Yes, I think we were all focused on our psychological survival at the time (dramatic I know, but these were the days of brexit, populism, covid and misinformation). Looking back, from a better place and the dystopian horrors that we lived through is pretty shocking, especially as the architects of the sh1t show were the one's being interviewed. Made me feel quite queasy if I'm being brutally honest.
It makes me angry as it gives a soapbox to too many monsters and fundamentally misses the point things could have been even worse..... as the nature of Boris, Dom, Liz etc was always totally obvious and almost completely let's off the right wing press's, social media giants' and tory funders' enabling roles. So yes it's worth a watch but it's a good distance from an accurate history.
I'm amazed Laura includes so many clips of herself, during these eventful times, wide mouthed like a school girl gossip.
In reply to Offwidth: I don’t agree. I thought the format of not questioning or challenging interviewees, but juxtaposing them with those giving conflicting views worked very well, for example showing how stupid Nads’ views are. The snippets showing Laura were not intrusive and were mainly used to show how the news media were surprised and caught off foot as events unfolded
The problem with these glossy "rubberneck" style documentaries is they leave us doomed to repeat the mistakes of history. We need good quality research and clear presentation on why these things happened not just the what and the spectacular behaviour of the big beasts in the zoo.
We were failed and continue to be failed by the wider establishment.
In reply to Offwidth: the programme provided useful input to any research, however any “research” based on it is bound to be highly subjective. I suspect the research parameters and outcomes you will be seeking or expecting may be very different to the research (based on the programme content) that Conservative Central Office will be conducting after being annihilated at the next GE
If subjectivity was regarded that way history and most of the humanities wouldn't exist as academic subjects. Boris in particular was a known compulsive liar, lazy narcissist and philanderer and should never have got beyond an MP let alone PM if we had proper checks and balances in our politics. Liz was a libertarian wet dream for a UK PM. The subsequent messes were entirely predicable.
The rubber neckers get a thrill on our motorways but the accidents are often real tragedies. Boris's and co's actions gave tragedies on a much larger scale: they directly led to tens of thousands of avoidable deaths and millions in avoidable suffering over health and finances. We desperately need to learn, but this show is too much of a visit to a mid 20th century zoo at feeding time. It's a massive missed opportunity.
I'd add Cameron got off scot free and May was presented as being as bad as her successors. My guess is Sunak will get an easy ride as well.
Totally dishonest statements were made by politicians on this show with no due assessment I'd expect from an independent broadcaster.
Ok. The fact that you criticised Laura Kuenssberg for “putting so many shots of herself in there” highlights the fact that you have no clue about how documentary film making works.
It is the Director, with assistance from the editor, who decides what shot goes where, and in what sequence. Laura Kuenssberg doesn’t have any say in these matters. And nor does she write the script, nor decide the main messaging of the programme.
You also then went on to describe her, a talented and knowledgeable political broadcaster, in a misogynistic term that you would not have used were she a man. Pretty unacceptable really that.
You also criticised the programme for basically not being a party political broadcast. Which isn’t what a political documentary on a fair and even state broadcaster should ever be, nor would I want to watch it.
You’re way off the mark on all of these things, and you don’t really seem to understand what you’re talking about.
I'll just deal with the important bits and ignore the childish insults:
>"Laura Kuenssberg doesn’t have any say in these matters"
Laughably naive: she doesn't control content but is clearly involved in it as part of an interactive team. We had a top rated Broadcast Journalism course with ex industry Profs and guest lectures on such matters (and the difficulties of remaining independent in times of increasingly aggressive governments).
Worse still (although I rate her as a political commentator), Laura was directly conflicted, being a mouthpiece for Dom's spin throughout this period, so should not be presenting In my view. However my main problem is with BBC news editorial policy increasingly normalising such crazy stuff. Just contrast with the 'bite' on Andrew Neil's political shows (he's hardly a left wing news lead). Our BBC has become complicit, with the best coverage on news slots with lower ratings.
>"You also criticised the programme for basically not being a party political broadcast."
Where?... I just want an independent news broadcaster to be independent: BBC news criticised many statements at the time for effectively being lies....some of which were repeated in the show with no such commentary.
I literally work in documentary film making for a large production company. One of the programmes in working on is a 12 part political series that’s been in production for 3 years, where we’ll be interviewing current and former world leaders. But yeah, you go ahead and call me naive.
What was it you lectured in at University?
I notice you’ve ignored the part about your misogynistic comment. Guess you don’t see that as being important… Says it all really.
You just don’t like Laura Kuenssberg because shes a (suspected) Tory. Just say that. That’s your issue here, just be honest about it.
>I literally work in documentary film making for a large production company.
...and my ex academic colleagues made news content including some for the BBC, so I'm mystified why you are underplaying cooperative production in BBC news.
I won't engage with insults.
I also have no issues with BBC news staff having voted tory or had tory political positions as long as there is balance and they act professionally. My main concern is with obvious top down political influences on BBC news editorial policy.
