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Thursday 15 November 2018

BBC DG Brillo Hypocrisy

If anyone were still uncertain as to the lengths to which BBC management will go in order to pretend that there are really no problems at all with its behaviour, or that of some of its senior staff, the most recent pronouncement from the Director General of the Corporation should set them straight, especially when put alongside more of that less than pleasant behaviour. The Beeb’s own report sets the scene.
The BBC's director general has spoken out against the ‘disgraceful’ attacks made on journalists on social media … Tony Hall said journalists received ‘constant anonymous threats’ on Twitter for ‘simply reporting on opinions that some people might not want to hear’ … Earlier this year, the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg said she no longer reads what people say online” it explains.
And there is more. “Lord Hall said social media threats were part of ‘an attempt to intimidate people and stop them doing their jobs’ … He told the conference: ‘It is hard to remember a time in which journalists across the world have been deliberately targeted in the way they are today’ … he wanted the BBC's journalists ‘to tackle fake news - or what we should more properly call misinformation - wherever they find it’”.
Carole Cadwalladr - still no right of reply

This is all laudable stuff. But what Lord Hall-Hall manages to miss is that one of his own senior presenters is a fully engaged participant in “attacks made on journalists on social media” because his targets are “simply reporting on opinions that some people might not want to hear”. The social media threats thus generated are indeed “an attempt to intimidate people and stop them doing their jobs”.
As for Fake News, the presenter in question is doing little to combat this when he is promoting the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, the increasingly shrill alt-right Spectator magazine, and engaging in pile-ons against female politicians and journalists who have incurred his displeasure.
Small wonder the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr responded to Lord Hall-Hall “Incredible. You should see what your star politics presenter has unleashed onto my feed. What he's sanctioned & legitimised”. The “star politics presenter” is of course Andrew Neil.
And Neil’s behaviour can be seen at its unpleasant worst in the aftermath of Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato telling “Here’s the email to the BBC sent by myself and @CarolineLucas explaining why they should reverse their decision to give a platform to Arron Banks. Please continue with your own complaints about this appalling decision”.
After Ms Lucas had confirmed “Appalling misjudgement to give platform to Arron Banks on BBC tomorrow Please do make your own complaint”, off went Brillo. “Thank god the future of the free press is not in your hands - or there would be no free press. You should be ashamed of yourself”. She wasn’t talking about the press. And she’s entitled to complain.
It was Trevor Kavanagh batting for Kelvin McFilth all over again. The kind of behaviour that Lord Hall-Hall has condemned when others do it. So why is the DG blind to such behaviour when it comes from his own side? Well, Tony?

Criticise others for bad behaviour, BBC - but get your own house in order first.
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Anonymous said...

I complained to BBC Newswatch about Neil's appalling tweet to Carole Cadwalladr. I got an email response from the Newswatch producer saying:
"Thanks for your email, which raises a point - about Andrew Neil’s tweet - which we may feature on this week’s edition of Newswatch."
It may be a whitewash job, of course, but there is clearly recognition that Neil is out of control.

Anonymous said...

Hall isn't "...blind to such behaviour."

He's PART of "such behaviour" by ignoring the gang of righties that infests and corrupts news output in the organisation for which he is responsible. Which tells you all you need to know about BBC editorial policies. In fact Hall is as guilty of the perversions of truth as robot front people like Neil and Kuenssberg.

Also, nobody gives a toss whether Kuenssberg reads social media or not. Like her like-minded shills she's increasingly irrelevant to the realities of British life. The world has moved on and her devious witterings are little more than background noise in a hen house.

Mark said...

Generic 'fuck you very much' reply from the BBC to my complaint re Neil's tweet;

'Thank you for contacting us regarding a BBC presenter. We note you’re unhappy with a tweet posted by Andrew Neil about Carole Cadwalladr.

We have spoken with Andrew’s team and senior members of staff about your concerns. They have spoken with Andrew, who acknowledges that the tweet was inappropriate, and it was removed shortly after it was posted.

BBC management would like to thank you for your comments. We can assure you that steps have been taken to try and avoid this sort of thing from happening again.

Kind Regards'

Unknown said...

Hey Tim - did you see the report in today's Guardian that senior female BBC journalists are unhappy with Andrew Neil's sexist bullying but daren't go public "...for fear of reprisals..."?

Tim Fenton said...



Anonymous said...

So Newswatch covered it and the response was simply a rehash of the email sent to Mark.