:

Can you give me a commitment… that you will definitely be leader of the Labour party into and after the next general election?

Corbyn replied:

I’m taking the party into the general election… to end austerity, to bring forward policies that bring about a better standard of living and better opportunities for people all across this country… I did 40 events during August alone.

To which Marr said:

And if you become the prime minister of this country, are you going to… serve… a full term?

Corbyn then challenged the questions:

Why wouldn’t I? … I’m very surprised at this question actually, Andrew. What are you trying to say?

BBC bias

It’s clear why Corbyn suggested that Marr wants him gone. The host has demonstrated his pro-establishment bias on many occasions. For instance:

  • He allowed Theresa May to sell her Brexit paradox (that she will have no hard border and end freedom of movement) to millions.
  • In an interview with May, he ignored a ministerial resignation that happened the same morning.
  • He allowed May to talk nonsense about a non-existent “Brexit dividend”.

But the issue does not just relate to individual presenters like Marr. Numerous studies have shown there is systemic bias across the BBC:

  • major content analysis from Cardiff University revealed that the BBC is pro-business and conservative-leaning in its coverage.
  • Analysis from the Media Reform Coalition and Birkbeck found the BBC gave double the airtime to Jeremy Corbyn’s critics than to his allies at the start of the 2016 coup against him.
  • 49% of BBC executives went to a private or grammar school, according to a 2019 Sutton Trust study.

BBC bias is a huge problem that prevents the UK from having an informed debate on politics. The Labour party is proposing to reform the public broadcaster through separating it from government and bringing in elected regional boards.

As Marr’s bias demonstrates, we need to ensure the BBC is accountable to its audience.

Featured image via Only Zoom/ YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. Typical BBC, you’d think they would have ‘clicked’ by now that we can all see their bias, that we’re not happy about it, and that the BBC stands for The BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation, not The Conservative or Tory Broadcasting Corporation, not The Corporate Broadcasting Corporation, nor The BIASED Broadcasting Corporation, or The British Government Broadcasting Corporation.

      The clue is in the ‘BRITISH’ part @TheBBC, you know, ALL of us you dimwits! (The BBC not you dear comments reader), the people who paid, and continue to pay you to produce the best programming, and the best unbiased news reporting in The World.

      The term ‘British’ is used to cover all of the territory that makes up The United Kingdom, and all of the peoples identified as such. We are a nation of many peoples and views, and we are supposed to be Democratic. Democratic peoples need factual, unbiased news and reporting, not slight-of-hand hackery, and smoke-and-mirror stories. Such bad behaviour towards Democratic needs, is an attack on Democracy, which is also an attack on our Unity as a democratic people.

      The BBC really does need to be reformed, and to be able to do justice to the ‘British’ part of its name, it needs to be representative of us without bias or favouritism.

      For me The BBC has come to stand for ‘The Biased Broadcasting Corporation’. It is a mass-manipulation tool of the state and corporate elites, and it is deliberately manipulating and misleading people to the detriment of our democracy and arguably, our Nation.

    2. Marr doesn’t want to acknowledge that it’s only because of his privilege that the stroke that nearly killed him a few years ago would be ignored by his beloved Tories who’d call him fit for work and push him into an early grave. But instead he pockets his establishment quarter-mil a year and kisses establishment arse.

    3. I couldn’t quite believe the irony when John Humphrys, after his retirement last week, came out blasting against the BBC’s “institutional liberal bias” when in fact he had a free rein to indulge his right wing bias for over 30 years.

    4. Stop bashing dear old Aunty. She’s doing her best for us all as she has always tried to do. It’s not her fault that minions within her orbit occasionally say the wrong thing and present biased opinions that Aunty herself wouldn’t support. Just compare Aunty with rival networks. They’re all completely out of control for their corporate ownership bias.

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