Zahawi Challenged Over Claim Indian Variant is More Severe

Zahawi’s victory lap this morning, boasting about the UK’s new strategy to save the world via vaccine donations, got derailed by Julia Hartley-Brewer. Julia gave a tour-de-force of government goal post moving from saving the NHS, protecting the over-70s to yesterday’s “vaccinate-the-world before we unmask”. Pressed by her on the potential of the new variant to delay unlocking on June 21, Zahawi claimed “it is more severe, now how much more severe…” before being interrupted by Julia: “I’m sorry, what evidence have you got for that statement?”. Guido’s not sure Zahawi ended up answering Hartley-Brewer’s hardcore questioning. He’ll be hoping data does come out to back his claim by Monday…

mdi-timer 11 June 2021 @ 08:56 11 Jun 2021 @ 08:56 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
TalkRADIO YouTube Channel Reinstated

After 19 hours of being declared “Terminated for violating YouTube’s community guidelines”, the TalkRADIO YouTube channel has been reinstated. A YouTube spokesman said:

“TalkRadio’s YouTube channel was briefly suspended, but upon further review, has now been reinstated. We quickly remove flagged content that violate our Community Guidelines, including COVID-19 content that explicitly contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization. We make exceptions for material posted with an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purpose, as was deemed in this case.”

A whole working day and declared ‘termination’ doesn’t sound like a ‘brief suspension’ to Guido…

mdi-timer 5 January 2021 @ 19:32 5 Jan 2021 @ 19:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
YouTube Terminates TalkRADIO’s Channel Following Lockdown Criticism

Google-owned YouTube in the early hours of this morning removed the TalkRADIO channel from its platform. YouTube had been where TalkRADIO streamed its live video content and kept an archive of old shows. The channel had accumulated tens of millions of views and 250,000 subscribers. YouTube has simply said the account was “terminated for violating YouTube’s community guidelines.”

The fact the termination came shortly after the UK Government announced a third lockdown is raising eyebrows. TalkRADIO has been exceptionally critical of lockdown policy.

YouTube’s Covid-19 guidelines instituted in May 2020 states that “YouTube doesn’t allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19.” This includes bans on:

  • Content that discourages people from consulting a medical professional or seeking medical advice.
  • Content that promotes diagnostic methods that contradict local health authorities or WHO.
  • Content that disputes the efficacy of local health authorities’ or WHO’s guidance on physical distancing or self-isolation measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

If a channel violates policies such as this three times, it will be terminated. This appears to be what happened last night.

UPDATE:  To be clear, Guido is not disputing that YouTube are within their rights, it is their property. Just questioning the wisdom given the platform’s dominance of the video space in the public square.

UPDATE: TalkRADIO has released a statement on the matter:

“talkRADIO YouTube has removed talkRADIO’s channel from its platform. talkRADIO broadcasts specific programmes and a live stream from its studio on its YouTube channel. talkRADIO also broadcasts on DAB and is Ofcom regulated.

A spokesperson for talkRADIO said: “We urgently await a detailed response from Google/YouTube about the nature of the breach that has led to our channel being removed from its platform.

“talkRADIO is an Ofcom licensed and regulated broadcaster and has robust editorial controls in place, taking care to balance debate. We regularly interrogate government data and we have controls in place, use verifiable sources and give space to a careful selection of voices and opinions.”

UPDATE: TalkRADIO has released a second statement:

“talkRADIO has not yet received any explanation about what aspect of the guidelines it is alleged that we have breached. The channel is still removed by Google / YouTube. A spokesman for talkRADIO said:

“YouTube is making decisions about which opinions the public are allowed to hear, even when they are sourced to responsible and regulated news providers.

