iBoulton

Sky are going all interactive for the new Adam Boulton evening show Sky News Tonight, launching on the first of the month:

“In a first for a major nightly news programme, Sky News Tonight will have comprehensive parallel output on social media, where users will be able to view – and engage with – a host of extra content that will follow, complement and enhance the live TV output, in real time.Viewers will be able to interact with the programme via Sky News’ social media platforms which will give them the power to engage in the discussion, contribute to the debate and even influence the agenda of the show. “

Given the number of people who sit watching TV whilst on Twitter now, it seems like a logical step. The show will also feature high profile interviews conducted from Westminster, at the far more reasonable time of seven through until nine – another reason not to stay up for Newsnight.

Another Innocent Politician Accused on Newsnight

In their defence, this one was hardly their fault. On last night’s programme, Neil Hamilton accused a former Labour MP of being into kinky sex. Neil Hamilton being Neil Hamilton, he got the wrong one, and Newsnight have now apologised:

“In a live Newsnight interview about party whips’ knowledge of MPs’ personal secrets tonight, former Tory whip Neil Hamilton referred to a former Labour MP, now dead, who he said had been known to visit “bondage and sado masochism clubs and behaved in the most outrageous way.” 

Mr Hamilton incorrectly named the MP as Allan Rogers, who is former MP for the Rhondda. Mr Hamilton says he meant to refer to another former MP, now dead. Mr Hamilton said: “I apologise unreservedly to Allan Rogers. It was an inadvertent slip of the tongue.” Newsnight also apologises to Mr Rogers.”

Whoops!

Paxman: ‘I am a Tory… Newsnight is Made by 13-Year-Olds’

Freed from the shackles of the BBC behemoth, Jeremy Paxman seems to be enjoying getting off the fence and telling us what he really thinks.  It turns out he claims to be a closet Eurosceptic who believes Europe has been “nothing but trouble for us”, and has been secretly sound all along:“I am in favour of governments getting out of people’s lives. Particularly foreign government. The closer you can take decision-making to the people affected by those decisions, the better.” Speaking at Chalke Valley History Festival, Paxo revealed political leanings for the first time: “I have to be frank, I suppose I am a one-nation Tory, yes.” He also gave the audience his explanation for Newsnight’s shift to the left:

“Look, Newsnight is made by 13-year-olds. It’s perfectly normal when you’re young that you want to change the world. The older you get, the more you realise what a fools’ errand much of that is and that the thing to do is to manage the best you can to the advantage of as many people as possible.”

That explains Ian Katz’s tousled hair and youthful looks…

UPDATE:  Ian Katz responds:

Zoe recalls the 14 year-old Newsnight editor none too fondly…

snog

Let it go Zoe, it was 30 years ago…

Year of Code’s Lottie Dexter is Matt Hancock’s New SpAd

Lots of people were very mean about the Year of Code when its director Lottie Dexter admitted that she was unable to code on Newsnight, but was learning. Well it turns out that the campaign’s mantra – that learning to code is a ticket to higher places – really is true. Just 4 months ago Lottie told Paxman:

“Over this year I’m going to see exactly what I can achieve, so who knows I might be the next Zuckerberg in 12 months time.”

Not quite, but Guido hears she is off to fill the newly appointed position of Matthew Hancock’s special adviser…

Bookies Suspend Newsnight Betting on Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Both Paddy Power and Ladbrokes have suspended betting on Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy replacing Paxman at Newsnight. Paddy Power tell MediaGuido “we suspended the bet as people were lumping on Krishnan”, who at one stage was a 20/1 long shot. Over the weekend several media sources placed him in the chair. Last night MediaGuido asked a coy Krishnan if the bookies were correct to stop taking bets, after taking some time to come up with his line he replied:

“I’ve not commented on any speculation for obvious reasons and never do. Let’s have a drink sometime”

Guido was tempted to just ask him the same question 14 times to get Krishnan in the inquisitorial mood for NewsnightPaxman leaves this month so Guido will put the champagne on ice for that drink with Krishnan…

Another Pro-Labour Newsnight Hire

David Lammy’s ex June Sarpong is Ian Katz’s latest hire at Newsnight, Mandrake reveals. What they didn’t mention is that Sarpong’s Labour connections do not end there. The photo above shows her fronting a Labour election rally in April 2005 alongside Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The Telegraph at the time reported that the former Channel 4 presenter seemed awe-struck”, fangirling on stage over Labour leaders present and future. Having Labour links on your CV seems to be a prerequisite for a Newsnight job these days…

UPDATE: Sarpong will, according to Newsnight’s Ian Katz, apparently only be an occasional contributor.

