Sturgeon/Bannon Row – BBC calls hard-right former Trump advisor “powerful and influential figure”

Under fire BBC chiefs have hit back after Scotland’s First Minister pulled out of an event organised by the corporation after learning a hard-right former adviser to Donald Trump had been invited.

Nicola Sturgeon was scheduled to speak at the Xchange event on November 13th.  The annual event is co-hosted by the BBC and will be moderated by the BBC’s Scotland editor Sarah Smith.

However the First Minister pulled out of the event after learning former Trump advisor Steve Bannon had been invited to speak.  Bannon has been accused of promoting racism and is currently trying to create a European right-wing movement called ‘The Movement’ linking right-wing groups across the continent.

Speaking on Saturday, Nicola Sturgeon said: “I believe passionately in free speech but as @ScotGovFM I have to make balanced judgments – and I will not be part of any process that risks legitimising or normalising far right, racist views. I regret that the BBC has put me and others in this position.

She later added: “The email the BBC sent to my office justifying Bannon’s inclusion described him as a ‘powerful and influential figure…promoting an anti-elite movement.’ This kind of language to describe views that many would describe as fascist does seem to me to run the risk of normalisation.”

Bannon has reportedly held secret talks with Boris Johnson whom he recently defended after the controversial Tory MP’s Bhurka comments.  He has also praised the English far-right activist and former BNP member Tommy Robinson.

Bannon has already met with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen who leads the French equivalent of the BNP.

Speaking at the French National Front conference, Bannon told delegates to wear accusations of racism as a “badge of honour”.  The American was defended by Nigel Farage.

Despite Bannon’s controversial background, which includes accusations of racism and fascism, the BBC defended its decision to invite him to the Xchange event.  Responding to the First Minister’s criticism, it said: “Good journalism in a world of fake news and disinformation is more vital than ever.

“Journalism is about asking tough questions and understanding what is happening in the world and why.

“A conference designed to analyse the big issues impacting that world isn’t an endorsement of anyone or anything – it is a function of what journalism is.”

However critics have argued that it is by providing a platform for Bannon that he becomes influential.  Many point to Nigel Farage as an example of a figure made powerful through regular appearances on the BBC.

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7 thoughts on “Sturgeon/Bannon Row – BBC calls hard-right former Trump advisor “powerful and influential figure”

  1. Brian McGowan

    “Good journalism in a world of fake news and disinformation is more vital than ever.”

    “Journalism is about asking tough questions and understanding what is happening in the world and why.”

    I totally agree with these BBC sentiments. But they don’t have the self awareness to see the irony.

  2. Brian Powell

    “to analyse the big issues impacting that world”? What exactly do they think Bannon is going to assist them with?
    Bannon isn’t interested in what others think and he doesn’t care about argument, no matter how ‘smart’ luvvies think they are being.

  3. Clydebuilt

    Surely a BBC trap for our FM. Easy to see headlines Sturgeon and Bannon, buddies.

    They are loosing, getting desperate and will stoop to anything.

  4. Jockanese Wind Talker

    Just another example of the Fascist nature of the Right Wing British Nationalist State and it’s Propaganda Arm if one was needed.

  5. Robert Graham

    Brewer was trying his best on the BBC propaganda slot on Sunday ,attempting to turn Nicola Sturgeons refusal to become part of their contrived Circus into some sort of slur on her for not taking part , incidentally have they given up even trying to interview Ruthless or does she get the Special treatment reserved for unionist liars ,

    The is was the Greens turn trying to stir it up calling Patrick Harvie a SNP mini me and always did as they were told . childish really .
    Brewer and this BBC in Scotland are so transparent and predicable to the folk who have woken up to their antics its becoming totally farcical now .

  6. Independent Woman

    The BBC in Scotland have long since lost credibility as ‘good journalists’. They never did pursue the Tories in Scotland over the financial matters and over the bigotry and racism of elected tory councillors and MSPs.

  7. Jon Clarke

    Complained to BBC over their coverage of this issue on the Kaye Adams show on radio Scotland this morning, lowest standards of journalism and worse, legitimising far right views with partial and bias reporting

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