Video: LauraK’s Brexit piece is an example of what frustrates so many

On Thursday evening, BBC News’ political editor Laura Kuenssberg did a ‘piece to camera’ on Theresa May’s Brexit talks in Brussels – and on Jeremy Corbyn. It was an object lesson in the kind of language and framing that drives so many on the left up the wall at perceived bias.

Ms Kuenssberg started the piece by describing Theresa May’s position in the latest talks with the other twenty-seven EU leaders. Pay close attention to the words highlighted in yellow in the subtitles:

But however much she can appeal to them tonight, she’ll make it clear that she has compromised as far as she can.

The Tories are busy desperately trying to prepare the UK public for a ‘no-deal Brexit’, to pitch it as a positive, as a show of strength. And here we have the BBC’s political editor treating as fact the idea that Mrs May has compromised as far as she can. She’ll be ‘making that clear’ to the other EU leaders – and if they don’t accept that, the implication is that they’re denying reality.

For someone who makes her living from words, it would be extremely easy for Ms Kuenssberg to avoid giving this implied endorsement to Theresa May’s position. Simply changing ‘she’ll make it clear‘ to ‘tell them‘ would do it:

she’ll tell them that she has compromised as far as she can

would succinctly convey the fact that it would be May’s claim or opinion rather than fact. If Ms Kuenssberg wanted to be more explicitly impartial, she could use ‘claim’, or ‘she’ll make it clear that she feels she has compromised as far as she can’.

Such a choice of language may, possibly, have been simply accidental, but it’s anything but trivial. Repeat such terminology often enough and the implication is clear: Theresa May or her representatives are telling the truth – she has compromised as far as any reasonable person could and if the EU leaders reject her supposed ‘compromise’, the blame for a disastrous no-deal Brexit will be all their fault, not the Tories’.

Now contrast with the phraseology applied to the brief appearance of Jeremy Corbyn in the report:

The Labour leader, rallying in Brussels today says the risk of no-deal is dangerous.

Now it’s just his opinion, not a fact – he says it’s dangerous, but it might not be. As the cherry on top, he’s in Brussels ‘rallying’ – speaking to crowds in the way that was written off by commentators in the General Election and in the 2016 Labour leadership contest as trivial, unimportant, not ‘real politics’.

If Ms Kuenssberg were to equalise the weight she gives to the opinions/claims of the two party leaders, she could change the May piece as suggested above – or she could say that Corbyn ‘knows’, ‘recognises’, ‘is aware’, or some other wording that suggests the danger is also factual.

The left, well used to this kind of asymmetrical language from ‘MSM’ commentators, recognises its importance and the kind of impression it creates in the public mind – and considers any journalist biased whom they perceive to be demonstrating a pattern of such language in favour of the government.

And, whether it’s by Ms Kuenssberg or any other reporter/journalist/talking head, it drives them – understandably – up the wall.

And, since the BBC Trust itself criticised Ms Kuenssberg for bias in the presentation of an interview she conducted with Jeremy Corbyn, the perception is not exclusive to the left.

Now, we don’t need to add this, because SKWAWKBOX readers and the left generally are disinclined to violence and abuse, in spite of scurrilous claims to the contrary by Establishment journalists and politicians. But because it is likely to be used against us if we don’t say it explicitly, here it is:

Do not consider this information a justification for abusive language or behaviour toward anyone. By all means be critical where merited, but not personal.

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27 responses to “Video: LauraK’s Brexit piece is an example of what frustrates so many

  1. Pingback: Video: LauraK’s Brexit piece is an example of what frustrates so many | Hercules space·

  2. Pingback: Video: LauraK’s Brexit piece is an example of what frustrates so many | Jaffer's blog·

  3. It is probably accidental and not accidental at the same time. This was not a calculated attempt to talk up May and talk down Corbyn, but simply reflected LK’s own prejudices and conditioning. Any political analyst will have these biases, which is why it’s important to have a spread of political opinion amongst the commentators, which is what is lacking.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Journalists at the BBC and in the mainstream media can report as they see fit. But there is a price to pay for their lack of impartiality and biased reporting.

    The price they will pay for their lack of impartiality and opinion based reporting is that the organisations they work for will no longer be considered reliable sources.

    To a large extent that is already happening. Conservative propagandists like Laura and Nick Robinson are merely accelerating that process.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Pingback: Video: LauraK’s Brexit piece is an example of what frustrates so many | The SKWAWKBOX | Britain Isn't Eating·

  6. Pingback: Video: LauraK’s Brexit piece is an example of what frustrates so many – The SKWAWKBOX – leftwingnobody·

  7. Pingback: “VIDEO: LauraK’s Brexit piece is an example of what frustrates so many” | The Skwawkbox | BOYCIE'S BLOGS: REINFORCING THE UK'S NEED FOR AN ANTI-TORY/DUP REVOLUTION·

  8. Pingback: Video: LauraK’s Brexit piece is an example of what frustrates so many | paulh121·

  9. The only thing separating the likes of Laura K. from CCHQ’s press office is a veneer of pretense; or, if we’re feeling charitable, self deception.

