Politics

BBC Admits Maitlis Documentary Was Biased Against Cummings



BBC Admits Maitlis Documentary Was Biased Against Cummings

Getting admissions of bias out of the BBC is like pulling teeth. However once again the BBC’s Complaints Unit has had to admit bias, slipped out on Christmas Eve when we were otherwise distracted, is the finding accepting that perhaps it was a teensy weensy bit biased in the BBC 2 Taking Control: The Dominic Cummings Story documentary:

The attribution of prejudice against Muslims related to a sequence which included the following quotation from a paper entitled “How Demographic Decline and its financial consequences will sink the European Dream” published by a think tank directed by Mr Cummings: “The consequences of economic stagnation coinciding with rising Muslim immigration cannot fill anyone familiar with European history with anything other than a sense of apprehension, at least, about the future of the Continent”.  The ECU agreed that, in the context of this sequence, the quotation tended to support the impression complained of.  In the think tank paper the quotation stood in a context which pointed to Europe’s relative difficulty in integrating immigrants, rather than anything connected with Islam, as the source of tension, and the paper itself concluded “There is little reason to be optimistic about Europe’s capacity to avoid a growth of extremist political activity, or its desire to avoid the traditional response of polities in crisis – blaming foreigners”.  In the ECU’s judgement, the quotation would have conveyed a different impression in the programme if more had been done to reflect its original context.  As this risked misleading viewers, there was a breach of the BBC’s standards of accuracy, and this aspect of the complaint was upheld.

To be clear they tried to paint him, in the words of the finding, as a ‘tribalist’ ‘with neo fascist’ prejudices against Muslims. So quite a serious allegation. Now that the BBC has admitted this was misleading, in other words untrue, Cummings could sue them for defamation and use their own ruling as evidence. Taking thousands in damages off the BBC would be classic Dom…

The documentary by Emily Maitlis also accused Dominic Cummings of being a thug and a liar. The BBC found that the BBC wasn’t biased on these somewhat contentious points because they balanced that with denials that he was a thug and a liar. No wonder they tried to slip out the findings on Christmas Eve…


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