Friday, March 14, 2014

Newsnight Hire Pro-Labour TUC Wonk as Economics Editor

newsnightStephanie “Two Eds” Flanders used to annoy Tory MPs when she was the economics pundit on Newsnight, before her the quasi-Marxist Paul Mason had them shouting at the telly. Well imagine how they are going to react to the news that the TUC’s senior economist Duncan Weldon has been hired as her replacement. Weldon is a former Labour Party staffer who has blogged for the Fabian Society, Left Foot Forward and written a series of posts praising Labour politicians and attacking the Tories on LabourList. If that were not enough he also writes regularly for the Owen Jones launched and Unite-funded CLASS think tank. Guido looks forward to his fair and balanced reporting…

BBC sources say that it would be unfair to blame the former Guardian deputy-editor Ian Katz who is now Newsnight’s editor for the hire as James Harding (ex-Times editor) signs off the hires. Katz seems sensitive to complaints about the politics of Newsnight:

It is clearly provocative in a pre-election year to hire a well known Labour Party advocate for the position when the economy is going to be the central election issue. The BBC’s Charter is up for review in 2017. Conservative HQ will be as suspicious as ever of the BBC…

UPDATE: Livid Tory spokesman: “Highly questionable appointment. Arthur Scargill would be a more objective appointment.”

UPDATE II: Duncan Weldon ran as a candidate for the Labour Party in Crouch End, Haringey in the 2010 elections.

UPDATE III: Duncan Weldon was the economic adviser to Harriet Harman when she was acting leader of the Labour Party. This might just lead some to question his objectivity in reporting on Labour’s forthcoming 2015 manifesto.

UPDATE IV:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

PICTURE: Nick Robinson’s Tribute to Bob Crow

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

BBC Screamers Handle Pistorius Report Tastefully

BBC spokesperson said with some understatement: “There was a technical mistake where sound effects being prepared in another studio for an unrelated item were accidentally broadcast over the news bulletin. We apologised for the error immediately afterwards.”

Guy News Special: BBC Three’s Greatest Hits

BBC Three is no more, it is being axed and aired online only. Guido gives you their greatest hits, all paid for by your licence fee:

Public service broadcasting at its finest…

Friday, February 28, 2014

BBC’s Gucci Wearing Nick Robinson Snaps

Sellotape it Nick, no one will notice…

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Marr: Boy George and Barroso

Friday, February 14, 2014

BBC Redefines “Exclusive”, Denies Change in Crediting Policy

Following MediaGuido’s report on the Lobby becoming increasingly frustrated with the BBC’s failure to credit their “sources”, hacks are noticing a welcome change in policy at the Beeb:

BBC spokesperson insists to MediaGuido.com that there hasn’t been any change in guidance to journalists, incoherently claiming:

“We always aim to provide an online link to the original source on an exclusive story.”  

Redefining the accepted definition of an “exclusive” somewhat…

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Robinson’s Lobby Colleagues Fed Up With Him Lifting Stories

Nick Robinson was the focus of ridicule among his Lobby colleagues last night after he yet again lifted a newspaper journalist’s story and claimed it as his own. “BREAKING”, he tweeted, the three major parties would reject a currency union with an independent Scotland, “the BBC has learned”. Just one problem, Nick Watt at the Guardian had broken the story some 21 hours earlier. 

Several Lobby journalists have since been in touch with MediaGuido to express their increasing frustration at Robinson claiming stories broken elsewhere as his own, attributing them instead to “BBC sources”. It is a running joke that BBC news broadcasts consistently refuse to credit other news organisations – putting up  ‘Breaking News – the BBC has learned’ graphics half an hour after it was on Sky - but Robinson telling readers that this story was his own has crossed the line. One hack notes his regular surprise to see lines from government or opposition press releases (emailed out to every Westminster journalist at the same time) reported as “a Tory/Labour source tells me” on the News at Ten. The fact he is “never around” is hardly helping his popularity either. BBC head of news James Harding is cracking the whip demanding exclusives from his political team, Robbo seems to be feeling the pressure.

