Thursday, 6 February 2020

Media Quotes of the Week: From PM urged to stop war on the media after No 10 briefing boycott row to why The Times is better value than a coffee

The Guardian reports: "Political journalists have boycotted a briefing at No 10 Downing Street after one of Boris Johnson’s aides banned selected reporters from attending. The walkout took place after a confrontation inside No 10 in which Lee Cain, Johnson’s most senior communications adviser, tried to exclude reporters from the Mirror, i, HuffPost, PoliticsHome, Independent and others."

The Times [£] in a leader:" It is not as if Downing Street does not have other things to do than start a pointless squabble. It has made some big promises, and fighting the press was not one of them. Nor will it be much of a distraction over time from the course of events. Mr Johnson’s advisers ought to think again before they look even more foolish than they do already."

Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail: "This isn't Trump's America. I hope our journalist Prime Minister will control the perpetually turbulent Mr Cummings, who seems not to like journalists or journalism very much, or to value a free Press."

Nick Robinson on Twitter: "We asked a minister to appear on @BBCr4today today to explain what they planned to do to stop released terrorists attacking people on the streets. None was available."

Piers Morgan on Twitter:  "This ongoing cabinet boycott of many media outlets (including @GMB) is stinking cowardice. Shame on you @BorisJohnson for allowing this - you were a journalist like us once."

Nick Cohen on the Spectator blog: "Johnson is revealing himself to be a brooding suspicious politician, wholly at odds with his cheeky chappie persona. Even when a terrorist attacked civilians on a London street, ministers were “not available” to speak to the public. I suspect there is a strong element of projection at play. It is because Johnson was a partisan columnist that he is an enemy of press freedom. He assumes all journalists are like him, and that they will twist, distort and censor accordingly."

Tim Shipman in the Sunday Times [£]: "Boris Johnson’s right-hand man has set up a network of mafia-style “snitches” in Westminster restaurants to stop ministerial aides getting free lunches from journalists. Dominic Cummings told government special advisers on Friday evening that in future they must pick up half the bill if they go for lunch, dinner or drinks with the media. 'The people’s government doesn’t take any favours.' he pronounced. 'No coffees, no lunches, no drinks. Especially not with journalists'.”

Ray Snoddy on Mediatel on the Brexit negotiations: "The test for the media now will be the honesty with which they approach the really tricky negotiations soon about to begin. Will the Brexit-supporting press now deal in facts or continue chasing sunbeams, or as a default position blame the EU for its intransigence if the shoots or renewal run into problems."

Roger Mosey in the New Statesman: "Nobody can pretend that the BBC’s job is easy. The government is breathing down its neck about the licence fee, and ministers are boycotting the Today programme. Audience loyalties generally are weaker and social media hostility is intense. But the corporation has not provided a convincing enough argument for taking a wrecking ball to the structure that delivered its greatest successes, and its proposed remedies may well turn the dark clouds into thunderstorms."

Unnamed ITN colleague of Alastair Stewart, quoted by The Times [£] about the Twitter row which ended the news presenter's career: “It feels that editors used his mistake to get rid of an expensive, old white guy. It looks like opportunism, getting rid of him now. It’s disrespectful. Editors are obsessed with diversity. If you are white, male and middle-aged you don’t have a place here. And the decisions are being made with no sense of ITN’s history, or the people who have spent their lives covering the news. He is liked and respected by the newsroom and loved by viewers. We all know he can get a bit carried away on Twitter but nothing to justify such an extreme reaction.”

Andrew Hunter Murray on Twitter: "From a single copy of the Times today I have learned about the last ever Battle of Britain ace (RIP), an escaped Thai giraffe, the new German trend of fried raccoon, and the phrase 'as rare as rocking-horse shit'. For less than the price of a coffee. Newspapers are unbelievable."


No comments: