Concocting Another Kuenssberg: BBC Struggle to Find a Replacement Stooge

* Update – a few days after this article was published the BBC confirmed Chris Mason as the new political editor. Check out our Matrix Database entry for Mason here to see which characteristics he has in common with his predecessors.

The BBC are apparently struggling to fill their flagship role of political editor. Laura Kuenssberg is leaving the position this month, after years of reading out text messages from Dominic Cummings – sorry, years of impartial reporting – and, according to the Guardian, BBC bigwigs have been “unhappy with the choice of candidates” put forward to replace her. They have “began inviting fresh applications for the job.”

What kind of characteristics are BBC executives looking for? Perhaps you’re wondering whether you have what it takes to “immediately become one of the most influential and scrutinised journalists in the country”?

With the help of our Matrix Database, which documents conflicts of interest among high-profile journalists, we take a look at the previous incumbents of the role to see what “attributes” they have in common…

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The Complete Compendium of Ukraine War Hypocrisy

Nato bombing = Good, Russia bombing = Bad (Image courtesy of Alan MacLeod, Twitter @AlanRMacLeod)

When establishment politicians, the mainstream media and the cultural elite are all saying the same thing and won’t tolerate a sliver of dissent – hello Keir “don’t mention Nato” Starmer – we should always be suspicious.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is as barbaric and outrageous as liberal commentators claim, daily, with megaphones. However, we can all point the finger and condemn the evil deeds of others.

As Noam Chomsky reminds us, a foundational moral principle is that “we apply to ourselves the same standards we apply to others, if not more stringent ones”.

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Believing in Lies: Andrew Neil Owns Himself With “Pro Kremlin” Corbyn Slur

Last week Andrew Neil accidentally offered a fascinating insight into what we might call the “mind of the corporate media”.

Neil, whose Twitter thread is usually full of acerbic put downs, staunch self-defence and the pseudo-intellectual posturing of The Spectator, got carried away and tweeted that Corbynistas were “pro-Kremlin” and a “busted flush”.

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Afghanistan: US Carnage and Corporate Media Cuddles

Picture the scene: August 29th, Kabul. Ezmarai Ahmadi, an engineer for an NGO, returns home from work. His children and nephews, excited by his return, pour out of the house to greet him and to play inside the car. Moments later a high-powered missile, fired from an unmanned United States drone, strikes the car. Ahmadi is killed, along with seven children and two other adults.

How would a free press report such an atrocity? The Daily Mail, card carrying member of the UK corporate media, quickly showed how they wouldn’t. “A cuddle amidst the carnage” declared their 30th August front page beneath a picture of a US Military servicewoman cradling an Afghan child.

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Exposed: The 9 Foundational Lies of GB News

GB News launched on Sunday 13th June with a declaration of intent from chairman and lead presenter Andrew Neil. Among other things, Neil proclaimed that the channel would give “voice to those who have felt sidelined or even silenced in our great national debates” and would cover “the people’s agenda.”

Neil has since taken a break from the channel, admitting to a “rocky start” (some of the funniest gaffes and technical mix-ups from the first few weeks are documented here), but GB News ploughs on – now with less taking the knee and more Nigel Farage!

As the mask slips further, revealing something that looks more and more like Fox News, we revisit Andrew Neil’s opening speech and pick apart the contradictions.

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A Colour-Coded Guide to the Subversion of Democracy

Right-click and select “open image in new tab” to see an enlarged version of the mind map with a zoom function

The corporate media have finally caught up with the lies and cronyism of Boris Johnson’s government. Our mindmap may help you understand why they’ve been so reluctant to cover the scandals. Does democracy function in any meaningful way when politics, business and media are as intertwined as this?

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“Without Fear or Favour”: The BBC and Political Protest

“The BBC is the world’s most trusted international news broadcaster, reporting to a global audience of more than 400m people weekly without fear or favour”

The BBC released the above official statement in February 2021. Such declarations are typical of British media outlets and journalists, who loudly proclaim their fearlessness, impartiality and willingness to stand up to power.

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Keir Starmer’s 10 Socialist Pledges: Forensic Gaslighting?

It’s just over a year since Keir Starmer swept to victory in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election. Front and centre of his campaign were 10 Socialist Pledges, a commitment to progressive manifesto pledges and policy statements forged under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

As centrist journalists never tire of explaining, Starmer is a canny political operator. Were his socialist pledges statements of principle or a cynical attempt to win the support of the contingent of left-wing members who propelled Corbyn to two leadership victories?

We look at the pledges a year on to see how long each one lasted..

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