Sunday, 14 May 2017

Another Andrew Marr Monitoring Update

The usual suspects are at it again today, crying 'BBC bias!' at Andrew Marr.

(It's becoming as traditional a feature of British Sundays as fried breakfasts and roast dinners.)

Go onto Twitter and it's all very tribal. It's either cybernats railing at Andy for being mean to Nicola Sturgeon and soft on Michael Fallon or, far more numerous these days, furious Corbynistas railing at Andy for being mean to Emily Thornberry and soft on Michael Fallon. Go onto certain blogs, however, and it's right-wing folk railing at Andy for being mean to Michael Fallon and soft on Emily Thornberry. Complaints From Three Sides (just how the BBC likes it!).

I have to say that I thought they were all quite tough interviews this week. Mr Marr really went for it, sticking doggedly with a particular theme in each interview - none helpful to the interviewee. (Did Nicola Sturgeon have a sore throat or was she nervous at being challenged on her record on education?)

Here then is this week's exciting ITBB analysis of The Andrew Marr Show...

The interview with Labour's Emily Thornberry lasted 12m 12s and contained 11 interruptions, resulting in an Interruption Coefficient of 0.9. The interview with the Conservatives' Michael Fallon lasted 12m 18s and contained 18 interruptions, resulting in an Interruption Coefficient of 1.5. The  interview with the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon lasted 12m 43s and contained 19 interruptions, resulting in an Interruption Coefficient of 1.5. Interruptions-wise, Emily Thornberry got the best of it there.

Add those to our running list and it now looks like this:

Paul Nuttall, UKIP - 1.6
Jeremy Hunt, Conservative - 1.5/Nicola Sturgeon, SNP - 1.5/Michael Fallon, Conservative - 1.5
John McDonnell, Labour - 1.3
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour - 1.2
Theresa May, Conservatives - 1.1
Emily Thornberry, Labour - 0.9
Tim Farron, Lib Dems - 0.6
Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru - 0.5 

(Paul Nuttall is back on next week, so will Andrew Marr interrupt him more or less second time around? Tune in next week to find out!)

The Emily Thornberry interview was introduced like this:
Now we've been talking a lot about the Labour Party in this and we're joined now by the Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry. Good morning, Emily Thornberry.
It discussed whether Labour would rescind Trump's invitation to the UK, what an ethical foreign policy would mean over China, Trident, Jeremy Corbyn's past statements on NATO, whether all military operation would need UN support, Jeremy Corbyn's past statements on the Falklands, the Robin Hood Tax, and 'defeatism' from certain Labour candidates. (Jeremy Corbyn's past statements were its main 'angle'.)

The interview with Sir Michael Fallon was introduced like this:
Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, has been used by the Prime Minister as her faithful attack dog so far in the election campaign. He is not, I think it's fair to say, a massive fan of Jeremy Corbyn, but, of course, he has lots of questions to answer about the state of Britain's Armed Forces under the Conservatives. Welcome Mr Fallon. 
It discussed the size of the armed forces, defence spending, whether the government has sufficiently funded measures against cyber-attacks, nuclear weapons, whether the Tories are a pro-war party, why Michael Fallon voted for the Iraq War and the Libyan War, and housing. (The contrast between the Tories' pledges and their record was its main 'angle'.)

The interview with Nicola Sturgeon was introduced like this:
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister and the leader of the Scottish Nationalists, made it absolutely clear at the beginning of the campaign what she thought it was all about - independence, she said was at the heart of this election. And she's with me now here in the studio.
This focused mainly on the SNP's record on education, but also nurses' pay, the party's election/second referendum prospects and Brexit. (The poorness of the SNP's domestic record was its main 'angle').

And for the sake of completeness, Andrew Marr's main introduction ran as follows: 
Good morning. If there's one thing that's dominated this week's electioneering, it's the battle for the votes of the patriotic working classes - Labour promising fairer Robin Hood taxes and an ethical foreign policy and the Tories attacking Jeremy Corbyn for being soft on defence while offering those same voters new council houses. Millions of people want answers. Time, this morning, to probe a little closer. So, two radically different political personalities go head to head - Emily Thornberry, the Shadow Foreign Secretary who's attacked Theresa May for "fawning" over Donald Trump and Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, who has savaged Jeremy Corbyn as feeble and dangerous for Britain. But we're not limiting ourselves to London this morning. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister and leader of the SNP, is here in the studio talking about why independence, whatever the unionists say, is on the ballot in this election. Our news review this morning features the BBC journalist who's been following Nicola Sturgeon on the campaign trail, our Scotland Editor Sarah Smith, Observer star commentator Andrew Rawnsley, and from The Sun, pulling no punches, Jane Moore. But first, the news with Sian Lloyd.
And that's that for another week....

....except, like Andrew Marr himself, to return to a theme I've posted about a few times now - AM's lingering obsession with the Iraq War. It cropped up again this week. 

1 comment:

  1. Fair comments all, Craig. The only things I would add are, first, a mention of the extreme anti-Trump hysteria and fake news from the paper review crew. He's Nixon, impeachment inevitable now, apparently.

    In hindsight, I'm thinking Marr was a bit less soft on Thornberry than on first impression.

    I would dispute the complaints about Marr being unfair to that Wee Jimmie Krankie. The nurses pay issue is not Scotland-centric, and she had a ready answer that Scotland in fact pays nurses better. She stumbled a bit on passing the buck to whatever independent review board deciding pay, but really, in the end she can claim Scotland does it better. Marr should have known that.

    Also, it was not a very tough interview because Marr didn't point out that the SNP's economic plans are magical thinking, or that their insistence that Scotland would easily be an independent member of the EU or the trade group had been debunked several times. He also didn't remind his audience that Sturgeon something is a valid reason for another referendum as often as Farage blames something on immigration.