TV Referendum Debate Dates For Your Diary

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On 2 June Cameron and Gove will take part in an hour-long programme on Sky News, a face-to-face live interview with Faisal Islam followed by a question-and-answer session with Kay Burley and a live studio audience.

On 7 June, Farage and then Cameron will answer questions from a studio audience on ITV, moderated by Julie Etchingham. On 9 June, ITV will host a full debate, guests TBC.

The BBC will then host a special edition of Question Time on 15 June and the box office Wembley Arena debate on 21 June.

Jeremy Paxman is doing a channel 4 EU referendum debate with an invited audience on June 22.

Vote Leave are particularly put out by ITV putting up Farage instead of Boris or Gove. Remember, Peston is best friends with Roland Rudd, impresario of the Remain campaign…

Bottoms Up! Hugh Bonneville Celebrates Stage Success

Bravo to Hugh Bonneville, whose new play about press freedom, cover-ups and lying scoundrels has proved a triumph. “Bonneville, champion of free speech”, raves the front page of the Telegraph, while the Sun’s theatre review section – never missed by luvvies – gives it four stars:

“Hugh Bonneville ditches his safe family man image for a performance packed with passion and desire as he fights to reveal a corrosive secret in his first return to the stage in more than a decade… Bonneville, who recently spoke on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs of his deep love for wife of 18 years Lulu, plays brilliant Dr Stockmann… Why should he hide the truth, he demands. “Too many people already know about it,” he rants. “You think you can silence me and the truth but things are not going to go as smoothly as you think”

The Mail meanwhile reports on a triumphant evening for the A-list TV actor:

“The actor’s performance before a packed house was met with a long applause as he bowed multiple times to his adoring public. The stage door was clear for Mr Bonneville as he made his way from the theatre and into the press party, free of autograph hunters and fans. He was seen flashing a big smile as he walked out of the theatre with a group of friends and his wife Lulu Williams. Speaking after the performance people said what a lovely guy Bonneville was because he remembers everyone’s name and ‘speaks to everyone like an old friend.”

Sounds like a quite a party. Bottoms up!

Race Row Channel 4 News Reporter’s Non-Apology

The Channel 4 News reporter who sent racially-charged tweets and slurred injured British soldiers has tweeted a grudging non-apology following Guido’s stories:

An apology for “offence caused” is not an apology…

Note that Baig fails to apologise for his tweets on “House Muslims”, “uncle Toms” and “coconuts“. He also refuses to clarify if he recognises the Ahmadiyya community as Muslim. Channel 4 have refused repeated requests to disclose how many complaints they have received about Baig’s conduct, and what their investigations into his behaviour found. They also won’t tell us if they are happy with his non-apology, which only made things worse for Baig. Guido’s inbox has been inundated with complaint after complaint sent to Channel 4 about their extreme reporter…

Greenslade Shreds Hacked Off’s Whittingdale “Conspiracy Theory”

The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade, a man unlikely to be part of a right-wing media plot to protect a Tory Cabinet minister, dismisses as “conspiracy theory” Hacked Off’s wild claims that the press covered up the Whittingdale story. The pro-Leveson brigade scream intrusion when tabloids reveal married MPs’ affairs, then cry conspiracy when they decide not to write about a single man and his lover. Whitto will be embarrassed by the revelations but he was a single man in a consensual relationship who has done nothing wrong. Brian Cathcart and Hacked Off have hilariously jumped the shark live on TV…

Channel 4 News Were Repeatedly Warned About Extreme Reporter

It has emerged that Channel 4 News were repeatedly warned about the conduct of their reporter Assed Baig well before Guido revealed his racially charged tweets and slur on injured British soldiers. Guido has seen a complaint sent to Channel 4 News about Baig back in November 2014. The complainant, himself a Muslim, claimed that Baig displayed “worrying tendencies” and warned “there is a clear line of racism in many of his comments”. They suggested Channel 4 take “a quick look on Twitter at Mr Baig‘s feed”. Channel 4 responded that “Your concerns have been passed on to the editorial team” but seemingly no action was taken.

