Saturday 9 July 2022

Trouble at t'Newsnight

Victoria Derbyshire is to become a regular Newsnight presenter, alongside Kirsty Wark.

She'll serve under new editor Stewart Maclean

I missed the controversy surrounding his appointment in April. According to The Times back then, a former BBC employee tried to derail his appointment.

What's so fascinating is the culture the story reveals about the toxic culture at Newsnight.

[1] Mr Maclean was said to have made “insensitive” comments about a Black Lives Matter story, comparing the destruction of statues by BLM to the destruction of statues by Islamic State.
His alleged comments, made during an editorial meeting, raised concerns among Newsnight employees on WhatsApp, according to messages seen by The Times. One person quoted Maclean as saying: “We were very critical when Isis were pulling down statues in Palmyra. We need to make sure we reflect that.”

“Hot Take Stew is well and truly back,” a Newsnight insider said. Another added: “I honestly have had enough of the crap he spouts.
[2] He's also said to have questioned why pro-EU campaigner Gina Miller “cared so much about Brexit after a colleague wrongly suggested she was Australian, though he denied saying anything inflammatory”.

[3] And most strikingly:
Those familiar with his tenure as deputy editor claimed that he wanted to bring “balance” to panel discussions about racism on Newsnight by booking white conservatives. Producers are said to have protested against the requests and the debates did not make it to air.
Isn't that something, wanting to allow a different point of view on Newsnight? Whoever heard of such a crazy thing?

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