Stalin Sturgeon & Scotland’s Mickey Mouse Media – We Need a “Kenny MacIntyre” Urgently!
From The Scotsman Newspaper…
Last weekend, the Scotsman gave due prominence to a story it pursued for 16 months. The Information Commissioner found the Scottish government acted unlawfully in withholding data which informed their approach to the second Covid wave.
By any objective standard, it was an important story. The government had acted unlawfully, which is a sufficiently unusual finding against any government to be of significance in itself.
The subject of the Scotsman’s Freedom of Information request remains of intense relevance, given the need for public trust in the basis for taking these decisions. Indeed, this was the reason given by the Information Commissioner for her ruling.
Put these two factors together and you have, surely, a story that should also have been leading every news bulletin in Scottish broadcasting. Instead, as far as I can trace, there was total silence. The “unlawful” action of the Scottish government was ignored by our national broadcasters.
This is no isolated example. I recently drew attention to the response of the Convention of Scotland Local Authorities (Cosla) to the Scottish government budget having been side-lined. All 32 council leaders in Scotland, including SNP ones, signed a letter of outrage to the First Minister about the latest assault on their ability to deliver services – perhaps a unique happening.
If the parallel had occurred under Mrs Thatcher in the 1980s, I suggested, it would have led every Scottish TV news bulletin for days. A major furore. Now, in the age of devolution and SNP dominance, it was not worthy of a mention, far less a running story, demanding responses from ministers.
Drawing attention to such examples can easily turn into a random list of criticisms, brushed aside by BBC Scotland and STV with the old chestnut: we’re attacked by both sides, therefore we must be in the middle. So let’s pre-empt that one. This is not a claim of deliberate bias but a questioning of attitude, training and standards.
There is no channel for challenging these judgements but neither is there an obligation to respect them, particularly when a pattern exists and one has the advantage of remembering better times.
The issue can be addressed by each of the political reporters we see on our screens answering honestly the question: “When did you last originate or pursue a story which remotely inconvenienced the Scottish government?”
Most of what passes for political reporting by Scotland’s broadcasters is actually regurgitation of what is handed down by those in authority. Journalism is something quite different. It is about finding things out and particularly things that those in authority do not want you to find out. How often is that challenge met or even attempted?
You need to be of a certain age to remember Kenny MacIntyre when he was BBC Scotland’s fearless political reporter. There really should be a Kenny MacIntyre Memorial Award but maybe not, for who would be eligible to enter? Kenny’s only bias was in favour of finding stories which inconvenienced politicians – regardless of status or party, day after day.
He would have held in contempt the present-day school of reporting – let’s stand outside Holyrood reading the latest communique, and would you be so kind as to give us a prepared sound-bite, minister.
Kenny’s firm view was that if a politician couldn’t stand up to a hard, door-stepping interview then he or he shouldn’t be in the job, and he would chase them down corridors to say so.
Scotland’s broadcasters need to change their mindset and play their part in holding authority to account. The problem is not that its political coverage is consciously biased, just lazy and acquiescent to the powers that be, because nothing more is demanded of it. Click here to read at source and view short video clip…
One commentator on The Scotsman article writes…
Like it or hate it…the article provides two specific examples of the Scottish media deliberately avoiding any issue that portrays the Scottish Government in a bad light. You only have to watch Scotland Tonight to see for a fact the claims made in this article are spot on. Watch them ‘interview’ someone connected to any party other than the SNP, and you’ll see them interrupt constantly, fire question after question while the interviewee is responding and argue with almost everything said. If you then watch them interviewing anyone connected to the SNP, they not only allow them to waffle on uninterrupted, they actually set them up to do so with their questions. It’s like a party political broadcast on behalf of the SNP!
And before we get the usual suspects on here wailing and gnashing about Tory media and bias…just watch any interview Wee Jimmy does with London based political shows where she is interviewed by REAL journalists like Andrew Neil or Andrew Marr. Where she is actually faced with facts, figures and evidence of her total incompetence and by the end of the interview is stammering, stuttering and has a face like a Ribena Berry. If only we could see the same from the Scottish media.
It’s only whenever she appears on BBC London based political programmes she gets asked serious questions, challenged & found out. To the point the SNP actually complained to the BBC about the treatment she has received, because it never happens in Scotland
Today, we have a classic example of the manipulative SNP at work in the media. The March for Freedom which took place across the world – fighting vaccine passports and other restrictions on our freedom, using Covid as the excuse – drew around 4,000 thousand marchers in Glasgow, yet they are not being mentioned in the reports I’ve seen so far. Only the independence lobby – representing at most, 1,000 marchers – is being reported. The majority, then, were marching, not for “freedom from England”, but for freedom from Covid restrictions. Yet, the SNP marchers headlined their event and banners as “All Under One Banner” (AUOB) giving the impression that everyone participating is campaigning for an independent Scotland. Devious isn’t the word. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of one that totally fits the bill.
If Catholics are participating in such deception, they ought to think again. The apparently much-hated English/Tories are not oppressing us -our nationalist Scottish Anything-but-Dear-Leader IS. she’s tailormade for dictatorial office and given the subservience of the Scottish media, Church leaders and the majority of Christians, are we ever likely to get rid of her? Rhetorical question. It’s obvious now that we have kissed goodbye to our God-given freedoms, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get them back anytime soon…