Guido also understands that another complaint was made several weeks ago about a report Baig fronted on the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Baig is said to have described Ahmadis as “people who describe themselves as Muslim”, a controversial statement given the persecution they face at the hands of other Muslims. Channel 4 News have refused to give Guido an answer on whether they are investigating complaints about Baig. They will only tell Guido that Baig’s other views were expressed before his employment. Yet this is something he said on air on Channel 4, and bosses have done nothing…

BBC’s £84 Million in Bermuda

SDFFSDD

Cameron’s taxes and the Panama Papers have led the BBC News bulletins for the past week, yet licence fee payers remain unenlightened about Auntie’s own offshore financial arrangements. What better place to start than the 2013 BBC Pensions report, which lists investments held by the Beeb’s £9 billion employee benefit scheme. Scroll down to page 16 and it is disclosed that the BBC used investment managers Nephila Capital Ltd to invest £84 million:

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Nephila Capital is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nephila Holdings Limited and is a Bermuda domiciled company. As the BBC lines up pundits to jump on the outrage bus about Dave’s £30,000 in a Panamanian unit trust, they stashed £84 million with investors based in Bermuda. There is lots more of this…

Channel 4 News Reporter’s Racially-Charged Tweets

In October Guido reported that Channel 4 News was employing a former CAGE extremist who had supported an Islamic theologian infamous for defending Hitler. Today we can reveal they are employing another reporter who sent a string of vulgar racially-charged epithets. Investigative journalist Assed Baig attacked moderate Muslims with racial terms including “uncle Tom” and “house Muslim”, even claiming that British Muslims who attend Islamic events hosted by the government are “Uncle Toms”, a derogatory phrase meaning a black person who is obedient to whites:

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Baig suggested moderate Muslims “dance” for their “master” because they are “house Muslims“, another racial slur:

In response to a story about a Muslim Tory candidate calling for Muslims to join the British Army, Baig shockingly wrote:

Baig also claimed that the terms “choc-ice” and “coconut”, racial slurs which speak for themselves, are “not racist terms”:

At the time of going to pixel Baig had not responded to a request for comment. For Channel 4 News to employ one reporter with extreme views could be considered misfortune, to employ two…

UPDATE: Channel 4 News statement:

‘We are aware of the tweets in question by Assad Baig which pre-date his employment by Channel 4 News. They are clearly a personal view relating to that particular period in time. However, he has been reminded of his responsibilities as a journalist to be fair and impartial when representing Channel 4 News at all times.’

UPDATE II: Anti-Islamphobia campaign Tell Mama condemns use of House Muslim phrase.

Media Diversity

Sweetener

The Times, Telegraph and Independent all went for the same cliché headline, used to cover countless budgets and spending reviews beforeThe rest of the unpopular press following in the Indy’s footsteps is not a good omen for the Times and Telegraph…

H/T thhamilton

Media Minister Monitor: Battle of the Producers

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Yesterday Guido brought you Minister Media Monitor, our new resource monitoring ministerial broadcast appearances. As Craig Oliver implements a “one minister a day” policy, the battle is on between producers to land a government spokesman for their programme. In […]

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Peston’s Downing Street “Movie Set”

ITV’s scoop-getting political editor Robert Peston is annoying Tory spinners in more ways than one. When the other broadcasters film short interviews in Downing Street, they usually bring one camera with them to film the interviewee. Peston however insists on […]

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Newsnight Political Editor Runners and Riders

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Allegra Stratton has started her new gig at ITV meaning Newsnight needs a new political editor. As ever, Guido gives you your runners and riders…

David Grossman – Seen as the internal BBC option, Grossman currently does the tech-y stuff

[…]

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Buzzfeed Offers Free Beer To “Muslim Issues” Reporter

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Buzzfeed UK are taking on a new reporter with a “special interest in Muslim issues”, who must be fluent in either Bengali, Urdu, or Arabic and have a “strong list of contacts and sources within the Muslim community”. […]

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