During your academic career I'm sure you had colleagues who lectured on a wide range of subjects and were absolutely experts in their field.
I don't think this makes an expert in this subject, unless this is your field too? Guessing not as it's a question you've ignored.
This is shown by the fact that you still seem to think this is a BBC News production. It's not - it wasn't even produced by the BBC, let alone by the news department. This was produced by October Films for the BBC. They're an independent factual documentary producer.
Laura Kuenssberg is credited as the presenter, not even a co-producer or writer. I'm sure she has some input into the content, but nothing like to the extent you seem to think - it's just not the same as the news reports she used to produce, write and present for BBC News.
I haven't insulted you. I simply regard "I'm amazed Laura includes so many clips of herself, during these eventful times, wide mouthed like a school girl gossip." As a somewhat misogynistic term. It's not a very nice thing to say and I don't think you would have used it were Laura Kuenssberg a man. I'm sorry if you're insulted by my feelings on that.
I knew full well it wasn't a BBC production and the news content these 'practitioners turned academics' and guest speakers talked about in their experiences, including the production of such documentaries (content on various channels and media and many production companies). Their concerns were about training students and other interested parties in how journalism can be much better than it currently is (including a fairer acknowledgement of input). I think it's important people realise how news can be manipulated and I'd trust the public lectures I heard way more than you. Some of these (like the Matis lecture) say pretty much exactly the same and are freely available on line.
I use 'school kid' phases all the time for what should be serious professionals behaving immaturely.
I disagree with your view on Laura's involvement. From the BBC:
>Neil Breakwell, executive producer at October Films, says: "British politics has been on a roller coaster ride that we’ve all had to live through. It also makes for a gripping series narrative and I can think of no-one better to make sense of it than Laura, who’s been strapped in to the roller coaster during the most turbulent of times."
If what you say he true, he is patronising his own presenter.
I've had a quick search online and seem to agree with the freely viewable part of the review on The Canary, but disagree with The Guardian, maybe that's why you think my comments were so leftist. I see my position as broadly apolitical concern for journalism based on views I've heard from experienced well known journalists and others work in news production.
Other than my opening sarcastic comment on this thread I haven't made any personal insults, whatsoever. You're just trying to paint yourself as the injured party because you've commented on something which you don't really understand, and displayed a certain degree of naivety and misogyny in doing so.
Your repeated avoidance on the question of your subject matter shows You have no practical experience in this field and your attendance of a few public lectures by news journalists, in your opinion makes you better informed, than me, despite my having been working in television production for over 20 years.
"School kid" is a different term to "School girl gossip". Your comment references the gender stereotype that women and girls are gossips. That's why it is unacceptable misogyny.
I'd say things are worse now than 2019. Where are the social media issues abatting?... I can say where it is getting worse: with X cf Twitter and the rise of right wing forums in the US. Part of the misinformation is cover for Sunak who was integral as chancellor to what went wrong, yet the agenda of misinformation is he is a return to old school tory values. Our democracy is still crumbling and kleptocrats are still increasingly feeding on our wealth.
So I'm misogynistic, ignorant, party political, can't read the credits and your not insulting me!!?? Where, I've backed my main point, about BBC editorial decline, by linking a leading speech on the subject (and discussed more detailed stuff, like the blatent lies made, without challenge, by some of those ministers on the show, and Laura's links to Dom, that are a clear conflict of interest.... that are all on the public record), you just use job expertise as an appeal to authority without really dealing with the main issues I raise at all.
> I'd add Cameron got off scot free and May was presented as being as bad as her successors. My guess is Sunak will get an easy ride as well.
Cameron “got off” because the timeline started with the result of the Brexit Referendum, which the documentary cited (quite reasonably) was the start of the current eponymous chaos. If there was no “assessment” how did you read onto it that “May was presented as bad as her successors”?
> Totally dishonest statements were made by politicians on this show with no due assessment I'd expect from an independent broadcaster.
Unfortunately any “independent” assessment would have been seen as biased by one side or the other. Fortunately the events depicted and interviews spoke for themselves, some hung by their own petards
The comment you made reinforces a misogynistic stereotype, that's an absolute fact.
Let's be honest, I don't know you, so maybe you are a misogynist, maybe you're not however if you're not I think you ought not to use that term anymore. It's dated, misogynistic and I would hope that you're better than that.
I never said any of the rest of the "insults" you've attributed there. I've merely disagreed with you. If you take that as an "Ad Hom" attack then I'd suggest UKC forum is not a healthy way for you to spend your time.
I don't claim insult when you figured your attendance at a few lectures and knowing people who used to work in the industry outweighed my 20+ years of hands on experience. I mean it's ridiculous, but I'm not insulted.
Nor have I made any comment on the subject of editorial decline (your link doesn't work by the way), in fact, if you read back, I haven't made any comment about the content of the show whatsoever.
Just that you seem to have no grasp about how programme making works. Which, let's face it, you don't. Earlier today you thought Laura Kuenssberg was the one who decides how many shots of her there are in the show!
