McDonnell Told Activists to “Target” Journalists

Who’s responsible for winding up Labour lefties to the point where they boo and hiss the BBC’s political editor? This video of John McDonnell from 2013 is worth a watch –  he tells activists to take “direct action” to “target” journalists they don’t like. Even going as far as occupying newsrooms…

“I don’t think we should let the traditional media off the hook… Where there is a distorted report or an inaccurate report, or where there’s a non-report by the traditional media, we take direct action against it. Let me give you an example… the IWW union were running a campaign in London… The Guardian wouldn’t cover the story… so what the IWW workers did is they went over to the Guardian offices and occupied them and insisted that they meet the editor and insisted that some story was covered. The editor came down, very angry… but in the end they said ‘alright, we’ll start looking into the story again’… Those newspapers, those media sources that aren’t covering the stories, we’ve got to start targeting them and taking direct action against them…

[Another pressure group] weren’t getting any coverage of their demonstrations by the BBC, so a couple of weeks ago they went to the BBC headquarters and did a demonstration outside and threatened occupation, eventually getting involved in a dialogue with some of the journalists… Where the existing, traditional media are letting us down, we target them.”

Labour MPs Laura K

Labour MPs Wes Streeting, Chuka Umunna and Pat McFadden have all criticised the Laura K haters. Remember, Corbyn told Vice News the BBC “are obsessed with trying to damage Labour”. That’s why he smirked when his fans hissed at their pol ed…

Ethnic Minority Brits Back Brexit

Fair play to Newsnight for this segment on why ethnic minority voters and businessmen and women back Brexit. The British Indian and Pakistani shop owners they spoke to wanted trade agreements with China, India and the Commonwealth and had concerns about European immigration. Can we have another musical video please?

Minister Media Monitor: Sky Winning Battle of Producers

MMM April the shows

Sky News won the battle of the producers to book ministers for their programmes in April. The usually minister-heavy Today Programme drops out of the top three for the first time, while Newsnight rises up the rankings. Marr features a minister a week. The whole of ITV (The AgendaGood Morning Britain, and ITV News) managed to get just three ministers in the entire month. Overall there were 44 ministerial broadcast appearances in April, expect that to ramp up when the referendum campaign gets going…

Neuberger and Levy on Labour’s Anti-Semitism

Some harsh words from cross-party peer Baroness Neuberger in particular:

“It [anti-semitism] is attached to Jeremy Corbyn becoming leader, and therefore old, if you like – some of this existed probably within militant, if you’re old enough to remember all that – and it’s an issue with the hard left, and a particular criticism of Israel. And I suspect that people whose views would not have been acceptable within the Labour party have rejoined or joined”

In other words, it is mainstreaming in the guise of anti-Zionism under Corbyn’s leadership…

Top Europhile Admits EU Hurting Steelworkers

Former LibDem minister and arch-Europhile Steve Webb has told the truth about the EU hampering any bailouts of steelworkers’ pensions:

“The issue there is you’re not allowed to subsidise your own industry where they’re competing with other peoples, and the EU come down particularly hard on steel, because the EU takes the view that there’s too much steel capacity. So it’s hard to see that working for the government.”

Webb actually has form for EU honesty, he warned of the “devastating impact” of Brussels legislation on pensions a few years ago. How refreshing!

Ministers Hiding From Marr and Brillo

MMM March the shows

There was an average of one ministerial broadcast appearance a day in March, as the government swerves accountability over the airwaves. By some distance ministers were more willing to appear on the Today programme than any other show or channel. Downing Street evidently does not fancy sending ministers out to bat when Andrew Neil or Andrew Marr are bowling. Softball interviews on Newsnight are for some reason much more popular…

Nicholas Watt New Newsnight Political Editor

nicholas-watt-newsnight

Congratulations to Nick Watt, the telegenic Guardian chief political correspondent who has been appointed the new Newsnight political editor. A deserved escape route from Kings Place for pretty-boy Watt after he was snubbed for the pol-ed job there. Ian Katz hires yet another Guardian journalist. More as we get it…

Newsnight Done With Tom

newsnight runners riders

BBC sources tell Guido that senior management has overruled editor Ian Katz in his first choice for the Newsnight pol-ed job. The Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn has been vetoed as too expensive in a time of BBC austerity and job cuts, as well as being too tainted by proximity to Murdoch for the Beeb’s tastes. Stephen Bush is still pencilled in to deputise in a wonkish, political analyst / reporter role…

The telegenic Nic Watt must surely be the front-runner with Newsnight now in danger – due to notice periods – of not having a political editor to cover the referendum. Guido understands that Watt is none too pleased to have been messed around by Newsnight hitherto. Other names in Katz’s hat can be culled from all over the Lobby. Bookies are no longer taking bets….

