‘Impartial’ BBC Asserts Trump ‘Will Try to Spin’ Any Arrest

Far right activist and Trump supporter seen holding a flag
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Britain’s supposedly impartial state broadcaster has published an article in anticipation of Donald Trump being arrested asserting that he “will try to spin” being detained.

In an article with the far from speculative headline ‘How Trump will try to spin his anticipated arrest’, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) claims “the former president is plotting a strategy designed to both keep him out of jail and turbo-boost his historic bid to return to the White House.”

Describing him in partisan terms as “hunkered down in his Mar-a-Lago home”, the broadcaster’s North America correspondent Anthony Zurcher said Trump was “framing” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as “a liberal prosecutor hell-bent on pursuing political retribution against the former president”, and instructed readers to “[e]xpect those attacks to continue if an indictment is announced and for Mr Trump to portray himself as a victim of a leftist plot — a common theme of persecution Mr Trump has also regularly relied on in his political career.”

To buttress this analysis, Zurcher cited Bryan Lanza as saying that to “[a]attack the legal as political” was part of the Trump “playbook”.

Zurcher chose to describe Lanza as “a Republican strategist and Trump adviser” — neglecting to mention that he joined CNN, a near-militantly anti-Trump news organisation, in 2017, calling it “the best place for politics and news”, and went on to lament “the downside, the dark side of Trump’s presidency” and otherwise make it clear he had little love for the 45th head of state.

Another questionable “expert” the BBC correspondent turned to was “Maggie Haberman of the New York Times” — again, with no context with respect to the extremely hostile relationship between the NYT and the former president provided.

“According to Ms Haberman, [Trump] is fixated on the so-called ‘perp walk’ — a New York tradition where the accused is paraded through a crush of reporters on the way into the Lower Manhattan courthouse,” Zurcher related, noting that “security concerns” may put a stop to this “but another judicial tradition, the press conference on the courthouse steps, seems much more probable.”

“It would give the former president, steeped in New York tabloid legal drama, the opportunity to lash out at his accusers, portray himself as the victim of a liberal elite and dominate the headlines across the U.S.,” he goes on, with readers never really given any clear indication as to why the crystal ball gazing of a journalist from an anti-Trump newspaper should be treated with such seriousness.

The general tenor of the article comes in defiance of the fact that the BBC is, in theory, required by its charter to be balanced and impartial — a sacrifice it is supposed to make in exchange for the fact that almost everyone who watches live television programming in the UK must fund the BBC through a compulsory licence fee, even if none of the content they consume is BBC content.

Television viewers who fail to pay the licence fee face criminal fines, non-payment of which can result in imprisonment.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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