Backlash to Byrne’s Speech from Downing Street

The backlash to Channel 4’s News and Current Affairs supremo Dorothy Byrne’s McTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival last night is coming in strong. Ms Byrne had a difficult job justifying some of the actions of her staff to Kay Burley, who gently and tactfully referred to the Jon Snow “f**k the Tories” incident. It is not as if this is an isolated incident, Guido has heard Snow slag off the Tories many times.*

Downing Street are not happy about it at all, following our earlier report they are making their view of Channel 4 News very clear. An unimpressed senior No. 10 source tells Guido

“It’s disappointing to see the head of a supposedly impartial news organisation decide to use deliberately inflammatory language to make a strong political statement. We will now consider our response.”

His predecessor as the senior No. 10 source also got in touch to say that it is a joke for Channel 4 to claim to be impartial. You reap what you sow. If Channel 4 are going to campaign politically with the slogan “ways to change the world” rather than to report on it, what do they expect?

*Check the videos of the annual Political Studies Association Awards, which Jon Snow presents, for examples.

Politico-Media Men Feel the Byrne

Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4’s News and Current Affairs supremo, gave the McTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival last night. Her speech was a belter and had the luvvies laughing and squirming. She hit out at everybody, mainly men in television and men for not going on television.

She mocked previous McTaggart lecturers and their failings mercilessly before going on to have a go at sexists in the television industry:

I spotted one name among my predecessors who has not yet had the comeuppance he deserves for his assaults on women. That’s one of the things about being an old lady, you gather a lot of information over the years. To men who have behaved badly in the past, I say this: you know who you are. And so do I.Tonight, there’ll be no shortage of sexist bastards, possibly among you in the audience.

After the #MeToo tirade she hit out at Boris and Corbyn for talking directly to voters via social media. Comparing them to Putin “who also likes to talk directly to the nation”. Byrne might have forgotten that US Presidents FDR and Reagan did the same, along with May’s repeated dull addresses from behind the Downing Street lectern. Churchill also famously did a lot of radio addresses to the nation…

Guido is all for calling politician’s liars when they are lying. The reality is politicians are responding defensively to ‘gotcha journalism’. They know that social media is for many their main news source, more so than TV for younger demographic groups. Politicians can reach just as many voters without Jon Snow trying to f**k ’em. You can call that a crisis in democracy or you can rethink your approach to interviews.

Byrne also glossed over the elephant in the room, Channel 4 News is now perceived as a left-wing campaigning platform to which Ofcom gives a free pass. That the boss of Channel 4 News says her vision is of “empowered and daring producers and commissioning editors who want to shape society for the better” which doesn’t work “if all those empowered people are just a bunch of posh boys.” It is all very well having diverse faces making the news, do they all have to be uniformly left-of-centre?*

*Dorothy will cite her commissioning of Peter Oborne and Liam Halligan as evidence that there are right-of-centre programme makers on Channel 4. The token two have both, funnily enough, used their Channel 4 platform to attack the Tories…

30 Second Pitches: Gove, Hunt, Stewart, Javid, Raab

  • Gove – I’m a serious candidate for serious times
  • Hunt – I can be trusted to deliver
  • Stewart – I’m an honest and trustworthy outsider
  • Javid – I’m an outsider who looks like modern Britain
  • Raab – I’m the only one here committed to Brexiting on October 31

Boris tells them all, see you next Tuesday…

Actual Channel 4 News Question: Boris Johnson is a Homophobe and a Misogynist, “How Would You Feel About Him Being in Charge?”

This is an actual press release sent to Guido’s inbox from Channel 4 News last night. The lesbian couple who were shamefully attacked in London were interviewed earlier for the show. The interviewer explained to the couple (who are foreigners) who Boris Johnson was, telling them first in the preamble to the question that he was – unbelievably – a homophobe and a misogynist and then going on to ask them what they thought of him. A coached and leading question to the victims of a homophobic attack, who gave a not to be unexpected answer in the circumstances. Then press released it because given the viewing fiigures nobody would notice it otherwise…

They are supposed to be an impartial news organisation, regulated for broadcasting by Ofcom, not a left-wing campaign. Frankly Guido is amazed that they have managed to cobble together tomorrow’s debate…

UPDATE: Ben Cohen, former Channel 4 News reporter, former editor of Pink News and now CEO of the global gay title slams the bias:

Channel 4 Now Blaming Football as Well as Brexit for Slump

Channel 4 News have now shifted to trying to blame the World Cup for their poor recent viewing figures, editor Ben De Pear had a sense of humour failure over an obviously light-hearted joke by Iain Dale last night. Funny how Channel 4’s annual report forgot to mention the football at all when discussing the News programme’s poor performance…

One industry insider Guido spoke to dismisses Channel 4’s deflection attempts as a “real joke”, Guido hears that Channel 4’s latest upfronts left TV industry figures deeply underwhelmed. Rumours going around are that Director of Programmes Ian Katz could be the one getting the boot…

Arron Banks Calls Channel 4’s Russian Gold Story “24 Carat Bollocks”

In case you missed it last night, here’s Channel 4 News’ 14 minute re-hash of an old Guardian story from six months ago revealing nothing new. Despite all the scrutiny, nobody has yet found a single Ruble…

Channel 4 News are having a season of Banks stories this week, all ahead of the court hearing with the Electoral Commission later this month. They will allege that he was a donor who gave hundreds of thousands to UKIP, Labour Leave, Grassroots Out and UKIP. Who knew? Everyone.

