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10 May 2016

Why do people hate Laura Kuenssberg so much?

A petition calling for the BBC's political editor to be sacked for anti-Corbyn bias has been taken down. But was her biggest flaw... being a woman?

By Media Mole

Remember when the left used to believe in employment rights? Now, not so much. A petition went up on 38 Degrees earlier this week calling for BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg to be sacked. Her crime? An apparent Conservative bias.

What makes Kuenssberg’s reporting biased against Labour in a way that her colleagues’ isn’t? Presumably not this report setting out how long it took the government to u-turn over child refugees. Nor when she explained the internal disagreements between Theresa May and David Cameron’s approaches to the EU referendum. And the hard left surely aren’t referring to when, unlike most political journalists, she reported in depth John Whittingdale’s relationship with a sex worker and its implications for press regulation. 

Maybe there’s an alternative explanation for some of her more extreme detractors’ intense and personal hostility towards Kuenssberg, one more than hinted at by the petition’s removal from the 38 Degrees website this afternoon – that unlike all her predecessors in the job at the BBC, Kuenssberg is a woman. David Babbs of 38 Degrees said the petition had become a magnet for misogynist abuse, while the Independent‘s Jane Merrick noted that Kuenssberg had faced all the same criticisms as Nick Robinson, with an extra helping of sexism.

Where’s the newer, kinder politics when you need it?

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