by christian Wright
BBC Scotland now playing hardball. In a transparent attempt to damage the SNP electorally using guilt by association, the state broadcaster has launched an unprecedented attack on nationalists in the heat of a General Election campaign. It claims cybernats have viciously abused its reporters, and that the Corporation fears for their safety. Not one shred of evidence has been offered in support of this incendiary statement
Now, although the statement does not directly mention who they have in mind as perpetrators, every Unionist newspaper and its cadre of extremist britnat journos are in no doubt. While the statement makes no mention of any specific reporter or incident, it will escape the notice of none that there have been accusations of an extraordinary level of abuse directed at BBC Scotland’s James Cook.
“BBC Scotland has called for users of social media to show restraint after journalists covering the general election campaign were subject to online abuse.
Offensive comments were posted on the internet and sent via email about reporters last weekend.
NUJ Scotland said the abuse received was “unacceptable”.
BBC Scotland’s head of programmes and services Donalda Mackinnon, said: …
“But there are times when social media and other online sites have been used to abuse and threaten journalists. This is completely unacceptable and our journalists are entitled to carry out their work without the threat of unwarranted personal attacks online.”
She added: “The safety of our staff is of paramount concern to us and we are doing everything in our power to ensure they can carry out their work helping to inform our audiences on this major story without intimidation or abuse.”
We ourselves have attempted to find evidence of a claimed “extraordinary level of vicious abuse” allegedly directed at James Cook on twitter on the 4th April 2015, without any success. We have asked again and again, those who claim such abuse occurred, including James Cook himself, to direct us to the offending tweets. None have done so.
Once again BBC Scotland is using your money to prosecute their political agenda by this overblown incendiary campaign to blacken online supporters of the SNP and by extension, the party itself.
Nothing the BBC claims with respect to the issue of abuse should be accepted without corroborating documentary evidence. We have seen from the Cook case that statements alleging extraordinary vicious abuse can be and often are, false.
YOUR STATEMENT ON CYBER ABUSE OF BBC REPORTERS
With respect to the specific claims of James Cook, would you provide evidence corroborating his testimony that he was the victim of an “extraordinary level of vicious abuse” on twitter? I have contacted James a number of times asking if he would provide links or other direction to the abusive tweets. He has not replied. Having inspected his timeline, I can find nothing that could reasonably be characterised as an “extraordinary level of vicious abuse”.
Indeed, no one who has claimed James was a victim of this “extraordinary level of vicious abuse” has produced a single example of it. If you on behalf of the BBC are going to make such politically incendiary statements in the midst of a General Election campaign, it is incumbent upon you to back them with dispositive evidence.
If you will not, it is difficult to interpret your press release as anything but reckless and partisan interference in the electoral process.