Chilcot, Twitter, and journalistic bias

A busy day in our office yesterday meant that I was tied to my desk with a pile of admin. (Well, not literally tied, that would be a bit too kinky, probably against some sort of HR policy, and would be a bit strange). But I was definitely sat at my desk. Not a great way to spend a Friday really, but it was actually pretty interesting. Not because I suddenly had really thrilling stuff to send off to Finance, but because it allowed me to have the Iraq Inquiry playing on my PC via the BBC website. Of course, listening to it live was good, but being the media junky that I am, I also watched the news reports from outside the QEII (the hall, not the ship. That would be a bit strange). So the news reports filled in the bits I missed when the phone rang or I had to wander off to find staples. I really had my finger on Chilcot’s pulse (the inquiry in a metaphorical sense, not the man in a real sense. That would be a bit strange).
I’m not going to say too much about Tony Blair (well, I’m going to say a little bit about him. It’s a blog about his inquiry day. If I didn’t mention him, well, that would be a bit strange). Today, I will mostly be writing about tweets. Because, as well as having the live feed on my PC and watching the news broadcasts, I was following several journalists’ analyses on Twitter. I was fully informed on the step by step of the day’s proceedings. Why queue for a ticket to be in the room when I can have so much reportage at my fingertips? I had that Friday feeling about the whole thing. It’s not often I get to follow more than one report of the same event at the same time. I mean I can read the papers and compare the Guardian and Mail (except I don’t read the Mail, that would be a bit strange), but that’s usually after the event. So getting tweets from various journalists on an event that I was watching live was pretty interesting.
The empirical scientist in me (who hadn’t seen the light of day since Johnny Ball went off the air) saw this as a demonstration of comparative reporting, to see how easy it could be for the media to misrepresent a politician, policy, or party. Krishnan Guru-Murphy was a bit lacking in analysis and, frankly, grammar; Kevin McGuire was fairly quiet (which is a bit strange); But Laura Kuenssberg, well, almost every tweet she sent was written from an anti-Blair and anti-government angle.
Now Tony Blair is a divisive character, both loved and loathed, and we all know the BBC has given Team Cameron an easy ride, and that Nick Robinson is somewhere to the right of Norman Tebbit. Still I was struck (not literally or anything, though someone did throw a Rich Tea at me at one point which was a bit strange) by the very apparent bias of our national broadcaster. Glen Oglaza was the most even handed, accurate, and sensible commentator.
Surprising, really, that Sky News – owned by Rupert Murdoch – should prove to be the most accurate and unbiased tweeter, at least on this occasion.
Now, that really is just a bit strange.


  1. "we all know the BBC has given Team Cameron an easy ride, and that Nick Robinson is somewhere to the right of Norman Tebbit"Oh dear Rob. It seems that only MOST of us know it. Your above contributor has somehow missed this. (HOW???)How many faux people have you met? (Those of whom I know are all Tories.) Being a real person with real problems caused by Tories, supported by the news media, in the 1980s, I am very worried about the possibility of them getting back into government. But the news media worry me even more.

  2. "we all know the BBC has given Team Cameron an easy ride, and that Nick Robinson is somewhere to the right of Norman Tebbit"If you really believe this then you really must get out more, avoid the tweetering classes, and meet real people with real problems brought on by Bed & Breakfast (Blair & Brown). Also I am afraid your post reinforces my belief in the decline of the British education system.

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