    Their pathetic rubbish is falling on increasingly deaf ears.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Labour Party chairman and top Corbynista Ian Lavery is one of the biggest wrong ‘uns in Westminster. If there was any natural justice in Labour they would have sacked him when the Sunday Times’ James Lyons exposed how he shamelessly benefited from a miners’ benevolent fund. Last night Newsnight’s John Sweeney had more: Lavery received £165,000 from a 10 member trade union which he ran before becoming an MP. Their investigation finds the disgraced socialist hardliner enriched himself via mortgage transactions over the 18 year period when he was General Secretary of the NUM Northumberland Area. He also took a huge redundancy package before his election in 2010. Trade unions regulator the Certification Office found:

    1994: The Northumberland Provident and Benevolent fund lends Lavery £72,500 to buy a house. In 2007 the union forgave the loan, leaving Lavery £72,500 richer…
    Lavery also kept £18,000 from an endowment fund associated with the mortgage;
    2005: Lavery sells 15% of his house to the union for £36,000. By 2014 the value of the house had fallen. He bought the stake back from the union for £27,500. A notional profit of £8,500…
    2010: On stepping down from the NUM Northumberland Area, Lavery receives “termination payments” totalling £89,887.83. Quite some termination package…
    As Sweeney reports:

    “The regulator says that neither Mr Lavery nor the union could provide documentary evidence of the process or the decision by which Mr Lavery was made redundant – or why, given he was leaving for a job as an MP, he needed any redundancy payments at all.”
    In total Lavery stands accused of creaming off £165,000 from the union. Lavery is inside Corbyn’s inner circle. It makes a mockery of everything Jez claims to stand for that he has kept his broacialist brother in the tent despite a scandal which should have ended his career several times over. Indeed the Leader’s Office has given him a raft of promotions along the way. Is there anything Ian Lavery could do that would convince Corbyn to sack him?

    Like

    • All asked and answered by the very same report Newsnight used as a pretext for the attack piece – no case to answer. Now why bring it up just as May shambles through another EU summit, I wonder…

      Like

  11. Laura K – The blonde assassin who got her current role by stabbing two of her colleagues in the back!

    Like

  12. Once again – All the ammo you need to become (Legally) licence-free can be found here…

    http://tv-licensing.blogspot.co.uk/

    Disagree with your last sentence, Skwawky. I take the billshut they spew out personally. It’s an insult to my intelligence to try & force-feed me the predisposed crap they do. If they suffer ‘abuse’ they bring it on themselves imo.

    Like

  13. IT AMUSES ME THAT THE POLITICAL RIGHT LEANING REPORTERS TALK LIKE THEY KNOW HOW BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS IS GOING WHEN IT COMES TO TELLING US ABOUT WHAT THEY KNOW, BEFORE THOSE WHO ARE DOING THE NEGOTIATIONS EVEN GET STARTED!
    AS FOR THE TORY BREXITEERS TELLING US NOTHING THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW THEMSELVES WHAT WAY TO GO!
    NO SUBSTANCE OR PLAN!
    WHEN GOING INTO A MEETING TO GAIN SOMETHING YOU FIRST HAVE TO TELL THOSE WHO ARE LISTENING WHAT IT IS YOU WANT!
    OBVIOUSLY, YOU HAVE ALTERNATIVE ARGUMENTS IF THE FIRST PLAN DOESN’T WORK!
    AFTER MUCH TALKING, YOU MIGHT FIND YOUR FAR FROM AGREEING,
    YOU GO AWAY AND REHASH YOUR DEMANDS!
    THEN GO BACK TO THE MEETING WITH A DIFFERENT POSITIVE PLAN, THAT BOTH SIDES CAN AGREE!
    WHETHER YOUR AMBISHES OR NOT!
    YOUR 1 AGAINST 27 GET REAL (NEGOTIATE)
    WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO, IS KEEP REPEATING, THREATENING OR WALK AWAY!
    THIS WILL ONLY WORK WHEN YOU TELL THE OTHERSIDE, WHAT IT IS, YOU WANT!

    JAW JAW, NOT WAR, WAR!

    Like

  14. No wonder the Tories don’t want Media Studies being taught to sixth formers, they may cotton on the MSM is biased towards the Tories and it’s hideous doctrines of selfishness and greed.

    Like

  15. Personally, I think this piece is complete bunkum. I didn’t read any biased into Laura’s reporting. Its typical scaremongering from remain supporters that does nothing constructive. If you want a real story concentrate on why the EU are being deliberately obstructive despite clear efforts from the UK to compromise. Take politics out of the equation. It would help the inevitable fact were leaving the EU.

    Like

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