New Statesman's George Eaton says tweet was not allegation of BBC bias after it prompts Daily Mail front page

New Statesman political editor George Eaton has countered today’s Daily Mail front-page which was based on a single Twitter message he posted during last night’s BBC general election debate.

Eaton, wrote of the event: “This feels like most left-wing audience in any election debate.”

The Mail’s front-page headline today reads: “Fury at bias on BBC TV debate.”

The intro said: “The BBC was last night accused by a prominent Labour supporter of picking ‘the most left-wing’ election debate audience ever.”

It noted that senior Tories had reacted “furiously” to the jeers which greeted criticism of Jeremy Corbyn during the event.

And it quoted Eaton’s Twitter message  to back up the thrust of the story as set out in the intro.

Eaton told Press Gazette: “When I remarked this ‘feels like the most left-wing audience ever’, it was a casual observation, not an allegation of bias.

“That said, given the public enthusiasm for interventionism, I suspect Britain is a more left-wing country than the Mail sometimes imagines.”

Eaton joined the Statesman as a graduate trainee in 2009 and has been political editor since 2013.

He noted on Twitter last night: “For record, @BBCNewsPR response: ‘The BBC asked ComRes to pick audience representative of the country demographically and politically.’

Comments

3 thoughts on “New Statesman's George Eaton says tweet was not allegation of BBC bias after it prompts Daily Mail front page”

  1. Eaton tweeted: ‘This feels like the most Left-wing audience in any election debate’. Not sure what he meant if he didn’t mean the audience was Left-wing. If he meant the audience was indeed Left-wing, there was something wrong with the selection process as the polls show that this is clearly not a Left-wing country.
    Eaton must learn that there is no such thing as a ‘casual’ remark on Twitter. As the Norwegian poet Piet Hein remarked many years ago: ‘When your mind no thoughts doth visit/ make your speech not too explicit.’

  2. Typical poisonous and vacuous Daily Mail headline, conjuring a non-story from a casually-observed tweet in order to slot into their agenda. Given the state of the crisis in our schools, the NHS and the Tories’ unsuccessful immigration curb, it was a slam dunk that people in the audience would laugh at Amber Rudd’s reply that they ‘Should judge us on our record’, something that even elicited a smile from Rudd herself – the only time she smiled all evening.

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