Once again I'm forced to defend points I haven't made to you. You've done this to me and others before.
The start of "the chaos" was the tory party leadership at the time trying to rid itself of its eurosceptic problem and push away the associated threat of UKIP: with a plan that exploded in their faces. The "chaos" during May's leadership was way more forgivable than the breakdown in honesty, collaboratative working with civil servants, attacks on checks and balances and a purge of almost any dissenting MPs that followed her demise....a situation that seems little improved to me since Truss left.
In reply to Offwidth: I agree that May, like Major was (trying to be) honourable in the face of “those bastards” (Major’s words). My take on Episode 1 was that May wasn't too hard done by, unlike those attendees at the infamous Chequers summit, Davis turning up in his BMW engined Morgan and Rees Mogg with his son, presumably to witness the execution. Although she was foolish to call that snap election which gave an obscene amount of power to the DUP
Fair points but I still feel there was too much tarring with the same chaos brush. It's not the first time the BBC has been guilty of false equivalence and exaggerated focus on opposite extremes of arguments. May's situation had plenty of precedent (including mistakes in calling or not calling elections). Boris's actions were unprecedented and Liz was just nuts.
> Just finished episode two. It's absolutely riveting, modern history as we lived through it. An utter shit show of incompetence, hubris and self agrandisement but totally compelling.
I've only watched the first episode so far but would agree with that summary. The format of just letting key protagonists speak frankly from their own perspective, incriminating others or themselves makes brilliant viewing.
As much as I disliked their politics, Cameron and May normally seemed self restrained like most normal humans. The jury is out on Rishi/Sunak not helped by today's news... prep schoolboy bravado on climate targets based on dirty politics.
I thought we were talking about our PMs who are setting laws under the structures we live under. Larger than life wasn't intended to flatter them. As I see it our UK unwritten constitution requires PMs to behave themselves: to do their work within the system, not damage the system to suit their narcisism or blind ideology... this was actually one of the best points made in the show but it was maybe rather buried for some viewers, being surrounded by unverified shit spouted by ghouls.
I'm utterly terrified Boris and Liz became PM in the UK and now that door is open and things seem to be getting harder for ordinary people (to afford to live or spot the risk of dangerous liars in the media cess pit) there is maybe worse to come. Quality independent journalism is a vital protection for any genuinely democratic country and where democracy is failing it is one of the biggest things that has to be controlled. Where you broadcast what liars say and the lies are clear it's vital context that that is called out. Laura, in contrast, as BBC political editor, acted as a direct conduit for lies from Dom.
In addition, progressive voters were the majority in 2019 and nearly all of them could see past the often terrible journalism on the right..... yet still too many of those smart people failed to see the threat and some were so worried instead about a fiction of Corbyn gaining power that they helped gift Boris his big majority from a tory candidature almost emptied of honour and quality.
Don't do Johnson the favour of calling him "Boris". It just plays nicely into his cultivated image as "one of the lads" fighting the good fight against the so-called "woke establishment elite". Truss is working the same angle, albeit not as successfully. Getting people to refer to them as they would a mate has been a fantastic bit of PR.
If as a PM he puts himself above his country and continues to degrade democratic checks and balances that's little different to the narcisism of Boris. The PM should steer the democratic ship of government but Boris acted as if he was the ship (and Liz that her ideology was the only direction, despite it heading for a big iceberg). These seem like very dangerous times to me and our ex chancellor very much enabled Boris and has gladly taken on a dishonest mantle of pretend old style conservative ideals to con the public into ignoring the damage they are doing to the country. This was what one of his cabinet monsters, Sue Ellen (her real name...mum was a Dallas fan), said this morning:
>"We’ve achieved a huge amount in the last decade … but ultimately, we have to adopt a pragmatic approach, a proportionate approach, and one that also serves our goals. And we’re not going to save the planet by bankrupting the British people."
>“I commend the prime minister for making difficult decisions, putting the interests of the economy first, putting the interests of British workers first, putting the interests of household costs first. That’s how we’re going to grow the economy. That’s how we’re going to protect people’s livelihoods.”
Never mind the damage done to ordinary people by austerity, brexit, a chaotic covid response and Liz almost crashing the economy.
The fact that he remained PM despite all that surely does demonstrate that he was very successful in disguising his nature to a very large proportion of the electorate. All of that was known about him and yet enough people saw it all as "just Boris" to still vote for him.
Not specific to names, but Trump's former campaign advisor said that getting elected was about showmanship, not policies, and that was why he had been encouraging Trump to run for many years. Just look at Trump's following despite his history and despite multiple criminal indictments. Public persona/perceptions are absolutely important in politics and how we use names and titles are all part of that.
I very much doubt he would ever got to where he did had he presented himself as a serious and sincere Mr Andrew Johnson. I thought that when he was elected as London Mayor and I think the power of his "Boris" act has only become more apparent with time. And it is an act: https://reaction.life/jeremy-vine-my-boris-story/
> The fact that he remained PM despite all that surely does demonstrate that he was very successful in disguising his nature to a very large proportion of the electorate. All of that was known about him and yet enough people saw it all as "just Boris" to still vote for him.