Media Minister Monitor: Battle of the Producers

MMM-February-the-shows

Yesterday Guido brought you Minister Media Monitor, our new resource monitoring ministerial broadcast appearances. As Craig Oliver implements a “one minister a day” policy, the battle is on between producers to land a government spokesman for their programme. In February Sky News and the World at One were the most successful at getting ministers on, followed by the Today programme and Question Time. Piers Morgan only granted one minister a spot on Good Morning Britain. The full numbers show just how few ministers Downing Street authorises to go on the airwaves, another key decline in accountability…

Betting Suspended on Newsnight Political Editor

newsnight-runners-riders

Paddy Power have suspended betting on the Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn being the new Newsnight political editor. His opening price of 5/1 quickly shortened after a flurry of bets from “in the know” punters apparently, though one told Paddy Power “my only inside knowledge is someone said he looked more cheerful than usual last week”. Betting was suspended when the odds narrowed to 1/5 this morning…

A late runner doing the rounds is the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush. Young, up and coming – and Ian Katz loves a nerd – though he hasn’t always been on their radar:

Get all your runners and riders here

Grossman Hasn’t Applied for Political-Editor Role

newsnight runners riders

Paddy Power make David Grossman the 5/4 favourite, however Guido understands that Grossman has not even applied for the Newsnight political-editor’s job. So don’t put your money on that rider…

Next Newsnight Political Editor – Paddy Power odds2/1  Nicholas Watt, 5/1 Tom Newton Dunn, 6/1  Janan Ganesh, 14/1 Isabel Hardman, 14/1 Tom McTague, 16/1 Isabel Oakeshott, 16/1 Chris Ship, 16/1 Helen Lewis.

UPDATE: Janan has now ruled himself out:

Twist in Tory Suicide Case

A twist in the Elliott Johnson suicide story on Friday night as Newsnight asked his father Ray why he never mentioned his son’s previous mental health issues. On Sunday Elliott’s lover Andre Walker said he had not revealed their relationship because he didn’t want to upset the family. Walker says he has been accused of bullying because “fat people from the North of England in politics are always called bruisers”.

The coroner’s inquest begins on Wednesday…

Newsnight Political Editor Runners and Riders

newsnight runners riders

Allegra Stratton has started her new gig at ITV meaning Newsnight needs a new political editor. As ever, Guido gives you your runners and riders…

David Grossman – Seen as the internal BBC option, Grossman currently does the tech-y stuff but has been temping as the stand-in political editor recently. Could he get the gig full time?

Tom Newton Dunn – The Sun’s political editor is well overdue a broadcast job and would solve Ian Katz’s problem of Newsnight being seen as dreary Guardian TV. Though would Auntie be able to afford him?

Nicholas Watt – Snubbed by Kath Viner in favour of the sisterhood, telegenic Watt is sure to be snapped up soon and could continue the Guardian to Newsnight career path trod by Allegra. Surely has to leave King’s Place when a decent opportunity arises.

Janan Ganesh – Like Watt, sits on the Sunday Politics panel which is apparently watched closely by BBC bosses looking for new senior hires. Flair of his columns would be missed. And he’d turn Newsnight full-on hipster.

Tom McTague – Out of a job at the Sindy, which is particularly unlucky since he only moved there a few months ago. Would be a dream escape route.

Isabel Oakeshott – Was believed to be in the running for the ITV job before it was taken by Peston. Young children mean it’s unlikely she’ll do it.

Isabel Hardman – A regular on the airwaves, has been linked to TV roles for years. Though Newsnight barely get more viewers than the Speccie’s View from 22.

Chris Ship – In Peston’s unwelcome shadow over at ITV News, which is enough to drive anyone to look for another job. Would be a step up he ain’t getting at ITV any time soon.

Helen Lewis – The third Sunday Politics panelist, Lewis has been at the Staggers for ages. Believed to be interested in the job.

Who’s your money on?

UPDATE: Paddy Power appear to have priced up the runners and riders based on our story above: David Grossman is the 5/4 favourite. Nicholas Watt is the 2/1 shot and Tom Newton Dunn is is the value bet at 5/1.

Mogg Mauls PM’s Thin Gruel

Jacob Rees-Mogg was doing the rounds last night as the PM desperately scrambles to finalise a deal on his proposed renegotiations before Friday.

