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:

WATCH: Psycho Huhne Newsnight Interview in Full

Over at the Guardian’s broadcast arm, Ian Katz has given increasingly unhinged criminal homewrecker Chris Huhne free rein on Newsnight. It is definitely worth watching in full:

Let it go Chris, it’s over…

Via the appropriately named @liarpoliticians.

Paxman's Beard Releases Statement

Jeremy Paxman has just released this statement through Newsnight:

“I have grown a beard for the last few summers, and suddenly wondered whether I really needed to shave it off to present Newsnight. Unless you’re lucky enough to be Uncle Albert on Only Fools and Horses, Demis Roussos or Abu Hamza, the BBC is generally as pognophobic as the late-lamented Albanian dictator, Enver Hoxha. I may keep it or I may shave it off, but I think I’ll make my own decision.”

Well keeping people guessing is one way to get those suffering viewing figures up…

Newsnight Back in the News

Congratulations to Newsnight for generating headlines without managing to  cover up a paedo-scandal, implode into an inter-staff war or smear someone as a nonce. No its not the influence of their new editor Ian Katz either.  Guido thinks Paxman’s new beard is marvelous.

Watch: Tim Yeo Stung By Sunday Times Offered To Be £7,000-a-Day Advocate and Lobby Government

It’s all over for Tim Yeo. The Energy and Climate Change select committee chairman has been stung by the Sunday Times, offering to become a paid advocate for a fake firm for £7,000-a-day.

“The reporters approached Yeo posing as representatives of a solar energy company offering to hire him as a paid advocate to push for new laws to boost its business for a fee of £7,000 a day. He told them he could commit to at least one day a month, despite the fact that he already held four private jobs and was in negotiations to take a further two. Setting out what he could offer, the MP said: “If you want to meet the right people, I can facilitate all those introductions and I can use the knowledge I get from what is quite an active network of connections.” Asked if that extended to government figures, Yeo replied: “Yes.” The House of Commons code of conduct forbids members from acting as paid advocates, including by lobbying ministers. Yeo also said he could help them by guiding them on submitting evidence to his own committee, which he described as “a good way of getting your stuff on the map”.”

Confirming what we knew all along: Yeo is one of parliament’s most shameless Honorable Members. Guido has hunted him for years, you can read all this blog’s stories on Yeo here. Westminster is for sale…

UPDATE: Funny that he mentions his “active network”, on Newsnight a couple of years ago Guido accused Yeo of of abusing his position as an MP to facilitate a green investment network. He threatened to sue…

Katz Leaving a Sinking Ship

A cunning move by Ian Katz, jumping from the Guardian to Newsnight. The heir apparent is the latest lefty print figure to join the Beeb. Guido reckons he will return to Kings Place eventually, as the editor of a multi-platform, video-led converged Guardian. He can bide his time while Alan Rusbridger wrings his hands for a few more years as the print figures continue to crash and the mass sackings become inevitable. Smart...

The appointment has not gone down well with everyone. BBC types and government sources are moaning to the Speccie, while a Tory source tells Guido: “At this rate Alastair Campbell will be presenting. Given the huge salaries the Guardian pay, the BBC need to disclose how much they are billing the license-fee payer for Mr Katz.” Mr Paxman was unavailable for comment…

Newsnight Parent Governor Actually Labour Activist

lucy

Last night’s Newsnight panel on free schools was made up of two headteachers, a former teacher and the suspiciously anti-Tory Lucy Reese, billed as “a parent governor from Camden where primary schools have the best Ofsted outcomes in the country”. What they didn’t tell you is that Reese is actually a Labour activist, touted earlier this year as a potential council candidate for upmarket Primrose Hill. A writer for Left Futures, when Reese isn’t helping out at her local primary school she knocks on doors telling people to vote for Ed. Must have slipped their mind…

Full Jeremy Paxman Statement on Entwistle Resignation

Statement from Jeremy Paxman:

“George Entwistle’s departure is a great shame. He has been brought low by cowards and incompetents.

The real problem here is the BBC’s decision, in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry, to play safe by appointing biddable people.

They then compounded the problem by enforcing a series of cuts on programme budgets, while bloating the management

That is how you arrive at the current mess on Newsnight. I very much doubt the problem is unique to that programme.

I had hoped that George might stay to sort this out.It is a great pity that a talented man has been sacrificed. While time-servers prosper.

I shall not be issuing any further statements or doing any interviews.”

Right, so who is next for the chop?

Parliamentary Privilege and Criminality

Parliamentary privilege was cited last night by David Grossmann in his Newsnight report as being an obstacle to bringing Denis MacShane to trial, the Labour MP John Mann disagrees:

On Friday Guido was tipped off by a source close to the Standards and Privileges Committee that once they had published their report the way was open for the police to resume their investigations. After consulting a barrister, who was in absolutely no doubt that parliamentary privilege was no longer an obstacle, Guido wrote to Scotland Yard asking them to resume the case – as did the Tory MP Philip Davies.

In 2009 we did the same for Jim Devine who, like Denis MacShane, submitted falsified invoices to back up expense claims. You may recall that David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine went to the Supreme Court to argue that they were protected by parliamentary privilege. They attempted to use the 300-year-old law to argue that any case against them should be dealt with by Parliament rather than the courts. The Supreme Court ruled that expense fiddles were ordinary crimes not covered by parliamentary privilege. Devine was sentenced to 16 months…

Explosive Newsnight in Pipeline

If the lawyers don’t spike it, tonight’s Newsnight could be pretty spectacularly explosive. Bureau of Investigative Journalism hack Iain Overton has been working on a major story that is currently being legalled.

Hopefully George Entwistle has not commissioned any forthcoming Christmas specials about said politician…

https://twitter.com/iainoverton/status/264308253033381888

Red Ken's Future Terror Career

Ken’s promise to quit politics may well have been just another lie, but judging by his performance on Newsnight last night Guido has a new suggestion for his next career move: counter-terrorism. After revealing his expertise on lone psychopaths, scaremongering Ken told Kirsty: “you don’t catch Al-Qaeda by looking through their lunchbox“. With insight like that Livingstone could surely be an adviser for G4S…

Michael White Owes Guido An Apology

The controversial Downing Street Second Email System story is back in the news. In 2007 in the middle of Blair’s Loans for Lordships crisis and the arrest of Downing Street officials by police searching for evidence, Guido alleged that there was a second, unofficial, email system in Downing Street used to send off-the-record emails. The Mail on Sunday ran with the story, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman under questioning from the Lobby denied its existence at two briefings. Guido demanded that the PMOS issued a correction, none was forthcoming. Shortly after on Newsnight, back in his more camera-shy days, Guido repeated the allegation. Michael White in no uncertain terms sided with the PMOS saying Guido’s story was untrue, based on the word of PMOS rather than any research.

Under questioning about this subject by MPs on the Public Administration Select Committee Blair’s Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell also claimed “There is no second email system inside No 10.” Damian McBride two weeks ago confirmed the existence of a second email system in Downing Street. Michael will surely want to correct his naive mistake…

Eddie Mair's Newsnight Heebie-Jeebies

Lots of confusion last night as Newsnight viewers tuned in to find Eddie Mair from Radio 4 in Paxo’s chair. And he did rather well, if he was a little gloomy:

With a fresh face around, many are wondering if Paxo is too old.[…] Read the rest

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