Runners & Riders: Sky Pol Ed

After four years at Sky as political editor, Faisal Islam is off to the BBC to become their economics editor. As ever Guido brings you likely runners & riders:

Beth Rigby – she wants it and many viewers think she’s already the pol ed. Must be in with a good chance.

Sophy Ridge – conflicting information as to if she really wants the job, which entails being on the road a lot, given a young child at home. Sky are a progressive employer so they would want to make it work for her. No doubt she could do it.

Chris Mason – if Sky wants to get one back from the BBC Mason would be an obvious choice. Mason might feel that Laura Kuenssberg is going to be in position for a long time and this is a chance for promotion and more money. Is rumoured to be interested in a move.

Nick Watt – again Sky could get their own back on the BBC by pinching Nick from Newsnight. Is he tired of the late nights?

Ross Hawkins – seems a bit frustrated on BBC radio. Could be interested.

Tom Newton-Dunn – a regular on Sky’s late night paper review, Tom’s enthusiasm for appearing on television is well known. Not sure if Sky’s executives share his enthusiasm…

Lewis Goodall – just too young, too Labour and too irritating?

Paul Brand – if Sky were to cast their net further afield – ITV’s political correspondent has had a few eye catching scoops lately.

Ed Conway – Impressive journalist and writes authoritatively about economics. During elections he has covered politics well. Guido’s outside bet.

Amol Rajanhas not publicly ruled himself out for the job.

Faisal Reverse-Ferrets on BMW Brexit Doom

Sky News’ political editor Faisal Islam quickly backtracked on his doom laden ‘Breaking News Alert’ story today, which initially heavily implied that BMW was to extraordinarily shut down its factory immediately after Brexit. In reality a planned annual maintenance shutdown happens every year.

A quarter of an hour later, Faisal posted an update, for the first time admitting that in reality the factory undergoes an “annual shutdown”.

After pilot licences and mobile roaming scares fell flat last week, Faisal has now scored a hat-trick in bogus Brexit bluster.

CAA Shoots Down Faisal Over “Misleading” Sky News Scaremongering Over Pilot Licences

The Civil Aviation Authority has put out a searing statement in response to Sky News’ breathless report by Faisal Islam that British pilots would need to be reissued with their licences and would no longer have them recognised by European Aviation Safety Agency in the event of a no deal Brexit. Fasten your seatbelts…

The CAA blasted the Sky report as “misleading” and dismissed the idea that UK pilot licences would cease to be valid in the EU without a Brexit deal. Sky have got it plane wrong:

“Both commercial and private UK pilot licences would remain valid for use on UK-registered aircraft as the United Kingdom is a signatory to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Chicago Convention. Our licences are internationally recognised – including by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) – both now and after 29 March 2019.”

Sky’s claim that all licences would need to be reissued “which would cost millions” was also shot down, with the CAA pointing out that this was a “purely cosmetic change” which would simply be carried out as and when pilots needed licences to be reissued in the normal course of events. It is as daft as suggesting that the Home Office is going to reissue every single British passport the day after Brexit simply to erase the words “European Union” from the cover. Pretty terminal for the report…

The CAA also accused Sky News of further departures from reality with their claims that there would be turbulence in its ability to provide safety oversight to the aviation industry in the event of no deal, “strongly refuting” any suggestion they were concerned and dismissing Sky as “confused”It certainly wasn’t a First Class story…

The UK’s aviation regulator is confident of a smooth landing whatever the outcome of Brexit – it’s only Sky who are making for the emergency exits. Let’s hope Faisal’s next report is more grounded in reality…

3 Ways the ONS Says Snow Slowed Growth

Faisal Islam says linking the disappointing 0.1% growth figure to the bad weather is “laughable”. Guardian deputy editor Paul Johnson tweets: “ONS says weather nothing to do with it”. If you actually read the ONS release rather than the Remain spin, they confirm the snow did have a “limited” impact on slowing growth, in three separate ways, on retail trade, petrol sales and construction:

  • “some impacts on GDP from the snow in the first quarter of 2018 have been recorded for construction and retail sales”
  • “The fall in retail trade was driven by a decrease in petrol sales. This could be attributed to adverse weather conditions, which impacted on travel” 
  • “There is some evidence of an impact of the bad weather on construction output… 3.3% fall in construction was the largest downward pull on Q1”

The impact might have been limited overall, it’s just not accurate and snow joke for the Guardian to report “ONS says weather nothing to do with it”…

Profundity of the Punditry: Florence Quadruple Whammy

Robert Peston caused a bit of a stir yesterday afternoon reporting that Theresa May was about to “do a Canada”:

“Her aspiration for after those two or perhaps three years of transition is for our future trading relationship to be what is known – in the ghastly jargon – as CETA plus… What this means is we want a trade deal modelled on Canada’s new one (CETA) with the EU, that has just become operative in interim mode, and not the more intimate integration with the EU of Norway or Switzerland. The reason we are doing a Canada is there has been no resiling from the position taken by the PM in her landmark Lancaster House speech… all of that is broadly May’s position, to be expressed tomorrow.”

