Turnabout is fair play: If Newsnight insists on depicting Jeremy Corbyn as a Communist, perhaps it should run a backdrop with Theresa May as a Nazi. It wouldn’t be too far from the facts… [Image: The Agitator on Twitter].

The BBC’s news editors really blundered on this one.

Yesterday, This Site reported – in passing – on the decision by the BBC’s Newsnight team to run a debate about Jeremy Corbyn’s attitude to the Salisbury poisonings and the international incident with Russia that has arisen from it, last Thursday. They created a special projected backdrop for the studio – an image of Mr Corbyn with a Photoshopped hat (to make it look more Russian) set against Russian-esque buildings and a red sky (to evoke Soviet imagery).

It seems others were more bothered by this casual act of BBC bias than I was. I’m used to it, you see – I’m exposed to it on a day-to-day basis. As Mr O’Neill points out below:

The matter was brought to a head by Leftie journalist Owen Jones on the same programme the following evening:

Notice that the show’s anchor, Evan Davis, tried to pretend that the image had not been Photoshopped. Judge for yourself:

The transparency of the lie (which, let’s be kind, was probably piped to Mr Davis via his earpiece by panicking producers) led to ridicule and vilification:

I particularly like the following Tweet because it leaves no room for doubt:

Omnivorist framed an obvious question that must have occurred to casual readers everywhere:

In fact, it’s propaganda – of a kind that has no place on a supposedly balanced news outlet.

And it was recognised. Even people who don’t support Labour sympathised with Mr Corbyn over this blatant attempt at brainwashing:

More seasoned commenters considered it to be time for stronger action than a mere complaint:

Sue Jones, of the Politics and Insights blog, stated:

It is a blatant attempt at shaping public perception and disgraceful breach of the BBC’s impartiality obligations.  This was also most certainly a deviation in coverage from objective truth.

It’s the kind of nasty tactic that we ordinarily expect from the right wing rags.

The government have reduced politics to crude ad hominem attacks, aggressive posturing, overly simplistic sound bites and negative, divisive and emotive appeals. The media have reflected a corresponding lack of sophistication in their delivery of ‘news’.

Newsnight is a repeat offender in this regard:

Tory tomfool James Cleverly rushed to the BBC’s defence:

You can always judge an organisation by the quality of its friends:

Already there are demands for a regime change at the BBC. An organisation called the Media Reform Coalition launched proposals for “radical reform” this weekend. Among those proposals, it states:

Governmental influence over the BBC threatens to undermine its capacity to deliver impartial news and information. Whilst the BBC’s current Royal Charter states that it should be ‘independent in all matters’, it also stipulates that governments are responsible both for appointing the chair and four directors to the BBC Board, and for setting the level of the licence fee. The periodic renewal of the Royal Charter is another means of governmental influence over the BBC.

These procedures should be abolished so the BBC becomes truly independent of governments. In place of these mechanisms of accountability, members of the BBC Board should be directly elected by licence fee payers and BBC staff. The BBC should be put on a permanent statutory footing and an independent, non-market, regulator, acting solely in the public interest, should set the level of the licence fee and periodically review the BBC’s constitutional remit.

A more immediate course of action has been proposed by the campaigning organisation 38 Degrees, which is hosting a petition calling on Ofcom to hold the BBC to account for its “spiteful and manipulative coverage of Jeremy Corbyn”. Visit and sign here.

And the satirists have proposed a much more immediate form of compensation – equal treatment for the Tories – as follows:

Meanwhile, the Media assault on the facts continues unabated:

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