The Impartiality of the BBC and Andrew Marr

“what’s not recognised is that the role of the liberal intellectual establishment is to set very sharp bounds on how far you can go.”

Noam Chomsky

Today, the liberal journalist Andrew Marr gave the Prime Minister of the UK quite a tricky time. He asked Theresa May questions about the apparent limitations of the British nuclear deterrent. In particular, he pressured the Conservative leader to say if she had known about a specific malfunction prior to a debate about Trident renewal.

Marr was arguably restoring faith in the institution for which he works. After it had been revealed in the press that a different BBC journalist had misled the public about the views of Jeremy Corbyn, it was important for the state media that its reputation for political neutrality was regained.

However, citizens should not be manipulated by this turn of events. Marr could have been called Red Andy at university, but his role here was seemingly a conservative one. When May made a rhetorical gesture toward a country that works for everyone, he might have questioned her sharply about food banks, international inequality, environmental degradation, regional problems, and democratic deficits. By posing calmly as an unbiased interviewer, he allows the political class to maintain business as usual.

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