Even after being explicitly told to be polite by Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Labour Party audience could not stop themselves from jeering at Laura Kuenssberg. Rebecca Long-Bailey promised a ‘gold star’ for a ‘well-behaved audience’ at Labour’s manifesto launch if they listened quietly. They booed her…
The BBC’s flagship
BrexitElectioncast podcast turned its attention to online media strategy last night, bringing the term ‘shitposting’ into British households. As ever, they’re well behind Guido on this…
Referring to CCHQ’s deliberately poor Twitter graphics, Laura K explained
“There’s also this thing called [shit]-posting, where… political parties or campaign groups make an advert that looks really rubbish and then people share it online saying ‘Oh, I can’t believe how s*** this is’ and then it gets shared and shared and shared and shared and they go ‘ha ha ha, job done'”
Twitter’s more youthful hacks leapt on Laura claiming she’d butchered the definition. Most failed to clarify anything, choosing only to sneer…
The mistake of Laura’s was the Tories’ digital strategy is an example of shitposting, but shitposting is far from limited to political strategy – indeed political parties are only just testing out the well-loved internet joke format. Definitively, shitposting is most often a deliberately low-quality, jokey post or comment that derails – or devalues the quality of – the conversation.
The intent of the poster is important. For example, the Tories’ garish yellow and pink Brexit graphic was posted to get attention, but it wasn’t until they saw the mass negative reaction and put out their black and white comic sans version that it could be classified as shitposting.
Laura and the Brexitcast team gave a good example but a poor definition. Most ironically of all, the Brexitcast video ended up itself being memed for shitposting purposes – perhaps this was Laura’s intention all along…
Yesterday, Peter Oborne published a characteristic scream of pain at the over-use of “Downing Street sources” by Lobby hacks. Oborne argued that the quoting of unnamed sources facilitates lying and makes hacks the hands free delivery mechanism for fake news. It is noticeable that, of late, tweeting Lobby hacks repeat anonymous threats from Downing Street sources which habitually do not eventually materialise. He pointed the finger at almost everyone from Laura Kuenssberg to Robert Peston. For hours after his piece was published, the customary tweeted insider nuggets of information were no longer dipped in the Downing Street source…
Nobody seemingly dared report anything “according to a Downing Street source”. ITV’s Paul Brand was the first to break the self-imposed embargo at teatime. His attribution was greeted by a barrage of abuse on Twitter. Twittering Lobby hacks went silent again on what Downing Street was saying…
At 10:00 pm Peston cracked, tweeting
“So here is No.10 confirming that if EU gives the requested three-month Brexit delay, Boris Johnson will ask for an immediate general election. Loads of you have poured buckets of manure on me for telling you what Downing St is thinking and saying. So you are totally at liberty to ignore this statement or disbelieve it. But it would be wholly wrong of me to withhold this from you, on the patronising assumption you cannot analyse and contextualise it.”
His tweet thread included a Whatsapp text from his undisclosed Downing Street source. He was combative (given he has made his career from repeating things he has been told by sources that is hardly surprising).
Perhaps emboldened by Pesto, at 10:05 pm Laura Kuenssberg risked tweeting “No 10 confirms tonight after the vote they’ll try to push for election if EU offers delay.*” She was greeted with tweets saying she was a Downing Street mouthpiece…
Oborne is right to say that hacks whose main journalistic asset appears to be phone numbers for spokesman really need to be less reliant on, and more careful about, re-broadcasting a line that the source would be too embarrassed to say in public. The reality is that it isn’t in the interests of hacks to open up the Lobby system or insist more often that quotes are on the record. Transparency will devalue their role because information scarcity makes their possession of a spokesman’s phone number more valuable. A start to improving and opening up the system would be to put Lobby briefings in the open and televised…
*Boris had in any case already said this publicly earlier in the day in the Commons.
Boris has managed to give his exclusive “first interview since resigning” to both the BBC’s Laura K and Sky’s Beth Rigby at the same time. Watch his BBC interview here…
UPDATE: It turns out Boris gave not two but three interviews in the same room which have all gone out at the same time today – ITV’s Robert Peston has got in on the act too.
State-backed press regulator Impress is currently investigating The Canary for spreading fake news about the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg. Given they are endorsed by the government, surely we can trust Impress to carry out a fair and proper probe, right? Or not. It turns out two members of Impress‘ board have shared tweets from loony Corbynista accounts trolling Laura K. Press Gazette has found Impress board member Maire Davies sharing crackpot tweets calling Kuenssberg the BBC’s “chief propagandist”:
While fellow Impress board member Emma Jones tweeted out a far-left Counterfire article ranting about Laura’s supposed bias, and another cartoon with her wearing a “Vote Tory” sign.
Impress is the state-endorsed regulator backed by the government. Time and time again it has been revealed as a sham organisation made up of press-hating, party political cranks and oddballs. Total joke that the Tories haven’t done anything about this.
