Friday, 14 March 2014

I occasionally feel guilty about criticising the BBC, and then they go and do something as jaw-droppingly arrogant as this...

The BBC has appointed a new Newsnight Economics Editor. His name is Duncan Weldon, and he's currently the TUC's senior economist. He's a former Labour Party staffer, and, according to Media Guido (here) was a party candidate in Crouch End in the 2010 elections, and was economic adviser to Harriet Harman when she was acting Labour Deputy Leader. And this was posted on the left-wing site, Left Foot Forward, today: Congratulations this Friday go to the Duncan Weldon, a Left Foot Forward contributor since 2009, who is joining BBC Newsnight as their economics correspondent. Heatwarming, or what?

In case you're wondering whether - despite his political affiliations - Weldon might be an even-handed commentator, here are some of the titles of his Left Foot Forward articles:

Unless we see a pick-up in productivity, the UK risks slower growth

Today’s jobs figures: this doesn’t feel like a recovery

The weakness of the wider economy is catching up with the labour market

There is no disguising the fact: these are disastrous figures for the chancellor

Jobs stats no cause for celebration – things could, and should, be an awful lot better

In other words, yet another dreary, standard-issue "Yes, things are getting better, but because they're Tory scum I'm buggered if I'm going to admit it" Labour propagandist.

Ian Katz, the former deputy editor of the Guardian who is now the editor of Newsnight, having read Guido Fawkes's item on the appointment, showed how cautious the BBC is about appearing too politically biased by tweeting "@MediaGuido Excellent work!...thought it would take you longer to expose whole conspiracy". Apparently left-wing BBC executives are now so contemptuous of any form of criticism from the Right that that they feel perfectly justified in responding with sneering juvenile sarcasm.

If Weldon's appointment doesn't represent a conspiracy to subvert the BBC charter's injunction against political bias, then what exactly does it represent? Why am I and millions of other conservative license-fee payers expected to go on funding socialist propaganda?

I have no idea why the current DG Tony Hall would have allowed this to happen. As for the Director of News, former Times editor James Harding, I can only conclude that the man's a total fucking fool.

There are only two crumb of comfort in this whole maddening affair. First, only a tiny handful of political obsessives actually bother watching Newsnight these days, so Weldon and his boss, Katz, can spin away to their hearts' content without having any effect. And it leaves me free to go on criticising the BBC's outrageous left-wing bias without feeling remotely disloyal.

The corporation should be thoroughly ashamed of itself.

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