IN yet another almighty BBC cave-in at the hands of the Tory Government, the corporation issued what was more or less a face-slapping rebuke to Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis for her robust introduction to Tuesday night’s programme, in which she enunciated what the vast majority of the British public were thinking.
Dubbed the Preying Maitlis, the broadcaster is renowned for her sometimes ferocious questioning and for speaking her mind, like her predecessor Jeremy Paxman. Now the BBC think she’s gone too far, no doubt because Prime Minister Cummings and Boris Johnson didn’t like it.
The Beeb stated on Wednesday that she had breached impartiality rules, which caused her to take the night off. It was couched in the most weasly tones: “We feel that we should have done more to make clear the introduction was a summary of the questions we would examine, with all the accompanying evidence, in the rest of the programme.”
Oh really? Would they have done that to Paxo or Andrew Neil? And we’re still waiting for an on-air apology for Sarah Smith’s ultra-biased “enjoyed” statement about First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
WHAT DID SHE SAY THAT WAS SO WRONG?
JUDGE for yourself: “Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The whole country can see that, and it is shocked that the Government cannot.
“The longer ministers, and Prime Minister, tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.
“He was the man, remember, who always ‘got’ the public mood, who tagged the lazy label of ‘elite’ on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood now. One of fury, contempt, and anguish.
“He made those who struggled to keep to the rules feel like fools. And has allowed many more to assume they can now flout them.
“The Prime Minister knows all this, but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls, and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it.
“Tonight we consider what this blind loyalty tells us about the inner workings of Number 10. We do not expect to be joined by a government minister, but that won’t stop us asking the questions.”
Nope, still can’t see where she wasn’t just telling the truth to power. And given Durham police’s statement yesterday, in future maybe even the Beeb will tell Downing Street and Cummings where to go with their moans.
WHO IS MAITLIS?
THE 49-year-old mother-of-two is the Canadian-born daughter of a Jewish family that fled Nazi persecution. Maitlis was brought up in Sheffield before beginning a long and successful career in broadcasting, having worked for NBC, Channel 4, Sky and the BBC, which she joined in 2001. She is an award-winning newsreader and the only Newsnight presenter not to have attended private school.
READ MORE: BBC slammed for ‘gutless capitulation’ in slapping down Emily Maitlis
She is certainly a woman of courage – she was the victim of a stalker for nearly 30 years and took him to court. He is now in prison.
NOT EVERYONE’S CUP OF TEA?
SHE has given people from all parties and none, and all sides of opinion and none, a hard time. She’s good at it. Remember it was Maitlis who exposed Prince Andrew just by asking him tough questions.
Yesterday, George Galloway did his usual contrarian thing: “What’s wrong with so many of you? Emily Maitlis shrieked like a Pyongyang shill throughout the last 5 years that #Corbyn was a KGB spy an IRA gunman a PLO terrorist a communist agitator a danger to Britain. And now she’s Joan of Arc? Pass the sick-bag Alice. #BBCNewsnight”
Missed the point George. It’s not Maitlis who’s at fault for such apparent bias, but the BBC.
A BBC which takes one action when the Tories tell them, and ignore Labour complaints.