The thought that the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn might be offered a similar role with BBC Newsnight had gained such traction recently that betting on his appointment was suspended. And as Zelo Street regulars will be aware, I judged this to be sufficiently serious to start a petition calling for the Beeb to reconsider and get someone else to do the job. There was not long to wait for developments.and announced that Nick Watt, who was considered to have been passed over for the political editor’s job at the Guardian, had been appointed by the BBC.
However, that alleged news waits on a reliable source to confirm it, and none has yet been forthcoming. In the meantime, there is the fallout from the Beeb’s flirtation with appointing Newton Dunn to consider, and here what is most interesting about the saga is all the stuff that the Sun man has chosen not to tell his Twitter followers, which is rather a lot. For starters, he was, I’m told, never offered the Newsnight job.
I’ll go further: my information is that the folks at Newsnight were mildly amused that anyone bet on Newton Dunn, never mind that there was so much betting as to have the process suspended. Someone has been mounting a highly effective false propaganda initiative. It’s been put to me that Ian Katz, formerly of the Guardian and the man running the show now, did not want Newton Dunn to get the job.So when the Fawkes rabble claimed “BBC sources tell Guido that senior management has overruled editor Ian Katz in his first choice for the Newsnight pol-ed job. The Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn has been vetoed as too expensive in a time of BBC austerity and job cuts, as well as being too tainted by proximity to Murdoch for the Beeb’s tastes”, they are, not to drive this one round the houses for too long, talking total crap.
The Fawkes “report” went on to say “Other names in Katz’s hat can be culled from all over the Lobby”, which is also crap, as by that time the decision, whether or not Watt is the name in the frame, had already been made. And there was one final reason for steering clear of Newton Dunn, a reason that might worry him, because if the BBC won’t look seriously at him, he is unlikely to find a decent berth elsewhere nowadays.
My source tells me that the Corporation had concerns over Newton Dunn’s treatment of junior staff. The old bullying business coming up again, suggesting that the incident in Moncrieff’s Bar was not an isolated one and that the Sun man has behavioural issues which are likely to see potential employers steering well clear of him. But good to see the Fawkes mob are as poorly informed as ever.
In the meantime, that’s a 100% petition success rate. JUST REJOICE AT THAT NEWS.