The Eurosceptic MP started the night on Channel 4 News, where he was asked by Jon Snow about how many Tory MPs he suspected would come out in favour of Brexit. He declined to give an estimate, instead referencing Guido’s very own MP Referendum List. That’s another happy reader then…

However the night was still young, and so Rees-Mogg went on Newsnight later to further hammer home the paucity of Cameron’s renegotiations. Speaking to Evan Davies about the potential the PM wouldn’t secure a deal he said:

“It’s the flim-flam that you expect around these negotiations so that they can go through the night and then our hero returns, triumphant, game, set and match. We’ve seen all of this before in European negotiations, my guess is that most of it is broadly agreed. We haven’t asked for anything, the thin gruel is all we’ve asked for, and there’s no reason for the EU not to give it to us, if you don’t ask for anything you might as well be given nothing. And that’s where we are and it will all work out, and then we’ll be expected to sing Hosanas when the Prime Minister returns”.

With the Mogg in such fine form it’s a wonder he isn’t leading the out campaign…

Evan’s Mind on Big Ben

Newsnight Ratings Blow as 10 O’Clock News Extended

The BBC have confirmed that that they will extend the 10 o’clock news bulletin by ten minutes in 2016. Media Guardian reports:

“The move to end the main bulletin at 10.45pm, first reported by the Guardian last week and expected to be announced officially later today, will increase the overlap with Newsnight, BBC2’s current affairs programme, which starts at 10.30pm.”

Of course, MediaGuido readers knew all about the changes six weeks ago:

“There are concerns that plans from Beeb bosses to let the News at Ten run on until 10:45pm would further eat into Newsnight’s ratings, dire news given the first ten minutes of the programme are already killed by the local news on BBC1.”

The move is killer for the already embattled Newsnight, which has recently been trimmed by five minutes. The longer news bulletin on BBC1 is looking at spending more time on each story, and running in depth political interviews with Laura K. The fear is that renders Newsnight somewhat obsolete…

John MaoDonnell Didn’t Consult His Deputy About Little Red Book

Seema Malhotra was on Newsnight last night, where she was quizzed about John McDonnell’s bizarre decision to quote from the writings of the venerable Chairman Mao. Seema, who serves as McDonnell’s deputy in the treasury team, was forced to concede that she wasn’t even consulted by the shadow chancellor about whether or not it was a good idea to quote from the writings of one of history’s most prolific mass murderers. Not like Labour to roll out an idea that hasn’t been properly reviewed. It’s the Edstone all over again…

However Guido is unsurprised despot McDonnell didn’t consult his minions before making the decision. Mao would most certainly approve…

Newsnight Tory Sleaze Exposé Coming

elliott

Guido understands that Newsnight are not far from finishing a special investigation into what one source describes as the “culture of aggression in politics”. The report will focus on the Tory bullying/blackmail scandal that has engulfed the party, also looking at the “wider problem” of the poisonous climate that led to a young activist taking his own life. Guido hears the programme has already interviewed around 40 young Tory activists, parliamentary staffers and even non-political Westminster workers such as cleaners, with several agreeing to speak only if their faces were silhouetted and voices disguised. The family of Elliott Johnson are also believed to be helping with editorial input. No chance of them doing a McAlpine with this one, hopefully…

Night Night Newsnight?

Speculation is mounting about the future of Newsnight. There are concerns that plans from Beeb bosses to let the News at Ten run on until 10:45pm would further eat into Newsnight’s ratings, dire news given the first ten minutes of the programme are already killed by the local news on BBC1. The BBC recently trimmed Newsnight by five minutes, giving it a scaled back 40 minute running time which has forced editor Ian Katz to limit how much can be put into each programme. Even more worryingly, there is talk that the extended News at Ten will spend longer and longer on each story. The top story now often runs as long as nine minutes, with rumours circulating that they also plan to start doing their own in-depth, Newsnight-style interviews. The idea is this will head off any threat from ITV’s revamped 10 o’clock coverage under Tom Bradby. If the BBC News at Ten runs longer, with Laura Kuenssberg doing political interviews with big-hitters, what does that mean for the relegated, scaled-back Newsnight and its 25 year history?

British Journalism Awards Bunfight! Speccie v Newsnight / Buzzfeed

yentob

It wouldn’t be the British Journalism Awards without a good old barney about the nominations. Newsnight and Buzzfeed are jointly nominated for Investigation of the Year for the Kids Co scandal – a story on which they did a lot of good follow-up work but was broken by Miles Goslett in the Speccie.[…] Read the rest

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Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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