Wednesday 19 July 2017

John Simpson loses his cool (again) on Twitter

As you'll know, the BBC has published the salaries of its highest-earning stars today. The BBC's World Affairs Editor John Simpson, one of those stars (£150,000 – £199,999 pa), is handling the matter with all his usual sangfroid - and that strict adherence to the concept of BBC impartiality that's become such a hallmark of his time on Twitter:

A lot of Twitter discussion took place as a result, this exchange being the most striking - as Mr. Simpson reacts with grace, good humour and a total lack of pomposity to a certain Kirstie:
John Simpson: Why does the govt actively seek to damage the BBC, one of the few things the world admires about the UK at present, with this pointlessness?
Kirstie: Nothing admirable about the biased news reporting on the BBC
John Simpson: Sorry Kirstie, but I always block people who can't stay polite. Bye.
Peter Ryan‏: What was unpolite about what Kristin [sic] said?
Craig Millar‏: I think she was polite John, unless you took it as a personal jibe.
John Simpson‏:  My colleagues & I do our damnedest to be honest & straight. Isn't it a bit rude to accuse us sweepingly of betraying our basic principles?
Graham Matthews‏: Not if it is true.
Sophie Petzal‏: It isn't true. Balance isn't always nice, and often feels like criticism. The fact many on the right and left cry 'bias' shows it's not.
Graham Matthews‏: You think the BBC balanced in its coverage of Trump?  When @KattyKayBBC sits on MSNBC attacking him every day?
Kate Edmonds‏: I don't hear attack, I hear reporting. The fact that he comes across badly is entirely down to Trump........


  1. "I don't hear attack, I hear reporting"

    I hear campaigning. The BBC campaigns.

    There would nothing wrong with with this if it wasn't a crime not to fund the BBC in exchange for being allowed to view the output of other broadcasters.

  2. Ellie Fant-Indaroom19 July 2017 at 21:47

    You only have to compare the BBC pro-migration campaign of 2015 (during Merkel's mad "come all ye" policy period)with its sudden volte face in the last couple of months to a much more realistic position on migration (as approved, whodathunkit, by Blair, Heseltine and Macron who all now admit there is a serious problem with uncontrolled migration) to realise the BBC is policy-led not reality-led.

  3. Yep, just as predicted. The public discussion is now shifting from all those recent problems of BBC bias to everyone rushing to defend the National Treasure. Why do the nasty Tories want to destroy the BBC, eh?

    Interesting to see Andrew Neil repeat Jeremy Paxman's view that the BBC (in the form of the World Service) is how Britain spreads influence.

  4. The world admires the BBC? - I don't think so, not any more. I remember watching a BBC News broadcast with my French in-laws the week before the London Olympics - the BBC was delivering one of its, by then, routine predictions of national failure & humiliation before the eyes of the world: nothing would be ready, the accommodation/food and anything else they could think of would be inadequate. "Why are they so negative?" said my in-laws, "Don't they want the games to be a success?" I told them the answer to the second question was "No"; answering the first question would take longer.
    A major problem for the BBC is complacency: it has spent so long pumping out boastful mantras like 'Championing the truth' & 'Reporting the truth' that it has come to believe them - as we all know, in reporting on matters islamic, the BBC can usually be relied on to report anything but the truth. Meanwhile, the drama department churns out plays starring actors who mumble, recorded by incompetent sound engineers. and the Corporation's once unchallenged reputation for technical excellence is becoming a distant memory. Several times a week we see breaks in continuity: a newsreader introduces an item and the wrong video is shown or no video at all appears - the sort of amateurism we used to expect from Australian TV in its early days. I've a theory that the failings have something to do with the Beeb's slavish adherence to diversity targets - it has become more important to appoint someone of the 'right' ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation/handicap etc than to choose the best person for the job.


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