5 Apr, 2018
Jeremy Corbyn has been treated badly by the BBC, his supporters say © Reuters
Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was left red-faced over his claims Porton Down scientists had confirmed there was “no doubt” Russia poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter with nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury on March 4.
The coverage on the BBC’s News at Ten came just hours after Boris Johnson attacked Jeremy Corbyn. He tweeted with pride the UK had convinced other nations to expel Russian diplomats despite their case against Moscow imploding without evidence.
Johnson wrote: “28 other countries have been so convinced by UK case they have expelled Russians. In contrast, Jeremy Corbyn chooses to side with the Russian spin machine.”
— auld bern (@BR3NALD) April 4, 2018
But when Corbyn was given the chance to comment – after all, he was the one who said the government should wait for evidence – the BBC just could not play it straight.
Instead of simply playing his statement, the Beeb decided to get creative. The producers used unrelated footage of Corbyn playing with a Russian doll and a little girl, earlier that day.
The clip was played before his interview for a full 10 seconds while a BBC journalist summarized Corbyn’s stance, saying: “He said the foreign secretary had been too quick to blame Russia, when he believed other explanations could emerge.”
Having Corbyn playing with Russian dolls on @BBCNews isn’t really that subtle, is it? Christ.
— Max Bucknell (@maxbucknell) April 4, 2018
Made the mistake of watching BBC news. Might as well be Tory political broadcast complete with Corbyn playing with russian dolls. Sad times.
— mike the red #fbpe (@mikethered77) April 4, 2018
FFS BBC hardly subtle! Archive film of Mr Corbyn with children and Russian dolls! Disgrace! British Biased Corporation! Owned by the right wing government!
— John Howard Jones (@Howiej51) April 4, 2018
This is not the first time the BBC has been accused of insinuating Corbyn is linked with Russia. Just last month, the BBC sparked outrage on social media when discussing Corbyn’s questioning of Theresa May over the Skripal case.
Interviews were carried out on Newsnight in front of a red-tinted image of Corbyn wearing a Russian Bolshevik cap against a doctored backdrop of Moscow’s iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Newsnight’s producer mocked up the red backdrop adorned with Corbyn’s face, aping the style of early Bolshevik posters, despite an MP explaining Corbyn was just asking for evidence. This time, supporters were similarly upset. Many took to social media to ask why the BBC is able to get away with it.
One man said: “In the middle of their report on Novichok the BBC show Corbyn playing with a Russian doll. Journalism is dead in the UK.”
Another joked: “Corbyn used russian dolls to smuggle smaller russian dolls into UK #MakeYourOwnCorbynSmear.”