The Guardian’s prodigal son’s hubris and its precious propagandist’s insufferable mendacity examined.
Kevin McKenna in an article in the New Statesman asserts:
“The Scottish nationalists must snap out of their victim complex over a perceived anti-Yes bias in the UK and Scottish press. Certainly, the pattern of press ownership in Scotland suggests an inherent pro-Union sentiment, but a study of each of Scotland’s national newspapers shows that the Yes camp has little to complain about.”
Really? Can he cite these studies? The less charitable may wonder what planet he’s currently orbiting.
“In the comment sections of these papers, I have already counted nine columnists who, by degrees, could be considered sympathetic to the nationalist cause.”
Ah, they’re Kevin’s studies and it was Kevin who counted. Well that’s fine then, proof positive. Nine columnists? In how many articles out of how many thousands, Kev?
Who are these columnists? Why hasn’t he listed them so we can check for ourselves, their degree of support for indy, and crucially the volume and distribution of their output?
The SUN may have backed the SNP in the Holyrood election in the end, but day to day the SUN is not the champion either of the SNP or of independence.
Now compare that to the output of the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the the Scotsman, the weekday Herald (Sunday Herald is becoming more impartial), the Independent, and his own beloved Guardian.
Then there’s the Spectator, the Daily Record, the Sunday Post, the BBC TV and radio, and on and on and on.
Back to the Guardian that McKenna has previously improbably described as neutral.
Another of its correspondents also took umbrage to the dastardly accusations of bias. Indignant and outraged at a Wings Over Scotland ad placed in Glasgow subway carriages, the aggrieved hack tweeted:
@Sneekyboy @WingsScotland Come on: says Scottish press not telling both sides of the story; ignores @newsundayherald stance, v close to yes.
You’ll note that the only journal Severin could come up with was the aforementioned Sunday Herald.
And with all the chutzpah you would expect from Mr Carrell, he wrote an article in the Guardian chronicling these events, writing:
” The ad, which had been put up in a handful of carriages before the ban was imposed on Wednesday evening, was attacked by newspaper journalists on Twitter for implying the press was biased and was censoring the pro-independence case, but vigorously defended by the website’s followers.”
Of course, what this disingenuous Unionist propagandist fails to tell readers is that he was the newspaper “journalist” doing the attacking! You can’t fault this hack for having a lack of brass neck or a surfeit of ethics.
THE 76% JOURNO
Here’s a representitive sample of the recent output of the Guardian’s august Scotland correspondent, Severin Carrell:
– A snippet from recent 3 week period presenting the headline and the lede, evincing the drumbeat of anti-independence propaganda that is this man’s signature note.
The bias revealed in NOT the result of editorial decisions regarding the headlines.
In addition to the headlines, the data below also include the lede, and it is the case in every story that a) the lede does reflect the tone of the article, and b) that Carrell wrote it (since it appears in the actual article.
OUT OF 50 ARTICLES EXAMINED (consecutive and indy-related):
39 ARTICLES (76%) WERE NEGATIVE AND DETRIMENTAL TO THE CAMPAIGN FOR INDEPENDENCE
9 ARTICLES (18%) WERE ARGUABLY POSITIVE AND HELPFUL TO THE CAMPAIGN FOR INDEPENDENCE
TWO ARTICLES (4%) WERE NEUTRAL, EXHIBITING NO SUBSTANTIVE BIAS EITHER WAY
Positive and neutral articles comprised:
3 “positive” articles addressed the issue of the debacle of Scottish Labour’s confused proposals to devolve tax powers.
2 other positive articles dealt with the revelation from a senior coalition minister that UK Government’s stance on currency union was a ruse.