Is it not more that a lot of people would have even overlooked satan's shortcomings and voted for him in 2019 if they thought it was the only way of "getting Brexit done"?
> As much as I disliked their politics, Cameron and May normally seemed self restrained like most normal humans. The jury is out on Rishi/Sunak not helped by today's news... prep schoolboy bravado on climate targets based on dirty politics.
This is as may be, but still I'm not sure Kuenssberg is really larger than life, on a par with "Boris"? Or any more larger than life than any other prominent political journalist.
Personally, teaching politics I always refer to him as Johnson anyway, just because not to seems to be playing into the game he wants/wanted to play.
Indeed. Although I think she's an excellent broadcaster and journalist, I would never have considered Laura Kuenssberg as having a 'larger than life' personality.
Arguably her replacement, Chris Mason, with his breathless, impatient delivery style and gestures and nods as his interviewee speaks is closer to a 'larger than life' personality. I like him too, totally different style to his predecessor but also excellent.
Seems an overly simplified explanation to me. He'd been elected to various positions before then, been an MP, Mayor of London, Foreign Secretary etc. And there were plenty who vehemently defended him until the end and see him as the innocent victim of an orchestrated conspiracy from the "woke lefty establishment". Plenty of people liked him and were willing to forgive him whatever he did or said.
I think it's dangerous and complacent to view people like him as a lucky fool who got to where he was simply through being in the right place at the right time. Of course timing and circumstance played a role, but he would never have been in a position to take advantage of that if he hadn't been successful in getting people to overlook his appalling and well publicised track record.
If we want to avoid a repeat of the last few years I think it's important to try to understand how someone like him came to hold so much power. I don't think Brexit is even close to a sufficient answer.
Given larger than life means attracting special attention because of unusual and flamboyant appearance or behaviour, Boris is the archetype. Comparing anyone with him in that respect is a bit unfair.
I'd say Laura is the most prominent woman in BBC news and is unusual and flamboyant compared to most other well know women in BBC news. Laura is the only woman in BBC news who has ever given me concerns around professional behaviour (alongside a fair few men) and my main concerns with her have always been her conflicts of interest arising from her links to Dom and posting misinformation that came from him.
If anyone thinks the term doesn't apply to Liz, they have clearly not seen the cheese speech. The fact she often 'comes over' as a fool doesn't negate she does that in larger than life ways.
In the end these particular powerful people seemed to regard themselves as more important than previous holders of such important roles (in breaking conventions and in some cases the law) and that is the larger than life factor that worries me most as it damages protections for our democracy and hurts the country. In particular Boris and Liz should never have been anywhere near being PM if our democracy was in perfect health.
I'd agree with that. It's the "why" I was talking about alongside the "what" and I think it's a missed opportunity that it's mostly missing from the show. Boris in particular was a disaster waiting to happen, as pointed out by ex his Telegraph boss.
Go back to the threads in 2019. I said both main leaders were a hazzard but risk is a probability of that hazzard arising. In the case of a Boris majority most likley. In the case of a Corbyn majority vanishingly small and in the small chance of a coalition his position probably wouldn't be viable let alone his politics. Corbyn's risk was regarded as serious by many on these forums. I said that view was illogical.
> Don't do Johnson the favour of calling him "Boris". It just plays nicely into his cultivated image as "one of the lads" fighting the good fight against the so-called "woke establishment elite". Truss is working the same angle, albeit not as successfully. Getting people to refer to them as they would a mate has been a fantastic bit of PR.
Absolutely. The word is banned in our house. People get called out for using it.
I really think this is about semantics, control and distraction from the main issues here.
The main issues first. It's pretty obvious from my many posts here that I have never been a tory fan I and always saw previous tory governments as generally bad but I could at least see consistent politics and did respect quite a few of their MPs. Since the demise of May I see them as an existential threat to the UK and post 2019 election struggle to see more than a few respectable MPs. I don't think they are all bad people just shit MPs and sometimes dangerous MPs and the worst of them are or have been ministers. On Laura you gave your opinion but I see her as a seriously compromised journalist who broke professional ethics in her work relationship with Dom and in a wider sense she too often became the story instead of delivering it.
On control you are effectively telling me how I should use words and names and insulting me in the process. Frankly I find such behaviour sad.
On Semantics I think the word means what it says it means in common usage, not just your shut down opinion. Unusual and flamboyant can be in a negative sense and to me includes Liz as she is often weird, forceful and extravagant in her speeches.
I'd fully agree having Corbyn in place was very much part of the problem in that election result and I don’t blame most ordinary voters being worried about him, and that in the context of being bamboozled with the tsunami of lies on social media and in the majority of the popular press. I'm much less sympathetic to well informed liberal minded people who wouldn't vote for a totally sensibly local Labour MP because of "but Corbyn".... and intelligent socialists who wouldn't vote for a LibDem candidate when the local Labour candidate had no chance of keeping out a tory who was a genuine monster. I think Boris could have been left with a majority around 30 if those particular people had voted tactically.
