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No, is the short answer. Balls and Prescott are wrong.
Tags: Election 2010
well Mr Hasan, I think after Boulton's outbursts, first with Alastair Campbell and then Ben Bradshaw, you must now see why people disagree with you on this.
Not to mention Adam Boulton's disgraceful disregard for procedure at the leaders debate.
I have great respect for yourself, but you must see that you are wrong on this, or at least see that there is a case to be made against Sky News, no?
As you can see below, these Sky commentators don't like it when they are outed as Tories.... http://redrag1.blogspot.com/2010/05/red-rag-adam-boulton-upset-as-campbe...
'all of whom I consider friends of mine' Erm...nice that you're looking at it from such an objective view. Sky is biased - David Cameron did have dinner on Rupert Murdoch's yacht for nothing you know. That focus on the protester at Gordon Brown's speech the other night was no mix-up. However, I will admit that Sky generally hides it well and sometime remembers that it is a news channel. If you want the REAL Fox network of the UK, then you need look no further than the BBC - they are truly shocking.
There is only one TV channel Murdoch would bother to influence. It's the one that connects directly to the trillion dollar military industrial complex.
SKY News is an AM radio channel in that context.
Okay. This is getting rather frustrating. Let me try and deal with some of these comments in turn.
Joe999: Yes, I did challenge Balls.
Leah: How are you? Glad you "concur". Apologies for the syntax.
David H: I think you're right about the way stories have been presented but shoudn't that be part of a wider critique of the groupthinks that dominates the media, rather than a particular conspiracy theory about Sky News?
davidk: It's not "mind-boggling" at all. It actually makes sense if you look at the broadcasting rules, the history of Sky News, the staff (e.g. Boulton) and the role which Sky plays in the family of Sky channels (see Leah's comment). As for links, perhaps you should read them all before you post them. This is what that Media Blog survey said at the end: "All this is perception of course and potentially a reflection of people's own political allegiances to some degree, so we would be first to agree that a survey of this size and nature should not be regarded as definitive by any means." Not quite scientific proof for your OTT claim.
Malcolm Armsteem: I am neither mistaken, dissembling nor "having a laugh". I'm not quite sure what my reputation has to do with any of this, given that I no longer work there and am on record attacking Murdoch's influence, the Sun, the Tories, etc.
Medicine Man: I agree with you, bias can be "subtle". Don't get me wrong - I'm a leftie: I think all the media outfits are biased, in so many different ways. But I refuse to accept, as one other commenter above put it, that SKy News is 100% in the Tory camp and is out to denigrate Labour. You talk about Sky employees knowing who pays their salaries - well, I was a Sky employee. Are you accusing me of working on behalf of the Tory party during my time there??
Adam R: What are you smoking? How does me having been a producer there "disqualify" me from making a judgement? On the contrary, I'm the only one on this bloody thread who has decided on Sky News headlines, running orders, package contents, interviewees, etc. I'm the only one here who knows what I'm talking about!
Pete: Are you joking or are you smoking what Adam's smoking? CCHQ is in Millbank Tower, the Sky News poliical unit - like the political bureaux for ITN and the BBC!!! - is based in Number 4 Millbank. Your conspiracy theories are worthy of Oliver Stone and are as easily refutable.
James Stackhouse: Glad you like the columns. Keep reading! But, as I said above, the fact that I am a former employee doesn't make me a "questionable" source, it makes me the most reliable source. Trust me!
Andrew - ITV is not "owned" by a former Tory MP. It is chaired by a former Tory MP. Get your facts straight.
Brandon: Your ludicrous comment simply illustrates that you have never watche Fox News, nor have you ever enjoyed the mad, bigoted, paranoid ramblings of Glenn Beck.
Jeremiah: You mention Adam Boulton. Do you think he is a Tory? If so, why did he write a quite sympathetic biography of Blair and marry Blair's former aide?
Jimbo: You ask "why the difference" between Murdoch outlets. Because there is a huge difference between broadcasters and papers, for historical, cultural, legal and commercial reasons, as explained above. As for Murdoch having had "input on editorial decisions via the phone", that's strange, as I programme-edited Sky News Sunrise with Eamonn Holmes on and off for nearly a year and never had any interference from John Ryley, editor-in-chief of Sky News, let alone Rupert Murdoch sitting in bloody New York.
jj101: I am objective. It's the conspiracy theorists on this thread who know nothing about broadcasting and assume Sky News is the TV equivalent of the Sun who are not being objective. And yes, the fact that I personally know the people who run Sky News on a day to day basis, from top to bottom, helps me realise why the accusations of coordinated, Murdoch-ordered, 100% Tory bias are nonsensical.
Sky News is pro-Murdoch, period. Whichever party he can manipulate and use for his own purposes, he'll "support". This time round, there's no NEW Labour dying to lick his boots. But the Tories will.
Mehdi, this is a classic comment:
"You mention Adam Boulton. Do you think he is a Tory? If so, why did he write a quite sympathetic biography of Blair and marry Blair's former aide?"
Err, because Blair's a Tory?
