A petition asking the BBC to sack Laura Kuenssberg has been signed by nearly 40,000 people [Image: REX Shutterstock].

A petition asking the BBC to sack Laura Kuenssberg has been signed by nearly 40,000 people [Image: REX Shutterstock].

How do you deflect accusations of bias against the BBC’s political editor? By accusing her accusers of sexism, it seems.

And there may well be truth in the claims of Jane Merrick and Jess Phillips. But don’t their comments ignore a fundamental issue?

What about the accusation against Kuenssberg?

This Writer considers the BBC’s political editor to be hopelessly prejudiced in favour of the Conservative Party. It is an issue that has nothing to do with her gender, skin colour, religion or any other such defining factor.

She simply can’t keep her own politics out of her work. For a reporter, that is a fatal error and This Writer cannot understand why anybody would want to support her in it – least of all a Labour MP like Ms Phillips.

If Kuenssberg wants to turn every report into a pro-Tory opinion piece, then let her become a pundit. Stick her on the Daily Politics or This Week with Andrew Neil and give the political editor’s job to somebody who can do it impartially.

As for anybody who has expressed themselves in sexist terms while complaining about her: Those people have made it easy for Merrick and Phillips (and, no doubt, others) to dismiss the valid concerns of thousands of BBC News viewers.

Not only is the expression of such views a disgrace, they also do a huge disservice to everybody who simply wants the BBC to tell the news, without fear or favour.

A campaign to sack BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg over her coverage of Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of misogyny and sexism.

More than 35,000 people have signed a petition posted on campaigning website 38 Degrees claiming Kuenssberg is biased against Labour, most recently in her coverage of last week’s local and regional elections.

However, many of the comments by those sharing the petition on Twitter have used offensive and sexist language, with further abuse in more private Facebook postings.

Former Independent on Sunday political editor Jane Merrick said Kuenssberg’s questioning of what the results meant for Corbyn was justified and the petition was ridiculous, but that the BBC’s first female political editor faced an extra layer of sexist criticism. “She has been called a whore and a bitch on Twitter,” said Merrick. “Nick Robinson used to be accused of Tory bias but he never experienced this level of nastiness.

“Of course, not all Corbyn supporters are sexist, far from it, but there is a core of hard-left misogyny that comes out against women when Corbyn is under pressure – such as the abuse against Stella Creasy and Jess Phillips. Jeremy Corbyn said back in September he wanted a ‘kinder politics’ so he should condemn these vile attacks against a respected and experienced journalist.”

Source: Campaign to sack BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg accused of sexism | Media | The Guardian

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