These arguments were widely made pre election, including on these forums, yet clever people who should have known better played ostrich and let the local tory win. There was simply no realistic prospect whatsoever of Corbyn style policy being enacted after that 2019 election. Boris style policy being enacted was almost certain.
> If we want to avoid a repeat of the last few years I think it's important to try to understand how someone like him came to hold so much power. I don't think Brexit is even close to a sufficient answer.
Brexit was the ripple Johnson turned into a tsunami and ruthlessly rode to power then ultimately premiership. It wouldn't have been sufficient alone, the groundwork cultivating his media connections, crafting his images and building a fanbase (I can think of no more appropriate word) outside of politics had been done years before.
Not sure why you're defending your left wing credentials to me? Haven't accused or eluded to you being a Tory supporter whatsoever. Odd.
I've also no problem with your views about her being a compromised journalist who was too close to no. 10 and its operatives. It's a fairly widely held view, not mine, but I'm fine with people holding it. Many of my friends and colleagues feel the same.
However if you make an absolutist statement such as "If anyone thinks the term doesn't apply to Liz, they have clearly not seen the cheese speech" and there are other contributors to the thread who have seen the speech, but don't think the term applies, are you suggesting they shouldn't make themselves known because doing so would be insulting you?
But would that not be a form of control on your behalf?
Additionally I've no issue with you calling Liz Truss Liz, or Dominic Cummings Dom etc. But your explanation that it's because they're larger than life characters has raised a number of eyebrows, and not just my own.
For example we haven't even mentioned Dominic Cummings - a man whom for most of his career has lurked in the shadows, pulling strings and been happier behind the camera than in front of it.
The first time most of us ever heard his voice was in the infamous garden press conference where he spoke nervously, frequently referred to his notes and convinced nobody with his explanation of his actions. Larger than life? Not for me.
If you're going to get into discussions on here then cry and claim insult every time somebody disagrees with your thinking then maybe have a think about what you post and the discussions you involve yourself in. You don't seem to be enjoying this.
Call me sad all you want, I really don't mind and am completely comfortable with who I am.
> For example we haven't even mentioned Dominic Cummings - a man whom for most of his career has lurked in the shadows, pulling strings and been happier behind the camera than in front of it.
To be fair, much of the thread has been about Laura Kuenssberg. Which at the time was pretty much the same thing.
This is why I struggle with the idea of this series; for someone who played such a key role in amplifying the perspective of one part of that chaos, how can I trust them in an independent, investigative role?
Anyhow, sorry to interrupt the spat between you and offwidth, as you were.
Personally I never thought Laura Kuenssberg's broadcasting fell short of the standard required. She was the Political Editor of BBC News and that's role that requires a good working relationship with those in number 10. I felt that she explained complex political machinations simply, got the message across well and asked the questions we wanted asked.
It's also a role that, almost without exception, will lead to the holder of the post being accused of bias, sometimes by both the left and right of the political spectrum.
I don't even think having a political bias is a blocker to doing a good job as a political broadcaster - Andrew Neil is a huge Tory and he was fantastic in his barracking of Tory politicians on The Week, we know Paxman is a Tory but it didn't stop him asking Michael Howard the same question 14 times on Newsnight.
But they're late night political shows which have more robust questioning than we expect on BBC News, and in that role I thought she got things right more often than wrong.
But look I think State of Chaos is a really well made programme that speaks for itself. Totally compelling viewing.
> She was the Political Editor of BBC News and that's role that requires a good working relationship with those in number 10.
I don't think hers was a typical relationship with those (plural) in number 10 though, was it? I've never before or since seen someone permit themselves to be used so unashamedly as a conduit for a specific individual, let alone a non-elected civil servant. Kudos to her for the straight face when talking about "sources within Whitehall" etc. This seemed to me more like a situation with a handler rather than the typical situation with cultivated sources.
> It's also a role that, almost without exception, will lead to the holder of the post being accused of bias, sometimes by both the left and right of the political spectrum.
That's the standard go-to defence in this sort of situation, but my issue is not with their political allegiance or bias, but with their highly unusual role as conduit to a non-elected individual whose MO has long been based around manipulation and string pulling from behind the scenes. If Kunnesberg was highly pro- or anti-tory, that's fine - it's a factor we can all recognise and account for. If she's aligned to a manipulative game player whose only allegiance appears to be to their own cause, that's much more corrosive to my trust in them.
Yeah I think that's all fair criticism to be honest. You're right - it absolutely wasn't a typical Political Editor & No 10 relationship. But then nothing in number 10 was typical at that time, and this is kind of the message of the programme. Politics in the country got turned upside down, and everything that was happening was entirely without precedent.
