The BBC’s Sunday Politics programme is not noted for balance. Author Alex Nunns has observed that the programme almost always has a panel of two right-wingers to one centrist, with genuine left representation most often absent.
Today, however, the programme steered perilously close to a positive conclusion about Labour, when – after a discussion of the Sunday Times’ embarrassingly contrived allegations of a Labour ‘putsch’ – new host Sarah Smith observed that the current state of politics showed Labour united around most key issues.
Fortunately, arch-right-winger Isabel Oakeshott was on hand to drag the programme back to safer ground – but in the process she made a remarkable admission:
Although the topic had changed to Labour unity, Ms Oakeshott stated she wanted to get back to the discussion earlier – that is, to bashing Labour about the contrived and fact-lite Sunday Times allegations – and exclaimed:
How unpleasant and how ugly and how divisive is it to have these stories out –
whether or not they’re completely accurate or whoever is briefing, I think it looks very very bad on… the parliamentary [Labour] party.
Never mind whether these stories are true or who the [anonymous] source is – they make Labour look bad. Let’s get back to that.
At a time when Theresa May is planning to use government resources to limit the spread of news damaging to the Tories and social media platforms are planning to limit access to news from non-mainstream sources, the repetition of such unevidenced attacks on the left are of extreme relevance.
But you can bet they won’t fall foul of supposed ‘fake news’ filters.
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