Wednesday, July 11, 2007

BBC Bans Emily Maitlis Spectator Column

I've never seen Matthew D'Ancona fulminate before, but I suspect he might self combust when he appears on my 18 Doughty Street show tonight at 10pm. Why? Because the BBC have stopped Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis from writing for The Spectator. Her diary last week provoked the ire of BBC head honcho Helen Boaden, who overrulled Head of News Peter Horrocks and told Maitliss she could in future keep her thoughts to herself. It seems the BBC are still in the post Hutton paranoia era. But it is still one rule for some and a different rule for others. Why is Andrew Marr's diary in the Telegraph more acceptable than an Emily Maitlis column in The Speccie? I am so very glad I don't have to watch what I say like everyone at the BBC seems to have to.

It does seem off that Boaden should intervene to overrule Horrocks. He will not have been pleased. Ever ready with a quotable phrase, D'Ancona has called it the Vicky Pollard School of Management - yes but, no but.

UPDATE: Update from Matt D'Ancona HERE. The BBC seems to have backed down. Sort of.

38 comments:

the man from del monte said...

Maitliss. Yummy!

Tony said...

It seems to me more about who Emily was writing for and less about what she was writing.

As an aside, I wonder if the BBC will either stop inviting journos from its newsprint wing (the Guardian) onto our screens several times a week on various programmes to provide comment, or be more even handed in inviting journos from other papers to make comment?

Anonymous said...

Hat tip - the Times

Laurence Boyce said...

Do try to get her name right.

sockpuppet said...

It seems to me more about who Emily was writing for and less about what she was writing.

then why is Marr in the torygraph acceptable?

Is it (surely not) that he's so enamoured of NuLab that he's 'safe'?

That would be terrible.

Anonymous said...

The BBC is New Labour's Pravda; everyone knows it. When the Tories get in they must privatise it.

Nick Longworth said...

The diary seems innocuous enough. What got up the miserable Helen's nose so much?
P.S. There's only one 's' in maitlis.

David Boothroyd said...

Andy Marr is no longer Political Editor of the BBC (he was replaced by Nick Robinson more than a year ago). He's now a freelance contributor. Emily Maitlis, however, is BBC staff. That's how come the difference.

Anonymous said...

Come now, David. You mustn't let the facts get in the way of a good anti-BBC rant.

Anonymous said...

but i can well imagine you saying that the BBC shouldnt let people...oh i can't be arsed!

Tom FD said...

In all fairness the BBC's had this rule since the Kilroy thing. Still I can't imagine an ordinary viewer being able to discern a freelance contributer from BBC staff.

wrinkled weasel said...

David boothroyd is correct. Andrew Marr is a freelance.

I have been a regular watcher of Newsnight for years and have never heard of Miss Makepeace.

Does she appear after the Newsnight Scotland opt out? What is the extent of her cleavage?

Anonymous said...

Is the BBC supposed to be impartial then ? I didn't realise.

Anonymous said...

The point here, Iain, that D'anconna continues to send the Spectator into London media society Tatler, la-la land. The BBC did readers a favour. What use is a pretty Miss Maitliss if she can only blather on about lazy mummy hackette crap.

Just when the Tories need a powerhouse of new ideas, argument and a telling 'narrative' about the cock-up of the last decade, D-Anconna buggers it up.

In the wake of the New Statesman re-design, the old lefty rag is more convincing, more powerful and providing an intellectual rocket boost for Broonism.

A few years ago D'anconna was the most powerful anti-Blair voice. Then he was neutralised by one-to-one fireside chats with Tone and now his Missus has barged her way into a job share with Milliband.

Andrew Neil should boot him straight out on his arse and send him back to his beloved Brick Lane. And get in a somebody who wants to set the intellectual pace instead of poncing around with a Sarah Sands-inspired champagne for brain bollocks.

morrocan roll

Anonymous said...

The Times spelt her name right, Iain. Just as well you're 'not a journalist'. What would your Telegraph masters say?

bill said...

I stopped my Speccie subscription whilst Boris was Editor and will not renew whilst D'ancona is there.

Anonymous said...

Is the BBC supposed to be impartial then ?

Of course - and it is. They all impartially gather the news, impartially write the stories and then impartially broadcast the news. They also all impartially vote Labour.

Apparently (according to 5Live?) in 1997 the corridors of Broadcasting House were impartially "strewn with empty champagne bottles"

Jim Naughtie is particularly impartial

Og said...

Since the untimely departure or retirement of Francine Stock, Emily Maitlis is the only clever, impartial and attractive female newsreader the Beeb have at the moment, when you consider Kerplunkski, the welsh midget with the outsized bonce (Sian something?) and celebriddy-schmoozer Fiona Bruce. She should ignore them. Either they'll capitulate or fire her, in which case she'll walk into a proper job at a big price.

Is the BBC the ONLY current affairs job these people want?

no longer anonymous said...

If Maitlis wasn't expressing political opinions then why the problem? Or was she?


More importantly, why is the Spectator so dire? The New Statesman might be fully of leftie nonsense but at least one gets the impression it's a serious magazine with a lot of readable content.

Anonymous said...

Replace Marr on Sunday A.M. with Andrew Neil

Anonymous said...

O/T

Just be browsing Tom Watson's web site and found this:

"(Hey, chill with the anti-Europe vibes already! You totally won’t be able to wear the word ‘fcuk’ on your shirt anymore if we break our connection with France, y’dig? ROFFLE!)"

Does he really think that peddling this lies helps with engaging teenagers with politics?