During this time Laura Kuenssberg was the person charged with communicating, announcing, explaining and challenging all that was going on in Westminster. And one of the biggest players on the scene was a master manipulator, whom a charlatan of a PM had given free reign to speak on his behalf, and to control the narrative.
She couldn't just refuse to deal with him any more than the rest of the cabinet or senior civil servants could, and as they said in the programme, they would want to get raise issues with the PM, but it was Cummings who came back to them. If they couldn't sidestep Cummings, what chance did Laura Kuenssberg have? As they said, it was like having two PMs.
Was she manipulated by him? Yes, probably a bit. But so was the rest of the country!
She didn't make this situation, but she had to work in it, and all things considered, I think she did well and her reputation ought to be intact.
The problem with your analysis is she retweeted misinformation from Dom with no obvious need to do so. I'd agree several other criticisms of her were political and the abuse she received was appalling.
If you look at my 14:38 post I specifically limited my analysis of her performance to her broadcasting - her social media posts are a different matter.
That aside - she did not retweet Dominic Cummings (that's when somebody else's post appears on your timeline). She reported that an unnamed source close to Cummings (likely Cummings himself of course) told her that the trip was legal.
Reporting what number 10 is saying about a breaking news story is exactly what a news reporter is supposed to do, regardless of whether the reporter agrees with Number 10s position or not, they report the line they are giving.
She didn't endorse the Cummings' line, in effect she just reported on what position number 10 was taking to counter a breaking news story that painted a senior staffer in a very poor light. That's reporting.
In any case the BBC completely exonerated her of any wrongdoing -
“We don’t consider that Laura was tweeting in defence of Dominic Cummings. Laura was simply reporting information from a source, and we believe this was clearly stated in her tweet.
“A key part of Laura’s job is to reflect views from many different parties in any given news story, which she did throughout her reporting and in her Twitter posts, during Friday evening and the rest of the weekend.
“This was clearly a big news story that was unfolding quickly, and we believe Laura reflected a lot of different views, whilst also establishing the facts and accurately reporting the many details of the story"
My apologies, I was genuinely sloppy with language on that occasion: I should have said she tweeted information given to her (or at least have inserted a hyphen).
The BBC exonerated their political editor on tweeting information from a no10 source, dishonestly portraying the PM's chief advisor as not acting illegally. Effectively saying that there was no disciplinary issues, in the face of massive political pressure on the BBC from all sides: little surprise there. Yet find us an expert on journalist ethics who doesn't think she made a bad mistake. Given the whole episode soon stank, it further damaged the BBCs news reputation. More seriously, many people desperate to see loved ones, some of whom who will have been seriously ill, saying (...and I'm certainly using a polite version here...), if he can get away with it why can't we?
Thanks at least for making me smile as I'd forgotten they used "Laura" ....and for the BBC formally describing what she did (and what Dom himself later said wasn't true) as accurate. Trusted sources eh?
No worries re the tweet/retweet language. Totally accept that was an honest mistake.
Also agree that the whole sorry affair was an absolute scandal. However my biggest frustration with the whole affair wasn’t Laura Kuenssberg’s reporting of what she was being told (pretty benign in my opinion, but emotions were running high at the time) but that the press payed barely any attention to the fact tha the day of the Cummings family jaunt to Barnard Castle, and some woods where they were seen playing, also just happened to be Mrs Cummings’ birthday.
All just a huge coincidence that the trip that on the surface looked like a rule busting family day trip out to a couple of local beauty spots, but was in actual fact nothing more than a legal and benign eye test happened to be her birthday eh?
Almost completely ignored by the press.
I’d suggest that the BBC’s complaints department are better judges of journalistic integrity than either of us. She did nothing wrong. That’s my view, and happens to also be that of the bbc.
Of course the BBC call her Laura. They know her. This was mentioned in the first post that picked you up on you calling her that, which wasn’t even written by me. My employers call me by my first name too!
I present myself as someone who can listen to and read from senior news journalists and news production staff who don't seem to share your views and have linked a typical example that is easily publicly available. You are always free to link some decent evidence that supports your position.
Really I am not. I'm making several points that I see as being very important and responding to what I read from you (often insulting). I really wonder why this argument is going on so long if, in what you just replied, that is all there is. I'm happy though, as I wont miss opportunity to highlight the state of UK journalism and the malign interests of owners and senior managers on that. It is very much part of the mess we find ourselves in right now in the UK.
Laura not being credited for writing, editing or producing, is part of the problem, as raised more generally by my colleagues: compare with movie credits. I'm pretty sure given what the director said on the bbc summary that she was fully involved with content and her portrayal and not just a mindless talking head taking on a persona given to her as a script writer. As you've remove her clear agency, as a leading female journalist, if I was as rude as you I might be using the M word; but I don't know you so don't understand why you are emphasising such daft things.
Decline in journalistic standards is boring!?, really!!??
You did sensibly correct my English as I would have implied by using "retweet" the information given to her was public, which it obviously was not (and in such a case she would have been far less culpable).
