BBC acknowledges Clarkson omission

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Laura Kuenssberg should have questioned the editor of The Sun, Victoria Newton, over the paper’s publication of a horribly misogynistic column about the Duchess of Sussex.

But what really annoys me is that Laura Kuenssberg had the editor of the Sun sitting right there in front of her on her show this morning and she didn’t challenge her on why she had allowed such a piece of violent misogyny to be published. And nor did any of the other panellists. No wonder the right wing press get away with so much when they know that they will not come under any scrutiny.

Instead, Kuenssberg chose to ask the editor of The Sun whether Harry’s claims about the collusion between the royals and the media were true. She took the obvious denial at face value but didn’t take it any further. It was a valid question, but she should have followed up with something on this article.

Harry and Meghan says that the racist and misogynist attacks on Meghan in the British press, and the failure of the Royal Family to protect her, led to them basically fleeing the country. Clarkson’s article, published by one media outlet unscrutinised by others, makes their point for them.

Since then, the Sun has removed the article and apologised. 

At the time, I complained to the BBC in a bit of a triumph of hope over experience. I have complained many times over the years (usually about under-representation of Lib Dems) without getting a satisfactory outcome.

However, this week, I was surprised that their reply acknowledged the omission:

Dear Ms Lindsay

Thank you for writing. We have discussed your concerns with senior editors on the programme. Victoria Newton was taking part in a panel discussion in which a range of issues were raised, including, briefly, the Netflix documentary series from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. In hindsight we agree that it would have been preferable to have asked her directly about Jeremy Clarkson’s column in the Sun, given her position as editor.

We are grateful for your feedback and thank you for taking the time to contact the BBC.

Kind regards,

BBC Complaints Team

Let’s hope this is a lesson learned for the future.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Steve Trevethan 7th Jan '23 - 11:53am

    Well done indeed!
    Might a follow up might be to enquire whether policy was being followed or not?
    Might another follow up be to enquire whether policy is being changed to prevent another such gross error?

  • David Garlick 9th Jan '23 - 11:51am

    I agree that you have a real success here. BBC seem to adopt the ‘we never admit we were wrong’ as a prerequisit to any answer. Maybe they are learning? I doubt it but one can hope.

  • lynne featherstone 9th Jan '23 - 11:59am

    Blimey. Miracles do happen. Well done you!

  • Tristan Ward 11th Jan '23 - 9:49am

    Very good news, but there must be care that people cannot get away with the line “I’m from a disadvantaged group – you cannot not criticise me”.

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