When MediaGuido spoke to Nick Watt last night, he wanted to stress that “I hold Nick in the highest regard” and suggested we take a look at the high volume of critical tweets from Lobby journalists to gauge how other hacks feel. Despite Robinson confessing to reading the Guardian story first, last night’s News at Ten again fibbed “our political editor Nick Robinson broke the story”Tut tut…

 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Leaked Emails Reveal “UKIP Kidnapper” is Tory Member Newsnight Scoop Missed PM Welcoming Bhutto to the Party

Last night’s Newsnight scoop was bizarre for many reasons, not least their revelations that the UKIP Commonwealth Spokesman had been jailed for seven years. Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto was the leader of a gang who kidnapped the son of a wealthy businessman at gunpoint in Karachi in June 2004. The establishment’s favourite new mantra was wheeled out and lots of noise made about the make up of UKIP membership. Except someone didn’t do their homework, fully…

As these emails, just revealed by the Daily Politics, indicate, Bhutto is a member of the Conservative Party:

From: “David Cameron”
Date: 30 January 2014 12:44:35 GMT
To: Mujeeb.bhutto
Subject: Thank you for becoming a Member

Dear Mr Bhutto,

Firstly, let me offer you a very warm welcome to the Conservatives.

I’m delighted you have taken the decision to help us turn Britain around by becoming a Member of the Party. Your membership card will be posted out to you shortly (within the next month).

As a Member, you have a vital role to play. The Conservative-led Government has many challenges ahead before – and including – the next set of elections, but with your help we can continue to make the case for Conservative values.

The more who join us, the more we can achieve – so please email everyone you know who would be interested in becoming a Member of the Conservatives. Together, we can build a better future for Britain.

Thanks in advance for all your help,

David Cameron

This is being blamed on an automated online application. Which cannot be said for Leeds Conservatives following up the email from Dave to further welcome Mr Bhutto back into Tory arms:

From: “Robert Winfield” 
Date: 30 January 2014 23:59:38 GMT
To: Mujeeb.bhutto
Subject: Leeds Central Conservatives

Mujeeb
I am just dropping you a brief e mail to say that I was delighted to learn that you have rejoined the Conservative Party. I hope to speak to you soon but unfortunately I am just getting over flu.

I assume this means that you have severed your connections with UKIP.

Best wishes

Robert Winfield

This is not the first time that UKIP have got into trouble with Tory friends. No one noticed the gay floods chap when he was a Conservative councillor, and the member accused by the Mail on Sunday of being in the National Front was actually a Tory when she made the incendiary comments. And let’s not forget Roger Helmer. As Farage said the other day, “if you accept defectors from the Conservative Party you will always have embarrassments.”

UPDATE: Shapps was just confronted with these emails on the Daily Politics, it seems the Tories had spotted the issue here. Though it seems no one told Leeds…

UPDATE II: Poor Bhutto has been booted out already. Tories say:

“Bhutto is not a member. He applied, got the normal follow ups, and we reserve the right to refuse and have done that.”

Normal follow ups including a personalised welcome thanking them for re-joining? Glad that’s all cleared up then…

Monday, February 3, 2014

SKETCH: Doubling Down on the Digital Fiasco

The big BBC software project has gone up in pyre of bytes.

They’ve written off £98m as totally worthless work – and there may be another £80m behind that. One question remains of interest to the Public Accounts Committee – who’s going to carry the can?

The answer to that has an even larger question: how do we control these very large public service bodies? They pay each other little miracles of money in salaries, expenses, bonuses and pensions, and when their projects collapse they talk about learning lessons and the journey they’ve been on.

They have realised that if they “say sorry”, there’s nothing further that can be done to them. Now they are all starting to construct painfree apologies. You can tell there’s no real repentance – there’s no contrition – and therefore no real change in behaviour.

But leave the theology to one side.

(more…)


Seen Elsewhere

Labour’s Plan to Attack Part-Time Boris | Standard
Ex-Sun Hack Cleared After 582 Days on Bail | MediaGuido
11 Times Boris Denied He Would Stand for Parliament | Buzzfeed
Attacking UKIP’s Posters is Counter-Productive | Guardian
Sarkozy Tried it on With Hollande’s Ex | Times
Another Spare Room Subsidy Cut Success | Harry Phibbs
Rich Now Have Less Leisure Than Poor | Economist
UKIP’s Immigration Policy Promotes Migrant Entrepreneurs | Breitbart
Another Feminist Lecture | Laura Perrins
UKIP Posters Bad Economics But Good Politics | James Delingpole
Tories Losing to UKIP in Scotland | ConHome


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A confused Nick Griffin says Nigel Farage is a shill for the City, forgetting that City banks want to stay in the EU:

“Farage is a snake oil salesman, but a very good one. His supposed anti-immigration stance is all smoke and mirrors, as is his carefully cultivated image as a ‘man of the people’. The truth is that UKIP is a pro-immigration party that exists to lobby for the interests of the City of London.”



Alexrod says:

It’s money innit.


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