In reply to TobyA: Come on Toby, I have little time for Offwidth’s views but “Laura” is in common use just like “Boris” by both his detractors and defenders alike. Laura is also a lot easier to type, let alone spell than Kuenssberg. Maybe get back to discussing the salient points? Episode 3 is broadcast tomorrow.
I took your point the first time and was clear about why. A slightly childish rhetorical form applied equally to both genders for politicsl reasons is not in the same league as removing the agency of major journalist presenter from the content of a major 3 part news documentary; even then, I wouldn't normally see that as sexist (regarding the credits as being totally accurate) either.
I really think Laura was part of the problem in BBC politics coverage at the time, albeit she had less blame than some others. Given the consistency with dire warnings I'd heard in various articles and lectures I agree with this:
Ah yes, you’ve done that before to me as well - arguing against points that nobody has made to you in a discussion as a means of grandstanding your views. A particularly unpleasant trait, which seems to be unique to you on here. If you wish to air your views you ought to start a thread on that topic rather than cluttering up other peoples threads with your assertions.
The rest of your argument is actually quite funny, and really serves to highlight how little you know about television production. A production like this will have been in production for many months, in edit for weeks and weeks (at least 6 weeks of offline per episode I’d guess). Laura Kuenssberg is far too important and busy to spend 8 hours a day for a months sitting in an edit suite. That’s what editors and directors are for, and that’s why they are credited as such. That’s not reducing her role at all.
You can have a go at calling me a misogynist if you like. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest as its clear to everyone reading this and any other thread I’ve contributed to that you would be well wide of the mark and will merely add to the mountain of dislikes your replies to me have already attracted.
> I took your point the first time and was clear about why. A slightly childish rhetorical form applied equally to both genders for politicsl reasons is not in the same league as ... blah blah blah ...
Of course I'm guilty of 'grandstanding' (albeit, not a word I'd use): it's a public forum and they are views I regard as important. Seems daft not to, when we are descending into some kind of modern political hell. I also regularly post on climbs and various other things that interest me.
>really serves to highlight how little you know about television production.
Because my point is not really about that, it's about political distortions in news documentaries of this type: things like false equivalence, vox pox distraction, journalists becoming the story. However back on production my colleagues never claimed 24/7 involvement of presenters, just clear steers on an 'acceptable to them' approach and rights of refusal on specific content.
>You can have a go at calling me a misogynist if you like.
I actually said I wouldn't have even considered using the m word (despite your belittling of Laura's likely input) and further, that I suspect it's unlikely to have any involvement with your views (just as I know it didn't with mine).
Regardless of whether what you’re saying is worthy of merit or not, and actually, given we’re both left of centre I often agree with the point you’re making, endlessly refuting points that nobody has made in order to air your views is not a very nice thing to do. Nobody else here does this.
Secondly I’ll accept that your point isn’t really about how tv production works, but you’re still making silly assertions on this.
Suggesting that Laura Kuenssberg isn’t credited as an editor on the show because of some kind of negative bias towards women is laughably naive. I think you’re confusing the role of a newspaper editor (who decides what stories are or aren’t published) with that of a film and tv editor, who doesn’t make these decisions but actually operates the video editing software, arranging the shots into sequences, adding music, transitions, laying VO, addressing technical issues. It’s a quite technical role that most directors have undertaken by and experienced and knowledgeable editor. I doubt Laura Kuenssberg does any video editing whatsoever most directors, producers, presenters don’t.
Your confusing of the two terms is common when talking to people outside of the industry, it’s like being asked by non-climbers if you have ever done any “free climbing”.
Lastly, Laura Kuenssberg’s input to the show. Likely approved the script, maybe suggested changes to early drafts. Absolutely will have helped with access - suggested contributors, made the approach to them and got them to agree to appear on camera - she would have been instrumental in that, with the director would have agreed the questions that she was going to ask them (and agreed what it was they wanted them to say!), and would have probably seen a number of cuts and given feedback during the edit. This is quite a level of input, but it doesn’t make her the director, nor the editor nor a producer.
What it does earn her is a presenter credit, and far more importantly, her name in the title of the show. It simply wouldn’t have ever been greenlit without her input.
I haven’t belittled Laura Kuenssberg whatsoever. You did when you likened her to a “gossiping school girl”, then tried to gaslight us by claiming the term you used was “school kids”. I’m afraid you’re at the mercy of our ability to scroll up there, and that showed your clear attempt to mislead and lie about your words.
There we go then. There’s some thoughts from me about your posting style, and some input from an industry professional about documentary film making. I’m done here.
I could give you a list...or you could just look harder.
>Suggesting that Laura Kuenssberg isn’t credited as an editor on the show because of some kind of negative bias towards women is laughably naive.
Another misunderstanding of what I'd said. The experts I've heard are really concerned about junior journalists or assistants who do a lot of work not getting credit for that. My point about Laura is that the credit list almost certainly doesn't accurately detail her involvement.......she is much more than a presenter if she has a say on the final version and her own portrayal in it..