WATCH: Paxman v Silvio

Since Paxman announced he’s on the way out, he’s seems to have got that old spark back.

Paxo Asks Silvio: Did You Call Merkel an Unf**kable Lard-Ar*e?

On tonight’s Newsnight, Paxo interviews Silvio Berlusconi:

[jwplatform src=”http://content.jwplatform.com/players/F7Z8yJ98-dwaBVFtT.js”]

We’ll miss him when he’s gone…

Katz Attempting to Force Out Paxman

When Newsnight’s Ian Katz is not singing along with his eyes closed at private gigs with Dave, Samantha and Tom Ford, Guido hears he is sharpening his knife. As revealed in yesterday’s Sun, BBC sources suggest that Katz is trying to push out Jeremy Paxman from his half-hearted role as anchor. “He’s shot his salary load on Laura K”, says a senior BBC source, forcing Katz to “hire kids and Nazis.” The removal of the well-remunerated Mr Paxman would certainly free up a massive chunk of the show’s budget. £800,000 a year could hire a lot more staff, but would anyone watch without the show’s most famous star?

Newsnight Hire Pro-Labour TUC Wonk as Economics Editor

newsnightStephanie “Two Eds” Flanders used to annoy Tory MPs when she was the economics pundit on Newsnight, before her the quasi-Marxist Paul Mason had them shouting at the telly. Well imagine how they are going to react to the news that the TUC’s senior economist Duncan Weldon has been hired as her replacement. Weldon is a former Labour Party staffer who has blogged for the Fabian Society, Left Foot Forward and written a series of posts praising Labour politicians and attacking the Tories on LabourList. If that were not enough he also writes regularly for the Owen Jones launched and Unite-funded CLASS think tank. Guido looks forward to his fair and balanced reporting…

BBC sources say that it would be unfair to blame the former Guardian deputy-editor Ian Katz who is now Newsnight’s editor for the hire as James Harding (ex-Times editor) signs off the hires. Katz seems sensitive to complaints about the politics of Newsnight:

It is clearly provocative in a pre-election year to hire a well known Labour Party advocate for the position when the economy is going to be the central election issue. The BBC’s Charter is up for review in 2017. Conservative HQ will be as suspicious as ever of the BBC…

UPDATE: Livid Tory spokesman: “Highly questionable appointment. Arthur Scargill would be a more objective appointment.”

UPDATE II: Duncan Weldon ran as a candidate for the Labour Party in Crouch End, Haringey in the 2010 elections.

UPDATE III: Duncan Weldon was the economic adviser to Harriet Harman when she was acting leader of the Labour Party. This might just lead some to question his objectivity in reporting on Labour’s forthcoming 2015 manifesto.

UPDATE IV:

WATCH: Harman Refuses to Say PIE Affiliation was a Mistake

Well Harriet Harman’s clear-the-air, kill the story interview with Newsnight went well then. Time and time again Laura Kuenssberg asked Harman if she would say that the National Council of Civil Liberites’ decision to affiliate with the Paedophile Information Exchange was a mistake. Time and time again Harman, almost inexplicably, refused. Guaranteeing the story will keep going for a while at least…

Leaked Emails Reveal “UKIP Kidnapper” is Tory Member Newsnight Scoop Missed PM Welcoming Bhutto to the Party

Last night’s Newsnight scoop was bizarre for many reasons, not least their revelations that the UKIP Commonwealth Spokesman had been jailed for seven years. Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto was the leader of a gang who kidnapped the son of a wealthy businessman at gunpoint in Karachi in June 2004. The establishment’s favourite new mantra was wheeled out and lots of noise made about the make up of UKIP membership. Except someone didn’t do their homework, fully…

As these emails, just revealed by the Daily Politics, indicate, Bhutto is a member of the Conservative Party:

From: “David Cameron”
Date: 30 January 2014 12:44:35 GMT
To: Mujeeb.bhutto
Subject: Thank you for becoming a Member

Dear Mr Bhutto,

Firstly, let me offer you a very warm welcome to the Conservatives.

I’m delighted you have taken the decision to help us turn Britain around by becoming a Member of the Party. Your membership card will be posted out to you shortly (within the next month).

