Thursday 31 October 2019


I had to go out earlier than usual this morning so I missed most of this. Much as I’d like to, I haven’t time to dissect it further, but Douglas Murray’s own account of the ambush is all you really need to know. 

"Ah, the BBC. There’s really nothing like it is there? 
This morning I had the pleasure of appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. I know what you’re already thinking: ‘You fool, you fool – it’s a trap’. But I was phoned last night and asked if I would come on this morning to discuss Barack Obama’s recent remarks against ‘wokeness’. 
At some inconvenience to myself I rearranged my schedule, got up early and headed to the BBC. Only to discover that I was today’s BBC effort at replaying the recent Rod Liddle – Emily Maitlis exchange. 
 In recent years, a lot of people from the BBC have approached me to ask what has gone wrong with their own programmes. I’m also fairly often approached by people from the corporation asking me to help them get on various prominent guests who they are having trouble booking and who they wish me to help persuade. 
In recent years these asks have increased because a growing number of people no longer need the BBC and regard it as an ever-less attractive or necessary platform to appear on. There are a number of reasons for that. One is that in the age of long-form podcasts listened to by millions it is unclear why anyone would want to go on a programme where you are in a four-minute ding-dong, most of the airtime in which is taken up trying to correct the presenter’s mischaracterisations of you. 
Another is the certainty that if you accept an invitation your good will almost certainly will be abused by pulling exactly the sort of unenlightening ambush that Nick Robinson tried this morning. Another reason is simply the growing sense that the real conversation is happening elsewhere.


  1. I mentioned this on the Open Thread earlier and here's my take:

    "Nick Robinson interviewing Douglas Murray and Kehinde Andrews Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University (the latter barely comprehensible over the radio thanks to his non-RP accent and his lazy sentence construction). It was a classic BBC ambush, described in the article below - Robinson taking a few words out of context to paint Murray as a disseminator of religious hatred.

    Robinson should resign. His out of context ambush shows he is incapable of being a responsible journalist paid for by us, the licence fee holders.

    Why didn't he "ambush" Andrews. Here are some things Andrews has said:

    "Racial harassment... is so commonplace in UK universities that for black staff members such as myself, it feels like something we just have to get used to."

    He claims the appointment of people like Sajid Javid is not on merit but a cynical bit of racial tokenism.

    He claims that "racially offensive" language is "part of the norm of British political life".

    Why didn't Nasty Nick have a go at Andrews' inflammatory prose? "

    TO ADD TO THAT: I thought Murray was less nimble on his feet than he should have been. Maybe, he's not so much of a morning person...

    Ideally he should have used a bit of verbal ju jitsu. "Sorry, so you want to discuss that remark of mine which you took out of context? Well, then, I'll assume from this intervention that you and the BBC think the UK will be a better place if we have more Islam. That certainly seems to be the message you are pumping out 24/7. No other religion gets that leg up from the BBC. Tell me if I'm wrong Nick."

    This is my advice to all targets of BBC Malevolence: you need to bring it straight back to the BBC and their bias: mention the licence fee, taking money from pensioners, John Humphrys' comments, Jane Glover's admission about BBC staff celebrating Labour's victory, enabling of Jimmy Savile, Jo Brand battery acid joke, inflated salaries, bias on twitter...

    1. I see what you did there MB. You morphed two of the BBC's female radio stars into one: Jane Garvey and Fi Glover. It was Garvey who told us of the champagne empties in the BBC corridors after the '97 general election. She was once married to another BBC radio favourite Adrian Chiles. Her career flourished when she worked as one of the founding voices of Radio 5 Live when it was still broadcast from London, but like many others she sidestepped the move to Salford despite originating from nearby Liverpool.

    2. I've put in a complaint, using some of the language of the BBC's ruling against Emily Maitlis over Rod Liddle:

      "I wish to complain about Nick Robinson's lack of even-handedness during his interview with Douglas Murray and Kehinde Andrews.

      "The whole thing reeked of a one-sided ambush, with Nick Robinson not only bringing up one of Mr Murray's past 'controversial' statements in the middle of the interview but browbeating him again with the same thing at the end of the interview - and, even worse, then giving himself (Nick Robinson) the final, sarcastic word - and, thus, victory over Mr Murray.

      "This was awful, unfair interviewing, made worse by the fact that many, if not most, people would say that Kehinde Andrews is by far the more inflammatory and controversial figure - especially in terms of past 'controversial' comments.

      But Nick didn't bring up any of Mr Andrews's past 'controversial' statements. Why not?

      "Surely, Nick should also have raised at least of those inflammatory opinions with Mr Andrews, if only to appear even-handed?

      "Please remind Nick Robinson of the need to ensure that rigorous questioning of 'controversial' views does not lead to a perceived lack of impartiality because the lack of impartiality here was blatant and very easy to perceive."

    3. Nice one Craig! That will hit home...presumably, under the new Hall Doctrine ("Anyone to the right of Ken Clarke cannot expect fair treatment under BBC impartiality rules") they will have to defend this indefensible conduct.

  2. Yes sorry radio voices, the BBC Women do tend to merge into one in my mind (same opinions, same obsessions, same sickly sentimental delivery). And you're right it was Jane Garvey who broke the omerta code and "revealed" what we already knew, that the vast majority of BBC staff are pro-Labour Blairite types, with a smattering of full on Marxists and virtually no Conservatives, apart from one or two Clarkeites, like our mate Nick.

  3. I thought Douglas Murray came out of that exchange rather well. It was clear from the very beginning that Nick Robinson was unwilling or unable to engage intellectually with Murray. The “ambush” actually sounded rather silly - almost plaintive. Kehinde Andrews, is little more than a platitude machine. But no doubt the wokesphere will see the interview as victory for the brave and virtuous journalists at the BBC.

  4. Robinson like Webb fears his days are numbered. White males at the BBC?! Their only hope of staying on the gravy train is to out PC the PC.

    1. Yes, this is very noticeable. Others who have ramped up their rhetoric in a desperate job preservation gambit include Rory Cellan-Jones.

  5. Agree to the first.

    But... PC?

    This should have been a professional career-ender for simply being utterly bent.


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