1 neutral article on voting patterns
2 articles looked at Andrew Marr’s inadvertent admission of his personal negative bias on the issue of iScotland’s admission into the EU
1 article on Nationalists claims that Labour supporters, young people and middle-class women are flocking to yes vote
1 article on SNP claims that Scottish independence is winning over uncommitted
1 neutral article on the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn
26 Mar 2014: Independent Scotland would have same influence in EU as Finland, says CBI ” Business group says Scotland would face being left out in cold …”
26 Mar 2014: Business group says Scotland would face being left out in cold and Salmond’s plan to join EU within 18 months is ‘ambitious’
Independent Scotland’s finances at risk from oil slump, say economists
24 Mar 2014: University of Glasgow researchers warn North Sea production fall will leave Scotland £1,000 worse off per person than UK
Scottish Labour’s income tax confusion leaves relaunch dented
Scottish Labour launch further devolution proposals to counter SNP 23 Mar 2014: Whether Scottish Labour’s mis-step on devolving income tax was a muddle or an implosion, its opponents have a ready-made weapon to attack its relaunch
Scottish Labour unveils mini-manifesto to woo disillusioned voters
21 Mar 2014: Party pledges to cut child poverty, increase wages and reform the NHS to boost no vote in independence referendum
Ed Miliband to accuse Alex Salmond of mimicking Conservative policies
20 Mar 2014: Labour leader says the first minister is competing with David Cameron in ‘race to the bottom’ by protecting the wealthy
Scottish independence would leave families worse off, says Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown 20 Mar 2014: Low and middle-income families will be more than £1bn worse off if they vote for independence and re-elect SNP, he says
BAE warns of risk from Scottish independence
20 Mar 2014: Defence group said it believed that remaining in the UK ‘offers greater certainty and stability’ for its operations
Salmond under pressure after North Sea oil tax estimates cut in budget
19 Mar 2014: Chancellor says falling oil receipts are a reminder of how ‘precarious’ budget of an independent Scotland would be
Bannockburn festival will celebrate Scots defeat of English invasion
Bannockburn 19 Mar 2014: Severin Carrell: Thousands of expat Scots and visitors are expected to attend events, including 700th anniversary re-enactment of 1314 battle
Scottish independence is winning over uncommitted, says SNP
18 Mar 2014: Nationalists say Labour supporters, young people and middle-class women are flocking to yes vote
Scottish Labour to ‘energise devolution’ if Scotland says no to independence
18 Mar 2014: Leader Johann Lamont says Holyrood would get more powers to set Scottish income tax and to reform housing benefit
Scottish independence: Labour sets out tax and housing benefit devolution plan
Scottish Labour party plans tax increase for richest with new devolved powers
Scottish Labour Party Leader Johann Lamont 16 Mar 2014: Johann Lamont says party would use proposed extra powers for Scottish parliament to raise taxes to reinvest in public services
BBC asked to justify Andrew Marr’s remarks on Scotland’s right to join EU
16 Mar 2014: Presenter accused of expressing personal opinions about Scotland’s entitlement during interview with Alex Salmond
Theresa May would seek passport checks between Scotland and England
Theresa May says passport checks would be necessary between an independent Scotland and England
14 Mar 2014: Home secretary says independence vote would bring big changes for migration policy
Vote against Scottish independence will not rule out further devolution – PM
14 Mar 2014: Cameron pledges that Tories will back plans to give Holyrood more control over income tax rates in event of no vote in September
Engineering interests in Scotland warn of risk of independence to business
13 Mar 2014: Babcock issues statement confirming it has told unions independence carried some ‘uncertainties for its business’
Scotland’s deficit of £12bn damages Alex Salmond’s case for independence
12 Mar 2014: Fall in North Sea oil revenues cut Scotland’s revenues by £4.5bn from the previous year
Scottish referendum has power to renew British politics
11 Mar 2014: Severin Carrell: Researchers are using the Scottish independence referendum to conduct a holistic study of voting patterns
Lib Dems back Labour’s post-Scottish referendum devolution proposals
10 Mar 2014: Brown and Campbell urge parties to agree to devolve more powers to Holyrood in event of vote against independence
Gordon Brown calls for Scotland to have right to set tax and welfare policies
10 Mar 2014: Ex-prime minister sets out radical plan to rewrite UK constitution giving Scots more powers
Shell boss warns against Scottish independence
North Sea oil rig 6 Mar 2014: Chief executive Ben van Beurden says vote for independence in September would introduce greater uncertainty into oil industry
Lloyds suggests Scotland independence would drive up its costs
5 Mar 2014: Scottish yes vote could have ‘material impact’ on borrowing, tax and procedures under two regulatory systems, says bank group
Ban on independent Scotland sharing sterling ‘not serious’, Holyrood told
5 Mar 2014: Economic expert claims George Osborne would drop opposition to currency union – ‘the best option for everybody’
SNP ‘has exaggerated Scotland’s oil revenues’
North Sea oil rig 4 Mar 2014: Institute of Fiscal Studies warns that predictions by Alex Salmond’s government of North Sea earnings are ‘too optimistic’