BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Saturday, 8 August 2009


At last! On Friday's Newsnight Michael Crick turned his eyes (and his wry wit) away from the opposition Conservative Party and back towards the governing Labour Party. You see, he's not biased after all! Except...

...unlike all those recent reports on the Tories, which have been far from friendly - and potentially damaging to the Conservative cause - (please click on the label 'Crick' for details), this Labour-centred report was far from unfriendly in tone - except for a brief dig at Lord Mandelson's holiday arrangements!
As well as Crick acting out a metaphor (in true Newsnight fashion) on a roundabout (at a funfair "across the Thames from Westminster, on the south bank side developed after the war by Peter Mandelson's granddad Herbert Morrison"), it featured various talking heads, all from the Left: Steve Richards of the 'Independent' (saying nice things about David Miliband), Richard Reeves of 'Demos' (speaking favourably of Harriet Harman) and Anne Perkins of the 'Guardian' (speaking well of both Ms Harman and Peter Mandelson). Only the maverick Rod Liddle of the 'Spectator' introduced a critical note.

Entirely personality-based, the piece's gentle humour (with that single exception) lacked all the barbs you might have expected in a Crick report - or, at least, a Crick report about the Tories! The man even managed to make that one-off dig at Mandelson simultaneously a dig at George Osborne, who had absolutely nothing to do with this (Labour leadership) story: "Earlier this week (Mandelson's) spokesman said he was in Corfu without Russians, yachts - or George Osborne. Well, I suppose two out of three's not bad!" Crick strikes again!
So it turns out that Michael Crick is biased towards the Labour Party after all!! Well, blow me down with a feather!!!

Gavin Esler then discussed the would-be Labour leaders with yet more family members: Labour MP Gisella Stuart and Neal Pearson, leader of the left-wing Compass group. Tellingly, Esler's insider mindset led him to slip into calling Harriet Harman 'Harriet' in a question to Mr Pearson: "Harriet is not defeatist in your point...(of view)?"

Not a good night for fairness at Newsnight.

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