Following the BBC Panorama programme about Jeremy Corbyn, I posted this article:-
I also made a complaint to the BBC about what I considered to be a biased narrative in relation to the programme presenter – John Ware.
This is the response to my complaint from the BBC which as far as I am concerned says a lot, but actually explains nothing.
Dear Mrs M
We have received a wide range of feedback about our coverage of this story. In order to use our TV licence fee resources efficiently, this response aims to answer the key concerns raised, but we apologise in advance if it doesn’t address your specific points in the manner you would prefer.
In the midst of a hard-fought contest for the Labour leadership, Panorama set out to profile Jeremy Corbyn whose campaign has been the surprise package of the election so far.
Mr Corbyn was the only one of the four leadership candidates who was interviewed at length for the programme. When criticisms were raised of his policies or his judgement he was given time to respond. The programme also carried extracts from speeches he has made and demonstrated quite clearly the extent of his support, and the enthusiasm of his many supporters. It is hard to think that any viewer could have come away from this programme without understanding the momentum and the passion that Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for the leadership has generated.
Naturally, the programme featured prominent Labour politicians who oppose Mr Corbyn’s candidacy: that seems a fair reflection of the way the leadership campaign has divided opinion within the party. And, when we looked for voices to speak in support of Mr Corbyn, we chose quite deliberately to interview people who are not mainstream politicians – people like the comedian Grainne Maguire – because, again, that seems a fair reflection of a campaign in which Jeremy Corbyn has drawn strength and support from outside the Labour ‘establishment’.
By their nature, election campaigns for the leadership of political parties are moments of heightened sensitivity, so we knew that Panorama’s judgements about balance and fairness in making this film would be sharply scrutinised. We sought to be fair in the way we allocated time within the programme to reflect opinions supportive of Jeremy Corbyn and opposed to him; in allowing him to answer as fully as possible any criticisms that were raised; and in representing the extraordinary campaign that has developed around him.
There is strong opposition within the Labour Party to the idea of Jeremy Corbyn as its potential leader. We were bound to represent that within our programme, alongside his strong support. In the round, we hope we got the balance right.
Neil Salt may as well have said …
“Dear Mrs M,
fuck off! we’ll take your £145.50 licence fee and do what we like!”