Yesterday, as I was driving through the Highlands, I listened on my radio to the BBC’s midday news programme The World At One (or ‘WATO’ as its known). The programme was being presented by Martha Kearney. By the end of the hour, in my head I had written the following letter to Mr Roger Bolton. Mr Bolton is the front-man for BBC Radio 4’s Feedback programme.
Dear Mr Bolton
I have just been listening to Martha Kearney on the World At One (WATO) programme on Tuesday 13 December. Ms Kearney was tackling the subject of Brexit from the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Incidentally, Ms Kearney made no mention of the ludicrous nonsense of the EU Parliament shifting between Brussels and Strasbourg every month costing EU taxpayers about £100 million every year, but there you go. Under the circumstances, why didn’t Ms Kearney make the slightest reference to this circus?
Anyway, Ms Kearney interviewed 6 people including, finally, Nigel Farage. During her interviews with a Czech MEP, a German MEP, a Labour MEP, a Conservative MEP and the European Parliament’s Brexit Negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, Ms Kearney asked a total of 21 questions. During that time, she challenged one interviewee on 4 occasions (the Conservative MEP, funnily enough) and made no interruptions to any of the speakers. All of Ms Kearney’s questions related directly and only to EU matters. Ms Kearney also included a facile section ‘interviewing’ people at Strasbourg’s Christmas Market. What on earth was the point of that, other than to demonstrate that Ms Kearney can speak a little French? How cosmopolitan, she is. Indeed, how European, she is. Excellent.
Then, Ms Kearney turned her attentions to Mr Farage. She asked Nigel Farage 6 questions, including questions relating to Donald Trump, so-called ‘Far Right’ political parties in Europe and UKIP MEPs’ expenses. As Mr Farage answered the questions put to him, Ms Kearney challenged him on 3 occasions and interrupted him 19 times.
It’s interesting to note that a majority of the British people – who are, of course, taxed to fund the BBC, which includes paying Ms Kearney’s salary – voted for the UK to leave the EU, presumably because the majority of British people believe that all is not well with the workings of the EU. One might have expected the BBC to have picked up on this national mood by now. On the contrary, the BBC, on this occasion through the offices of Martha Kearney and the WATO programme, clearly feels that it is its duty to hand the BBC microphone to advocates of the EU (bar the Conservative MEP, of course, who was duly challenged during his interview) whilst grilling the man who gave voice to the 17.4 million British people who voted for the UK to leave the EU.
The BBC bleats that on the matter of the UK leaving the EU, it is not biased. Give me a break, please.
How do Martha Kearney and the Editor of WATO explain away such blatant bias?