BBC Paying to Promote Sustainable Clothing and Civil Disobedience

In news that will surprise absolutely nobody, the BBC is promoting fashionable left-wing causes on social media, spending licence fee payers’ money on “promoted” articles covering the topics of the Don’t Pay campaign and “How to dress more sustainably“. The Don’t Pay campaign is backed by two other media organisations: the Morning Star and Novara Media. Ethical fashion is something that occupies the fashion pages of the Guardian – anxious luvvies in W1A are no doubt worrying about where their next organic cashmere cardigan will be sourced. The corporation is spending money to promote these issues into mainstream users’ feeds with articles highlighting the campaigns to stop paying energy bills and the movement for “ethical fashion”. While the chosen campaigns might be mainstream at the BBC, they seem a bit left-field to the rest of us…

Could the choice of topics covered signal an underlying editorial bias? Why, for example, isn’t the BBC promoting The Telegraph’s campaign fronted by Chris Hope to finance a new Royal Yacht? Or The Sun’s campaign to hold down diesel duties for white van man? Guido can only guess why…

mdi-timer 26 September 2022 @ 15:15 26 Sep 2022 @ 15:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Director General Tim Davie: Gary Lineker Understands BBC Impartiality Rules

Under heavy questioning by angry Tory MPs at the DCMS Select Committee this morning, BBC Director General Tim Davie claimed he’d spoken to Gary Lineker over his government-hating tweets, which he claims has improved over his tenure, and “I think he understands the guidelines.” Guido has a bridge to sell Tim…

The questioning came after Lineker had a dust-up with fellow BBC employee Neil Henderson who slammed Lineker’s Twitter bias and correctly proclaimed the BBC “lives or dies by its impartiality”. 

Davie received a barrage of probing tweets from all parties’ MPs this morning, not least around Emily Maitlis’s recent speech that claimed there’s an “active Tory agent” at the heart of the broadcaster in the form of Sir Robbie Gibb. Davie defended Gibb as well as Jess Brammar. Tory MP Steve Brine put to the BBC executives examples of bias in the broadcaster’s news output, simultaneously proving himself a keen co-conspirator by raising plenty of Guido’s expert activist interviewees featured on BBC News without any contextualization of partisan bias. Damian Green came out with the best zinger, pointing out many of his Tory colleagues would accuse Emily Maitlis of being an “active Labour agent” inside the BBC…

mdi-timer 6 September 2022 @ 12:24 6 Sep 2022 @ 12:24 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Promoting ‘How to Talk to a Denier’ Climate Activism

The BBC has decided its role as an impartial public broadcaster is now secondary to impersonating 38 Degrees’ political activism. The broadcaster is currently ‘promoting’ – in other words, paying for – this tweet to appear on British users’ timelines:

“Climate change: How to talk to a denier”. The article itself, written by the BBC’s Climate Disinformation reporters, is full of anecdotes of people saving “very smart” family members from climate change denial. Why is this sort of thing the job of a publicly-funded broadcaster? The story contains no facts or data – just people slapping themselves on the back for how clever they are.

Guido has contacted the BBC Press Office for comment. Rest assured, he will be FOI’ing the cost of the promotion…

mdi-timer 2 September 2022 @ 10:50 2 Sep 2022 @ 10:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Bias Twitter Bitchfight: Henderson Versus Lineker

Forget the Tory Birmingham husting, Guido was privileged to have a ring-side seat at the internecine BBC-on-BBC bias row of the year last night. In the red corner, doing his job and defending BBC impartiality: Neil Henderson, Home and Foreign News Editor & Tomorrow’s Papers Today tweeter; in the blue corner, doing his damndest to undermine the entire BBC: crisp muncher Gary ‘overpaid’ Lineker. Ding ding…

The row started over a day-old tweet from Lineker, who put all his little grey cells towards political commentary to come up with the fair and not-at-all-oversimplified take: “As a politician how could you ever, under any circumstances, bring yourself to vote for pumping sewage into our seas? Unfathomable!” Obviously no politician could – and they haven’t – though the tweet did its job by getting 44,000 likes…

Guido remembers the new BBC director general Tim Davie coming in on a promise of cracking down on BBC stars flouting impartiality rules, such as taking them off TwitterFellow BBC employee Neil Henderson made this exact point to Gary, saying he’d be sacked if he tried tweeting such political propaganda:

Unfortunately, it seems Gary is blithely unaware of the fact BBC impartiality applies across all colleagues, not just those in news and current affairs. Guido would be happy to take a look at Lineker’s contract on his behalf…

Neil had one last bite before deleting his spat entirely, probably realising the row was just as bad a look for the BBC as Gary’s unbridled politicking. Henderson correctly asserted: 

Guido looks forward to hearing Tim Davie’s thoughts on all this the next time he’s up in front of the DCMS Select Committee. Usually Guido leaves it to co-conspirators to decide who wins a bitch fight, this time there’s only one answer…

mdi-timer 24 August 2022 @ 09:08 24 Aug 2022 @ 09:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Today Programme’s Starmer Questioning Asked Why He Wasn’t Being Left-Wing Enough