>I think you’re confusing the role of a newspaper editor (who decides what stories are or aren’t published) with that of a film and tv editor.....
I'm not ignorant of that and it's not especially relevant to my concerns about the journalistic integrity of the documentary.
>Lastly, Laura Kuenssberg’s input to the show...
I agree with all that paragraph, therefore she and all the others controlling the final output are partly responsible for it's faults.
>I haven’t belittled Laura Kuenssberg whatsoever.
Your opinion, not mine.
Nope, just intending to indicate it was childish and portrayed her in a poor light. The presenting journalist should not be 'the story'.
Watched the last part. In addition to the previous issues I raised (the nature of Boris and Liz being obvious and the disasters inevitable..... as predicted by many, including Boris's old Telegraph boss... and there were more unchallenged lies from those interviewed), I was mortified to see important detail on the market turmoil caused by Liz was ignored: specifically that it directly put the DB pension funds of millions at risk of failure and severely damaged them despite the U turns and her removal.
>It was a reminder of how bad things are / were. There were many people that wound me up but Simon Clarke as Levelling Up Secretary is akin to Jimmy Saville being Secretary for Schools.
So why did the BBC shy away from the unsuitability issues (Clarke a supporter of Liz style free markets is hardly suitable for an interventionalist levelling up position.... but very suitable for supporting rapacious freeports); and not call out regular misinformation given during quite a few interviews?
I remain of a view it was worth watching but could have been so much better in explaining why these things happened. Only the civil servants interviewed had an excuse for understating the incompetence of their ministers and PMs and even they broke their normal code and blew smoke at times (eg: incompetent ministers behaving fairly consistently with their history isn't a sudden collective outbreak of madness).
Now finished watching this. A compelling format allowing the protagonists (ministers, advisors, civil servants) to speak openly and allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the machinations of government in this period of chaos. It does what it sets out to do brilliantly.
A ridiculous naive view. Most people watching this will have missed most of the political nuance; just as those did who were conned into voting for Boris, or on the other side, ignoring the reality of such a massive disinformation campaign and calling everyone who voted that way as morons and/or racists.
We rely on news following good journalistic standards: this BBC show failed to call out lies from interviewees, alongside several other major faults. It highlights most major faults in recent BBC news: failure to call out misinformation, major issues overlooked, no clear explanation of why it all happened (despite all the warnings), false equivalence, journalists too close to their sources, journalists becoming the story.
"Laura Kuenssberg has had a ringside seat for politics at its most chaotic. She asks if the system is broken - and can it ever return to 'normal'?"
How does showing disaster after disaster whilst ignoring clear prior information on the near inevitablly of those events if Boris and Liz became PM do that? Our constitutional system is largely unwritten and so always required PMs to follow unwritten conventions. If a PM doesn’t want to do that because they know better than all the checks and balances chaos is almost certain.
So I might disagree with your view but I can see it as acceptable. You never said this:
>A compelling format allowing the protagonists (ministers, advisors, civil servants) to speak openly and allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the machinations of government in this period of chaos.
The programme disguised the main two problems: the obvious natures of Boris and Liz. It largely ignored how they were enabled by the tory press and social media to have a shot at becoming PM, despite being obviously unsuitable for the job. It continues the failure of the BBC to properly call out such monsters and at times to give some of the worst lieutenants a soap box.
I totally agree with your analysis, but Offwidth is at his best and most verbose when telling people who don’t agree with him that they’re simply wrong. He seemed missing in action during the recent flurry of BMC related posts. Wonder why?
I make a specific point of not calling politicians by their first name, especially populist ones. For different reasons, I tend not to call public figures by their first names, however flamboyant, it would be Elon John not Elton, even if it is unlikely that people would think I was talking about Elton Welsby. Maybe I am old fashioned, although my late grandfather used to fondly refer to his favourite tennis player simply as Martina.
No surprise you 'attack the man rather than the ball' again; how about telling me why I'm wrong?
As for the seque, If you look, I've posted several times on such threads on both channels, but as usual on incorrect information: particularly where numbers were wrong, or where I think some people are majorly exaggerating, or are unfairly attacking individual staff. However, the situation as it stands is the leadership have undeniably got the organisation in financial trouble and the situation faced by some parents and athletes in comps has been dreadful, and too often communications have been poor.
I agree the party were responsible for chosing them as leaders but Boris won an election with a huge majority, backed by the tory press and mass misinformation on social media, despite being a well known massive liability. In that 2019 election there was a majority progressive vote, yet time-after-time good candidates lost due to incredibly daft splits in progressive votes going to no hope candidates.
Boris only became PM because of the brexit vote where the tory press and social media were responsible for the biggest misinformation campaign in modern UK history. The brexit vote only happened because Cameron and co stupidly failed to consider their party membership and the press barons before they shot themselves in their foot and doomed the rest of us.
I just feel like recent history indicates too many well educated voters are like frogs being boiled and need to wake up to the vital need to campaign for better journalistic standards.
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