GP’s Campaign for Labour Not Mentioned By Sky News

Dr Simon Taylor has been a busy man these past few weeks. Earlier in the month, Guido reported on his ITV News appearance, where the channel introduced Taylor simply as “a GP in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire”, and sat back as he ranted about the government’s handling of the NHS and claimed “It was easier to get patients seen in Afghanistan.” Completely overlooking the fact he’s been openly campaigning for Labour for at least five years…

Clearly Taylor’s growing fond of the limelight. Last night he was back on the airwaves, this time as an audience member for Sky News“Can the NHS Survive?” panel discussion. Again, he compared the health service to a war zone, and again he was described only as “a military doctor”. The woman sat by his side, Josie Potts, also just happens to be a Labour councillor in Bassetlaw.

Maybe Sky News would be forgiven for overlooking Taylor’s campaigning if it was in the distant past. It isn’t. In fact, Simon has spent most of January obsessed with Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith and actively campaigning with the Labour candidate, Jo White. Last week he turned up in Parliament and had to be escorted out:

Before that he filmed a bizarre stunt outside Clarke-Smith’s constituency office, where he gave CPR to a mannequin while sporting a Nye Bevan football shirt:

Of course, Taylor is perfectly free to record himself resuscitating dummies in the name of the Labour Party. It’s just useful context for viewers when he compares NHS hospitals to Afghanistan… 

mdi-timer 27 January 2023 @ 12:22 27 Jan 2023 @ 12:22 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sky News’ Tory-Bashing Teacher is Former Labour Candidate

Last night Sky News held a teachers’ strike Q&A with a “handpicked panel of experts” to discuss what the latest strike action means for teachers, staff, and students. One of these experts was primary school headteacher John Hayes, whose “expertise” was again reaffirmed at the end of the programme, just for good measure. John didn’t have much good to say about the government over the hour he was on-screen…

“…I would argue that the current government is the biggest disaster for children’s education right now. We have been campaigning on this well before the pandemic. We shouldn’t be in this place. State education is right on the edge, and it’s that way because of the current government and the decisions they have taken.”

Of course, what Sky forgot to mention in their glowing introduction is John also spends his time as the Chair of Hitchin Labour Party Branch… and even stood to be Hitchin and Harpenden’s Labour candidate in the 2017 election. Important context, Guido would have thought. Somehow it slipped the producers’ minds…

mdi-timer 17 January 2023 @ 08:58 17 Jan 2023 @ 08:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
ITV Ignores Campaigning GP’s Labour Background

After congratulating the BBC on adequately implementing guest transparency standards, Guido sees ITV is yet to follow suit. Reporting on an anti-Tory campaign, ITV News wrote an article about claims made by a GP and army veteran Simon Taylor, in which he slammed the government’s handling of the health service and claimed “It was easier to get patients seen in Afghanistan.” They described him as “a GP in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire”…

Simon is no mere GP, however. He has a long track record of Labour Party activism. In the 2017 election he made a campaign video for former Labour MP John Mann; alongside a long track record of local campaigning.

This shouldn’t have been too hard for ITV to pick up. Though Labour MP Karl Turner also seemed blithely unaware of the GP’s mutual comradeship in the fight for socialism…

As always, Simon has a right to air his views, however broadcasters should contextualise them.

mdi-timer 10 January 2023 @ 11:19 10 Jan 2023 @ 11:19 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Leftie Upset BBC Correctly Contextualised His Rant

Guido’s “expert/activist” transparency campaign is succeeding. During an interview with Labour councillor and Momentum activist Martin Abrams, BBC presenter Lukwesa Burak rightly listed Abrams’ political connections at the end of the segment. All relevant context for viewers who have just witnessed a talking head claim we “need to redistribute” wealth and support strikes…

Bravo. Guido tips his hat. Of course, Martin isn’t exactly happy about this, tweeting:

“I genuinely thought the BBC News presenter was going to go through my entire CV at the end of this interview. Why is it only ever those of us on the left that get this kind of scrutiny of our jobs and affiliations?”

To which his friend replies “Terrified of Guido Fawkes.” Martin only needs to browse Guido’s archives to see that is patently untrue. Time and again, broadcasters neglect to mention the relevant political affiliations of their guests, particularly on the left. If you have skin in the game, viewers should know about it.
Broadcasting rules stipulate that political voices should not be allowed to feign neutrality. The BBC guidelines are clear:

“We should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities and think-tanks) are unbiased. Appropriate information about their affiliations, funding and particular viewpoints should be made available to the audience, when relevant to the context.”

So Guido tips his hat to the BBC for following its own rules, as much as it upsets Abrams. He’s still not over it: less than an hour after this post went to pixel, he fumed at ITV for failing to introduce Emily Carver as the former Head of Media “for the hard right 55 Tufton Street lot”. She has never worked at 55 Tufton Street, so claiming that would be incorrect. If it helps, Martin, Tom Harwood was repeatedly introduced as a “right-leaning” blogger during media appearances while at Guido…

No one is claiming people like Abrams should not be allowed to give their views. Their affiliations should be just clearly labelled, whatever they may be. Otherwise we end up with news interviews which are little more than party political broadcasts…

See also: Broadcasters Need to Clearly Label Talking Heads

mdi-timer 9 January 2023 @ 13:47 9 Jan 2023 @ 13:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Hides Eco Exec’s Corbyn Connections

The BBC has been working hard to maintain its record of failing to meet transparency standards. On this morning’s Today programme, the BBC invited CEO Dale Vince to discuss the Autumn Statement, introducing him simply as “The founder of the green energy provider Ecotricity”. Dale criticised the government before advocating fo“100% green energy”. Nothing to do with his career interest in the renewable sector…

Dale is not just an eco-exec. He’s also a devout Corbynite. Dale has been pictured with Jezza and has described him as “inspirational”, “genuine” and “so real”. He’s also had some choice words for Boris, saying “up yours” to the “dodgy guy”. Of course, he has a right to a platform on the BBC, but he needs to be introduced properly so people are aware of his prior commitments.

To be fair to Dale, he’s transparent about his own affiliations, freely admitting to being a Labour donor. Shame the BBC can’t match his openness…

mdi-timer 17 November 2022 @ 13:00 17 Nov 2022 @ 13:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Hides A&E Doctor’s Union Activist Background

The BBC is back to old tricks. While covering ongoing NHS strike ballots, they bought in Andrew Meyerson, introduced simply as “an accident and emergency doctor in London”. 

Andrew isn’t just a doctor. He’s also a prolific union activist.

It only takes a brief flick through Andrew’s social media to find evidence of his Corbynista credentials. From posing with Mick Lynch and members of Labour’s parliamentary Socialist Campaign Group (and Barry Gardiner); to promoting both Novara Media and Momentum content and posting a protest sign with the thoughtful slogan “Piss off Rishi”. Hardly an objective commentator…

Andrew’s segment was filled with all the talking points you might expect. He called for a wealth tax, he made the claim that the government had failed to listen to a single health expert, and then catastrophised over four separate NHS “crises”.

His views, however questionable, are not the issue. The problem is that the BBC presented a partisan activist simply as an ordinary working professional. As always, transparency is key…

mdi-timer 28 October 2022 @ 08:23 28 Oct 2022 @ 08:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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