The BBC has been accused of resorting to state propaganda after depicting Chancellor Rishi Sunak as a ‘Superman’ who will have his superpowers tested to the max if he is to save the economy from the effects of Covid-19.
The comic book-style video clip was posted on the broadcaster’s Twitter page on Friday, with a headline that asked: “Can Sunak save the economy?” The UK’s chief finance minister is pictured as Superman – the iconic fictional superhero made famous in the 70s and 80s movie franchise.
The BBC’s economic correspondent Darshini David provides the somewhat bizarre, fawning narration, spelling out the dilemma for the UK economy, saying essentially that it is in dire straits and can only be saved by one courageous hero…the Tory chancellor.
The Chancellor is on a mission to save the economy. But will his superpowers be enough to nurse us back to rude health after the crippling blow delivered by coronavirus?
The UK’s chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has a plan to save the country’s economy from the effects of coronavirus, but will it work? 💰https://t.co/2hMQf5tRPtpic.twitter.com/p3l24cBCgW
David notes that Sunak has injected £190 billion into the UK’s struggling economy, but insists that the flying superhero will have to “find some new tricks if he’s going to save the day” entirely.
The somewhat brazen portrayal of Sunak as an undeniable force for good who is capable of superhuman abilities provoked a furious backlash online, in which many accused the public broadcaster of outlandish government propaganda.
“Why are the BBC who are SUPPOSEDLY impartial, portraying a politician as a bloody superhero?? This reeks of propaganda,” one commenter tweeted. “You should be ashamed,” another wrote.
Some questioned the usefulness of Ofcom – the UK broadcasting and telecommunications regulator – asking if the BBC could go unpunished after posting the video package, which another commenter slammed as nothing more than a “party political broadcast.”
Superman??? Really???? #BBCBias What use is @Ofcom ? #RevokeTheBBCsCharterpic.twitter.com/S4PZbOgB8K
It’s not the first time the BBC has faced accusations of pro-Tory bias. In the run-up to the 2019 general election, the broadcaster allegedly removed the sound of an audience laughing at PM Boris Johnson, provoking widespread anger online. The BBC insisted the removal of the sound was a “mistake.”
The broadcaster was also accused of a ‘cover-up,’ after footage of Johnson embarrassingly placing a remembrance wreath upside down on the Cenotaph war memorial last year was replaced with pictures from 2016, when he was mayor of London.
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