Mr Toynbee’s Fine Dining Brass Neck

In the Guardian yesterday David Walker, Mr Polly Toynbee, bemoaned the abolition of the Audit Commission by Eric Pickles at DCLG and complained that there isn’t a quango to police councillors guilty of “fine dining at Le Caprice and the Ritz”. Oddly Walker forgets to mention that he was the six-figure Director of Communications for the Audit Commission before its abolition. Nor does he declare that he used taxpayers’ money to wine and dine other quangos such as the National Audit Office, socialising at taxpayers’ expense at the Reform Club, Footstool restaurant and the Ebury Wine Bar. Walker and his guests blew £1,766 of taxpayers’ cash on restaurant bills in 2009 alone, before he left and trousered a £30,000 payoff. The motto of the Audit Commission when Walker was there was “protecting the public purse”…

Dugher v Skwawkbox

When Corbynista “trolling fake news nob head” Skwawkbox asked UK Music boss Michael Dugher why he was at the Brit Awards, the former Labour MP responded in characteristic fashion:

Sadly the volume of sweary anonymous quotes from Labour MPs has plummeted since Dugher left Westminster…

Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

Yet another remain-dominated panel…

Even Remainers Think BBC Is Anti-Brexit

According to a new YouGov poll more remain voters (14%) think the BBC is anti-Brexit than pro-Brexit (13%). Question Time viewers perhaps…

BBC’s John Simpson Defends Oxfam

BBC News World Affairs Editor John Simpson publicly defended Oxfam on the day its executives appeared before a parliamentary select committee – which was a major news item on the Beeb. Simpson, who is paid up to £200,000-a-year by the taxpayer and is bound by the same impartiality rules as any BBC journalist, said of the charity: “I for one am not abandoning it now”. What is going on at the BBC at the moment?

BBC Website Finally Reports Corbyn Spy Story… And Attacks “Press Barons”

The BBC website finally reported on the Corbyn spy scandal last night, after ignoring the main story in Westminster for days. Yet for some reason the Beeb’s coverage focused on attacking the press rather than holding the Labour leader to account. The headline of the first story was “Press still writing about Corbyn spy claims”, as if Auntie feels they shouldn’t be. The second story gave the game away by going after “press barons” – not sure how that pejorative term meets BBC impartiality guidelines. The story did at least reference a BBC reporter’s stupid question to Corbyn mocking the story by asking him “are you a Czech spy”. Just imagine the Beeb’s coverage if the leader of the Tory party had met a spy from a far right totalitarian regime…

Agent COB Threatens Free Press: “Change is Coming”

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to answer legitimate questions all day from journalists about his Czech spy links. He is so unrattled by it all he has released a video in which he warns the free press “change is coming”. He also accuses the media of “going a little bit James Bond”. He does realise Bond was the good guy right?

BBC Ask Corbyn If He’s a Czech Spy

The BBC have finally jumped on the Agent COB story, only to blow it with a stupid question. Rather than ask something pertinent about what information he handed to a communist spy, BBC finance reporter Steph McGovern went with: “Are you a Czech spy?” He replied: “No”. Well he would say that wouldn’t he…

Aaronovitch Talking “Sh*t”

Times columnist David Aaronovitch took the high ground when engaging with a critic who called him “a sh*t”, boasting grandly: “I don’t call people ‘sh*t’ on Twitter”. Guido fact check:

Aaronovitch went on to lecture his troll that there is “no excuse” for calling someone a “sh*t” on Twitter…

Buzzfeed Political Editor Runners and Riders

The departure of Jim Waterson to the Guardian means Buzzfeed are looking for a new political editor. It’s a sweet gig: you get free pizza and beer on Fridays and only have to file once every couple of weeks. As ever MediaGuido brings you your runners and riders…

  • Emily Ashton, Buzzfeed: An internal hire is most likely as Lobby colleagues will not exactly have been convinced that the future is at American websites who promise to take over the world and then fire everyone. Ashton is a proper hack and chairman of the Lobby. Good bet.
  • Alex Spence, Buzzfeed: The other surviving member of the Buzzfeed politics team, scourge of Tory MPs with mildly embarrassing social media accounts. Short odds.
  • Alberto Nardelli, Buzzfeed: That scoop on the Brexit impact assessments came at a good time for him. Well-connected in the Cabinet Office.
  • Mark Di Stefano, Buzzfeed: The site’s former Australia pol ed moved over to be UK media correspondent as part of the recent Antipodean takeover. Funny on Twitter but limited knowledge of Westminster prior to six months ago.

And your external candidates:

  • Katy Balls, Spectator: Mr Steerpike can do the gossip, can do the politics and has the right chat for the Buzzfeed readership. But are they too base for her?
  • Mikey Smith, Mirror: Proficient in gifs and memes. Probably too old for the job.
  • Sebastian Payne, FT: Millennial, tick. Has Twitter, tick. Strong Insta game an added bonus. 
  • Harry Cole, The Sun: Experience running Westminster’s best online news operation for five years. Likes cats.
  • Matt Chorley, Little Read Box: Why limit those LOLs to an email when you can join Buzzfeed and just tweet them out? Chorley’s inner milennial could shine…
  • Steve Walker, Skwawkbox: Buzzfeed are in awe of his virality. Time for him to join the MSM?
  • Matt Turner, Evolve Politics: Matt isn’t really a die-hard Corbynista, he only pretends because he couldn’t find any other way into journalism. Has a Lobby pass now, but surely he craves the real respectability only Buzzfeed can offer? 
  • Owen Bennett, HuffPo: Should probably “keep his f***ing nose out of this”. If last week’s events are anything to go by…

