Viewers are unimpressed by the BBC’s defence of the Corbyn Russian hat scandal

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James Aitchison

The Corbyn Russia BBC hat scandal just won’t go away. Viewers were shocked when BBC‘s Newsnight featured an image of Jeremy Corbyn standing in front of a red-tinted Russia-themed backdrop.

Wading into the fray

But then the BBC News press team waded into the fray with the following statement:

Twitter users were unimpressed and quickly pointed out the significant difference between the Williamson and Corbyn framings:

Some pointed out that there are plenty of images of Corbyn in a suit that could have been used instead:

Another viewer pointed out that the BBC Newsnight acting editor directly contradicted the statement made by the BBC press team:

In the interest of objectivity, some wondered if the BBC should apply the same logic to other political figures:

It’s not about the hat

It was a particularly astute Newsnight viewer who drew attention to the real issue. It’s not about the hat. But it is about the very purpose of an objective news source:

One of the BBC’s public purposes is:

To provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them.

This image of Corbyn against a Russian backdrop is neither appropriate nor informative. The BBC provides a service to its viewers. It needs to stick to reporting the news and let the public make up its own mind.

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Featured image via m0gky/Flickr

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