BBC reporter faces backlash after refugee crisis ‘frontline’ comments

BBC Reporter Michael Keohan
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The BBC is facing an anti-racism backlash after one of its regional political reporters described the Tory government’s appalling response to the refugee crisis as the UK “defending itself”.

Michael Keohan is BBC Kent‘s political reporter. And one section of a piece-to-camera in Dover seems to be generating serious problems for the BBC:

BBC racism?

Many Twitter users were shocked at what they felt was offensive language in the report. The BBC was accused of reporting that was “partial” and plainly “wrong”:

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The reportage was quickly branded “vile”:

Someone quipped that Keohan was the least racist person in Kent, on account of the county’s reputation as a Tory heartland:

There was also a suggestion that the “inflammatory language” helped shore up an “ailing” Suella Braverman:

BBC decline

Others said the BBC has clearly lost its way as a public service broadcaster. Tories have long complained that the BBC is too left-wing. So, one person said that this kind of reporting was a result of the BBC‘s efforts to avoid criticism:

The BBC‘s right-swing was serious enough to get global attention, one person lamented:

And the Beeb was accused of Daily Mail-level journalism which clearly veered into openly right-wing, partisan rhetoric:

Crisis of our own making

BBC reporter using this language is disturbing. Context is everything around topics as fraught as migration, as we saw recently with a terror attack on a refugee detention centre in Dover.

Anti-migrant feeling of this kind is first and foremost immoral. But it is also dangerous, potentially even lethal. And the state broadcaster, hardly a bastion of virtue at the best of times, covers itself in more shame by allowing this kind of coverage to go to air.

More than that though, we need a media which explains that refugees and migrants are not invaders. They are in many cases, victims of the UK’s own policies – seeking safe haven from the world our own governments have made.

Featured image via Twitter, cropped to 770 x 403

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  • Show Comments
    1. Through the countless online comments, one sees how often migrants/refugees are callously criticized with presumptions they’ll become permanent burdens on their new host/home nation. But then that no longer matters when the migrants die in their attempt at achieving sanctuary, be it ‘economic’ or actual life-saving refuge.

      Often overlooked by their critics is that many migrants are leaving global-warming-related chronic crop failures in the southern hemisphere widely believed to be related to the northern hemisphere’s chronic fossil-fuel burning, beginning with the Industrial Revolution.

      While some global refugee situations may not be climate-change related, many land- and water-based border-guard confrontations increasingly in the news are nonetheless scary — and even unbecoming of Western self-professed Christian nations. (Jesus must be spinning!)

      Tragically, it’s as though some people, however precious their souls, can be consciously/subconsciously perceived and treated by a large swath of an otherwise free, democratic and relatively civilized society as though those people are somehow disposable and, by extension, their suffering is somehow less worthy of external concern. Perhaps it’s something similar to how human smugglers perceive their cargo when choosing that most morbidly immoral line of business.

      Albeit perhaps on a subconscious level, there also is an inhumane devaluation by external-nation [usually of the Western world] attitudes toward the daily civilian lives lost in devastatingly long-drawn-out war zones and famine-stricken nations. The worth of such life will be measured by its overabundance and/or the protracted conditions under which it suffers. Often enough, those people will eventually receive meagre column inches on the back page of the First World’s daily news.

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