by Martin Odoni

You know, sometimes you can just tell when a BBC researcher will be put in the naughty corner. This week, it will be a researcher for Newsnight, who clearly did not brief presenter Emma Barnett on the political nous of a guest speaker from the USA.

I invite my regular readers (both of you) to do yourselves a favour, and watch this clip from about six minutes, twenty seconds in. You will enjoy the refreshing complete lack of hypocrisy, the unhesitating truthfulness and jingoism-free fairness of Professor Jeffrey Sachs, and it will leave your mind with a freshly-cleansed feeling of, “At last, all the bullsh*t’s been washed away!”; –

Just for once, the BBC is cornered into broadcasting the undiluted and amoral truth of Western Geopolitics.

Oh, wow! Was that not like breathing in the fresh, clean air of the outside world after being trapped down a mineshaft for about four months? The BBC ‘bubble’ of Western-Government-friendly propaganda burst like a balloon hit by a drill bitt from an oil platform. Fabulous. The inside of my head suddenly feels so free of the usual flag-waving media manure that it has to wade through!

Barnett’s attempt to justify the “evil-Chinese-bogeyman” framing of her question was that she was simply quoting President Joe “Diet Trump” Biden’s position on China. But of course, we know that this is garbage. For one thing, the other interviewee, Teng Biao, is a human rights activist from China, and therefore unlikely to offer a reasonable defence. (I am not condemning Biao in any way, understand, I have every sympathy with his position. But the anti-Chinese framing by Biden is clearly being reinforced by the way Newsnight set up the interview, which shows typical bias on the BBC’s part.)

Joe Biden. Donald Trump without the diplomatic skill

Why no cross-examination of Biden’s remarks? Why no counter-mention of the threat posed by the USA to the world’s climate, given it produces approximately double the carbon dioxide emissions that China produces, and, most especially, given it is the USA that withdrew from the Paris Agreement, and from the Kyoto Protocol before that? (And on human rights issues, if Chinese really are that much worse than, say, the British, how come Biao is a free man while Julian Assange is a tortured prisoner of the British state for breaking no recognisable law?)

No Newsnight presenter would ever open with a ‘Devil’s Advocate’ position of running with a Chinese Communist Party line on the USA or Britain. That would be unspeakable, bordering on unthinkable.

How satisfying it is to have this attempt to reinforce Western hypocrisy blow up in the BBC’s own face, for once.