As a Member, you have a vital role to play. The Conservative-led Government has many challenges ahead before – and including – the next set of elections, but with your help we can continue to make the case for Conservative values.

The more who join us, the more we can achieve – so please email everyone you know who would be interested in becoming a Member of the Conservatives. Together, we can build a better future for Britain.

Thanks in advance for all your help,

David Cameron

This is being blamed on an automated online application. Which cannot be said for Leeds Conservatives following up the email from Dave to further welcome Mr Bhutto back into Tory arms:

From: “Robert Winfield” 
Date: 30 January 2014 23:59:38 GMT
To: Mujeeb.bhutto
Subject: Leeds Central Conservatives

Mujeeb
I am just dropping you a brief e mail to say that I was delighted to learn that you have rejoined the Conservative Party. I hope to speak to you soon but unfortunately I am just getting over flu.

I assume this means that you have severed your connections with UKIP.

Best wishes

Robert Winfield

This is not the first time that UKIP have got into trouble with Tory friends. No one noticed the gay floods chap when he was a Conservative councillor, and the member accused by the Mail on Sunday of being in the National Front was actually a Tory when she made the incendiary comments. And let’s not forget Roger Helmer. As Farage said the other day, “if you accept defectors from the Conservative Party you will always have embarrassments.”

UPDATE: Shapps was just confronted with these emails on the Daily Politics, it seems the Tories had spotted the issue here. Though it seems no one told Leeds…

UPDATE II: Poor Bhutto has been booted out already. Tories say:

“Bhutto is not a member. He applied, got the normal follow ups, and we reserve the right to refuse and have done that.”

Normal follow ups including a personalised welcome thanking them for re-joining? Glad that’s all cleared up then…

WATCH: Paxo "Tattoo" Tops Dimbleby

Guido is enjoying Newsnight’s “and finally” gimmicks…

Laura K Heads Back to the Beeb Guido's Favourite Presenter Joins Newsnight

laura k

Great signing by Newsnight:

Well that’s going to keep Guido up right until the end…

Katz Steals Another Pinky Inky for Newsnight

Face-for-radio Chris Cook is leaving the Pink’un to become policy editor at Newsnight. Regular readers will remember Chris from his fair and balanced reporting of a certain Pearson-owned exam board, as well his long, long, long vendetta against Michael Gove, after working for his predecessor in the Tory education brief David Willetts. Seriously though, Guido and Chris settled differences over many beers not long ago in some trendy media hangout we both happened to be in. He wishes him the best of luck. The ‘semi-Tory’ is jumping just as the FT flirts with switching back to Labour…

Kirsty Wark’s Halloween Thriller

Mwahahahaaa…

WATCH: Cookie Monster v Maitlis

Cookie Monster gave nothing away in what really could not be described as the toughest of interviews.  President Karzai was obviously less media savvy…

Watch Teenagers Declare Benefits Bill Should Be Slashed

Here is one that does not fit the usual narrative. Teenagers polled by Newsnight last night collectively agreed to slash the unsustainable benefits bill and use the money to pay down the national debt and increase spending on education and health. Maybe the Tories should not be so worried about votes for sixteen year olds…

Video via Liar Politicians

Ian Katz Responds

Mea culpa from the Newsnight editor in an email to Labour spinner Bob Roberts:

Dear Bob,

I am only too happy to reiterate the apology I have already made to Rachel by text and on Twitter: I apologise unreservedly for my ill-judged remark about her appearance on Newsnight last night. As you know it was intended as a private message but as you rightly say that is no excuse.

I don’t accept your implication that my tweet reflects in any way on the impartiality of Newsnight, except to the extent that it reflects a determination to make Newsnight as interesting as I can. I am acutely aware, however, that we ask quite a lot of guests when we invite them into the studio to do late night interviews and my tweet hardly conveyed the appreciation we owe them for making the trip. 

I particularly regret any personal offence or upset I have caused Rachel and hope she will come on Newsnight again soon.

Best

Ian

Don’t count on it…

New Newsnight Boss Apologises for Twitter BlunderIan Katz “Boring Snoring” Rachel Reeves Direct Message #Fail

As if that Huhne interview wasn’t bad enough, now new Newsnight editor Ian Katz has failed in his attempt to send a private direct message on Twitter. Just days into his new job, the former Guardian deputy editor accidentally published his candid thoughts, before swiftly deleting the tweet:

He shared his thoughts with his 26,000 followers…

Pic via @jamesmanning4

UPDATE:

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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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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