It’s too easy to bash the BBC over Naga Munchetty. Personal reflections have no place in news, even in the face of racism

The broadcaster’s co-host would never have asked for the views of a white colleague on Donald Trump’s racist remarks. They both overstepped the mark

Janet Street-Porter
Friday 27 September 2019 18:26 BST
Naga Munchetty calls Donald Trump racist

The guy serving coffee at my station turned from the television as he handed over the cup, shaking his head. “What do they sound like?” he asked. Shouting, catcalling and insults spewed out of the live coverage from the House of Commons. He shrugged; even his customers during the rush hour never behave like that.

Language and tone has never been more important as we inch towards a momentous decision for our country, but, just like Brexit, is it possible to rein back? To take a collective deep breath and think before we comment?

In the US, and now in the UK, leaders use language as a weapon a highly tuned device to make the maximum impact. One premier might have been schooled in the classics and the other has primary-school level literacy, but both instinctively know how to achieve maximum impact, generally at the elevated level of hyperbole. In Trump’s lexicon, even the word “nice”, as applied to eco-activist Greta Thunberg, can be an insult.

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