Poetic justice

After the Beeb’s efforts to keep the Osborne story going for as long as possible, it seems fitting that the accusations of bias against it don’t seem to dying off quickly, despite the protests by both Steve Mawhinney and Nick Robinson.

The integrity of the BBC is coming under question for the way it has treated the case of the Russian billionaire and his British contacts. Hundreds of viewers are complaining of unbalanced reporting — and with good reason, begins The Sun’s leader on it today, while the Mail records that Robert Peston has been inundated with complaints over his ‘biased’ coverage of Mr Osborne’s dealings with Mr Deripaska. More than 100 viewers have accused him of ‘twisting’ facts and questioned why the corporation’s business editor should be reporting on the story.

Even the Telegraph’s chief leader writer has been prompted to comment on his blog (The BBC defends its hounding of George Osborne). He’s not convinced by Mawhinney’s explanation either:

[T]he idea of the Shadow Chancellor committing a crime is really big potatoes and would warrant the lashings of coverage devoted to it by the BBC. Just one problem. Soliciting a donation is not a crime, or a wrong-doing if it comes to that… A call to the Electoral Commission would have ascertained that. Why didn’t the BBC make that call? Perhaps they did – and that’s even more worrying.

All that, and it’s Friday, with the weekend ahead! Have a good one.

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11 Responses to Poetic justice

  1. Peter says:

    Speaking of senior specialist editors and the legions of supporting editorial staff to ensure that the insights we get are cutting edge and accurate:

    New world financial order. What would your plan be?

    ‘…I will try and synthesise alternatives and do a SWAT analysis…’

    Maybe it’s the progamme’s US-obsession or, maybe, as economics editor, it’s not a term they have come across very much.


  2. George R says:

    Maybe the BBC will get around to this update on Corfu intrigue; maybe not: it’s critical of Labour-friendly BBC’s Mandelson:

    ‘Daily Mail’-

    “Was this why Osborne was knifed? Mandelson to face questions over link to Russian tycoon and plans for £5 bn. super-rich haven in Montenegro”


    “Peter Mandelson has been dragged back into the political storm swirling around his controversial links with Russia’s richest man.

    “Attention switched back to the Business Secretary as he was challenged to publish full details of all his meetings and conversations with billionaire Oleg Deripaska by MPs and MEPs.

    “Lord Mandelson is facing scrutiny of his championing of the tiny Adriatic nation of Montenegro as a world trading partner. Aluminium tycoon Mr Deripaska has invested heavily in the country.”



  3. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Mason’s comments section is certainly inhabited by a bunch of loons. It took twelve commenters before one of them bothered to follow his instructions. Of course, the first one to try their hand at his game led off with a suggestion to place limits on consumption and penalize those who consumed above the limit. Another true believer, obviously.

    Best (and possibly the only salient) comment:

    No…..it’s not SWOT either.

    I think Paul made a mistake on one of the other letters….he typed an S instead of a T.


  4. Peter says:

    Of course that is why Orborne was knifed.Blood may be thicker than water,but it is thinner than money.


  5. Cassandrina says:

    Regional newspapers have rather surprising dialogue on the issue of bbc bias on this and other stories.
    “Britain’s public broadcasting service should use the language of the people, not the propaganda of their rulers” – Heavy stuff – but at last Britain is waking up to the bbc being in the pocket of NuLabor.


  6. Jon says:

    Cassandrina | 24.10.08 – 11:10 pm |

    It certainly is



  7. George R says:

    BBC report:

    “Mandelson accepts tycoon claims”

    (OR: ‘Mandelson changes his story’)


    “Lord Mandelson has admitted meeting Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska two years earlier than previously revealed.” (BBC).

    The ‘Telegraph’, more revealingly, has:

    “Lord Mandelson admits public were misled over relationship with Russian oligarch”


    “In a separate development it has been disclosed that Lord Mandelson’s name appears ‘repeatedly’ in secret files held by MI5 and MI6 as a result of his contacts with a Russian oligarch.

    “British intelligence files held on Oleg Deripaska, Russia’s richest man, contain several references to Lord Mandelson, sources say.

    “The confirmation that the security services are sufficiently interested in Mr Deripaska to keep files on him and his associates is likely to add to pressure on the minister to provide more information about his contacts with the Russian billionaire.”(‘Telegraph’).



  8. Beness says:

    BBC seem to have lost all interest in this story today. i wonder why.


  9. Peter says:

    Labour is braced for decision over Peter Hain donations


    One can only wonder if, and to what extent other media are ‘braced’.


  10. PaulS says:

    Peter | Homepage | 25.10.08 – 11:33 am

    One can only wonder if, and to what extent other media are ‘braced’.

    One sincerely hopes the BBC’s political news operation, based at Millbank, is suitably ‘braced’.

    The unit is headed by Sue English (AKA Mrs John Underwood).

    Mr Underwood, you may recall, was Peter Hain’s campaign manager and trustee of the less-than-thoughtful ‘think-tank’ that was used to channel funds to the Hain campaign.

    (‘channel funds’ – now where have I heard that phrase recently?)

    Ms English, quite properly and correctly, stepped aside when the story first broke, recusing herself from any editorial decisions.

    Let’s hope that if she does so again, it is not Mr Mawhinney who steps up pro-tem!



  11. PaulS says:

    ….sorry, English above should be spelled ‘Inglish’ (I knew that, but just can’t get my head around the paradox).