People noticed something peculiar about the latest installment of the The Andrew Marr Show, the BBC politics show fronted by Andrew Marr each Sunday. There was something strange about the guests.
Viewers were quick to spot that a show which claims to be an impartial representation of UK politics didn’t have a single even moderately left-wing guest. From Conservative minister Liz Truss to Blairite Caroline Flint, you could scarcely place a cigarette paper between the political views of the panellists.
— Robbie Gibb (@RobbieGibb) February 18, 2017
While the right was represented by UKIP MP Douglas Carswell, there was no equivalent for the left. This meant analysis and viewpoints put forward by the right went unchallenged from the absent left.
— Dylan Strain 🌹🇵🇸🖐️ (@DylanStrain) February 19, 2017
The show did leave a seat open for disgraced former New Labour front bencher Peter Mandelson to give his views on Brexit and the future of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) February 19, 2017
#marrshow let's take advise from a man who lied on his mortgage application form and had to resign 3 times due to dodgy dealings.
— Robert Tracey (@RobertTracey062) February 19, 2017
It’s nothing new
But this is nothing new.
A major study by the Media Reform Coalition and Birkbeck, University of London last year analysed TV and online news over the “crucial 10 day period” that kicked off last summer’s Labour coup, and found:
clear and consistent bias in favour of critics of Jeremy Corbyn.
As The Canary’s James Wright reported at the time:
The study analysed 465 online news items from 8 outlets, along with 40 broadcasted news bulletins from the BBC and ITV. While our public service broadcaster gave twice the airtime to Corbyn’s critics at prime time, ITV was significantly more balanced.
A report published by the London School of Economics and Political Science also found strong bias against Jeremy Corbyn. The authors found evidence that the UK media was behaving like an “attackdog” against the opposition leader. With an astonishing 56% of Corbyn-related articles giving the Labour leader no voice at all.
Later, a major content analysis by Cardiff University also found BBC coverage is pro-business and conservative-leaning.
There is abundant evidence of the BBC failing to live up to its charter, with its news and politics content skewed firmly to the right. While it is unfortunate in corporate media outlets, it is absolutely unacceptable from a public broadcaster.
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