There’s a fundamental problem with BBC impartiality with BBC business reporting and cost of living stories are bringing it to the fore. Last Wednesday Guido asked whether a BBC interviewer had ever asked a minister “Why don’t you cut taxes and let people decide their own spending priorities with their own money?”. The problem is while Tory spokesmen can expect to be challenged with left-wing criticisms, the BBC’s approach to Labour’s policy offerings are also to attack them from the left, not the right. The BBC’s approach to probing questioning seems to always be to frame them from the perspective of ‘why don’t you spend more’…

This morning’s Today interview of Starmer is a prime example. Of the 15 questions posed about the economy and his energy cap policy, 10 were from the perspective of ‘that’s not left-wing enough’. A usually fair Martha Kearney cited critiques of Starmer by a former Corbyn advisor, the TUC, Gordon Brown and John McDonnell to name a few. Nothing that could be construed as from a non-left perspective.  The IFS’s inflation warning got one intervention, the concerns about backdating the windfall tax and its effect on business confidence got two, and the Bank of England’s argument on wage-price spiralling got one. 

Here are the interview interventions Sir Keir received:

📈Everybody’s going to be benefiting from the cap freeze so why aren’t you targeting the help to the people who need it most?
📈Your support for those on pre-payment meters is only £45 a year, welcome to them but given the scale of what we’re talking about is a drop in the ocean
📈There will be lots of households who can afford their bills, and Richard Murphy – a left-wing economist who advised the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn – has been writing “Starmer will subsidise the best off 20% of households by more than £10 billion, when they’ll definitely not be in fuel poverty”
📈But you could, for example, have decided to spend the billions and billions of pounds on giving people on Universal Credit a temporary uplift
📉On inflation you’ll have heard the IFS saying earlier in a way this is an illusion because inflation will go up again after six months
📉Are you contemplating that the freeze could continue beyond the next six months? This is already costing £30 billion, increasing it for a year would be £60 billion – on the scale of furlough
📉You would backdate the windfall tax – hugely unpopular with business and a huge deterant for investment in this country won’t it
📈Your criticism of the energy companies raises the question of renationalisation. John McDonnell former shadow chancellor says that it’s a “short term solution of giving £29 billion of public money to energy companies with nothin in return”
📈You’re propping up energy companies
📈The TUC are saying it’d be £2.5 billion to renationalise energy companies, but given you’re looking at £30 billion over six months and haven’t ruled out taking further action, could be £60 billion over the course of a year, why not spend that money on renationalising the companies and give security to their customers?
📈Gordon Brown doesn’t agree with you, he says as a last resort the government should opperate their essential services from the public sector until the crisis is over
📈Do you agree with calls for higher public sector wages?
📈Do you support NHS strikes?
📉Do you agree with the governor of the Bank of England that wage increases help fuel inflation?

If you watch US business television news channels – Bloomberg and CNBC for example – covering the same issues, they tend to frame questions in a technical way, seeking enlightenment and practical solutions rather than political prognostications. The not-for-profit BBC invariably reports profits as problematic, not a sign of success to be celebrated.  Liz Truss recently told Tom Newton Dunn “This is the problem with the way every question is framed… You’re framing it in a left-wing way Tom. The whole media does it all the time, it drives me mad.” It drives Guido to despair too. You only end up with a set of questions of this kind, if you have an organisational groupthink that fundamentally believes the solution to all problems is more government spending…

mdi-timer 15 August 2022 @ 16:28 15 Aug 2022 @ 16:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Plaid Cymru’s Quiet Take Over of BBC Wales

Yesterday Guido revealed the BBC has appointed a Brexit-hating Plaid Cymru-voter as its new Radio Wales Editor. There was plenty of material in Carolyn Hitt’s social media history to comb through, and it turns out her anti-Tory tweets and op-eds barely scratch the surface. There’s a lot more going on over at BBC Cymru Wales…

In February 2020, Hitt doubled down on her Welsh nationalism by appearing as a keynote speaker at the YesCymru conference, a gathering organised by the pro-independence group which claims to be committed to “civic nationalism“. There she said she was “willing to pick up the ball and run” for independence…

How someone so obviously partisan came to land a cushty job at the BBC becomes clear when looking at who appointed her: Rhuanedd Richards, the Director of BBC Wales, was a special adviser to Elin Jones in the Labour-Plaid “One Wales” coalition before going on to serve as chief executive of the party for over five years. The idea that anyone in Westminster would land a similar job in Broadcasting House is laughable.

By pure coincidence, in 2020 Carolyn Hitt appears to have gone on a fun trip to Dublin with none other than Rhuanedd Richards’ former boss, and current Speaker of the Senedd, Elin Jones. To whom Hitt is reportedly very close…

Lesley Griffiths, a Labour member of the Welsh Assembly, is also in the holiday snap. In a statement after the appointment, Richards insists Hitt won the role after a “very competitive recruitment process“. Certainly looks like it.

mdi-timer 30 June 2022 @ 14:09 30 Jun 2022 @ 14:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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