Friday 28 November 2014

I obey: "Hang up your opinions with your coat"

Hugh Sykes, the absolute epitome of BBC impartiality

Though technically it should have been awarded yesterday's prize for 'Impartial BBC Tweet of the Day', a subsequent tweet from BBC legend Hugh Sykes is so obviously impartial that it must receive a prize all to itself. 

So, step forward again Hugh, and congratulations! Your commitment to disproving claims of left-wing BBC bias is truly second-to-none:

Now, the extent to which a BBC reporter who advertises his BBC status on his Twitter feed remains a debatable matter on blogs like this.

Despite the embarrassment Biased BBC's DB has inflicted on the BBC over the partisan, left-wing tweets of innumerable BBC staff, twice prompting BBC Newsroom heads (Helen Boaden and Mary Hockaday) to send out panicky emails to BBC employees warning them against embarrassing the BBC by appearing biased, there's clearly still a feeling among certain BBC reporters that Twitter is something different.

Step forward again Hugh Sykes and this telling exchange with DB from last year [which, due to a formatting error caused by something I can't get my head round - and Biased BBC seemingly being down at the moment - I'll have to transcribe]:

HughSykes ‏@HughSykes  23 Jan 2013
#Europe #Cameron Serious danger that this 'act of self-isolation' will start draining investment from #UK: #CharlesKupchan @CFR #BBCWorld

DB ‏@4d2b  23 Jan 2013
@HughSykes Serious danger that the EU elite suck up ever more power and we the people never get it back.

HughSykes ‏@HughSykes  23 Jan 2013
@4d2b  #Churchill, 1948: "We must aim at nothing less than the union of Europe (with) some sacrifice or merger of national sovereignty."

DB ‏@4d2b  23 Jan 2013
@HughSykes It does amuse when lefties pick quotes from the likes of Churchill or Reagan when it suits, as if it wins the argument.

HughSykes ‏@HughSykes 24 Jan 2013
@4d2b #EU faulty but only rats leave ships, & interesting tht Churchill had European vision. 'It's peace, stupid' as #Clinton might hv said

DB ‏@4d2b  26 Jan 2013
@HughSykes "rats" eh? I trust the BBC will be keeping you far away from any coverage of an EU referendum if it ever happens.

DB ‏@4d2b  26 Jan 2013
@HughSykes "only rats leave ships" - or people who want to survive and thrive.

HughSykes ‏@HughSykes  26 Jan 2013
@4d2b Yes, Big If. But I am scrupulously objective when reporting - unlike some of my Tweets! I obey: "Hang up your opinions with your coat"

Whether the reporting of Hugh 'The West is always to blame' Sykes' really is "scrupulously objective" is even more open to debate.


  1. Sykes can claim to be scrupulously objective when reporting, but has admitted that the BBC is definitely not objective and has an agenda when deciding what to report on certain topics.

    1. Yes, his openness is something to be said in his favour. This exchange isn't the only one he's had with DB. There have been some recent ones too. A willingness to genuinely engage with people concerned about BBC bias - even if in a humorous way - is always good in a BBC reporter.

      At least he's not snide, bitter and remote like Jon Donnison (over BBC Watch and, intriguingly, CiF Watch).

    2. I don't know if we want to give Sykes too much credit for his openness. Do you think he even realizes that what he admitted there? He's clearly arrogant, in a "how dare you question the priest caste" sort of way, and his engagement with people like DB seems more sneering than positive outreach. He's not as bad as Donnison or Evan Davis, of course, but that's a pretty low bar.


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