Hayley Miller and the GMS Editor at work
From reader, Contrary:
Radio Scotland GMS is the strangest thing this morning:
(Millar and Maxwell reporting)
Their reporting between 7am and 8am has been fairly SNP-positive. They poured scorn on Willie Rennie’s stance of not approving the Scottish budget until the SNP drop independence campaigning – asking if he really thinks that’s a reasonable thing to do, when independence is SNP s raison d’etre. Implying that his stance is unreasonable. Not badgering him, but fairly incredulous questioning. As this article indicates, if the SNP are proposing good progressive taxation, why aren’t the LibDems supporting, or not, on its own merits? They really are a bunch of weirdos.
Questioning Labour’s man in the Scottish Parliament – wow that man is an embarrassment, and the questions had to be repeatedly simplified for him (again no actual badgering) and he still couldn’t answer most of them. On brexit: what is Labour’s stance if they are ready for a GE – he couldn’t answer (except for the tired old trope of ‘the people voted to leave’, and he avoided totally mentioning that Scotland very decisively voted remain) – and the interviewer said ‘so, the SNP are the only party that gives an alternative to Brexit’. He had no answer to that, but did not, bizarrely, criticise the SNP.
Then there was the question about Nicola Sturgeon being pressured to self-refer to an investigation on the Alex Salmond harassment case, what would labour do if she didn’t, and how long were they giving her? He couldn’t answer either except to say ‘it will be days rather than weeks’, actually, he did say, after simplified questioning, that labour would try and get support of (Scot) Parliament to take action. The reporters did say after this interview that it should be noted that Alex Slamond denies any allegations etc. In general, it didn’t have the feel of trolling the SNP.
A temporary hiatus? Are news outlets frightened of litigation? Or in fact, do I just perceive this as ‘fair’ because their usual raving is so extreme and anti-SNP and all things Scottish, that a milder not-so-critical reporting (but certainly not supportive) seems fair in comparison. Yes, I think it’s just my perception. But therein lies the biggest problem – we are so used to hearing extreme bias, that anything even mildly neutral sounds fair. That needs consideration.
Usual misinforming reporting: let’s tackle their headlining news item ‘research shows that people who miss doctors appointments tend to die prematurely’. Strictly sort of correct, but that headline is wholly misleading – what they actually mean is ‘people with mental health problems that miss doctors appointments tend to die prematurely, usually through suicide’. In fact, regardless of the rest of the reporting that explains this, the headline is strictly wrong – they are making the wrong association between death and missing appointments. Cause and effect. Repeatedly missing appointments is likely to indicate a mental health problem that’s not being dealt with, and keeping missing appointments may lead to not receiving help & further degeneration of that mental health.