Journalists may have walked out in solidarity, but list of publications that made the ‘acceptable’ side of the Downing Street rug shows UK broadcasters steeped in pro-Tory bias
Journalists staged a large-scale walk-out from a Downing Street briefing yesterday when Tory lackeys divided reporters onto opposite sides of a Number 10 rug. Those on the ‘good’ side were deemed acceptable to Boris Johnson and his handlers – even though Johnson was not going to be delivering the briefing.
Those on the ‘bad’ side were told they would not be allowed to stay, because their publications had been critical of Boris Johnson and his government.
The Daily Mirror’s Pippa Crerar said:
I felt deeply uncomfortable being left to stand on one side of the room while colleagues’ names were read out one-by-one and they joined the group who were deemed ‘acceptable’ by No 10. Sinister and sad.
There was rightly an outcry about the Tories avoiding scrutiny – but one of the most significant aspects of the incident seems to have been ignored.
The walk-out of other journalists in solidarity with their barred counterparts from the Daily Mirror, Independent and others is all very laudable – but the fact that so many had to walk out, rather than being kicked out, is hugely revealing of the state of UK journalism and the country’s democracy.
Those on the ‘good’ side of the rug included the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, ITV’s Robert Peston and Rupert Murdoch’s representatives from Sky, the Times and S*n – along with right-wing rags like the Mail. The Guardian was also on the ‘allowed’ side of the rug, which speaks volumes for that supposedly ‘left’ publication and its political positions.
That means that our country’s three principal broadcasters are all considered by the Tories to be so friendly and supine to Tory interests that they are not critical enough to be barred.
Well done to those who walked out, but one act does not hide, let alone compensate for, the utter scandal of Boris Johnson’s bandits admitting – as they effectively did yesterday – that the UK’s main broadcasters deliver no significant scrutiny, challenge or criticism of the Tories.
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