PS How do you know you're the only one on this thread to have worked for Sky News?
Or do Sky employees, by definition, not read the New Statesman?
Like most journalist they nearly always cover their backs as some day they to may have to resort to working for Murdoch or similar reactionary media voices.The bulk of the media is a closed shop with very few job options other than these. There are very few journalsit that have the principles to speak freely, notably exceptions are people like John Pilger. Is Sky bias, you must be taking the p--s
re: The Leopard.
Claws in pussycat !
B Ollocks - Come off it! Yes, Blair, ideologically, was perhaps closer to the Tories than his own party but that's not what we're discussing here. We're dicussing the accusation of party political bias. And as for your point about Sky employees, pretty much every Sky employee I know, liberal, lefty, conservative, or none of the above, accepts that they don't work for the Sun or the Times and that their job is to generate headlines and break stories, not get Cameron elected.
And if someone on this thread is a Sky employee, or ex-employee, then stop hiding behind anonymity and come right out and say it. Leah and I have.
Murdoch is now backing the Tories
"If so, why did he write a quite sympathetic biography of Blair and marry Blair's former aide?"
by that logic, I couldn't marry Penelope Cruz unless I liked Woody Allen. and I hate Woody Allen.
You may not thing it is biased, but in an independent poll it is perceived not just as biased to the Tories but extremely biased(below).
The EU has just said the economy will improve more than though, in fact next year it will improve more than any major economy in the EU....not a sniff on Sky.Nuff said
Not quite sure why my earlier post was censored? Didn't realise this was a Murdoch-style outfit...
I will also add, wil you or can you defend the 24 hour following of Cameron. I'll quote on of your news readers. "Oh doesn't that look lovely David Cameron is colour co-ordinated with the school children's uniform"...pass me a fooking sick bucket.
Yes, exactly, a serious accusation of bias can be levelled at Sky News by what it omits.
Its employees are seriously deluded if they don't understand that they are doing the dirty work of the dark lord.
If Sky News had a nose it would be Conservative brown.
So Mehdi, everyone's wrong, and you're right because you think you have the trump card of having worked for sky news some years ago?
Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson are far more qualified and have far more experience than you. so in that context, based upon your logic, they know what they're talking about and you don't.
Also I find it funny that you think the consumer of a product or service is unqualified to evaluate it. how very bourgeoise.
Perhaps Mehdi should change his name to the mad Mahdi.
Sky News is a Digger biased product and jumps to the tune of its owner when he decides who he is going to back in the Election.
-why is every news strapline favourable to the Tories?
-why did Adam Boulton go after Clegg?
-why has Brown received far more critical comment than any other party leader?
-Why didn't we see the BNP having a go at Cameron?
The SKY news team is moving in the same direction as Fox news, and all those media people who left their previous jobs for more money at Sky have been bought and paid for by the Digger.
Prescott is always wrong.
It would be interesting to compare Sky News' reporting of this campaign to, say, 1997 or 2001.
Kay "the bully" Burley and Adam "where's my rag" Boulton have totally undermined your entire article in the last few days. If Sky News is unbiased, they forgot to tell Burley and Boulton!
Thought I would play fair and force myself to watch Sky News. Saw Kay Burley doing her moronic bimbo act leading people into saying the agenda is for change. Well it would be if the interviewer tells you it is!!
This is the woman who broke into girlish giggles when she found out David Cameron was in the building after the second leaders' debate.
Mad Mahdi still claiming Sky News retain their reputation for fair and unbiased reporting then?
I had the privilege of working with the late Gwyneth Dunwoody, and she used to hold Sky News in high esteem.
She would think somewhat differently now.
Mehdi, you remind me of Comical Ali "There are no Americans in Baghdad" while camera pans to the obvious tanks making haste in the background. In your case it's "my mates at sky news, of whom I'm totally objective because my opinions are more qualified than the viewers', are not biased at all!" while the camera pans to kay burley attacking a liberal for expressing his democratic right to protest and make his voice heard instead of sitting quietly at home in front of Sky News like a good little boy.
Peter Cameron (any relation?), Che and Red Rag - all of your simplistic criticisms apply to the BBC also. But for some deluded, naive and/or conspiratorial reason you choose to focus your ire at Sky. Easy target, I guess. Easy but wrong.
Some of the BBC's coverage of this election has been awful and as overly-critical of Brown and as soft on Cameron as Sky or ITV. But do we hear a peep about that?
Btw, have any of you ever heard about Ofcom? Why not complain to them if you have any proper evidence about Sky News working for the Tories, rather than mutter about "dark lords" and call me "mad" simply for pointing out that the reality of the Sky newsroom doesn't match the fevered imaginations of some lefties - sorry, I meant Labour tribalists.
After Adam Boulton V @campbellclaret yesterdy. Really. You still standing by this?
I dare say that many on the SKY editorial team are sympathetic to Labour. But it seems to me that Mehdi's argument - that the SKY News editorial team can withstand the same pressure as The Times, Sun and NOTW staff to muster support for a Cameron victory - is absurd.
Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.