The BBC has pre-emptively announced that Theresa May – unsurprisingly – prefers a BBC-hosted programme for the Brexit debate between her and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour’s preference is to let ITV host the event – and for it to take place just before the final of the channel’s ‘I’m a Celebrity’ show for the maximum audience. Not spoken, but no doubt present, is an awareness that the chances of a neutral ‘referee’ are greater outside the BBC. The party had already announced an agreement with ITV.
Author and journalist Liam Young, who has excellent connections with Labour’s front bench, accused the BBC of trying to ‘bounce’ Labour into accepting its version of the debate:
His opinion has been echoed by journalists and others. Some news outlets are already claiming the BBC has ‘won the battle’.
It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the BBC is colluding with the government – and that Labour should insist ITV is the host channel:
Get back to Robbie Gibb on WhatsApp and tell him to stop pissing about. Shameful that a public service broadcaster would work with a party of government like this. https://t.co/APTpmyUoNl
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) November 29, 2018
Regardless of the BBC’s intent, it’s a bad look for the BBC to be publicly campaigning for Theresa May’s format & venue.
In fact, it looks remarkable like an exercise in ‘manufactured consent’ to assist in the manipulation of public opinion.
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