David Dimbleby has said that Emily Maitlis’ mistake was to turn her Newsnight monologue into an “argument”.
former Question of Time presenter, 83, also rejected the suggestion of having “a group” of Conservative supporters in the BBC governorship.
Maitlis, who left the BBC this year, used MacTaggart’s Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival this week to claim the company had “tried to stabilize” number 10 by issuing a quick apology following the analysis. her 2020 piece about Dominic Cummings’ locked-down trip to Durham.
The broadcaster, which received more than 20,000 complaints and alleges that Maitlis and the Newsnight team violated fairness rules, said in a statement: “We believe the introduction we broadcast did not meet the requirements our standards of fairness.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today, Dimbleby said: “First of all, her words were approved by the editorial team at Newsnight so it’s not just Emily who is being rebuked by the BBC. That’s the team. The second thing I want to say is that what she said should have been questions, not statements.
“’The country can see that Cummings broke the rules, it’s shocked the government can’t.’ Well, not everyone can be shocked. ‘The public mood was one of anger, contempt and suffering’. Well, maybe but that’s a question to ask. It’s a polemic. I think it’s wrong.”
Dimbleby said he personally didn’t feel like an idiot, as many in the country claim, but instead felt “very uncomfortable” with Mr Cummings, who was then Boris’ chief adviser. Johnson.
Referring to Maitlis’ statement, the BBC rebuked the Newsnight team over the complaint from the Government, adding: “I really don’t think the call from 10 the next morning (had any effect). There’s a call from Number 10 every bloody morning of the week.
“Whoever is in power, always has. Look at Alastair Campbell – never quit the BBC while Labor was in office. “
Referring to Theresa May’s former communications director, Sir Robbie Gibb, Maitlis said in her keynote: “Put this in the context of the BBC Board of Directors, which has another active staff member. of the Conservatives – a former Downing Street shooting doctor and former adviser to rival BBC GB News – is now sitting, acting as the BBC’s impartiality arbiter. “
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Jess Brammar, former editor-in-chief of HuffPost UK and acting editor of Newsnight, was confirmed as executive editor of the BBC news channel last year.
However, her fairness was called into question after old tweets emerged in which she criticized Brexit and Mr Johnson.
Labor then called for Sir Robbie to be sacked from the BBC’s board after claiming he tried to block her recruitment for political reasons.
Dimbleby said: “The chairman of the BBC – who is admittedly a Conservative supporter – oversees what the board does, and Robbie Gibb, who you’re talking about, obviously I think has been talking about that. don’t think a particular appointment with the news department is right because of the tweets Jess Brammar wrote.
“The interesting thing about this is that Jess Brammar has been appointed. Robbie Gibb could have said this is unwise or this is going to get the favor of a 10 or something. I don’t know what he actually said. I talked to him about it. He won’t say what he actually said.
“They say the opposite that Muriel Gray is there, a Labor supporter, so it is deceitful. I don’t think there’s a kind of cabal in the BBC governor of Tory supporters.”
A BBC spokesperson previously said: “The BBC places the highest value on fairness and accuracy and we apply these principles to our reporting on all matters.
“As we have made clear previously in relation to Newsnight, we have not taken action due to any pressure from Number 10 or the Government and the other suggestion is false. The BBC found the show violated its editorial standards and that decision remains in effect. “
Charlotte Moore, BBC’s chief content officer, also addressed the issue, saying: “It is important to document that there is in no way any influence from the Government or from the board. We follow proper editorial processes and if editorial standards are violated, it is very important to be able to remove that. But it’s part of maintaining a fair news service. “
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/dimbleby-says-maitlis-should-not-have-made-newsnight-monologue-a-polemic-41941154.html Dimbleby says Maitlis shouldn’t make Newsnight’s monologue an ‘argument’