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: Peston 82% Negative

Click to enlarge

Data Guido has been hidden away in a dark room, crunching the numbers to see whether our top broadcast journalists really are impartial on Brexit. It is rarely the case that one individual tweet gives the game away and reveals a top TV  presenter’s biases – they usually won’t be so careless. Yet when you dig deeper you get a very different picture. Data Guido has collated every single tweet about Brexit sent by three top journalists from three major broadcasters since the referendum. We then categorised them as having either a positive sentiment about Brexit, a negative sentiment about Brexit, or being neutral. We started with ITV’s Robert Peston…

  • Peston has sent 284 tweets about Brexit since 24 June 2016.
  • 3 tweets had a positive sentiment, that’s just 1% of his total tweets.
  • 47 tweets were neutral, that’s 17%.
  • 234 tweets were negative, remarkably that is 82% of his total Brexit tweets having a negative sentiment.

Not much of a surprise given Pesto is best friends with Remain campaign supremo Roland Rudd and spent the referendum trying to do in Vote Leave. Though it’s not very becoming of a supposedly impartial broadcaster. Stay tuned for Data Guido’s Twitter sentiment analysis of two other prominent TV hacks…

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

Radio 4 Gossips Link Peston to Today

Radio 4 sources are loudly and widely sharing concerns that Sarah Sands is planning big changes at the Today programme. They have been circulating a rumour – which has been repeated to Guido unprompted by blabbermouth non-BBC industry sources – that Sands wants Robert Peston to present the flagship programme. This does sound unlikely to Guido, he is on a hefty wedge at ITV and the prospect of his idiosyncratic style on the Radio 4 airwaves is not likely to be popular at Broadcasting House. It is not impossible that this is disinformation being spread by Beeb refuseniks trying to undermine Sands. World at One presenter Martha Kearney has also been linked to Today. What would that mean for Jim Naughtie…

Peston: Can Guto Bebb Keep His Job?

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns did not offer any defence of his minister Guto Bebb’s comments on Scotland, comically just saying a string of incomprehensible words. Theresa May will need a better line that that when she visits Wales tomorrow…

Hezza: Bozza Waffles Rubbish

Carswell: Not Rejoining Tories, I’ll Stand For UKIP in 2020

Carswell rules out defecting back to the Tories and says he will stand for UKIP again, something he hasn’t committed to before. He says he is “walking on sunshine” and feels “like an emoji smiling every day”…

Hammond: Brexit Bill Won’t Be €60 Billion

Hammond says he doesn’t “recognise” the EU’s €60 billion Brexit bill figure though says Britain will pay what it owes…

And we will “fight back and forge new trade deals around the world” if we don’t get a trade deal with the EU…

Balls Hints at Return to Parliament

“I’m never gonna say never about going back…”

Khan: Issue of Labour Leadership is Settled

Flint: Abbott Should Go

Simples…

Bad Al Campbell Heckles Piers Morgan

Peston’s Single Market Blunder

On ITV last night, Robert Peston and Emily Thornberry claimed the Leave campaign did not make clear that Brexit meant leaving the single market. Peston told Nigel Farage:

“I’m not sure that’s right. I really don’t think that’s right. It’s not what Boris said. It’s not what Michael Gove said.”

As anyone following the news in the last six months will know, Boris and Gove did say it. Peston completely wrong. Again.

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 bringing two cameras, one to film the minister, the other to film himself. Apparently Pesto wants a camera on himself at all times so plenty of shots of him looking inquisitive can be edited into the package. This means double the number of camera crew, causing a headache for press officers. A senior government source reveals “he turns up with a f**king movie set”. Don’t disturb the creative process…

LISTEN: Soames on Peston and Farage

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The Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames tells Iain Dale that Twitter is “absolutely wonderful”, Nigel Farage is a “preposterous… faux bonhomme”, and that if Robert Peston were in the army “he’d have got 21 days for improper dress”. For other such musings follow him on Twitter here

Peston Tells Soames to Eff-Off!

An early contender for Twitter Bitch Fight of the Year!

Peston Out of the Loop

PESTON4

Peston increasingly has a touch of the Faisals about him. ITV’s political editor exclusively learned this afternoon that UKIP and “Vote.Leave” are backing the Grassroots Out campaign. Two things here.

“Vote.Leave” is not a thing. And “Vote Leave” has not endorsed Grassroots Out. He means “Leave.EU”. Whose boss Arron Banks told MPs to back Grassroots Out days ago.

And did he really “learn” it? The UKIP endorsement was press released to every journalist in SW1 half an hour before Peston’s tweet and has been widely flagged since the weekend.

That bugbear of Lobby journalists – “the BBC has learned” – lives on at ITV…

Peston Over-Promoting

ITV’s new political editor Robert Peston is pumping away promoting his big scoop: getting hold of Deborah Mattinson’s “secret” report on the Labour election defeat.

It would be impolite of Guido to rain on Peston’s parade, though the BBC did “reveal details” of the Mattinson report 24 hours earlier. Mattinson herself explained her findings on the Sunday Politics. The Beeb reported the detail on their news bulletins and website throughout the day yesterday.

As Mattinson went up on the Sunday Politics, she published her findings in detail over on the Progress website. A day before Peston’s scoop…

Indeed, Mattinson’s damning criticisms of Labour were first revealed by Rachel Sylvester in the Times back in December.

In fairness, Peston was the first to get hold of the actual whole report. It’s just a shame all the juicy bits had already been reported…

UPDATE: The Indy reported all the juicy quotes as far back as last October.

Robert Peston to Join ITV and Rival Andrew Marr

The Peston job saga carried on for longer than it takes for him to finish a sentence, but he has at last made his decision. According to Media Guardian, Peston will become ITV political editor and will also “host a new Sunday morning chatshow”, rivalling Andrew Marr. He’s off…



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Quote of the Day

Len McCluskey speaks from the Corbynista alternative universe:

“To the whingers and whiners who say we didn’t win, I say this. We did win.”

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