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28 March 2010

What is it with the BBC and David Cameron?

Why does the corporation's website provide a Pravda service for the Tories?

By James Macintyre

For most of the day, the BBC website’s main story — not its main political story, but the main story — has been the blame placed by David Cameron on Gordon Brown for the British Airways strike.

Now, I accept that this was a “line” (though not a very revelatory one) from an interview on a BBC programme, the Politics Show. I also accept that, given Brown’s closeness to Unite’s “political director”, Charlie Whelan, there are certainly questions he must answer.

But what I don’t accept is that this is the most important story in the world today. It is the stuff of politics, and roughly on the same level as “Pope is Catholic”.

From the report:

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Speaking to the BBC’s Politics Show, the Conservative leader criticised Prime Minister Gordon Brown for failing to back those cabin crew staff who chose not to strike.

Last week, Brown accused the Tories of stoking the fire of this industrial dispute, but I don’t remember the BBC reporting that. Instead, the sluggish corporation insists on treating Cameron as if he were prime minister. This is not, as I have said before, because it is left-wing or right-wing (it is too vast to be biased in any direction), but because it goes with the flow of conventional wisdom.

But it should bear in mind that — as we have seen with the recent poll-narrowing — conventional wisdom is not the best guide to British politics.

UPDATE: It is 15.45 and this is still the main story on the BBC website. Very dynamic.