Please oh please Gordon, put him in charge of your General Election strategy, that way we'll win hands down!

Chuck Unsworth said...

So what does the contract say? If Boaden is just doing the strongarm stuff then the stupid bint needs a bleeding good slap and Maitliss should 'consult her legal advisors'.

I get totally pissed of with middle-rank management thinking they know anything about anything at all. And middle-rank management at the BBC are just that, totally rank.

Anonymous said...

"Why is Andrew Marr's diary in the Telegraph more acceptable than an Emily Maitlis column in The Speccie? "

Because while it's fine to have a Blairite Tory like Marr 'outing' the Beeb for their true political position but bluer versions must keep under cover. Otherwise the gaff will be blown.

Anonymous said...

Nah, it's because they are worried about their investment getting zhagged by a blind bearded man, or even that mop-headed twat, or ending up playing todger-tag with Simon Hoggart.

Newmania said...

More importantly, why is the Spectator so dire? The New Statesman might be fully of leftie nonsense but at least one gets the impression it's a serious magazine with a lot of readable content


Oh yes how true. This is the first thread I can recall in which the anons are making good points and not just being a sort of virtual dirty protest. I also loathe the politivcs of the NS but it is by far the best poltical Mag .

Prospect is excellent as well

Chris Paul said...

When you say "the BBC seems to have back down. Sort of." Do you actually mean: "Iain Dale has cried wolf again. I was totally wrong. Sorry folks." Is that it?

Because to be honest EM has not been banned from writing a column. It is her description as 'Contributing Editor' that is moot. Isn't it?

Anonymous said...

It did seem to me that Emily Maitlis was somewhat 'off message' on the day before the Live Earth concert. She gave her two Climate Change interviewees quite a hard time. Quite a refreshing change for interviewers on the BBC to question the Climate Change orthodoxy I thought. Well done Emily for asking at least some of the questions that many people feel need to be answered on this issue.

Views from the UK 2006 said...

Emily Maitlis is great, so say we all. Speaks five languages do I have to say any more.

bebopper said...

God knows why I subscribe to The Spectator. It's always been an exclusive club for a bunch of smug journalists, who are either related or sleep with each other, or both. There is no sense that an unsolicited piece, no matter how well written, would ever see the light of day in this double-barred closed shop.
Traditionally, The Spectator has been a Tory publication, chalk to The New Statesman's cheese. I share the doubts about D'Ancuna's conservatism and would be happy if he decided to go back to the mainstream press. The Daily Mail under Gordon's friend Paul Dacre might suit him.
Re Emily M: It seems a little unfair. Hattersley and Gove pick up handsome sums for writing non-political stuff for the Mail and Times. The problem obviously lies with that pompous title "contributing editor", but it's as meaningless as the ubiquitous "vice chairman" in American commerce.

Diablo said...

I've just watched Emily Maitlis on BBC's newsnight conducting a discussion on housing with Yvetee Cooper (Mrs Balls), Eric Pickles and David Laws and she was abysmal!

The whole thing descended into a slanging match with her talking over all the others. Piss poor journalism but didn't she look very attractive? Is she trying to "brand" herself?

Verity said...

Views from The UK 2006: "Emily Maitlis is great ... Speaks five languages do I have to say any more?"

In which language, darling?

dire strait said...

Chris Paul is the dog turd on the walk of life.

verity said...

bebopper: Agreed. Boris Johnson gave a spot - who knows why? - oh, wait a minute! - to Ron Liddle's illiterate, whiny girlfriend who wrote a turgid, impenetrable piece, so to speak, about something so stupid it was impossible to figure out what the "article" was about. But it ran in The Speccie.

When the very lamented Frank Johnson was editor, I was very aware of every Friday because it meant a new Spectator on the newstands. I always bought it.

The Speccie began to be awful under Boris Johnson then plummeted to the sub-basement under d'Acona. I don't even tune into the free online content any more.

Anonymous said...

I notice in The Guardian today that the BBC is, alongside Unison, one of the official supporters of the 'Rise - London united against racism' concert this Sunday in Finsbury Park. It is being put on by Ken Livingstone in partnership with the TUC and the National Assembly Against racism, a blatantly political front for Socialist Action and Lee Jasper. Will the BBC be an official supporter of the next Countryside Alliance demo or a march against Britain's EU membership? The BBC would respond that anti-racism is above politics. If so, why does the National Assembly Against Racism run campaigns to 'defend multiculturalism'. Or is anyone against multiculturalism a racist in the BBC's book?

Londoner said...

I am grateful that your respectable blog is giving more profile to Emily Maitlis. I had noted her on Newsnight, but not quite placed her and you made me Google her. Lovely pictures and a great back story about cleavage malfunction (Daily Mail el al), only marginally diminished by relevation of married status. Aren't we all, but, hell, who cares? Where can we meet her?

Oh, I didn't think your Spectator story amounted to much, but thanks all the same.

Chris Paul said...

Thanks ever so much to Dire Strait for clever adult insight and humour. Brilliant!

Apparently I'm 'deranged' every time Iain gets a story wrong and I spot it!!!!

You Tory Boy Bloggers and tame sock muppets, so hilarious! And what great vocabularies you have.

Chris Paul said...

The problem that EM had on Newsnight was that Laws and Pickles were total gobby bastards, telling fibs and butting in.

Thought EM and YC came out quite well as the Laurel and Hardy of the opposition benches bantered away like empty vessels.

el Tom said...

Down in the corner of your blog there is an invitation to help Tony Lit become the Conservative candidate for Ealing. Are you sure the 'Conservative' bit is accurate?