Late last night BBC’s Newsnight hosted an unbalanced GB News bashing panel where both Adam Boulton and Caroline Nokes called for the channel to be taken off-air because Laurence Fox was rude. Ofcom, when it ruled against GB News over impartiality, reminded broadcasters:
“The Code is clear that when programmes are dealing with matters of major political controversy and current public policy, the heightened special impartiality requirements apply. Specifically, Rules 5.11 and 5.12 require that an appropriately wide range of significant views must be included and given due weight in such programmes, or in clearly linked and timely programmes.”
Calling for the shutdown of a broadcaster because a presenter has behaved badly is an extreme stance. Despite the BBC’s roster of presenters including the likes of Russell Brand, Jimmy Saville and John Peel – all of whom behaved far worse than Laurence Fox – their misbehaviour has not resulted in calls for the station to be shut down. Newsnight’s panel did not constitute the required “appropriately wide range of significant views” as required by Ofcom. If co-conspirators want to make a complaint to Ofcom about Newsnight’s lack of impartiality they can do it here.
Over on Sky News earlier last night Guido’s editor was part of a more balanced discussion with Gina Miller where he derided the idiocy of Laurence Fox whilst defending the upstart station’s output and journalism:
Rival channels have a self-interested motive to protect what Adam Boulton phrased as the “delicate and important broadcast ecology” from the upstart channel which is regularly beating them in terms of ratings. Ava Evans herself opposes any move to close the channel. The calls for Ofcom to sanction the station come from politicians opposed to the political skew of the channel and the self-interest of rival broadcasters.
UPDATE: A co-conspirator points out Ofcom will only investigate a BBC-related complaint once the BBC complaints procedure has been exhausted. Complaints can be directed here…
Gillian Keegan launched a bold defence of her record during a testy interview with Sophy Ridge last night. Speaking on the debut of Sky News’ Politics Hub programme, Keegan was first left squirming as Ridge played back her hot mic moment to her in the studio. Although Gillian put on a smile, she hardly looked impressed…
The pair then discussed the numerous controversies swirling around the Education Secretary and her department. Keegan first made the unconvincing assertion that “I wasn’t talking about me” in her off-guard outburst. She then tried to claim “there was no complacency” on display in the clip, adding “it was the journalist” that got her back up. Gillian’s next tactic was to shift the blame over crumbling concrete. She argued the Department for Education is “not the responsible body for schools”.
Cue another robust exchange after Ridge asked Keegan if holidaying in Spain whilst school roofs caved-in was a mistake:
GK: Well when I went on holiday- I mean to be honest for the whole of summer um obviously I had to sort out industrial action then I had to do the A-levels, then I had to do the GCSE’s. So the first time I could go on holiday was then.
SR: So we should feel sorry for you?
GK: Not at all. I don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for me and I’m certainly not getting that vibe for you… I’ve always worked remotely. Nearly 50 years before I got elected as an MP, I always worked remotely.
SR: Don’t tell Jacob Rees-Mogg
GK: I said if it looks like we’re gonna make a decision… if it looks like we will do that then I’ll just come back. And I came back straight away – well, actually I came back straight away but I had to wait a day because of the air traffic controls.
Co-conspirators won’t be surprised to learn that Guido isn’t convinced by Keegan’s “I’ve always worked remotely” defence. Who can blame government workers for working from the beach when the Education Secretary is doing the same…