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Thursday 21 May 2020

BBC DG - And Then There Were Three

The continuing travails of News Group Newspapers being played out at London’s High Court are not just about the Murdoch mafiosi and who they would rather not have reporting on the case - hello Byline Media - but also, tangentially, about the future of the BBC. The inmates of the Baby Shard bunker would love to exercise influence within New Broadcasting House. What better than to have their preferred choice as DG?
Will Lewis

And as the Guardian reported last Friday, “The BBC has drawn up a shortlist in the hunt for its next director general that includes Will Lewis, the outgoing chief executive of the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, and two of the corporation’s most senior executives, Tim Davie and Charlotte Moore. The final contender is thought to be another woman”.

Will Lewis? WILL LEWIS? As Billy Connolly once put it, “There’s going tae be some swearing … FUCK OFF!” They shortlisted Will Lewis? OK, many will not know the backstory of another of those media figures whom Private Eye magazine has accused of being excessively thirsty. So let’s look at Will’s most relevant greatest industry hits.

He was in charge of the WSJ as it was turned from a paper of record into one whose journalism became more and more tainted by right-wing bias, and especially in its coverage of Murdoch favourite, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump. Minus point #1.
Lewis was in charge of the Murdoch’s UK Management and Standards Committee, or MSC. This was an independent division of News Corp set up to ensure cooperation with external authorities investigating allegations of illegal activity within the UK part of the Murdoch empire. Cooperation from the MSC is believed to have led to the arrest of several journalists accused of corrupting public officials, many of whom lost their jobs.

So that’s Minus Point #2. And coming hard on the heels of that point is Lewis’ alleged involvement in leaking details of an undercover sting by two Telegraph reporters on Vince Cable, who was then Business Secretary in the 2010 Coalition Government. The leak was then reported by Robert Peston, know to be a pal of Lewis. Minus Point #3.
And then we come to those revelations at the High Court yesterday, and Lewis’ time at the MSC coming back to bite him. “A SHORTLISTED candidate to become the Director General of the BBC masterminded a mass criminal cover-up of phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch’s companies, explosive High Court documents allege” told Byline Investigates.

The Guardian was also on the case. “The claimants allege ‘Lewis was heavily and directly involved in the email deletion strategy’. And that he was ‘part of the senior management which organised or allowed extensive deletions of millions of emails to take place without preserving backups … even though he was aware of the need to preserve data for the civil claims … and the live police investigation’”. And there we have Minus Point #4,
Now the Guardian has told thatThe BBC is discussing delaying the hunt for its next director general because of the [Coronavirus] pandemic’s impact on the recruitment process”. Maybe the impact of Will Lewis’ travails is also having an effect.

No way should he remain on that shortlist. So then there were three. Bye, Will.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh I dunno. Lewis seems a perfect recruit for a right wing propaganda organisation that already has Kuenssberg, Robinson, Neil, Smith, Marr, Wark, Coburn, Davis, Maitlis and gawd knows how many others.

Which is why the BBC is doomed.