Tuesday, 6 November 2018

"All we need now is for Andrew Adonis to be appointed entertainment correspondent"



The comments under the BBC Press Office's tweet announcing Faisal Islam's new BBC Economic Editor job are really quite something - and possibly highly revealing. If you 'do Twitter', you ought to give them a read.

Yes, there are lots of fellow journalists wishing him well and saying good things about him, but mainly its ordinary Twittering members of the public, and there's a massive split among them:

On one side there are lots and lots of anti-Brexit people very warmly welcoming his appointment, heaping praise his 'balanced reporting' and praying he'll bring more 'balance' to the BBC's Brexit coverage. It really is striking seeing so many #FBPE types singing a senior broadcast journalist's praises in so an unqualified a fashion. They seem to really like him. (One non-parody #FBPEer even seriously tweeted, "BBC News, please allow him the freedom to express his views as he does now"),

On the other side there are lots and lots of pro-Brexit people very strongly not welcoming his appointment, calling him a 'Remoaner' and saying that the BBC is cementing its reputation as 'the leading broadcaster for Remoaners' by picking him for the job. ("Whilst I hate to talk ill of a fellow United fan, Faisal's leanings toward Remain have been undisguised since the referendum. Did that not concern the BBC, even slightly?", asked Dr Paul Stott, for example).

The partisan reaction suggests that Faisal is a 'controversial' choice. Maybe even, as the BBC might themselves put it, a 'divisive' one?

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