The BBC’s Marianna Spring specializes in branding average citizens as conspiracy theorists and potential terrorists for questioning official claims. When caught lying about her own professional record to advance her ambitions, she says she thought her deceit “wouldn’t be a big deal.”
On September 6th, The New European reported that BBC’s “specialist disinformation correspondent” Marianna Spring lied on her résumé in a failed attempt to bag work with Coda Story back in 2018.
Spring had submitted an application to Coda Story editor-in-chief Natalia Antelava containing a CV in which she claimed to have worked alongside BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford on the British state broadcaster’s reporting on that year’s World Cup in Russia.
An entry read: “June 2018: Reported on International News during the World Cup, specifically the perception of Russia, with BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford.”
This claim was the textbook definition of “disinformation.” In truth, Spring had met Rainsford in a handful of social settings, and they never worked together. Antelava easily ascertained Spring was lying, and admonished her for the fabrication. The future BBC apparatchik responded with a grovelling apology, expressing contrition for her “awful misjudgment”, while somewhat amazingly still professing to be a “brilliant reporter”:
“I’ve only bumped into Sarah whilst she’s working and chatted to her at various points, but nothing more. Everything else on my CV is entirely true. There’s absolutely no excuse at all, and I’m really sorry again. The only explanation at all is my desperation to report out in Moscow, and thinking that it wouldn’t be a big deal, which was totally naive and stupid of me. I’m really sorry again for this awful misjudgment on my part.”
Antelava did not respond well, rejecting Spring’s application outright, and remarking, “telling me you are a brilliant reporter who exercises integrity and honesty when you have literally demonstrated the opposite was a terrible idea.”
Spring’s fabrication may have also been illegal. In Britain, her country of birth, lying on one’s résumé is a serious criminal offense under the 2006 Fraud Act. If an individual exaggerates their qualifications with the intention of gaining employment, they can face hefty fines, and a possible jail sentence of up to 10 years.
Why it took so long for Spring’s deceit to be publicly exposed is unclear. In the years since she attempted to lie her way into a flashy reporting job, her career has soared meteorically, placing her in the spotlight of mainstream British media.
Not long after her CV falsification, Spring joined the lagship BBC political program Newsnight, and was then promoted as the broadcaster’s “specialist disinformation correspondent” in March 2020. Coincidentally, the British government had just passed its Coronavirus Act, placing the country’s population under lockdown, and psychologically bludgeoning it into compliance with pandemic restrictions.
As The Grayzone has documented, Spring was at the forefront of an aggressive effort to frame critics of lockdowns, pandemic restrictions, mask and vaccine mandates, and vaccine passports as a vast, fascistic, potentially violent fifth column infesting both on and offline spaces – and who deserved to be crushed with a repressive state response. She frequently relied on the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a NATO state-funded information warfare operation, to reinforce her dubious reporting.
Spring’s connection to a constellation of state-backed propaganda outfits wound her up on the invite list for a secret May 2022 summit aimed at destroying The Grayzone. A Foreign Office-funded intelligence operative named Amil Khan suggested she be invited to the gathering.
Hey Marianna, did you ever attend this meeting proposed by a UK intelligence contractor that was aimed at cooking up smears of The Grayzone?
Why did a spook propose you as a specialist in taking down an indy outlet like ours? And what exactly is your relationship w/ UK intel? pic.twitter.com/CitIgjXNeq
The disclosures about Spring come mere days after The Guardian published a fawning profile of Spring and her crusading work “battling cranks, extremists – and Elon Musk,” while campaigning for integrity and honesty on social networks and in alternative media. While for the most part an unctuous hagiography, it ended on a surprisingly critical note, asking its subject why she was solely focused on purported “disinformation” spread by citizens and independent journalists, rather than governments or powerful organizations.
This query led Spring to reportedly lose her patience, in a quintessentially British way. She admonished her interviewer:
“I constantly get, ‘Marianna, why have you not BBC-verified this?’ Every single thing. It’s like, I’ve become the complaints person. I think they think I’m Superwoman. I can’t do everything. We all have to think about how ecosystems work – I deal with the extreme stuff.”
It is certainly true Spring “can’t do everything.” When applying for a job, she could not even tell the truth about her own record. Instead, Spring may have committed a criminal offense by lying on her CV in an admittedly “desperate” bid to climb the NATO-state sponsored media ladder.