Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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BBC mob and the traducing of Trump

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WHEN New York correspondent Nick Bryant declared that President Trump’s ‘go back . . . then come back’ message was ‘racist’, he was merely the first in a long line of BBC figures repeating the party line.

Here’s Gary O’Donoghue on BBC One’s News at Six on Friday:

But of course, Boris Johnson criticised those racist tweets earlier in the week . . .

And here’s Mark Urban on Thursday’s Newsnight:

After racist tweets suggesting four American congresswomen go home – three of them were born in the US – the President set his sights at a rally last night on the one who wasn’t, Somali-born Ilhan Omar.

And here’s Ros Atkins on Thursday’s Outside Source:

Fifty-seven per cent of Republicans agreed with the sentiment in those racist tweets at the weekend that the Congresswomen should go back to the countries ‘from which they came’.

And here’s David Willis on the BBC News Channel on Thursday:

. . . there were chants at times of ‘send her back’, which is an echo of those remarks, those racist remarks Donald Trump made on Twitter, and that is, of course, disconcerting.

And here’s the newsreader on Thursday’s The Briefing:

Some Democrats had been hoping to capitalise on the growing criticism of Mr Trump for his racist comments about four ethnic minority Congresswomen.

And here’s the newsreader on the BBC News Channel’s overnight BBC World programme:

Mr Trump also returned to the four Congresswomen – the subject of his racist tweets earlier this week.

And here’s Katty Kay on Wednesday’s Beyond 100 Days:

You’re watching Beyond 100 Days. Democrats are about to vote on whether to impeach Donald Trump because of his racist tweets.

Wednesday’s Business Briefing saw Sally Bundock (of Tim Martin of Wetherspoons fame) reading the following headline (which appeared in the same terms on all the BBC’s overnight news bulletins, several times each hour):

In Washington, the House of Representatives has voted to condemn President Trump’s racist tweets.

Ros was back in action on Tuesday’s Outside Source:

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is preparing to condemn his earlier racist tweets.

And here’s Christian Fraser on Tuesday’s Beyond 100 Days:

President Trump lashes out again at minority lawmakers as the House prepares to condemn his racist tweets.

Sally was also on Tuesday’s Business Briefing reading this (again echoing BBC newsreaders throughout that night on the BBC):

This is The Briefing, I’m Sally Bundock. Our top story: President Trump refuses to back down from his racist tweets attacking four American congresswomen of colour.

The first instance I heard, as we’re going back chronologically, was Emily Maitlis on Monday’s Newsnight:

Someone’s demob happy. And today, Theresa May called out Donald Trump’s racist tweet as completely unacceptable.

But Ros Atkins on Outside Source was doing it already earlier that evening:

President Trump is pushing back over criticisms of his racist remarks about Democrats.

Katty and Christian on Monday’s Beyond 100 Days were leading the way:

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, one of President Donald Trump’s strongest allies on Capitol Hill, declined to condemn the President over his racist tweets.

And, of course, that evening’s BBC One News at Six saw Nick Bryant kick it all off:

Donald Trump was at a ‘Made in the USA’ business event at the White House today, showcasing the kind of economic nationalism that has become a hallmark of his America First presidency. But it’s his white nationalism that’s caused the latest political storm, a racist Twitter attack aimed at four women of colour, three of whom were born in the USA.

As far as I can see, that was the first instance of it.

So, some time on Monday evening, four BBC TV programmes – BBC News at Six, Beyond 100 Days, Outside Source and Newsnight – chose to nail their colours to the mast and brand Donald Trump’s tweets ‘racist’.

In case anyone might have been left in any doubt.

Coincidence? A senior editorial decision? BBC Groupthink?

Whatever, the BBC is well and truly off the leash now, ‘impartiality’-wise.

You can donate to the crowdfunded legal action against BBC Bias here

(A version of Craig’s article was first published on his Is the BBC biased? site earlier this week)

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Craig Byers
Craig Byers is a blogger about the BBC, focusing on the issue of BBC bias while living in Britain's finest traditional seaside resort: Morecambe (the one with the Eric Morecambe statue).

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