Channel 4 News should look into Lord Sainsbury, he gave millions to groups on the other side opposed to Brexit. Who knew? Everyone.

Expect more tales of African adventures, Channel 4 reckon Banks offered a South African cop a bribe…

Corbyn’s Homeless Poster Boy is Registered Sex Offender and “Danger to Women”

Jeremy Corbyn stood accused of spreading fake news over the Christmas period, after highlighting a Channel 4 film that heaps praise on a homeless man, who compains he has not been given a bed and blames Brexit. Corbyn added his own comment, saying “this Government fails those who have given so much to our country.” The video highlights former soldier Stephen Rowe sleeping rough and complaining that in order to receive Government help “you have to fit the criteria”. In the video he does not say what criteria he fails to fit…

Helpfully, ITV’s Peter Smith has pointed out that in this specific case “some avenues have been cut off to Mr Rowe” due to the fact that he was convicted of attacking and attempting to rape an 87 year old woman, and placed on the sex offenders register for life. The court described Rowe as “a danger to women”. Homeless veterans do receive Government help, difficulties arise in giving them a bed if they have a violent history of attacking women…

This follows on from Corbyn’s praise of another homeless man who turned out to be a Portuguese national, and convicted paedophile who had been deported from the UK.

UPDATE: Channel 4 News have now deleted their video from Twitter. Guido wonders if they neglected to carry out basic research before making the video, or if they just chose to leave out crucial details…

UPDATE II: Statement from a Channel 4 News spokeswoman:

We were made aware of Steven – as we believed he was called – by a charity supporting homeless veterans. It has since emerged that he previously went by the same name but with a different spelling and that he has a more complicated past, in addition to what was broadcast.

Under the circumstances, we have decided to remove his story from our website, however we will remain in contact with the charity to ensure that he receives the help that he needs. 

The Go-Fund-Me page which was set up for him is no longer accepting donations. All funds received will be shared among two charities that support homeless veterans and refunds are also being offered.

Brexit: “How Did We Get Here?”

Gary Gibbon asks; Brexit: “How Did We Get Here?” It is a good and fair-minded recap.

Incidentally, some say he might be interested in becoming the Sky News Political Editor. A source claims Gary Gibbon was on the shortlist last time, and that John Ryley, Head of Sky News, is a big fan of his. His old school political neutrality does seem out of place at the left-wing Channel 4 News. They could do worse…

Channel 4 News is a “Fake News Propaganda Channel” – Banks


Banks got positively Trumpian on his way out of the BBC after doing his Marr interview. Accusing Channel 4 News of being a “fake news propaganda channel”. Banks is clearly still sore from the bonkers accusations by the show that he tried to start an African coup with a couple of handguns bought for security guards at a mine in which he has a financial interest. The bizarre allegations amounted to nothing.

Channel 4 News is getting increasingly tetchy about being boycotted by government ministers and other Conservative politicians. The situation should hardly surprise them given that they are at times more of a campaigning organisation than a news organisation. Their anchorman reportedly wants to “f**k the Tories”. That’s fine if you are a newspaper or, dare Guido say, a website that does campaigning journalism. The standards are very different for a regulated news broadcaster. Channel 4 News doesn’t seem to even pretend to seek objectivity nowadays…

Proof: Corbyn Lied About Press TV Appearances

 

Corbyn told a straight-up lie to Jon Snow yesterday on Channel 4 News, claiming that he had not appeared on Iranian state-controlled broadcaster Press TV after their coverage of the protests following Iran’s disputed election in 2009.

This is demonstrably untrue, Corbyn appeared on Press TV for years after the Iranian election in 2009, as he himself declared in the House of Commons Register of Members’ Financial Interests. Readers can watch video footage for themselves above…

The House of Commons register four payments in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 with Corbyn receiving up to £5,000 of Iranian cash each time. Corbyn’s 2012 appearance came after Press TV was banned in the UK for its role in the torture of a journalist. As Corbyn himself said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Corbyn didn’t even remain neutral, he literally chose the side of the oppressor…

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).

Channel 4 News Impartiality Latest

Jon Snow shouted “f**k the Tories”.

Channel 4 News editor Ben De Pear liked a tweet calling Boris Johnson a “c**t”.

Now Channel 4 News’ head of Output, Oliver King, has shared an unhinged claim that “conservatives will absolutely keep needed medicine out of the hands of those who require it, if you let them”. The tweet remains prominently on his profile.

Channel 4 News is bound by the Ofcom Broadcasting Code to adhere to due impartiality in its reporting. They aren’t even pretending to be impartial any more. 

