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Author Topic: The Political Thread  (Read 899732 times)

Professor Bear

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #15225 on: 18 January, 2019, 04:05:24 pm »
Speaking of Clive Lewis, he implies institutional racism exists at the BBC.  I always assumed they were at the very least leaning hard enough into diversity to annoy the "there were only white people in Victorian London!" brigade, although in retrospect that's the drama department rather than news, which most admit is the section that needs some reform.  Arguably moreso than ever if the stories about Fiona Bruce taking 10 minutes before QT to rile up the audience against Dianne Abbott are accurate - especially when the programme featured a tag-team between Bruce and some blonde lady shouting Abbott down to insist that Labour were behind in the polls (they're actually ahead in all but the Yougov poll, AKA The Only Poll), which looks suspiciously like a variation on the whole "Abbot can't do teh sums" thing.

JamesC

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #15226 on: 18 January, 2019, 06:04:01 pm »
I should probably be a bit careful about what I say here but as someone who works in the building that BBC East is based in (and as done since before the BBC moved in) I have some impression of the environment Mr Lewis was working in.
I don’t know what manager he’s referring to but the regional head at the time Lewis worked for the BBC is now my boss and I can say with strong belief that he’s certainly not racist.
At the same time Katie Nash (who now presents 5 News) was taken from being a very junior member of staff through to a regular presenter (before moving off to that London). I’m sure being young and pretty didn’t hurt her but she’s also very good at what she does, seemed to work mega hours and has her head screwed on.
The main thing I remember about Lewis was that he always brought his bike in the building even though he wasn’t meant to (it was a fold up one but he never folded it up).
In all fairness though he does seem like a pretty genuine bloke and I’ve never heard much of a bad word against him other than that he’s a bit vain.

Professor Bear

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #15227 on: 18 January, 2019, 07:03:02 pm »
I did mention he was a Trekkie - there's little worse you can say about a man.

Lewis does specifically say that he didn't think any of his bosses were racist, just that the institution and culture created a glass ceiling for some.  To be fair, that can be said about many equal opportunity environments.

Funt Solo

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #15228 on: 20 January, 2019, 03:42:29 pm »
fate amenable to change

Theblazeuk

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #15229 on: 21 January, 2019, 10:23:39 am »
I think the unconscious racism at the BBC is more on the editorial side of things than the workplace side of things. As someone who should also watch what they are saying.

More than anything it is just an institutional problem, where (as Abbott said) the Conservatives and whichever stuffed suit they bring out is instantly viewed as responsible and credible, despite all evidence to the contrary, whilst their opponents are treated with a certain level of incredulity and skepticism. The racism is I think simply a by-product of a top-down editorial stance that kow-tows to Right wing claims of bias and dismisses any complaint by the Left. It's still very who-you-know, old history and so on. You see a much wider diversity in places where they're forced to hire diversely (World Service) or the old Oxbridge standards aren't quite so entrenched as News and Politics (Childrens and to a lesser extent, Sport). I'd agree there's a bit of a glass ceiling though, particularly on the public facing side of things.

We don't talk about Philip Hammond getting billions wrong with his estimate of CrossRail, we still keep bringing Boris and Davis on like they know anything, and Isabel Oakeshott - whose main claim to fame is publishing a book where the PM allegedly had sex with a pig - is a revolving door panelist. Newsnight photoshops Jeremy Corbyn to create a Communist era poster on its backgrounds, but leaves Gavin Williamson and Theresa May untouched. BBC Online runs a million stories on Anti Semitism in Labour, but nothing on Baroness Warsi's call for an investigation into Islamophobia within the Conservative party. James O'Brien has to leave Newsnight, but Andrew Neil gets to run Conservative dinners and call Caroline Cadwaller a mad cat lady because she does some journalism rather than sit in a chair and read a script. How many times did I see "Where will the money come from???" during the GE for Labour but when it comes to Brexit (or Cross Rail or HS2 or Hinkley point or whatever) the BBC will only at best report on what a trade body or a think tank has to say.

I think it mostly boils down to conceit in their own position. They believe their own hype and think that they uphold the idea of crusading, honest and balanced journalism simply because they are where they are, rather than based on anything they do.

IndigoPrime

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #15230 on: 21 January, 2019, 11:01:00 am »
On Question Time, there's a failure at some point in the pipeline, although I'm not sure precisely where. Fiona Bruce is supposed to be a mediator/moderator, but appeared to stamp her own opinion in there, which is not a good look. But also the producer should have dealt with this, feeding figures to her earpiece. This happened more than once with Dimbleby, and so Bruce was also let down. (The BBC non-apology tries to weasel out of this by saying that different polling says different things. Not really, given that Oakeshott was arguing Labour was "way behind" in all the polls.)

I'm of late very much not a fan of Abbott, due to her stance on freedom of movement (and outright lies about it that she's spat out in the Commons), but her treatment in that section of Question Time was unacceptable.