The BBC has reportedly suspended one of its Look North reporters on suspicion of bias. And the right-wing press has fallen over itself to applaud the punishment. But its approval of the disciplinary action, and outrage at the bias itself, reveals more about those tabloids than the BBC itself.
Don’t Look North, look at those Nazis
The BBC has allegedly suspended presenter Danny Carpenter over a Facebook post. The right-wing site Guido Fawkes first highlighted the post. And, as Guido explained, Carpenter had reportedly written a comment on a post by the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas. It read:
Hear hear! Now let’s see the Labour Party grow some proper balls and unite in the lobbies to vote out every cynical, vicious, racist and xenophobic piece of legislation these new Nazis propose and let’s start by demanding a commons debate on Brexit and voting out this utterly undemocratic and non-legally binding referendum result which was achieved by a combination of dishonest fearmongering and lies about the economy.
There is an obvious disdain for the EU referendum result in the comment. There’s also support for a proper debate on the terms of Brexit in parliament. Furthermore, it rallies against the “racist and xenophobic” legislation being proposed by the “new Nazis” – presumably the Tory government.
Bias? Not in this BBC
Both The Sun and The Daily Mail reported that the BBC had suspended Carpenter for the post. The Huffington Post claimed no suspension had been confirmed. But, it alleged, the BBC are investigating the incident.
Nonetheless, all who covered the story ran the standard BBC ‘impartiality is important to us’ line. And they included confirmation that the broadcaster had “spoken to the member of staff and we [the BBC] are continuing to investigate”.
There’s always a dog in the media fight
But the right-wing media calling out that bias with such gusto is rare. The Daily Mail branded Carpenter’s comments a “rant”. While The Sun went with “slur“. In addition, no defence of the BBC reporter was forthcoming in the coverage. Rather, a Tory MP was quoted condemning the “anti-Tory rhetoric”.
Clearly, these tabloids are not rallying against the use of the word ‘Nazi’. The Mail itself published an article in August where a Labour donor called Corbyn supporters the very same. No, these outlets are condemning the use of that term for the party they support.
This exposé of bias within the ranks of the BBC has really shown how commonplace bias is across all of the media. Impartiality in the UK media is an illusion. And the more the public are made aware of that the better.
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Featured image via Matt Cornock/Flickr
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