Alex Salmond’s show on RT has been targeted by BBC Scotland as anti-Russian hysteria grows following the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter.
The former First Minister has become the focus of attention in recent days with both Reporting Scotland and Good Morning Scotland making political attacks on his talk show the subject of major news items.
In a series of tweets earlier today, BBC Scotland reporter Nick Eardley described the talk-show as “controversial”.
Eardley listed some of the guests to that day’s edition of the show and posted a quote from Mr Salmond denying he had ever been told what to say by RT.
The BBC Scotland reporter however refused to answer a question posed on social media asking if he himself had been told to comment on that day’s edition of Salmond’s show by his own BBC bosses.
Mr Salmond was also the subject of news headlines on Good Morning Scotland, which described RT as a “state funded broadcaster”. Despite RT being considered a legitimate news brodcaster by Ofcom, BBC Scotland – which is a Westminster funded channel governed by London – continues to report descriptions of the RT channel as “a Russian propaganda channel” and a “Kremlin-funded news channel”.
Appearing on Good Morning Scotland this morning, pro-Union commentator Alex Massie accused Mr Salmond of being a “Kremlin shill”. The attack echoed comments by Ruth Davidson who has accused the former SNP leader of “taking the Kremlin’s rouble”.
In a statement, Mr Salmond said: “By definition RT has not been a propaganda station because it is regulated under a UK licence by Ofcom.
“Yes it has had breaches of the Ofcom code, but so have Sky, ITV and the BBC.”
The targetting of Alex Salmond by BBC Scotland follows a pattern by the broadcaster which goes back several years.
During the 2014 Indyref, the then First Minister was the subject of a smear campaign, widely promoted by the BBC, following an article in which he made comments about Vladimir Putin. Mr Salmond had argued that there were aspects of the Russian President’s leadership that could be admired.
The SNP leader’s interview with GQ magazine followed news that then Prime Minister David Cameron had pled with the Russian leader to intervene in the Scottish independence referendum.
The Tory leader feared Scots were moving towards voting Yes and allegedly urged Putin to issue a statement in support of ‘larger states’ remaining intact.
Shortly after the story emerged, BBC presenter Andrew Marr secured an interview with Putin in which the subject of Scottish independence was raised and the Russian President was invited to send a message.
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