The First Minister is visiting the USA. The Scottish Parliament is in recess and Nicola Sturgeon is using the time to promote Scotland.
The five day visit will focus on promoting trade and investment between the two countries, boosting tourism, sharing best practice across the public and private sector and promoting Scottish innovation and entrepreneurship.
The First Minister has spoken at Stanford University on Scotland’s place in the world and will speak at the UN on the Scottish Government’s programme of work supporting women from areas of conflict in participating in peace building activities. Her Stanford University speech saw the First Minister highlight the issue of Brexit and of Scottish independence – two highly topical and relevant issues.
The visit has been covered by BBC Scotland. Each news bulletin, as well as summarising Nicola Sturgeon’s trip, has also contained the obligatory attack from Unionist politicians – chiefly the Scottish Conservatives. The thrust of the Tory attacks has used the familiar line that the First minister is ignoring her day job.
The first such attack appeared on Sunday, the day before Nicola Sturgeon arrived in the USA. Tory MSP Annie Wells appeared on Reporting Scotland.
That same day the Good Morning Scotland newspaper review covered the USA trip. The ‘day job’ attacks featured prominently as you can hear below.
The attack featured across Radio Scotland news bulletins on Monday. Below is a short medley of the kind of news bulletins the station broadcast.
It featured on Monday evening’s Reporting Scotland also as can be seen from the short clip below.
The full item from correspondent James Cook was pretty informative and balanced and can be viewed here.
It’s safe to say that people are just as aware of the ‘day job’ attacks from the Scottish Conservatives as they are of the USA visit itself. The attack has appeared in BBC Scotland radio bulletins, TV items and online articles.
But has the First Minister replied to the myriad attacks? Has Nicola Sturgeon been given an opportunity to address her critics? Indeed she has. The clip below is from Tuesday evening’s Reporting Scotland where Nicola Sturgeon was asked to respond by James Cook.
It’s a bit insipid isn’t it? With Theresa May currently on a trip to Saudi Arabia, Philip Hammond visiting India and even hapless David Mundell having flown off to Burma, you’d have thought that Nicola Sturgeon would have at least highlighted Tory hypocrisy.
It was an open goal. How did the First Minister miss such an easy opportunity?
The answer is she didn’t. Nicola Sturgeon exposed Tory hypocrisy for all to see. Or rather would have seen had Reporting Scotland not cut the following clip from the programme.
Nicola Sturgeon began her answer to James Cook’s question by exposing Tory hypocrisy. But it was cut from BBC Scotland’s flagship evening news programme.
Having broadcast the Scottish Tory ‘Day Job’ attacks for days, someone at the BBC decided the Scottish public would not get to see Nicola Sturgeon answer her hypocritical critics. Who took the decision to cut the highly relevant segment from Nicola Sturgeon’s interview will probably never be known, but it’s probably saved Ruth Davidson’s party some embarrassment and ensured many viewers remain blissfully ignorant of May, Hammond and Mundell’s foreign trips.
It’s not the first time this kind of editing has happened on Reporting Scotland. Below is an example from July 2016 where a highly relevant segment of an interview with Nicola Sturgeon was edited out of that evening’s edition of Reporting Scotland.
No Bargaining Chips [05 July 2016]
Then favourite to take over from David Cameron and become the leader of the Tory party – and new Prime Minister – Theresa May caused fury after suggesting that the status of EU nationals living in the UK could feature in any Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
The comments led to newspaper headlines across the UK, including Scotland. On July 5th 2016, after meeting with delegates from EU member countries, Nicola Sturgeon spoke to BBC Scotland and condemned May’s comments. Below is a clip that appeared on an obscure online article.
By the time Reporting Scotland aired that night, Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘bargaining chips’ attack had been removed. Below is what viewers to BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme heard the First Minister say.
Just as in the ‘Day Job’ interview, the flagship evening news programme refused to show the more newsworthy comments from the First Minister, and instead showed a clip of a far more distilled comment.
Not for nothing do many pro-independence critics of Reporting Scotland disdainfully label the programme ‘Mis-reporting Scotland’.
You can view more examples of how Reporting Scotland manipulates political news items in an article I wrote back in July 2016.
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