Channel 4 News’ Laughably Biased Privatisation Debate

The Channel 4 News team are really pushing the limits of “due impartiality” with their coverage of their own impending privatisation. Last night the channel aired a ‘debate’ on the topic, hosted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, in which former Channel 4 producer David Elstein defended the government’s plans against screenwriter Kay Mellor. Mellor should have just stayed at home; Krishnan seemed more than happy to do her job for her…

Throughout the 7-minute exchange, Guru-Murthy spends almost five minutes sparring with Elstein over the cost and planning of the scheme, only to turn and give Mellor a few softball questions when he remembers she’s still sitting there. Given Krishnan’s long Twitter thread slamming the plans on Wednesday, Guido hopes Elstein wasn’t expecting his views to be treated with any respect.

An exasperated government source described Guru-Murthy’s interview as the most biased one they’ve ever seen in their time in Whitehall, and will surely be used one day on journalism courses as an example of biased interviewing.

In a speech made at the Creative Cities Convention on the same day, Channel 4 Chief Content Officer Ian Katz also waded in to say

“In reality, we know a profit driven Channel 4 would be pushed inexorably toward same-old proven formats, same old subjects, same old talent, same old producers […] a Channel 4 which purely delivers its existing licence requirements would have spent £86 million less on out of London productions last year.”

Guido now spots Channel 4 is hiring an “External Affairs Manager” to “build and maintain great relationships” with Whitehall and Westminster. Sounds like they want a guerrilla fighter more than a traditional comms person…

mdi-timer 29 April 2022 @ 16:46 29 Apr 2022 @ 16:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Channel 4’s Diverse New Presenting Line-Up

Jon Snow having left the building, Channel 4 News has revealed its new presenting lineup, and what a team it is: Krishnan-Guru Murthy (Hertford College, Oxford) takes over as lead anchor, while Cathy Newman (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford) is being promoted to ‘investigations editor’ as a consolation prize. Matt Frei (St Peter’s College, Oxford) will be the new chief foreign presenter. Say what you like it’s certainly a diverse array of Oxford colleges…

Earlier this week, the BBC promised to hire a more working class and socially diverse workforce over the next few years, after Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries slammed the broadcaster for its “snobbish approach” to recruitment. Maybe she needs to put a phone call into Channel 4’s elitists as well… 

mdi-timer 1 April 2022 @ 14:12 1 Apr 2022 @ 14:12 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Krishnan Guru-Murthy Solicited Jokes for David Miliband’s Speeches

The taxpayer-funded ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ held a panel discussion on Friday on the subject of ‘Brexit and Comedy’. How the host, Professor Anand Menon, squares this with it being ‘an independent organisation created to make the findings of academic research easily available’ is beyond Guido. The panel was one of those all left, all remain, type of independent panels. It was in many ways no different to your average impartial BBC Radio 4 comedy panel…

On the panel were Nish Kumar – who made no bones about his left-wing comedy goals – Marina Hyde who at least cracks jokes about right-wingers that have other right-wingers laughing and Andy Zaltzman, whom Guido has never heard of before. Wikipedia says he’s your standard-issue Oxbridge-Edinburgh Fringe-Radio 4 cliche left-wing comedian. The most interesting thing he said was that the Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy called him up to ask him to write jokes for David Miliband. We have reached out to Krishnan to ask him if this is true and for some kind of explanation. We await the impartial news broadcaster’s explanation…

mdi-timer 10 February 2020 @ 11:37 10 Feb 2020 @ 11:37 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris Ignores Channel 4

There is a rumour going round that Channel 4 has commissioned an ice sculpture of Boris Johnson to melt in his absence during tonight’s televised debate on the “climate change emergency”. Channel 4 are getting very indignant that the PM is not going to do their show. Why this should be a surprise when the channel’s news and current affairs boss calls him a liar, the channel’s senior anchorman shouts “f**k the Tories” in public and the news show selects subjects that suit its left-wing agenda. Hardly a surprise when half the presenters are virtually left-wing campaigners…

The single-subject debate is in itself contentious. Would Channel 4 hold a debate on the “knife crime emergency” or the “rising taxes crisis”? It is not a neutral subject to choose. The key issue in this election is the Brexit deadlock, not carbon dioxide.

That the Tories are taking a hard line against Channel 4 should not surprise anyone. It makes no sense to feed the trolls…

mdi-timer 28 November 2019 @ 15:11 28 Nov 2019 @ 15:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Krishnan v Robbie

Last week Robbie Gibb, the PM’s spin-doctor and former BBC politics supremo got into a spat with Krishnan Guru-Murthy:

Guido doesn’t think Krishnan’s interviewing style is anything like Jon F**k the Tories Snow, he suspects Robbie has however got an impression of Krishnan’s thinking from moments like this on Friday night:


Krishnan Guru-Murthy let slip his position when he was talking to Labour Party MP Louise Ellman and Labour Party campaigner Owen Jones:

“… isn’t it weird for a man [Frank Field] who was seen as so sort of anti our position on immigration to now claim that the Labour Party is seen as racist?”

Oops… is it any wonder Robbie doesn’t put government ministers and MPs on Channel 4 News?

UPDATE: Krishnan responds

I meant “our” as shorthand for very broadly government/opposition (who have both allowed large scale EU and Non-EU migration) but I agree I should have been more precise so was open to be understood the way you did (which is totally not what I meant).

mdi-timer 3 September 2018 @ 09:42 3 Sep 2018 @ 09:42 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sir Craig Can’t Justify His Knighthood

Enjoy Sir Craig Oliver squirming in his seat as Krishnan asks him to justify his knighthood and tells him it’s a reward for failure. “Winston Churchill, Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh and now Craig Oliver”. Watch til the last line…

mdi-timer 4 October 2016 @ 10:02 4 Oct 2016 @ 10:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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