Good luck…

UPDATE: Ladrbokes have opened a book…

BBC Still Ignoring Agent COB Story

The BBC News website still hasn’t covered the Agent COB spy scandal more than a week after it first broke. No news article, unlike its primary broadcast competitor Sky News and every major newspaper, even the Corbynista Independent. The sum total of the Beeb website coverage is a few lines buried in a round-up of the papers on Saturday. What about on TV and radio? There was a brief mention of the story in the paper review on the Today programme last week and again yesterday for a few seconds on the Andrew Marr show, when Marr said: “it does seem reading through it rather thin.” Never mind the very serious questions Corbyn has to answer about his judgment and what information he passed the Czechs, or the fact he is facing calls to explain himself before the Foreign Affairs select committee. 

As Stephen Glover writes in today’s Daily Mail:

“The BBC’s refusal to report either the allegations against Corbyn, or the unequivocal denials of his aides, amounts to a dereliction of duty. It recalls the political bias it showed in the early Blair years until – following the manifest half-truths of the Iraq War – some even-handedness was restored.”

This has been the main story in Westminster over the last week and the national broadcaster is refusing to cover it…

Hodges v Hendopolis

The two egos guilty of ruining Sunday night Twitter this week were the Mail on Sunday’s Dan Hodges and Neil Henderson of the BBC’s #TomorrowsPapersToday. Henderson kicked things off by countering criticism over his failure to tweet last week’s MoS Brendan Cox front page citing “legal advice”. Dan then reached Peak Hodges when he proceeded to attempt to explain libel law to specialist libel barrister Greg Callus.

It ended with Dan unfollowing Neil and Neil then blocking Dan…

Waterson New Guardian Media Editor

Buzzfeed’s political editor Jim Waterson has joined the Guardian as their new media editor. Looks like the competition just went up a notch. Will the last person to leave Buzzfeed please turn off the fridge full of free beer?

Buzzfeed Newsroom Split as Axed Staff Lobby Former Colleagues to Unionise

Last week MediaGuido brought you the news that Buzzfeed bosses had failed in their legal bid to prevent their workforce from unionising. Here’s the latest…

Buzzfeed’s Oxford Circus office (one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in London and a bonkers extravagance given recent layoffs) has always been deeply divided on unionisation. Around half opposed proposals for a union chapel from the start. These are the managers, editors, grown ups and proper hacks who realise that Buzzfeed employees get a much cushier deal than if they were churning at MailOnline or the Indy. The pro-union half are more ideological, more millennial and more likely to come from the quiz and cat gifs section of the office. They thought collective bargaining would improve their (already generous) pay and hours and help them avoid the sack. How did that work out…

In the latest round of redundancies, many of those pushing for unionisation left the company. Guido is assured there was no conspiracy by bosses to axe the union troublemakers. Yet far from healing a newsroom that has been torn apart, their departures have caused fresh problems…

When the Central Arbitration Committee ruled last week that Buzzfeed staff could proceed with unionisation plans, only for key agitators like Kelly Oakes and Francis Whittaker to have moved on, it left a phantom chapel. A ballot of remaining staff is now likely to decide whether unionisation will go ahead. Here’s the kicker: an aggressive lobbying operation is underway to try to convince Buzzfeed staff to back the union – remarkably it is being carried out by axed employees who no longer work there. Are they interfering out of comradely spirit, or because they want to screw over their former employer? None of them want to explain to MediaGuido why they have been trying to get their former colleagues to man the barricades and fight the boss class.

It is going down like a cup of sick with those on the other side, who see it as a hostile external attempt to undermine newsroom democracy. After a year of dealing with divisiveness which undermined their work, many remaining Buzzfeed staff are just glad to have jobs and want this to go away. Buzzfeed bosses are learning the hard way the perils of hiring a load of millennial Corbynistas…

Maitlis & Stripper

Trying to imagine the SJW reaction if Huw Edwards tweeted a picture of himself with a Hooters Girl…

Facebook Engagement Drop Off Not Seen Here

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook algorithm moves in mysterious ways. To Guido’s surprise, checking Facebook’s analytics shows that our engagement levels are actually up since the Zuck announced they will be deprioritising “publisher content which is just passively consumed and not talked about”. The above graphic shows the amount of engagement achieved on the Facebook pages of some of our rivals last week according to Facebook’s publisher insights. Not what many would have expected.

One of Guido’s rivals reckons what this really means is that plain vanilla reporting will be downgraded and news with views will be upgraded. Looks like engaging content is still king…

Financial Times Office Evacuated Due To “Suspect Package”

The Financial Times office has been evacuated due to a “suspect package”, according to sources. All staff have left the building and Southwark Bridge has been closed. Armed police are in attendance…

UPDATE: Staff have now got the all clear after 30 minutes outside. Still a heavy police presence.

Corbyn Interview Removed From Guardian Website “Pending Investigation”

Following Guido’s story this morning, Jeremy Corbyn’s interview with a Corbynista YouTube star who sent N-word, “Jew” and Hitler tweets has been removed from the Guardian website “pending investigation“. Down the memory hole…

Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

Yet another remainer-packed panel…

Mirror, Mirror on the Fall

The latest ABCs make grim reading for the Mirror, whose daily and Sunday circulations are both down around 19.5% year-on-year. The decline is so steep in part because foreign and bulk sales were scrapped for both the daily and the Sunday.[…] Read the rest

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