BBC Alex Salmond Nicola Sturgeon

BBC Defends itself against Alex Salmond 'Wicked Stepmother' comments


By Stephen Lepitak, -

April 6, 2015 | 3 min read

The BBC has defended itself against allegations made by former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond that it is "a disgrace" and described it as "being akin to the wicked stepmother in a pantomime".

Salmond produced the comments in the new Scottish newspaper, the National, where he defended Nicola Sturgeon and slammed the Telegraph for reporting on a leaked memo claiming she admitted a preference for the Conservatives to remain in Westminster.

Sturgeon has denied that she made the comments to a French ambassador with an investigation over the leak now taking place as a result.

Salmond said of the BBC during his article: "They are network-based and therefore vulnerable to network assumptions. Second, they allow their agenda to be led by a totally biased press. It is difficult to stay impartial if you accept nonsense from The Telegraph as the basis of your story. Little wonder that Auntie BBC is now regarded by so many of us in Scotland as akin to a wicked stepmother in a pantomime. Our national broadcaster is a national disgrace."

He also defended BBC journalist James Cook who had picked up the story only to be the subject of online abuse as a result. Sturgeon also tweeted to back him and his reporting over the weekend.

"There are, of course, exceptions. People who do not allow their journalism to be compromised. And one of them is James Cook of the BBC. I want the following paragraph to be read and remembered by anyone who thinks that it is a good idea or good politics to tar all journalists with the disgraceful Telegraph brush," Salmond stated.

A BBC Scotland spokesperson released the following statement to The Drum as a result of the comments: “The BBC, along with the rest of the media, covered a story of legitimate interest fully, and indeed took it on further by speaking to those most closely involved in it to offer as much information for our audiences. To suggest otherwise is both misleading and untrue.”

The National was launched by Newsquest late last year following the surge in interest for Scottish independence during the Referendum in September.

BBC Alex Salmond Nicola Sturgeon

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