Channel 4 News Admit No Evidence

After the build-up it was a bit of a disappointment from Jon Snow last night when the Channel 4 News allegations of a coup planned in Lesotho by Arron Banks financed SAS Mercenaries was caveated with “Channel 4 has seen no evidence of any mercenary activity”. The programme conceded they had no evidence for the most startling of claims its eccentric report – first revealed on this website) – last night. Snow also seemed upset that Guido had reported the allegations before he had, mentioning us without naming us three times. Snow, you know nothing…

Channel 4 News Accuse Banks of Gun Running to Organise Coup in Lesotho With SAS Mercenaries

Guido has obtained a series of eye-popping allegations made by Channel 4 News that read like a far-fetched Wilbur Smith novel. Channel 4 have taken the word of a man being pursued by Arron Banks for fraud to make some incredible allegations. Arron tells Guido he that he thinks “all this bollocks is making Channel 4 look extremely stupid.”

Arron says “Jon Snow must have found some old psychedelic drugs from the 60’s in his top drawer”, mocking the increasingly far-fetched claims made by Channel 4 News that he is

“An International man of mystery, cutting deals with the Russians to scupper elections, helping Trump get elected, Diamonds, Gold, the CIA, Russian diplomats, fighting off “lunatic bunny boilers”, the link man with Julian Assange for the Hillary Clinton email leak, hypnotising an entire electorate via Facebook and now starting a military coup in an African country to control the diamond market. Wilbur Smith meets Cecil Rhodes on steroids.”

Having read the charges made in the letter Guido can only conclude that either Channel 4 News have the scoop of the year or, they have gone full Cadwalladr. Read the amazing allegations for yourself below:

Banks Accused of Bribing Minister in Lesotho for Mining Licence

Looks like Arron’s emails are being shared widely beyond the Observer…

Max Mosley Car Crash Over Racist Leaflet

Cathy Newman asks Max Mosley if he lied under oath over the existence of a racist leaflet which claimed “coloured immigration threatens your children’s health. Mosley had a proper car crash after Cathy handed him the leaflet, replying: “If it is genuine it doesn’t reflect my views today” and insisted he had “no reason to apologise to anyone”. Towards the end of the interview he appeared to admit responsibility for the leaflet and accept it was racist. Read the Mail story here. Mosley’s name is at the bottom of the leaflet. This looks very bad for Max, who admitted he supported offering paying to repatriate immigrants and was reduced to accusing the Mail of breaching the Data Protection Act. He went on to insist he was a fit and proper person to fund Labour’s deputy leader and would give him more money. Will Tom Watson hand those half a million pounds of donations back?

Now Channel 4 Fails to Tell Viewers “Junior Doctor” is Labour Poster Boy

Broadcasters keep putting up seasoned Labour campaigners to slag off the government about the NHS without informing audiences of their highly partisan political views. Last night Channel 4 introduced Dr Dagan Lonsdale as a “junior doctor”, giving him a free prime time platform to blame the Tories for everything that’s wrong with the NHS. On Twitter they also described him as a “junior doctor”. Channel 4 neglected to tell viewers that Dr Lonsdale launched Labour’s ‘New Deal’ plan for the NHS alongside MPs and regularly espouses his love of Corbynism…

It’s the second time in as many days that a major broadcaster has pulled this trick (check out the BBC introducing a hard left Corbynista activist as a “staff nurse” yesterday). Of course Labour supporters are free to air their opinions on TV, but it’s completely disingenuous for broadcasters not to tell viewers about their highly partisan views…

Channel 4 News Editor Likes Tweet Calling Boris a “C**t”

After Jon Snow’s F**k the Tories chant, Channel 4 News editor Ben De Pear goes one better and likes a tweet calling Boris a “c**t”. They’re not even pretending anymore… 

H/T Alex Deane

Tories Get Away With Call Centre Push Polling

Channel 4 News were pushing hard to nail the Tories for running a push polling operation – Blue Telecoms – during the general election. The Information Commissioner has now ruled:

We’ve found that two small sections of the written scripts used by those making the calls crossed the line from legitimate market research to unlawful direct marketing. We’ve warned the Conservative Party to get it right next time.

The ICO stopped short of formal regulatory action because they believe the overall campaign was genuine market research. The two sections they had concerns about were not enough to trigger formal enforcement action.

Channel 4 News were hyping that the police were conducting a “significant investigation”. The police say no further action will be taken. Guido is looking forward to the follow-up Channel 4 News investigation into push polling carried out on behalf of the Labour Party by the GMB and Unite unions…

Jon Snow: Impartiality is Very Precious

Nick Robinson: “Lots of people say you, Channel 4 News, you’re not just liberal, you’re left-wing. Would it not just be more in touch if we just let go of these old rules?”

Jon Snow: “I think impartiality is a very, very precious entity in our media and I’m grateful for the fact that we do have a regulated broadcasting system and that you and I are impartial.”

Just 50 days since Jon was reprimanded by Channel 4 after it was revealed he was heard at Glastonbury chanting “F**k the Tories”…[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

In response to the news that Emily Thornberry described the Lib Dems as “like the Taliban” over their new revoke Article 50 Brexit policy, the former Lib Dem leader responded:

“Come on Emily, if we really were like a Middle East terrorist group, don’t you think Jeremy would’ve invited us to a conference fringe meeting before now?”

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