Daily Mail spins BBC leaders’ interviews to toe the Tory line

The paper's coverage of the two interviews throws good journalism to the wind


The Daily Mail may be artless, but it knows what it likes. In reporting the BBC interviews with the leaders of Labour and the Conservatives, the paper throws any pretence at objective journalism out the window.

Here’s the Mail’s story on prime minister David Cameron’s interview last week.

Cameron Evan Davis Mail

It consists of one sentence in a story about a speech the PM was making the day after the broadcast. The piece repeats uncritically Cameron’s claim that Labour and the Scottish National Party are ‘on the same side’ (which will come as a surprise to Scottish Labour).

Here is the one reference to the interview in the story:

“The prime minister last night told BBC Newsnight presenter Evan Davis that he would feel he had ‘not succeeded’ if the Conservatives failed to win a majority.”

Stop the presses. Now, anyone who watches the interview with Davis, who replaced Jeremy Paxman at Newsnight, will see it was a relatively tough interrogation of Cameron’s time in office, with plenty of material for a news story. This is an incredibly bland (not to say generous) way to cover such a grilling.

Perhaps the Mail doesn’t think the leaders’ TV debates are really worth a news story? Not so.

Today the Mail positively crows its coverage of Ed Miliband’s turn last night:

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Ed’s TV grilling on jobs, crime and fees‘.


The story gives a blow-by-blow account of the ‘combative’ interview, emphasising the bits they think show Miliband in a bad light, with special focus on the first few minutes of the exchange.

Thus the campaigning ‘on-your-side’ newspaper is on its feet shaking its fists at the the powerful one day, and on its knees licking their boots the next. That party allegiance is the obvious explanation for such schizophrenia only makes it worse.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter


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19 Responses to “Daily Mail spins BBC leaders’ interviews to toe the Tory line”

  1. Foullaini


  2. Gerschwin

    It doesn’t pretend to be objective, it never has. I swear you people on this website are retarded or something.

  3. Guest

    Yes, of course you’re a far right social darwinist and totalitarian who thinks not thinking just like him is mental illness.

    As usual. Accusations of mental illness is a tactic for avoiding debate.

  4. Gerschwin

    Ditto accusations of totalitarianism. Touche mon ami. Touche.

  5. Cole

    Time to call out the distortion and lies of the right wingers. And time to have proper newspapers in this country. Of course the Mail has always been dreadful, even being pro Nazi in the 1930s.

  6. Gerschwin

    Time to call out the distortion of the left winger. And time to have proper newspapers in this country. Of course the Guardian has always been dreadful, even being pro Soviet in the 1950s.

    Easy stuff Cole.

  7. Cole

    No comparison. The Mail has a 100 years history of right wing extremism, as has the Express. The Guardian has always been liberal/left, but certainly not communist. Congratulations to LFF for exposing the distorting and lies of the right wingers! It will keep you busy.

  8. Gerschwin

    There is only one word for that Cole old chap – bollocks.

  9. JoeDM

    Bit like the Guardian’s reporting of UKIP !!!!

  10. Tommo

    That’s the freedom of the press for you.

    If you don’t like it don’t read it. Buy the Mirror instead, you’ll find plenty of Labour propaganda there.

  11. Tommo

    Nutty as a fuitcake.


    I thought Darwin was a beagle.

  13. Cole

    I’m right, you’re wrong.

  14. Gerschwin

    Nah nah nah nah nah.

  15. Guest

    No, the Guardian have used facts.

  16. Guest

    Ah, your PC bigotry rolls on, as you call for only allowing your “proper” propaganda.

    Your methods are Soviet.

  17. Guest

    Now now, be better than that. Accusations of mental illness are a tool of the right….he’s just *wrong*.

  18. Guest

    No. It’s a accurate description of your views, and you’re trying false equivalence.

  19. Keith M

    The mail and sun are verminous papers _ I would imagine Cameron et al are too left wing fir them.

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