Broadcasters Fail to Mention Striking Barrister was Labour Parliamentary Candidate

It was a busy morning for criminal barrister Mark McDonald, who made a whistle stop media round earlier today as he and his colleagues went on strike over the profession’s salary and conditions. Having rejected the government’s offer of a 15% pay rise, McDonald made the case for a 21% increase on BBC News, along with a quick chat to Kay Burley on Sky to slam the government for a minute or so for good measure. A decent media performance for a broadcasting novice… 

What both channels forgot to mention is that McDonald was the Labour candidate for Stoke-on-Trent in 2019. Here he is posing alongside the absolute boy himself just before the election…

McDonald is also a founding member of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, and his Twitter account is full of the usual anti-Tory talking points you’d expect of a man backed by Momentum. Unfortunately he lost to Jack Brereton at the election, so he didn’t quite manage to advance his interests from the Commons benches. Back to donning his wig and robes instead…

mdi-timer 27 June 2022 @ 14:57 27 Jun 2022 @ 14:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sky News Fails to Mention Talking Head’s Labour Candidacy for Second Time

Former Labour candidate Bella Sankey has returned to Sky News to once again score political points against the government, this time over the Ukraine crisis. Having previously appeared on the channel to call Priti Patel’s asylum seeker policy “cruel, illogical, incoherent”, this morning she attempted to link the Ukrainian refugee programme to Brexit, claiming the government “can’t let go of that [Brexit] ideology” and has had to be “dragged kicking and screaming to make even the most minor commitments” to Ukrainian refugees. Apparently this is all a part of a “xenophobic sentiment” at the core of government. At no point did Sky point out that Sankey ran as a Labour Party candidate in 2019…

Given Sankey previously claimed Jeremy Corbyn was “honest, has principles and integrity and is visible and accountable in the media himself”, this is clearly a relevant contextual detail for Sky’s viewers. Of course Sankey is entitled to say whatever she likes about the government, and Sky News is entitled to broadcast them. Doing so without drawing attention to her political activism is just disingenuous…

See also: Guido’s “Activist Experts” Transparency Campaign

mdi-timer 1 March 2022 @ 11:42 1 Mar 2022 @ 11:42 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sky’s Ukraine Expert is LibDem Parliamentary Candidate

Last night, Sky News repeatedly aired a special report on the Ukraine crisis. One of the talking heads on the programme, Edward Lucas, introduced as “Senior Fellow, Centre for European Analysis”, offered a pretty pessimistic view of the government’s response – and clearly didn’t think much of the Foreign Secretary. Here’s what Lucas said:

“Sending tanks to Estonia improves the defence of the Baltic states somewhat, although not hugely […]  but while London continues to be the money laundering haven for kleptocratic regimes in Russia and elsewhere, no one is going to take Liz Truss very seriously.”

What Sky News forgot to mention about Lucas is he’s currently running as the LibDem candidate for the Cities of London and Westminster seat at the next election. He’s also repeatedly described himself as a “life long LibDem” and a party “diehard”. Years ago, he was even a bag carrier for Paddy Ashdown.

As ever, Lucas is well within his rights to hold those views, and his columns on Putin are often on the money. Sky News is entitled to broadcast them. It is nonetheless incumbent upon broadcasters to identify his political affiliations before he waxes lyrical on government incompetence. His dim view of Liz Truss is unlikely to be entirely a product of neutral political analysis, especially given that he could be on the campaign stump against her government in a year or two…

mdi-timer 31 January 2022 @ 13:32 31 Jan 2022 @ 13:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sky’s Anti-Freedom Covid ‘Expert’ is Lifelong Socialist Activist

It’s 2022 and Guido’s longstanding Expert Activist series is back for another year. Yesterday Sky News interviewed Dr. David Wrigley, the deputy chair of the British Medical Association, who spent the entire exchange blasting the government for not “[doing] the right thing by the population“, and criticised them for refusing to reintroduce draconian Covid restrictions over Christmas. A few crucial details about Dr. Wrigley were conspicuously missing from Sky’s interview, however:

  1. He’s an open member of the ‘Socialist Health Association’
  2. A lifelong member of the Labour Party
  3. And even a former chair of the Morecambe and Lunesdale Constituency Labour Party.

According to the Newcastle Chronicle Wrigley was Chair of “Doctors in Unite”, the hard-left organisation affiliated to the Labour Party, until 2018.  Other details are readily available on his profile page on the Socialist Health Association website:

“I am an NHS GP in Carnforth, north Lancashire and have worked there for over 15 years. I am passionately committed to a publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable NHS. I am a lifelong Labour Party member and past chair of Morecambe and Lunesdale CLP. I was recently on the selection panel for the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in my constituency under an All Women Shortlist.”

Of course, Wrigley is well within his right to express his views, and Sky has a right to platform them. As always, it’s just important that broadcasters make their guests’ personal biases clear to their viewers.

mdi-timer 6 January 2022 @ 12:50 6 Jan 2022 @ 12:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Fails to Flag Michie’s Communist Views for Second Time in Three Days

Marxist Susan Michie returned to our screens once again this morning to lecture the public and government about the new Omicron variant. She has appeared on the BBC twice in three days, with presenters failing to mention that Michie is a Marxist campaigner both times. It is completely disingenuous for the BBC to repeatedly fail to mention this to viewers. 

It’s not just Guido criticising the corporation’s attitude here. In a Times article yesterday, senior Cambridge University clinical research associate Raghib Ali said:

“I think it would have been helpful to say to the viewers there may have been a conflict of interest. I also think scientists’ track record should be taken into account. For example Professor Michie’s organisation Independent Sage has repeatedly made inaccurate forecasts overestimating infections since July.”

Professor Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at Reading University, also said:

“I see nothing wrong with Professor Michie being given air time, but it should be in a more balanced way. But that’s not her responsibility to ensure, it’s the BBC’s.”

So far the only prime time presenter to call out Michie’s hardline beliefs for the transparency of viewers is Richard Madeley

mdi-timer 30 November 2021 @ 13:55 30 Nov 2021 @ 13:55 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
GMB’s Refugee Activist is Usual Labour Party Talking Head

Good Morning Britain welcomed Hassan Akkad onto the programme this morning, introducing him as a “Syrian refugee”. Throughout the show, Hassan characteristically slammed Priti Patel’s Afghan resettlement scheme and the government’s approach to asylum seekers. Co-conspirators will be more than familiar with Akkad, although once again, GMB failed to mention that he’s an active Labour Party member, documentary maker and campaigner. Along with Susan Michie, he may be Guido’s most frequently called-out activist expert… 

Guido hopes listeners of the programme weren’t left with the misguided impression that Hassan was an ordinary member of the public, rather than a political activist and Labour Party memberIt’s a step back for GMB, who Guido last praised after Richard Madeley called out Michie’s communist beliefs…

mdi-timer 24 November 2021 @ 10:49 24 Nov 2021 @ 10:49 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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