It pains me to write this, as a long supporter of the BBC and defender against claims of impartiality – generally when it states a fact a certain group disagrees with – but I’m becoming more and more unable to take this position.
My latest reason why: this morning I sought out the Scottish First Minister’s Questions to watch on BBC Iplayer, just as something to have on while my hair dries, but couldn’t find it. Okay, I thought, perhaps there hasn’t been any recently – I think parliament might be on some October break right now. So I decided to go for another one. Salmond accused of being ‘Simply Dishonest’ about oil fund looked like a relevant, perhaps entertaining clip, so I put that on. Then Tricia Marwick, the Presiding Officer, appeared and said, “thank you, we now move to First Minister’s Questions…”
So basically, the BBC has covered up the First Minister’s Questions and entirely slanted it against Alex Salmond over one question. I find this to be absolutely appalling. After Prime Minister’s Questions down in Westminster, does the BBC call the recording “David Cameron attacked over cost of living crisis?” or “Cameron accused of unnecessary badger slaughter?” No, of course not, it’s simply Prime Minister’s Questions each and every time.
Despite the fact I’m slightly biased in favour of the Scottish Parliament over Westminster, I really don’t think this can be considered a rant against the BBC simply because I disagree with facts. Can anyone defend this? It’s becoming more and more common with the independence debate; I recall they interviewed Blair McDougal after the SNP’s recent party conference, giving him virtually more airtime than the conference itself. Do they interview the Yes Scotland campaign each time one of the pro-union party has a conference – or, really, has any noteworthy story in general? I highly doubt it.
Please, BBC, I want to like you, but you really do need to start living up to your reputation of impartiality. This isn’t my first issue with the BBC – the amount of coverage they gave UKIP earlier this year was ridiculous. I don’t want this blog to become a mouthpiece of the independence movement but if this impartiality in the British and Scottish media continues I’ll feel compelled to say something, if only to even out the playing field.