Friday, 29 November 2019

Media Quotes of the Week: From Libs in fake newspaper row, Cons threaten Channel 4 plus what Chris Moncrieff asked the Prime Minister who saved him from falling off the Great Wall of China

Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, in a statement on the Liberal Democrats disguising their election freesheets as local newspapers. “It is ironic how it is often politicians who complain about fake news but then set out to at least blur the lines for readers – and in this case voters – by packaging their partial messages to ape independent newspapers. If political parties were genuine in their desire, often expressed, to both remove the effects of fake news and disinformation as well as support existing regional and local media they would take steps to ensure their political freesheets look markedly different to real newspapers. There should also be a requirement to clearly state which party is funding a publication in large, bold typeface rather than hiding such information away in an attempt to deceive.”

Alex Wickham and Mark Di Stefano on BuzzFeed: "The Conservative Party is threatening to review Channel 4’s public service broadcasting obligations after the broadcaster replaced Boris Johnson with an ice sculpture at Thursday night’s election debate. In a dramatic escalation of the war of words between the Tories and Channel 4 that will likely provoke outcry, a Conservative source told BuzzFeed News that if they win the coming election they will reassess the channel’s public service broadcasting licence."

The Times [£]  obit on Clive James: "His TV column [in the Observer] became a weekly event largely because he was capable of memorable and cutting comic description. 'Even in moments of tranquillity,” he wrote, “Murray Walker sounds like a man whose trousers are on fire.' It is hard to see Arnold Schwarzenegger without recalling James’s description of him, in his acting days, as 'a brown condom full of walnuts'.”

Alan Rusbridger on Twitter: "Maybe Thanksgiving is a good day to thank a reporter you admire for the work they have done. Thank you #DaphneCaruanaGalizia for being intrepid and true. #thankareporter."

BBC director of editorial policy and standards David Jordan in a letter to the Guardian: "Peter Oborne is incorrect in suggesting that the BBC thinks it’s wrong to expose lies told by politicians. The BBC is committed to calling out lies, disinformation or untruths – no matter who tells them. That is what our journalists do on a daily basis. With Reality Check we are doing more than ever at this election. What we don’t do is label people as liars – that’s a judgment for audiences to make about an individual’s motives."

The BBC in a statement: "This clip from the BBC's Question Time special, which was played out in full on the News at Ten on Friday evening and on other outlets, was shortened for timing reasons on Saturday's lunchtime bulletin, to edit out a repetitious phrase from Boris Johnson," the BBC said in a statement. However, in doing so we also edited out laughter from the audience. Although there was absolutely no intention to mislead, we accept this was a mistake on our part, as it didn't reflect the full reaction to Boris Johnson's answer."

Tim Shipman in the Sunday Times [£]: "BBC bosses have been accused of pulling the plug on politically sensitive reports into the close links between leading politicians and Russia. John Sweeney, a BBC investigative reporter, has turned whistleblower and filed a complaint against the corporation with Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog. He alleges investigations into Labour’s Lord Mandelson, the former Tory cabinet minister John Whittingdale, the Brexit funder Arron Banks, the oligarch Roman Abramovich and the far-right activist Tommy Robinson were all dropped."

John Sweeney in the Sunday Times [£]: "Being attacked by a far-right cult while undefended by the BBC was maddening, literally. I felt bewildered and betrayed and, eventually, I cracked up. I am back to my old self but have left the BBC. However, I love it too much to just walk away in silent dismay."

John Major quoted in The Times [£] obit on PA's legendary political editor Chris Moncrieff who he saved from falling off the Great Wall of China when he was PM: “I thought for this act of mercy he would say thank you. But I misjudged the great man. He stopped, looked up and said, ‘Can I use this story?’ ”


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