Nutjob Corbynista frontbencher Chris Williamson plumbs new depths by promoting a mad Skwawkbox conspiracy theory smearing Laura Kuenssberg. The Skwawkbox piece is proper tin foil hat stuff, going through Laura K’s reporting line by line trying to find anti-Labour bias. They even have to ask their readers not to resort to “violence or abuse” at the end of the post. And Williamson is delighting in riling his followers up by promoting this guff. What a shower.
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) 27 September 2017
Tough day at The Canary: the Corbynista site’s latest Laura Kuenssberg bashing piece has provoked widespread ridicule. The site claimed: “We need to talk about Laura Kuenssberg. She’s listed as a speaker at the Tory Party conference.” Except Laura K wasn’t listed as a speaker, she was merely ‘invited’ – and indeed she had declined the offer. Rather than put a call in to the BBC to check, the Canary published and let their misleading story go viral. Their comrades at Evolve Politics went with it as well. Amusingly, dozens of complaints have been received by the Impress regulator…
Some journalists are speaking at Tory conference though. Owen Jones, for example. He’s not only invited but is a confirmed speaker at two events. We need to talk about Owen Jones. He’s listed as a speaker at the Tory Party Conference…
This 2015 interview with – Corbynista conspiracists take a deep breath – Laura Kuenssberg, where he said he was “not happy with a shoot-to-kill policy in general” has gone viral today. It is being shared widely on Facebook and has bounced to the “most watched” spot on the BBC News website. His team are briefing that he will back the police to use “whatever force is necessary”. Really?
Asked seven times by Laura Kuenssberg, Jeremy Corbyn refuses to confirm Britain will leave the EU if he becomes PM. Why couldn’t he just say yes? Amateur stuff…
Philip Hammond tells Alex Salmond the first person outside the chamber to say he had broken the Tory manifesto pledge on National Insurance was the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg. An extraordinary statement – and one which Hammond is defending by arguing disingenuously that the NI didn’t breach the manifesto. Did Downing Street really not realise this would be an issue? Friends of George Osborne say they immediately knew it would be a breach of manifesto when they saw this Times story on a possible NICs rise back on 1 March. Hammond leaving himself open to complete ridicule…
As the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg questions President Trump on torture and Russia, he looks to Theresa May and jokes:
“That’s your choice of question? There goes that relationship.”
Remember when Nick Clegg accused Michael Gove of lying about the Queen backing Brexit at a private lunch at Windsor Castle? Well, BBC political editor Laura Kuennsberg has revealed a source came to her with the same story before she was scooped by the Sun:
“In a casual chat with one of my contacts, they said: Do you know what? At some point this is going to come out, and I’m telling you now and I don’t know if the BBC would touch it, but the Queen told people at a private lunch that she thinks that we should leave the EU. Apparently at this lunch she said ‘I don’t see why we can’t just get out. What’s the problem?’ My jaw hit the floor. Very sadly, I only had one source. I spent the next few days trying to prove it. I couldn’t find the evidence. Lo and behold, a couple of months later, someone else did. Of course then ensued a huge row between that newspaper and the Palace over what had really been said or not said.”
Who to believe, Laura K and her sources and The Sun and their sources, or Nick Clegg…
Last night Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner, who some amusingly tip as a future Labour leader, fired off a press release welcoming the government’s decision to drop grammar schools. Rayner claimed grammars have been “abandoned as a result of the huge pressure Labour has put the Government under”. Except they haven’t dropped grammars at all – Rayner’s press release was completely, 100%, wrong.
Rayner then doubled down, claiming the government were refusing to allow a vote on grammars. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg had to explain that she was wrong on this too, and that the legislation will go ahead:
Laura then had to politely explain to Angela how parliament works:
@AngelaRayner don’t think they can repeal the ban without legislation, so expect a White paper then bill with votes next year – let’s see!
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) October 27, 2016
For the avoidance of doubt, the government have confirmed there will be a vote on grammars. High level scrutiny from our opposition…
Note the timestamps…
Sources: Leadsom quitting at noon.
— Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) July 11, 2016
Westminster rumour mill going into overdrive over Leadsom statement and what it might be ……..
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) July 11, 2016
Source tells me Leadsom to pull out at 12 – not confirmed
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) July 11, 2016
Laura Kuenssberg follows Guido on Twitter.[…] Read the rest
What did Seumas Milne achieve by flouncing off to the BBC with that complaint about Laura Kuenssberg? For months the Beeb political editor has been the victim of online vitriol from Corbynista trolls who preach their progressive values then call female journalists “bitches” and “whores“.[…] Read the rest
Only one question allowed at Downing Street’s ‘press conference’ with President Xi, but it was a punchy one from Laura Kuenssberg:
[…] Read the rest
LK: “Why do you think members of the British public should be pleased to do more business with a country that is not democratic, is not transparent and has a deeply, deeply troubling attitude towards human rights?”
Xi: “China attaches great importance to the protection of human rights.