May actually ruled Canada out:

“One way of approaching this question is to put forward a stark and unimaginative choice between two models: either something based on European Economic Area membership; or a traditional Free Trade Agreement, such as that the EU has recently negotiated with Canada. I don’t believe either of these options would be best for the UK or for the European Union.”

Doh!

Over at the Telegraph they has this top pre-speech scoop:

Except it didn’t come true, there was no mention of this in the speech. Boris seemed happy too, rather than on the verge of resigning. Doh!

What about all those Remain pundits who said again and again that May had dropped her view that “no deal is better than a bad deal”? Asked by Laura K, May confirmed this was still her position. Doh!

Then there was Sky’s Faisal Islam, who after the speech claimed May was “65% towards the Norway model”. Nope, you can read May’s damning verdict of Norway here. Doh!

Brexit reporting not particularly enlightening at the moment…

Brexit Twitter Sentiment Analysis: Faisal’s 683 Negative Tweets Since Referendum

Data Guido has been working hard in a dark room, crunching the numbers to see whether our top broadcast journalists really are impartial on Brexit. So far we have analysed Robert Peston’s relentlessly negative Twitter feed and Nick Robinson’s less than neutral musings. Next up we have Sky News’ Faisal Islam, the Remainers’ TV darling…

  • Faisal has sent 1,467 tweets about Brexit since 24 June 2016.
  • 87 tweets had a positive sentiment, that’s just 6% of his total tweets.
  • 697 tweets were neutral, that’s 47.5%.
  • 683 tweets were negative, that is 46.5% of his total Brexit tweets having a negative sentiment.

Faisal tweets a huge amount about Brexit, far more than Peston or Robbo. The vast majority of his tweets are split between having either a negative sentiment or a neutral sentiment. Only 6% have a positive sentiment. He has sent a massive 683 negative tweets about Brexit since the referendum, which is unrivalled among his broadcast peers.

Guido’s statistical analysis of Faisal, Peston and Robbo has found that three of the highest profile broadcasters covering Brexit tweet with overwhelming negativity. They promote opponents of Brexit far more than proponents, they report negative stories far more than positive ones, and they occasionally let their own pro-Remain opinions slip through as well. The BBC, ITV and Sky are supposed to be impartial – the evidence shows their Brexit journalists are anything but…

Academic Study: Broadcasters Were Biased Towards Remain

An academic study by a team of media studies professors* found that the Tory press is biased against Corbyn and the Labour supporting press is more favourable to Jezza. Taxpayers once again wasting money in academic studies of the bloody obvious. Well at least it keeps the hackademics off the streets…

They also found that the supposedly impartial broadcasters – the likes of Faisal and Peston – did give more airtime to pro-Remain voices during the referendum. Guido could have told them that for free…

*David Deacon, Professor of Communication and Media Analysis, Loughborough University; Dominic Wring, Professor of Political Communication, Loughborough University; Emily Harmer, Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies, Loughborough University; James Stanyer, Professor of Communication and Media Analysis, Loughborough University, and John Downey, Professor of Comparative Media Analysis, Loughborough University

Faisal Islam on Mood in Parliament

Sky’s Faisal Islam on the mood in Parliament at the moment:

“It’s a totally febrile atmosphere here. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones meets House of Cards – and if you chuck in the Labour Party – Laurel and Hardy too.”

#InOrOut Debate: Cameron’s Façade Cracks

Faisal Islam did an admirable job destroying the PM’s arguments for Remain. First Dave was seen as empty on immigration, protesting “I’m not going to put a date” on immigration controls.

Next up, Islam humiliated Cameron in front of the audience over his WW3 Brexit claims, before laying into the failure of project fear in general:

Bring on the audience…

Sky News Analyse LibDem Glee Club

Things have got so bad for hacks sent to cover the dreary LibDem conference that Sky News’ determined pol ed resorted to analysing the lyrics of last night’s Glee Club singalong:

“We’ve run out of luck, and now we’re all f**ked, oh it all just sucks…”

Suzanne Evans Confuses Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Faisal Islam

If you are a UKIP spokesman doing an interview about your party’s problems with racism, you probably should try not to confuse Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy with Sky News’ inimitable Faisal Islam.

Yet, spectacularly, that is what Suzanne Evans did last night:

Suzanne isn’t even the first ‘Kipper to mix up poor old Krishnan and Faisal. Godfrey Bloom made the exact same mistake back in 2013.

Guido always confuses Jon Snow and Adam Boulton…

UPDATE: In Vine form:



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Quote of the Day

Trevor Kavanagh’s analysis of the Brexit process…

“Thanks to Mrs May and her useless Chancellor Phil Hammond, this will not come without pain. But we escape with imagination and true British grit or we will be boiled alive.

It means on this centenary Remembrance of our struggle against tyranny, we risk ceding non-military victory in Europe to the undemocratic forces of an unaccountable totalitarian regime.”

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