“This sets a dangerous precedent and is censorship of free speech and legitimate national debate.”

mdi-timer 5 January 2021 @ 08:00 5 Jan 2021 @ 08:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Chris Bryant’s Herd Immunity Tantrum

TalkRADIO’s audience were treated to a classic politician/interviewer bust-up last night as Dan Wootton took Chris Bryant on over Wales’ impending two-week “fire breaker” lockdown, which saw the Rhondda MP kicked off the interview after calling Wootton a “dangerous” “nutcase”. It wasn’t long before the feud resumed on Twitter…

Despite SAGE’s own top scientists espousing herd immunity just a few months ago, Bryant tried mocking Dan, repeatedly saying “so you subscribe to herd immunity?!” While it’s fair to point out issues with the so-called Barrington Declaration as Matt Hancock did last week, Bryant avoided that ever tiresome duty of an MP to debate the points civilly, merely resorting to abusing Wootton:

“You’re a nutcase, a complete and utter nutcase and you’re dangerous as well”

Bryant is getting increasingly short-tempered, and it is not as if he had a long fuse to begin with…

mdi-timer 20 October 2020 @ 11:16 20 Oct 2020 @ 11:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Battle for the Right of the Airwaves

LBC is showing off it’s TV-looking studio today with flashy on screen graphical lower thirds. TalkRADIO has been doing the same with its virtual guests. Mainstream opinion-led TV is already sort of here in the form of these increasingly audiovisual stations. Yet there’s more to come. Guido has compiled the offers on the right vying for the potentially very lucrative spot of Britain’s right wing TV station…

  • The much touted new counter to the UK’s glut of left-wing TV news channels ‘GB News‘ has been set up by Robbie Gibb, former head of BBC political programming output and Downing Street Director of Communications. His new operation was recently registered with Ofcom, by a new company All Perspectives Limited. APL’s Director is Andrew Cole, who serves on the board of Liberty Global – which runs Virgin Media and owns 10% of ITV. In short, GB News is an organisation with serious heft behind it…
  • Gibb is not alone in a TV venture. Back in May, News UK hired David Rhodes, a former Fox News executive who was President of CBS News until last year. Sources inside the mini-Shard tell Guido the project is very secretive and keeps morphing. Ideas doing the rounds include the creation of an 18 hours-a-day live news channel, through to a more slimline offer of just three shows a day. Rhodes is a serious TV man, not an ideologue, although he now reports directly to Rebekah Brooks
  • NewsUK is already building experience with Times Radio and TalkRADIO – the latter of which has been expanding its video offering, and there’s every chance its radio personalities could become television talking heads. The lines between internet and TV are becoming increasingly blurred… 
  • In less advanced plans, Guido hears that millionaire Brexit Party Chairman Richard Tice is mulling the idea of to setting up his own new radio station on the right, with a video offer rivalling TalkRADIO. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, meanwhile, is building up his video presence on YouTube, with interviews and documentary films. Auditioning for something?
  • The Speccie, in addition to a sweep of podcasts, has launched a video offer called Spectator TV which currently hosts a weekly zoom chat show with Brillo. A bit of a step down from the state of art BBC studios…
  • The IEA has a snazzier offer too, with Director General Mark Littlewood offering weekly live broadcasts in the style of Question Time except all the panelists are good. Could he be vying for a spot at whichever new station gets off the ground?

A broadcasting shake-up is coming. Hard-to-regulate internet TV is now making inroads as mobile broadband improves. The BBC is running scared. Opinionated radio has already established itself with ‘balance in the round’ – across the schedule rather than within each show. Whether GB News or the NewsUK offers both launch, or combine efforts, broadcast news is facing the dawn of a new era…

mdi-timer 7 September 2020 @ 14:40 7 Sep 2020 @ 14:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Guido Exploring Crowdfunded Prosecution of Jolyon Maugham

Following yesterday’s surprising news that the RSPCA has said fox-killer Jolyon Maugham will not face charges for his Boxing Day brutality, Guido is exploring launching a private prosecution. Crowdfunded justice..?

Not so long ago, the RSPCA pursued a case to the High Court against a police officer who had put a run-over cat out of its misery, after being called to the scene by concerned residents. Yet with the more cold blooded case of Jolyon they’re stepping back…

Guido’s editor spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer on TalkRADIO this morning about the case, and how Guido readers have already expressed interest in crowdfunding a case. Watch the interview in full here…

mdi-timer 6 March 2020 @ 12:14 6 Mar 2020 @ 12:14 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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